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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 13, 2008, 9:26 pm CDT

09/16 Real Life: Heart Shattered

Quote From: elskin

I lost my husband at 23. I raised my two children well and recovered nicely. I naturally vivacious and generally happy. I always hoped I'd meet someone and remarry. I've had lots of ups and downs and always recovered. At 57 I thought I met THE man, I was so sure. For one year I was ecstatic and then he informed me it was not to be. I'm now 60, 20 pounds overweight, more in debt than I've ever been because I can't seem to hold a job, pretty much have no interests outside of my grandchildren, and I'm pretty much just hanging around until I die. I want to be excited about my life, but I just can't seem to get it going again. I've read and worked through "Self Matter" and it buoyed me up for awhile, but I just can't make the leap out of this hole. I just feel there is just too much grief.
I can certainly understand how hard it is to get "out of the hole".  I too lost my husband when I was 23 and he was 26.  I had just lost a premature baby 2 months before that.  Fortunately for me, I found another wonderful man and married him three years later.  Little did I know that 32 years later, our youngest son was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma and after surgery, therapy, radiation, and a clinical trial we were told there was nothing left and that he had little time left.  During this difficult time, my husband was diagnosed with COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, and emphysema.  Even though he was on oxygen, the Dr.'s said he would have at least another 5 years.  Unfortunately as our son was in the hospital receiving blood transfusions, my husband died.  Three weeks later our son also died.  I didn't mean to make this such a long story, but there is a point.  The strength that our son had, the contentment he felt for the life he had, the lessons he felt he learned and was able to share with family and friends ultimately is what has given me strength to carry on.  I know that he lived for three weeks just to be sure that I was going to be alright.  Knowing the enormous pain, suffering, and knowledge that he was dying at 32, and the strength it took for him to live those three weeks have helped me to look at each day as if were my last.  Just as Erma Bombeck once said after she found out she had cancer, I use my china, I have a banana split if I want to (even though I'm overweight), I go to nice places to eat (even if it's alone) and stay up all night if I want to.  I'm not lonely even though I'm alone.  I have my memories of good times and not so good ones.  Whenever I feel sorry for myself, which I sometimes do, I remember what "my boys" went through.  They did what they could to make my life a pleasent one, I can't allow those efforts  to have been in vain.  My wonderful brother died just 8 months before my husband.  All of our lives have an end, just as they had a begining.  We can't change it.  If we don't pick ourselves up by the bootstraps we're the ones that will be miserable as well as others around us.  I don't want to be responsible for the misery of the people I love.  I'm 61 years old now, and had to start a business of my own in order to get health insurance at a very high premium.  Yes, I'm tired, worn out, and would love to have my old life back, but nothing is going to do that.  All I can really tell you is to zero in on all the positive things in your life and don't try to change the things that can't be changed.
September 14, 2008, 11:34 am CDT

Doctor Phil Show.

Doctor Heart  Life Phil Real Shattered. Well Well Well here we  go again another round of real life. What----

is up with that? See you on Tuesday September 16th, 2008. Sincerley Your. Russell Vlaanderen.-------------

September 14, 2008, 5:54 pm CDT

Heart Shattered too many times

I am looking forward to watching this show since my heart has been shattered many times and I'm sure that I can relate.  I lost my first husband at age 32 from Acute Leukemia.  I was left to care for my two daughters aged 4yrs and 20mo at the time.  It took me 8 years to love another man and actually take the big step of marriage.  All was well for 8 years until he died in a tragic scuba diving accident.  It took me several years to get over that shock.  My youngest daughter was in her last year of high school and my oldest daughter was entering her 2nd year of college. I had so many debts, no life insurance from his accident and two college educations to worry about, that life became a major challenge.  Although I became extremely depressed, I trudged forward and actually found the strength to love and marry again several years later only to lose once more when my husband of 6 years died from Pancreatic Cancer. 

