Losing the same person, twice...
Emily & Adam Murray, Christmas 2005
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At 25 years old, I don't have a single friend or family member that has been through what I have experienced. 2 years ago, my husband was hit by a car on his bicycle, which threw him off the overpass bridge he was riding on, and he fell 40+ feet to the concrete highway below. He survived, barely. He totaled around 20+ hours of surgery, and 6 months of rehab. We were both so thankful that he was even alive. The doctors said they'd never seen anyone live through such trauma.
After he came home we tried getting back into our regular lifestyle. But it was different. HE was different. We both suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but neither one of us sought counseling from the accident. We, as a couple, managed to get through it okay, but each of us were battling our own depression. My husband, the love of my life, the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, was now a completely different person than the man that I married. He looked different, he acted different, I still loved him, but I couldn't help but cry. WHY?? My husband was ALIVE, I should be filled with happiness and grateful that we got a second chance together. But I lost MY HUSBAND that day on the bridge. The man that I fell in love with was gone. Our life together was never going to be the same. And I missed it. I missed HIM, even though he was right there next to me every night.
It eventually got better, for a while. He was happy to be alive and I learned to love my new husband. We tried so hard to live a normal life. He started riding his bike again, but the severity of his injuries left him slightly disabled for the rest of his life. Although I still loved him more than anything in the world, I started to feel like I was losing myself and my happiness. 6 months ago I told him that I needed some space to figure things out and that I thought we should get separate apartments for a few months. We had a pretty civil conversation about it, there were some hurt feelings, but no fighting or raised voices. I didn't want to end my marriage and I told him that. I loved him, I wanted to grow old with him, but I needed to get right with myself. I left our house to go to practice (I'm the coach of a sports team) and when I returned several hours later I walked in to find him hanging in the hallway.
Now.... I am an empty shell of the person I used to be. I tried filling the gap with alcohol, drugs, sex, I even ran away to freaking Mexico for 5 months after I got fired from my job for just not giving a shit anymore. (Thankfully, no more promiscuity or drugs, and I only drink socially on occasion).
I am okay most days, but I still feel this unbearable pain, and overwhelming guilt that it's my fault my wonderful loving husband is not alive anymore. Sometimes it hurts so bad that I can't breathe, it literally feels like my heart is being ripped out of my chest. I want him back, I want my life back. I don't know what to do with myself.
My parents (thank God for them) have been supportive, but sometimes they're so suffocating that all I want to do is get away from them. It's been 6 months now, and everyone else has gone back to their normal lives, moving on with their jobs, their friends, their spouses, and I'm left here to pick up the pieces of my shattered heart.
I'm not looking for attention, I don't want their pity, I don't expect my friends and family to begin to understand how it feels. I just want to know that I'm going to be okay after this. Because right now, I feel like my soul is dying inside. If it's possible to go through all 7 stages of grief at once, I think I'm there.