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The Wreck and Everything Else That Happened
Losing a Spouse or Partner

The Wreck and Everything Else That Happened

At the deepest level, I think what happened to my husband, to me, and to our children was something none of us could control. It happened to us all.

One day after one of his doctor’s appointments, we were going home on a busy interstate highway. He was driving. Suddenly, a wreck happened all around us. I don’t know what caused it. But we were in the middle of a bunch of cars flying around out of control. One huge SUV literally flew off the ground, rolling over and over toward us. It was too close to miss us. Then all I could see was its enormous undercarriage flying within feet of our front windshield.

I don’t know how he got us out of there without being hit. That’s how I think of my husband’s suicide except only I made it out. The wreck and everything else that happened until his death (it was a lot) were terrible, but they were working parts that took on a life of their own. He tried to drive us through it. I tried to help. But it was ultimately not in our power.

After his death, I was left at the mercy of gravity and physics just like I was that day on the Interstate. The life I had known was over. I stayed in a limbo world for a couple of years before I could begin to find my way back to life. From there it was still a long journey.

I understand your longing and how you could feel the way you do. We can’t have the old life back. I wish we could. But we can hold on and knit together something new.


About the Author

Jan McDaniel

Jan McDaniel volunteers as an Alliance of Hope forum moderator, manager, and blog content provider. She is also a regular contributor to Psych Central’s World of Psychology blog and writes about survival, connection, and hope on her website.Read More »