I can say now after all of these years of struggle and heartbreak that life turned out okay.  I always tried to remain hopeful and optimistic even when life seemed very bleak.  My daughters are each college graduates, married mothers of a boy and girl each and very happy.  They live near me so I get to enjoy my family on a frequent basis. I have become a very strong and independent woman through these years.  I have found love again in my life but, I will remain single this time around.  I still get teary eyed on my husband's birthdays, anniversaries of their deaths and other life events.  I've always believed that they would have wanted me to go on with my life and be as happy as I could possibly be. 

September 14, 2008, 11:11 pm CDT

Heart Shattered

I was 42, a mother of 2 small boys.  My oldest son was just 19 months old, my baby just 1 month.  My husband and I had just returned home, after one month away, to attend a family reunion.  The family reunion was for my side of the family.  My elderly father had many medical conditions and each day that we had with him was considered a blessing.  We had only been back home for 9 days.  We ran a hotel in a remote northern community.  My husband had gone to do some work in one of the rooms, I was preparing everything for Mother's Day dinner that my husband was going to cook.  One of our new customers came into the front office to tell me that someone had collapsed outside.  I grabbed my 2 kids, the phone, and ran outside.  There was my husband laying in front of the building across the parking lot.  Several of our guests immediately started CPR, took my kids back inside, while I called for an ambulance.  Within minutes, the ambulance and fire department and police arrived.  To make a very long story shorter, my husband passed away from a sudden massive coronary.


Mother's Day, May 14, 2006 changed my life in ways that can never be fully described by me, or completely understood by anyone else.  Angels come in many forms.  I cannot fully express my gratitude to my family and friends, and complete strangers that gathered around to look after my boys and me, especially during those first few weeks.  10 months later we moved to the town where I grew up and my parents still lived.  9 months after we moved my father passed away. 


In less than 2 years I lost the 2 most important men in my life.  I cannot say that "time heals all wounds" , I can only say that with time comes different levels of acceptance.  I now have more good days now than bad.  Time and life go on, and I am going with it.  I still have 2 very important "men" in my life, my boys.

September 15, 2008, 8:45 am CDT


no warning signs, no drugs, no alchohol, no previous attempts, my christian, athletic, honor student 16 yr old son shot himself after a break-up.  he text messaged people all night / morning telling them what he was planning.  no one believed him, not even an adult.  he even text messaged me that next morning telling me about the break-up, not what he was planning, not that he was upset.  he knew i would have known that and came straight home. ithat same morning,  kissed and told both my children "i love you and will check on you in a couple hours".  i left for work and walked out without my phone.  he didnt even know i didnt have it.  his 10 yr old sister found him.  i was on my way back into the office to call them when i received the call that something was wrong.  my life ended that day, my families life and many others lifes have changed forever. .
September 15, 2008, 9:30 am CDT

Heart Shattered

I feel like I could write a book on this subject.  My oldest daughter had three kidney transplants by the time she was 21.  My son died in a drowning accident when he was 18 months old and she was 5.  We did have another daughter when K. was 7 . When B. was 18months old our house was struck by lightning and it did $67,000.00 worth of structural damage.  It was like starting all over again.  Then K. had her first kidney trans. when she was 15, another at 20 and then another 9 months later.  The last two were done 20 hrs. driving distance from home at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN. which meant that my husband and I had to spend many months apart because we decided to keep K. there between the second and third transplants to give her the best care.  We swapped out about once a month so we could both stay with our jobs.  I had to make enough money to keep our insurance because he is a small business owner and I was a school teacher and carried the insurance for the family.  We also didn't want our younger daughter to be without her parents and feel neglected.  It went okay and K. kept her third kidney for 4 yrs.  she went back on dialysis for about two years after she lost the third kidney, but died 11 months ago yesterday due to infection and multiple organ failure.  She was 26.  Our youngest daughter has been such a blessing and a real trooper during this time.  She is a junior at a major university  majoring in finance She  made the Dean's list this past spring semester.  We are handling things as well as can be expected.
September 15, 2008, 6:01 pm CDT

