by Pam
(Sarasota, FL)

I had met my husband John 34 years ago, and it was just magic the minute our eyes met. We had a great life, two beautiful children were born to us. But in 1988 our daughter Sharon, who was then 7, died after going into diabetic coma as a result of chicken pox. Back then 1/2 of the marriages seemed to end in divorce, but we worked on it and came thru it.

In June of 2004 John and our son Tim were in a very bad accident, and neither were expected to live. I prayed harder then I ever prayed in my life and both survived. Our son is fine now, has some metal in his legs but doesn't stop him from living a normal life. But dear John received some brain injury as a result, and he was never the same man I married. He had a temper, could be very mean in what he said, but then minutes later could be more like his old self. Life was not easy, but I was so thankful that he survived.

On a Friday, November 19, 2010 my husband was in a great mood. I was at work, he was not able to work after his accident. We spoke several times, the last one at 11:30 a.m., when I called to say I would be home for lunch a little later.

At 1:24 p.m. I pulled in the driveway, and something seemed different. We have stray cats that we feed, and none of them came running up to the car. We have a small dog that normally barks like crazy when I come home, but not a peep out of him either.

When I walked into the bedroom, there he was on the floor, face down, but warm. I dropped everything and screamed and yelled at him to wake up. I called 911 and they got me to turn him over, and that took a while as he was quite big. Our firehouse is a few minutes from our house and they were there and took over, but told me he had been gone awhile already, he was only still warm due to his size.....I can't talk anymore about this day right now.

I cannot believe that he is house is so quiet...the first few nights I was so scared to be alone. Our cats did not come home the first day, and my dog was almost glued to my side. As people starting arriving from out of town it started to hit me that he was really gone. But then after a month I realized I had been in shock the whole time, all the sudden I was filled with such emptiness and so many tears that I realized it was just now that I am accepting the fact he is gone.

What does the future hold, I don't know. I just am having a hard time grieving for the John after the accident, I find myself grieving for the husband that did not have the brain injury if that makes sense. I feel guilty not missing the temper and the meanness of the John that just died.

I know I am babbling, just so confused still of what has just happened. Hopefully I read this after a month or so and see that perhaps more will make sense to me then.

I just know I miss him, I miss the mess in the kitchen in the morning, the loudness of the TV, the constant telephone calls that I received from him because he did not like not talking to anybody during the day while I was working. I guess I even miss his temper because it was an emotion, now there is nothing but silence and I hate it!


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Feb 05, 2011
Thank you Eunice
by: Pam


Thanks for the post. I am not in counseling of any kind, but just found out that a church nearby has a weekly support group, which I plan to go to next Thursday. Don't know what I would do without this site, I find comfort in what others right to me and to others. You realize how hard it was living with someone who had brain issues, sometimes I would get so mad and frustrated, but I would give anything to have him back no matter what. I will always miss my love!

Jan 28, 2011
To HH - Thank you
by: Pam

HH -
Thank you for writing. I go on this site a couple times a week, and comment where I can to see if I can help at all, or just to let someone know I am thinking of them.

When living with someone with a brain injury, as you know all too well, there is a lot of stress in the house. My husband had moved into another room as he always was up all night, and took naps during the day. He could not lay down due to pain. So I have avoided going into his room, I just can't go in there right now. When I think about all his troubles (I found a journal that broke my heart when I read) it is too much for me to bear. I have been unable to call his Dad and Step-Mom, who were unable to come to his service as his Dad was in the hospital at the time. I just can't talk about him yet, because I am so confused about our life together. Did he love me or did he need me? He would say such mean things, and wrote them as well, that I don't know anymore. I do know I miss him, and I love him.

I bought a DVD recorder, and have been making copies of our old movies from VHS tapes. We had such a beautiful life before the accident that gave him his brain injury. How I long for those days, but I have for the past five years too, which is how long he struggled with his injury.

My thoughts are so jumbled, remembering before/after accident. I had one day this week that the tears would not stop, and everybody at work could not of been nicer. But I have nobody really to talk to about this, they just wouldn't understand. When I come home from work and there is nobody to take care of, I don't know what to do with myself. It is nine weeks today, but seems like forever. Thanks again for thinking of me!

Jan 27, 2011
by: Eunice

Pam, I feel your pain and loss. I lost my husband on November 21, 2010. His mood and personality at times would change, but his mental problems were due to poisoning of the brain, caused from the ammonia level being high in his brain due to liver failure caused from Hepatitis C and that being caused from a blood transfusion (in 1985, they didn't check the blood for hep. C) he received from 13 pints of blood due to a terrible motorcycle/semi accident, in which he lost his leg just above the knee and the use of his arm on the same side. So his life was pretty much spent in a wheelchair.

At times, he spent more time at the hospital getting more blood transfusions, then his liver disease finally hit his kidneys, even dialysis didn't help, the doctors sent him home with hospice and he got here on a Friday afternoon and passed away on a Sunday afternoon, with me holding his hand.

him Trying to make sense of life and living here alone is a struggle. There's days, I just can't even function enough to bother getting dressed, because no one comes to the house, and I rarely go out. In an attempt to get myself better, I've started going to grief counseling through hospice, which has helped. So, if you're not in counseling of some kind, it may help and you'll find out that all the things you're feeling are all normal.

