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Topic : 12/23 Real Life: Heart Shattered

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Created on : Friday, September 12, 2008, 01:17:09 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 09/16/08) Are you prepared for the unexpected? Life is not a success-only journey, but when you're faced with difficult days, you don't have to become a victim. In his new book, Real Life: Preparing for the 7 Most Challenging Days of Your Life, Dr. Phil teaches you how to prepare for a crisis before it arrives, and how to get back to better days. One of the most challenging days can come the day your heart is shattered, especially if you experience a loss. Amber says she was living the perfect life. She and her sisters dreamed of marrying a man like their dad and having a great relationship like their parents'. She says they were totally blindsided on Father's Day when their dad told their mom he wanted a divorce. Hear their emotional story and learn what you can expect to feel when you lose something precious to you. Plus, find out Dr. Phil's action plan to help you get through the difficult period. Then, Sylvia is a mother to 4-year-old twins and is seven months pregnant. She was married to a Marine sergeant for seven years who tragically lost his life —  not on the battlefield — in a car accident when he returned home. Now, each day is a battle for Sylvia. Dr. Phil shares his action steps for grieving, in an effort to help the mourning mom move forward. Today, Sylvia is struggles to pay for her basic necessities. Don't miss Dr.Phil's amazing surprise for her! Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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September 18, 2008, 7:42 pm CDT

Losing Someone to Death

I will be 45 in a few days.  I'd finally met someone who geniunely knew me and loved me unconditionally and then was murdered for no reason.  Philip would not have hurt a fly and was the most gentle man ever.  The last real conversation we had he was speaking to be about finally being ready to be a father and wanting to settle down because he loved his parents so much and wanted to continue that sense of love from them. 

Everyday I not only think about Philip I ponder over the thoughts I had of  him.  I still cry in private and look at his pictures everday.  I read the cards he gave me and hold the gifts a bought me. 

I want to tell Sylvia to concentrate on those great and encouraging memories of her husband and not to ponder on the "what ifs."  I have to tell myself daily that God knows all, is in control and knows the big picture.  Yes, it hurts and you do what you have to do to make it.   While you cry, you are still getting stronger.  What's amazing about God is, as we grieve, He somehow allows us to physically, mentally and spiritually get through this thing, daily, sometimes it's second by second.  Phililp and I hadn't even had the chance to express ourselves to our families yet, but, I thank God for the time I had him.  I am a better woman today and I don't take like lightly anymore.  Every one of us is important and has a clear purpose.  So please, don't give up sis.  Please don't. 

September 19, 2008, 5:54 am CDT

Have husband, but lost son

I so understand the feeling of being lost the guest was going through.  I still have my husband of 39 years, but five years ago, our only child, a son, 27 years old, was found dead of coronary artery disease.  I had lunch with him on Friday, and he was just gone on Saturday.  For the first six months, I didn't know if I had brushed my teeth, eaten, bathed, and whats more didn't care.  Fortunately, I didn't have two young children to take care of because I couldn't have.  This is the type of pain that might lessen with time, but never is out of your mind totally.  She is fortunate to have her mother to help with the children so she can have time to return to some resemblance of her former self and she will come back.  There will always be triggers that bring waves of pain and depression, a photo, a place, a special song, and the tears will flow again.  But those tears are a way of releasing the built up anger and sadness of losing someone so special in your life.  I was also angry with God for taking my only son, but we must remember that his son was also taken in his youth and I so believe that I will reunite with our son again someday.  The first year, it was hard making the choice to live or follow him in death, but my love for my husband kept me here.  Her love for her children will give her strength to carry on and fulfill the life that her husband would have wanted.  My best wishes for recovery in whatever form you can find.
September 20, 2008, 9:42 am CDT

