Sunday, December 2, 2012
At camp widow, I was sitting at the suicide round table, and the topic of in-laws came up.
An amazing widow, referred to her in-laws as the “out-laws”.
My adventure with the out-laws started about a year into Seth’s illness.
It was Christmas night. Seth had been battling his illness for a year, and I was desperate. I was grasping at anything I could to help my husband.
I sat his family down, and told them that one of these times, Seth was going to be successful on his suicide attempts, and I needed help. He needed help.
After that, his family pretty much disappeared from his life. His dad stepped up to the plate, and was amazing. He would call Seth daily, take him to do things (sometimes dragging him out of the house, literally) and was just present in Seth's life.
His mom, step dad and siblings on the other hand, were gone.
The day before Seth took his life, he told me “ I've been trying to call my mom for a week, and she won’t call me back. Why won't my mom call me back??”
I could see the pain in his eyes. He was truly distraught over it. Which I don’t blame him. If my mom stopped returning my calls, I would be beside myself.
He was gone the next day.
My real adventure with the out-laws started as I stood next to my husband’s coffin.
As I stood next to my dead husband, his family blamed me for his suicide.
After 3 suicide attempts, and me begging them for help, they were standing there, blaming me.
I was astonished, to say the least.
I did everything in my power to keep Seth alive. Yet for them, it wasn't enough and I was to blame for his suicide. Which was fine, they could blame me.
They weren't there every day, literally carrying him to his next breath. I knew, without a doubt, there was nothing else I could have done.
After the funeral was done and over with, I cut ties from his family. I didn't need the harassment and blame. I had a life to rebuild and get on with, I didn’t have the time or energy to try to make them see the bigger picture. The bigger picture was that Seth was gone before he actually died.
At the end of the day, it came down to Seth’s decision to live or die. If blaming me for his suicide helped them feel better, then so be it.
In March, I had my next run in with the out-laws.
Seth’s mom filed for Executor of Seth’s estate.
Due to the fact that if you murder someone, you cannot be the executor of your victim’s estate.
Yes, she blamed me for homicide.
In court filings.
I of coursed filed to be executor of Seth’s “estate”.
I was granted executor of his estate hours later.
The thing is, Seth didn't have an “estate”.
Everything he had, we acquired together.
It was the most outrageous thing I have ever been through.
The sad thing is, I was already investigated for homicide the day the police found Seth’s body. It was ruled suicide within a couple of hours. The location Seth was found at is very hard to get to (I couldn't drag a 230lbs man against his will there). The police found only his foot prints, which is how they came up with no one else was involved.
His mom has never asked me for the police reports, autopsy or toxicology.
She thinks her son died on July 26th.
He died on July 27th.
She doesn't even know what date her own son died on.
She doesn't even know what the autopsy says.
I find it sad that his mom is so busy placing blame, that she doesn't even know the details surrounding her sons death.
The reason for posting my story?
Have a will. So there is never any question as to who owns what.
You might think your family would never do this to your spouse.
You might think your in-laws are your family.
But boy, does death bring out the worst in people.
I never would have thought Seth’s family would put me through everything they have.
I would have never thought they would become “the out-laws”.
And if you find yourself blaming someone for a loved one’s suicide (Including blaming yourself), stop it.
Seriously, stop it.
By placing blame on someone else, you are robbing yourself of the grieving you need to do to move forward.
If you are so focused on placing blame, you can’t focus on anything else including grieving.
If you find yourself in a battle with the “out-laws”, take a good look at your own health and well-being.
There is no law that states you have to include your in-laws in your widow journey.
In fact, your spouse wouldn't want you to put up with being treated poorly.
I know without a doubt, if Seth was alive, he would have disowned his family for how they have treated me.
The sad part about it all, is Seth's family doesn't realize they lost the last piece of Seth they had.
The last piece of Seth they had left was me.
Vengeance is a lazy form of grief. ~ Silvia Broome