Hard times this week - long, but important

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Well, I've been off the internet for about a week. Bear with me, the post is long. I want to share so maybe some people can benefit from the lessons I have learned this long week. Last Saturday evening, our lives changed forever. I was at the fire station and we had just finished supper. The phone rang and the guy that answered it motioned for me and asked if "she was alright?" (referring to my wife). When I got on the phone my wife was histerical. All she could say was "come home, mom's been shot". Her ex-husband had shot her and she was still conscious and able to tell them. I left immediately to go home. I arranged someone to come to my house to watch our 2 yo daughter, and we left for Grady hospital in Atlanta. It is about a 45 minute ride from the station to home, then about an hour and a half to the hospital. It was the longest ride of my life. While enroute, the investigator called and asked if he (ex-husband) knew where we lived. He did, and they asked if anyone was at my house. I knew where this was going and told him I would handle it. I called some friends in the SO and had 3 officers at my house within 5 minutes and they escorted my family and daughter to my father-in-laws house who is a state police officer. I called the helicopter crew and they put me in touch with the ER doctor. He said she was shot in the left eye, but it appears to be facial injuries only. For the entire ride, I assured my wife that it was not as bad as we thought. My wife was still understandably very upset the entire way. We got to the hospital, and had to wait over 4 hours until I finally physically stopped a Dr. I was still in uniform, and I think that helped them to talk to me. Without any warning, the doctor told us that she had suffered a catastrophic brain injury, and would not survive. After being told that it wasn't that severe earlier, made this extra shocking. My wife was to the point of being unable to stand. My mother in law was admitted to the ICU on life support. After 5 days and numerous consultations, we were told that without a doubt it was futile. She would at best be ventilator dependent and in a vegetative state for the rest of her life. Thursday we made the decision to remove her from life support. She lived for 39 hours and passed Saturday morning around 0645. She did not have a living will, but had told us in the past she did not want to live that way. She was a nurse, so we knew she understood what it meant. My wife is devastated. She is on medication for her to just manage to function right now. She was her mom's only constant family, due to family problems with her brother, sister and son. My wife and her were also best friends. They would talk 2-3 times a day and would do things together several times a week. My daughter and her were extremely close, and she wants to know where "grammy" is. On top of all this, the murderer was my wife's step-dad. They had recently divorced after 15 years of marriage. He is currently in jail, and along with the funeral, we face in the future a murder trial. I type this for two reasons. 1) Is to to get it out. I've had to step up as the family spokesperson and representative and be strong for everyone. I also had to go to her house today to try to find some papers and get some clothes for her burial. I was very close to her, and this is harder than I could have imagined, but pales in comparison to the pain my wife is experiencing. 2) AND MOST IMPORTANT. Live every day to it's fullest. Sounds sappy, but it takes something like this to make you realize. We were supposed to be at her house last Sunday for lunch, but instead we were in an ICU room with her. Nothing is gauranteed. It's made me realize not to take anything, or anyone for granted. It's also made me realize that it doesn't always happen to someone else. If any of you pray, please pray for my wife Crystal and daughter Emily. Pray that *** will give her strength during this time, and that we can help my daughter to remember her "Grammy" as she grows up. Thanks
 
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Man, I am SO SORRY to hear this. All I can say is to make sure you keep your family together - times like this can either make the bonds stronger, or rip them apart. My thoughts and (what passes for me) prayers are with you all. Scott
 

Al

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I am so sorry. Thoughts and prayers are with you. I can't even begin to understand why a slime ball would kill his ex. Oh wait..he is a low life slime ball. [Frown]
 
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my thoughts and prayers with you too. Good thing you have friends, particularly with training and level heads, who can help you out in times of crises.
 

Scooby

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Thanks everyone for the thoughts and prayers...they are appreciated and felt. My mother-in-law is currently at the state crime lab for an autopsy. We have planned for her funeral this Saturday in Gainesville. Today at the funeral home was tough, especially picking out the casket. Just remember to tell those that you love how much they mean. Make those phone calls before putting them off. Hold your wife/girlfriend an extra moment, and hold your children tight. This experience has hopefully made me a different person. I hope that my experience will help some of you.
 
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I am not a psychologist, but based on my reading I would like to say one thing to you and yours. Do not feel that you have to be cool, composed, unemotional, etc about any part of this. Don't pretend it doesn't bother you if it does, ever, anytime down the road. Any feelings you have about any part of this are perfectly valid and need to be recognized. Trying to pretend that feelings which are real don't exist is a sure-fire path to more problems. The feelings will indeed have to be dealt with, but you first have to realize they are there. Keep this in mind for months and years in the future. Right now you are probably saying "That won't be a problem!", but many people try to deal with unimaginable hurt by ignoring it. Then new behaviors start coming "out of nowhere", and you can't figure out why. Also, don't be afraid to get professional help. It isn't a sign of weakness. Most of us know nothing about how our minds work, I have a lot of respect for people who recognize this and take appropriate action. Best wishes. P.S. - Don't have superhuman expectations of yourself. At a certain point you should realize that there is a limit to what you can do, and even if things are going to go to heck temporarily, it may be necessary in order for you to get your "stuff" together again. [ August 07, 2006, 12:08 AM: Message edited by: TooManyWheels ]
 
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Im extremly sorry to hear this man. Try to take it one step at a time and dont let everthing build up at once. Just remember that this is a trying time and to do what you think is best for your family. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. Best of Luck man Jordan
 
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Wow, that's a rough situation. My prayers are with you. A friend of my dad faced a similar situation in the past. Her ex husband would show up unannounced and do unspeakable things to her. She moved several times to get away from him, but when he found her address, he would have his mail sent there. That way, when the police showed up, he could make it seem like he lived there. The police would then leave him alone. That finally all came to an end when he broke into an old lady's house for money to support his drug habit. She was home at the time, so he killed her. He got something on the order of 15 - 25 years for manslaughter. It turned out to be a life sentence, as everyone expected, when another inmate returned the favor. The strangest thing about this situation was her reaction to the news of her ex's death. She was very shook up and emotional, despite all the abuse he put her through. The human mind is a strange thing indeed. I can't possibly imagine what goes through the heads of people who resort to this level of depravity, but I do know that the best way to deal with it is to let the situation teach you to be a better person, as you're obviously doing Scooby. So know that you're on the right track and know that we're all behind you.
 
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Scoob, I didn't hear of this on the news, unless I missed it. If you need anything, let me know. You can PM me.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt_S: She was very shook up and emotional, despite all the abuse he put her through. The human mind is a strange thing indeed. I can't possibly imagine what goes through the heads of people who resort to this level of depravity...
This book, written by a psychologist in the trenches, has some uncomfortable insights: Life at the Bottom The content is specific to the authors experiences in the slums of England, but the lessons for all are easy to extract. Scooby - you can get through this. Nothing similarly violent has happened in my life but I did live through the unexpected and sudden death of my father, leaving behind a multitude of regrets. Take strength from wherever it comes and don't let anger take control. If you are aware enough to find yourself needing professional help, get it. It's understandable that you will want to be strong for your family, but don't forget that it's a shared experience and grieving is normal.
 
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