All my best to you.

Jan 07, 2011
Former blog long ago... Brain injury anyone?

Hey Pam,

I hope that you continue to read this site and find some comfort here. It is part of my daily routine to help me though the long road of grief. Let me back up a bit, My husband was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm Aug.08. A clipping for that aneurysm Sept of 08. Had a stroke post op.

I was his caregiver from Sept 08 Until his Death Dec 09. I only tell you this because I understand the feelings that you may have have going through the harrowing brain injury and later his death.

No one tells you about how someones personality changes with a brain injury. I found out most of my information through Brain Injury Association of America. We went to meetings once a month and although he was different in temperament, lack of patience, and many things, I began to see part of my former husband after a year, just enough improvement for hope. Many visits to the E.R always on pins and needles with worry.

I will not say that it was a relief when he died unexpectedly. Nothing is further from the case; I missed the old hubby, the new hubby I just wanted him Back!

Please continue to write your confusing and conflicting feelings, there will be many riding along with the despair. I can relate and went through much that you are probably going through. We are here any time and the people here are wonderful.

Jan 04, 2011
Thank you
by: Pam

Thank all of you for your comments. It is so comforting to have somebody to "talk" to that understands exactly how I feel. I sit in this quiet house, just getting home from work, trying to eat something. I opened a can of pork & beans and when I saw the piece of pork I thought - gotta give this to John. His apples are still in the fridge, his cans of soup that he liked are still in the pantry. I actually froze the last thing he made, peas & carrots, don't know why. I took all his dirty clothes and put them in zip lock bags the day he died, for Christmas I treated myself to open one just to smell him.

I still cannot believe that he is gone, and I am so angry about it. Taking care of someone with a brain injury, or any serious illness or injury, keeps us so busy 24/7, when that person is taken from us we don't know what to do with ourselves. All I know is that I am so comforted when I write and read things on here, and I thank you for being there.

Saying prayers for all of us tonight,

Jan 04, 2011
here for you
by: Jackie

Hi Pam, I like you also lost my husband in 2010. He died in October. I still am just going through the motions of living. My children are helping me to have something to live for. Each day is a struggle. My friends are afraid to talk to me that I might start crying again. I feel your pain and your sadness. I am here for you. Hope we all can make it through this together.

Jan 04, 2011
So Sorry... I know how you feel!
by: Cindy


I am so sorry for your loss because I lost my husband November 15, 2010, and I have that loneliness and the quietness. It is so hard to deal with. We were married almost 35 years and the grief is just about to get the best of me. I have never been alone and I don't like this life I am living now. I loved Rusty with all my heart. I pray we can find some comfort in knowing that we are not going through this by ourselves. My heart just hurts from being so broken. Praying for you, Pam.


Jan 03, 2011
Your one in a million
by: Ms Mack


My prayers are all I can do for you tonight for I am also suffering with my very own dose of stabbing pain and grief. The scenario you describe is all too surreal and many here
can relate, believe me. Your trauma is still very fresh and you need to take time.

You will know when you are ready to put it all in the right perspective. We all struggle to bear a loss as ours and no one can even imagine the magnitude of your feelings unless they have been through it. So be patient with your grieving process. You are allowed to be upset and let loose. After many months of silence, solitude, hiding my feelings, I can finally express myself with this website.

Please keep writing and we will listen. Take baby steps if you need to. Know that he is with you in spirit. You will find your balance and strength will come and go. You can't force anything right now. My prayers and heart are with you. One breath, one step, one day at a time....when you're ready. Xoxo Ms Mack

Jan 03, 2011
losing the one you love twice


My hubby also had a brain injury. His personality was different afterwards. He was never the same. Yet when he died I would give anything to have the new or old Hubby back. I understand how you suffer losing him in essence twice. Once to brain injury and then forever.

There will be many emotions for you now. I wish that I could comfort you more. There is so much that I can say. It brings up many agonising memories and I will help you when I can.

Please come here often let it out and take one breath at a time it truly helps only to take things moment by moment in early grief.

Jan 03, 2011
I Miss My Husband Too
by: PatJ

I know exactly how you feel. My husband Joe passed away on December 3, 2010. His care took up a lot of my time. I was forced to leave my job in July 2010 to care for him. From the time of his initial heart attack in May 2007 I have been grieving for the old Joe. I think the heart attack left him somewhat mentally confused and I really had to think for both of us the past 3 1/2 years. The man that passed away on that horrible Friday evening was only a shell of my husband. He suffered so badly, especially the last 6 months. There were days when I got so frustrated with him. He too could have a temper and I would think ~ doesn't he realize I'm going as fast as I can? Does he have an inkling as to the impact this is all having on me?

The day he passed away he must have told me 25 times how much he loved me and appreciated everything I did for him. Joe also was in a very serious auto accident many years ago. I think that accident took a huge toll on his body so when the heart disease started he just didn't have the strength to go on.

I miss him dearly and I would give anything to have him back for just one day. I'm lonely and frightened. I'm so used to going 90 miles an hour with all I had to I just sit and wallow in self pity.

You are not alone. This web site has been a God send for me. We're all facing 2011 without somebody we loved. God Bless.

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