Heart Shattered

My heart goes out to Sylvia.  I went through a similar tragedy almost 11 years ago.  My husband was traveling to see his brother and  when he left our place 7-8 hours eariler he was wearing just a short sleeve shirt and had no idea that further up the road the weather had turned into an all out winter blizzard.  We can never know exactly what happened but somehow he lost control of the vehicle and rolled several times.  He had only minor injuries from the roll-over but with a disabled vehicle he had no way to stay warm and he froze to death.  When the call came, it not only shattered my heart it shattered my whole world.  In the coming days, weeks, and months I went through the whole gamut of emotions that come with a tragic loss like this.  I was in shock and disbelief and the pain was totally undescribeable.  There just wasn't words in our language that could adequately describe the loss and the pain that seemed to become me.  At first all I could think about was dieing so I could be with my husband,  but I had an experience where God got my attention and asked me to trust Him, and although I could not see a way at that time where I would "ever' feel any different, I told God I would trust Him.  Unlike Sylvia, I had no kids that needed me, so for a period of time I lived in a fog and cried and cried and cried.  I couldn't eat and ended up losing over 25 pounds.  It seemed like I couldn't eat because there was a lump in my throat and the food literally seemed to get stuck there, so for a long time I lived on milk and juices.  I couldn't sleep at night and for many months would only be able to sleep1-3 hours a night or not at all.  After several months I did get something from the Dr. to help me sleep.  I used to look around me and see life going on and wonder how this could be when my life seemed to have stopped.  I used to feel angry that it was this way.  I went through all of the emotions that are packaged with a loss like this.  The total utter devestation, the overwhelming grief, the anger, the depression, being scared.  But most of these emotions didn't come until later because for a long long time I just sat and cried and cried and cried some more and just felt sad.  I didn't know it then but I understand it now, that you have to give yourself permission to "feel" all these things.  There is no set timetable that is one fits all because we are all different and have had different life experiences and so we have to have our own journey and our own timetable through all these emotions.  But we also need to understand that just because we feel all these emotions doesn't mean that we hang onto them with all we have in us.  We do need to feel them but if we live in them forever, they will eventually destroy us.  When I started to see beyond the fog just a little I knew that I needed to think about where I needed to go from here.  I had been terribly shy all my life and was scared of the big ole world in general.  I had cocooned myself in my life with my husband and our life on the farm and when I knew that life had to go on I was SO scared.  I was talking to my sister about being so scared and she told me to do some little thing each day that scared me.  My reply was that I did....I got out of bed.  But as time passed and with the help and strenght from God and family the shattered pieces of my life were put back together.  Not as before but in a new way because that is the way it had to be.  I wanted my life to be normal again, but that normal was gone forever so you have to live with a new normal.  I heard from some that time will heal.  Time heals nothing.  Time helps you to learn to live with what happened and time gives God and loved ones the opportunity help you.  The pastor of my church used to tell me: "don't rob the blessing, because it is a blessing for us to be able to help you."  So I hope and pray that Sylvia will take the hands that are held out to her and let them help her.  It won't change what happened but it will make it just a little bit easier.  My heart hurts so bad for you Sylvia, but there will come a day where you "feel" the sunshine on your face again and "feel" the smile on your face, and "feel" the laughter in your heart.  Don't feel guilty about it, your husband wouldn't want that. 
September 20, 2008, 3:29 pm CDT

Prayers fo Sylvia

Dear Sylvia-

I am so sorry for your loss.  My prayers are with you.  If you are ever in the Chicago area and need someone to watch your kids for a week or so so you can get a break, as the Dr. Phil show for my contact info and I would be happy to help.  I have three children and will pray for you every day. 

Hugs and prayers,

Cathy in Glen Ellyn, IL
September 22, 2008, 5:42 am CDT

know the feeling

My late husband of 15 yrs died in Aug of 2007 after a short but brave battle with Lymphoma, (started in Oct 2006)a form of aggressive cancer. Donald was the bravest man I had ever had the priveledge of knowing. He had no insurance, no pension, no savings when he died. He left me with a lot of debt He promised me and our girls that he would not die and that he wasn't leaving. I believed him, until I saw and heard him take his last breath. Since then nightmares of him coming back healthy and then getting sick again all over have kept me up at night. I know how Sylvia feels about God taking such a great father away from the loves of his life. My oldest, 16,who wasn't his biological daughter but was raised by him since the age of 6 mths has a lot of anger and pain as a result she feels abandonned cause her real dad isn't around all that much. Our 13 year old I think personally is in denial. She refuses to visit his grave or even talk about him. Some times I don't know how to manage without him.

I did meet someone new and he is more than understanding and patient, very accepting and was a long ago friend of his but had moved away 15 rs ago. We just reconnected a little while back. Although I know he would want me to be happy and move on, I feel like I am being unfaithful to my now deceased partner. I don't know how to deal with it. I can't put away our pictures, I still grieve everyday, not one hour goes by without thinking of him. I want to move on and be happy and I often wonder if it ever will.

