Brett’s mother died last week and I did not go to the funeral today. Not because I didn’t want to..quite the contrary.
Some people mistakingly say she was my ex-mother-in-law, but my husband died of suicide..we did not get a divorce. She was my former mother-in-law, but even after Brett died I always felt like they were still my parents. I tried to make things work. I invited them over to the house, to lunch, gave them things of Brett’s, took pictures of Brett’s garden and sent them on Mother’s Day, and would remember to reach out on special occasions and the anniversary of Brett’s death (though I don’t like to call that an anniversary). It was always me reaching out, never the other way around. I learned in my support group that people grieve differently, so I continued reaching out..hoping we could continue a relationship.
About a year ago was the last time I spoke with his stepdad. My former father-in-law’s last words to me were, “We do not want to know anything you have found out about Brett, Lindsey. We want to keep our memories of him the way they were. Take care.” I felt a lot of mixed feelings…mainly hurt, but was hopeful that one day they would return. I stopped reaching out at that point to give space.
Last week, I asked a family member to ask my former father-in-law if it was ok for me to come to the hospital where he was at, after she had died. I wanted to be there for him. I was 2 minutes away from the hospital when the family member informed me that my former father-in-law did not want to interact with me at this time. Today was her funeral and I did not go because I do not feel welcomed, I didn’t want to cause more stress on the family, I feel abandoned, and lots of deep hurt. I don’t even know what she died from..
What did I do wrong? Is it because I speak up on suicide prevention and don’t want others to go through what I have? I was their daughter too and I feel abandoned in so many ways. I was hurt in so many ways. I really don’t want people to comment on this post to tell me what they think the parents are feeling…I’m telling you what a former daughter-in-law feels like..what it feels like to be a widow of suicide. Sometimes I feel like a contagious disease that a lot of people do not want to be around. Brett’s police department abandoned me, his parents..and yes, sometimes I struggle that Brett did the same too.
My former mother-in-law was a very giving, eccentric, loving person who was in a lot of hurt after her son’s suicide. She is hurting no longer. Today I wanted to wear the necklace she gave me after Brett and I married, but I couldn’t quite get it around my neck this morning. Glad I’m at work today.