Last weekend, my mom, the girls, and I went out of town to support my cousin who is recently widowed. Her daughter was turning 4 and she was having a party for her at the skating rink. We wanted to be there to help her celebrate and get through the day.
Similar to her over-compensation cake. It was delicious.
Her husband died a few days before my wedding in June. It was suicide, he was 42 years old, with a history of addiction and a family history of suicide. In my opinion, he was horribly misdiagnosed. I could smell the Bipolar from 239 miles away, but he was never treated for depression. It was a tragedy.
He had put her through hell that last 6 months.
paranoia, domestic violence, drug seeking behaviors, an arrest
We were doing everything we could to support her from afar. She was texting us constantly with updates on his behavior; she was trying to get him to go back to rehab, she was begging his parents to help her with him, we were begging her to have a safety plan and leave. He refused to leave the home. Lawyers told her that if she left the home then he could claim abandonment so she was trying to get him to leave so she wouldn't have to take their daughter to a cheap hotel.
Finally, on a Friday, she told him she was leaving him and saw a lawyer.
On Sunday, he shot himself dead.
His family blames her for his death because he was upset that she was leaving him.
Ummm, no. Just no.
I will admit to having the thought skip through my brain a few times that it might be easier if Stanley was dead. He would be gone, I would have money for the kids, and the kids to myself. Win, Win!
Come on! I know I'm not the only one.
Yes, for me, I'd have the kids, money enough to raise them, avoid the shame of divorce, and he'd be gone. That is the perfect scenario, my friends.
I have actually heard other divorced people say this so I know I'm not the only one...
"I wish he was dead" has to go through every divorcing person's mind at some point. Just a little fleeting thought that you immediately feel ashamed about. I felt ashamed of myself and immediately banished the thought and said to myself...
I don't want to be married to him but I don't want him to get hit by a bus or suffer illness either. Not to mention the children, they would grieve horribly. They need their father. Shame, shame on me.
I was hoping that my cousin would leave her husband before something bad happened. I was happy for her to go see the lawyer that day and had told her several times to go to a hotel, who cares about the house, get out of there. I will even admit to kind of hoping he would slip
He was dangerous and out of control. I knew that when they got divorced he would continue to make her life hell. I mean, he wouldn't even agree to leave the house, he insisted that they leave. He would rather his daughter be in a hotel than agree to go to his parents house. He was the one with family in town, not her.
He was behaving like a rat bastard.
There is no way that he was going to behave well through the divorce process or co-parent nicely.
No way in hell.
But when I got the news that day that he was dead, I knew how wrong I was to wish that ever. Because he is well and truly dead.
His parents are devastated. They lost their son.
His daughter doesn't have a daddy. She is 4.
My cousin has a very complicated grief. She feels some degree of guilt. Did she feel her marriage was over? Yes. Did she want to be a widow? No.
This weekend when I was with her I could see it all over her. The tears are never far from the surface and the anger cycles through often as well. She says that every morning when she wakes up she is furious with him for leaving her to deal with everything alone. Then becomes tearful when she looks at her daughter who now doesn't have a father. She has the house but it is full of memories of him and his clothes and things.
Her daughter cries that she misses him and says things like, "When is my daddy coming back?"
Now, I think that widowhood is never better.
With him dead, there is not an opportunity for closure on their marriage. There will never be an opportunity for him to be a parent to their child. She is alone in raising their child, alone in making every decision.
In divorce, even if your relationship with your ex is horrible and you don't co-parent, but parallel parent instead, you still have some degree of backup. If your child is estranged from their parent and you have full parenting responsibility at least there is the possibility that at some point your child will have a relationship with the other parent. There is the chance for redemption in the future.
Death is just so final.
aren't meant to kill, only to maim.