September 23, 2008, 2:23 pm CDT

grief help

When my father was 51 he suddenly passed away. I was 20 and was his only survivor. I found out I was  pregnant the month following his death. My husband and I had to move to a new state so I could settle his estate. Long story short, I came across a wonderful support group that I would like to share with you. (I was skeptical at first, thinking, "How can anyone relate to MY loss?" but it really helped!)

Grief Share is a grief recovery support group that has meetings across the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. You can visit to find a group meeting near you.

I would also like to mention that it doesn't matter how long ago you experienced your loss. If you need support, I believe Grief Share can help.

I hope that you can take advantage of my advise.

September 23, 2008, 4:46 pm CDT

it is going to be okay

I was 35 when my husband died.   Wow my life was put in a spin I was not prepared for.  It has been over 2 years now and each day it gets better.  I miss him so much.  He was a wonderful, caring, most loving man and I still get mad at him for leaving me.  He made me a better person.    I have lost a brother and that has been hard too because he and my husband were so young.   But it does get better. 
September 23, 2008, 9:32 pm CDT

real life heart shattered

On July 25 2003 my son was shot to death in cold blood .he did not drink drug carry guns or hang in gangs.He was 17 years young.about a month after his death a couple of his freinds asked me to be their dad. I have designed a project for 18 to 27 year old at risk fatherless males to renovate house. they get education training and counseling, over a sixteen hour day 364 days a year for three years. we are scedualed to go to New Orleans in November to renovate houses for about a year. we will be going to Africa to build a water refinery in Sudan 2010. They will return to U S A as independent contractors for real estate redevelopment of skyscrapers. Each one will have to select fifty others in anouther city or town,and teach them every thing they have learned an experianced over the three years. Also when our men in the Armed Forces return from Iraq they will also be welcome with open arms to participate regardless of what ever stage of the project we are in I did a lot of research to take my mind off his death.and I am still depressed we have over two hundred and fifty at risk fatherless males that have that have sat down with me biographies / interviews. I think if we get the funds to get this off the ground, the depression will go away.

My mom is a retired nurce an she says I need treatment. I do not know if I do or do not. I really want to get over his death. He worked three part time jobs and was part of the youth ministry in Philadelphia and Manassas VA. I grew up in a funeral home.

September 24, 2008, 10:06 am CDT

can relate to sylvia

The one thing Sylvia said that so resonated with me in my experience with a sudden accidental death in our family was when she said how hard it is to come to terms with it when that person was so young, a good, caring, compassionate person, responsible, so valuable to the family, and you look around in your grief and loss and see all the stupid, thoughtless people walking the earth, never mind the murderers and pedophiles.  That in itself causes alot of anger that takes work coping with as years go by. 
September 28, 2008, 3:22 pm CDT

know just how you feel


I watched my mother die a slow, painful death from cancer.  Then, my father went in for "routine" surgery in his heart.  He called us the night before and said to not worry, everything would be all right.  He was at one of the best heart units in the county and ended by saying, he would talk to us tomorrow after the surgery.  Well, guess what?  The call never came.  He was one of those "anything that can go wrong did go wrong.  He had a small stroke and then a massive one in less than a week.  Suddenly, he was gone and we were all in shock.  There was no funeral because he wanted to be cremated.  I feel as if everything since then has been all bad.


As horrible as that was, I think last year was the worse.  I had to have my leg amputated due to complications from diabetes.  I actually had it done twice because I fell after the first one and broke it open so they had do go in and do it again.  So from about June until November of last year I was either in the hospital or in a rehab  center.  Then, I had to learn to walk with an artificial leg.  Because I could not work I did not have money for my share of the bills.  I tried to keep up.  Took out all my savings.  Totally wiped out my 401K plan, and did get a little money from the people at my former work.  However, because I finally had no money, my sister had to take over all of the expenses.  She told me in June when I was in the hospital that she had no more sympathy, compassion, nothing for me.  She has, in effect, disowned me.  We bought a house together and she has asked me to move out.  She does not speak to me, most of the time does not even acknowledge me, and when she does answer me it is with disgust in her voice.  She cannot stand me in the least.  We use to be so close.  We knew what each other was think, we would often say the same thing at the same time.  Now, wishes I would just go away.  I feel that our relationship is broken and it will never be able to mend.  I cry every day just know how much she hates me and how much I love her.

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