I know the feeling

I have lived with a wonderful man for the past seven years.  He is battling for his life now with cancer.  After 6 rounds of kemo, and a recent hospitalization, they sent him home to die.  I can not handle this.  I love him with all my heart, have sacrificed and been a good wife to him (except in the bedroom) he is gay.  I have cried more in the last few months than over my entire life.
September 16, 2008, 7:38 am CDT

Coping with Grief

 I can relate to a lot of these postings.  I was lucky enough to meet my soul mate when I was just 19.  He was 20.  We were blessed with our first son 3 years after we married and were blessed with another son 4.5 years later.  Our oldest son was always a happy-go-lucky and compliant little boy.  He looks just like me.  Our second son was more of a spit-fire.  He didn't take a lot of "guff" off anyone (still doesn't.).  He looks like his father.  When he was born, he had some various urinary tract and kidney problems, but he is fine now after 3 operations.  That was very stressful.  Later, he was diagnosed as learning disabled, but he receives special education services in his school and he is doing just fine.  Those were stressful times for us.  Little did I know that it was about to get worst.  Everything was going great.  We took our dream vacation to Disney World in 2004.  After we returned, my father became gravely ill.  We were by his bedside and miraculously he made a full recovery.  I won't go into those details about his illness since at that time he fully recovered.  He was at home and had his last surgery in March 2005.  Tragically in April 2005, my husband and soul mate was killed in an automobile accident.  It was just a week shy of our 18th wedding anniversary.  I remember the morning he left.  He was going to training and was very excited.  I hugged and kissed him goodbye and said I love you.  He said love you too.  I will call you after my training.  I thought it was odd that I hadn't heard from him by noon, but I figured he stopped in at the local quik mart and was "shooting the breeze" with some of the locals.  The police officers came to my office early that afternoon and told me that he had been in an automobile accident and that the injuries he sustained were fatal.  I was shocked and numb.  I remember arguing with the officers and insisted that it was another person with the same name.  I know God gave me the strength to get through the viewings and the funeral.  I don't know how else I could have done it.  My husband was well-liked.  Over 400 people came to the viewing.  He was only 41.  I was 39.  I was widowed before my mother.  The boys and I tried to move on the best we could. I knew I could not sit back and wallow in my sorrow because I knew I had to finish raising these 2 boys. I learned how to pull my camper and back it up so we could continue camping.  I took them on vacations.  I attended all of their school functions (soccer games, band concerts, music concerts, school plays, etc.).  I thought I did my best with them.  I listened when they were sad.  I took them to counseling.  I took them to grief support.  I continued taking them to church where I am the pianist.  Both seemed okay on the outside.  I had no idea that my older son was going through such inner turmoil.  My younger son seems to be a lot better with everything, but now I don't know for sure.  In January 2008, my beloved father passed away suddenly with a massive heart attack.  He was only 67.  My boys were devastated, as was I, my mom, and my brother.  I felt awful for my boys since they lost 2 important men in their lives in just 3 years.  Again, I tried and did my best (or so I thought).  My older son graduated from high school in June 2008.  The day after he graduated, he informed me that he is gay.  That through me for a loop.  He always had girls calling him, was going to proms, etc.  At first, he seemed to think that this is morally wrong and he didn't know what to do.  He had this attraction to men.  I listened, took him to counseling, etc.  I tried to be supportive.  It was difficult to do when he was so disrespectful toward me.  I did everything for that boy.  It seems as soon as he told me that he is gay, all hell broke loose.  I had to institutionalize him for 2 weeks for cutting and having suicidal thoughts.  He has been lying about his whereabouts and meets men and stays all night with them.  They are complete strangers.  I was so scared one night that I had to put an APB He took off in the middle of the night from his dorm to meet some man 3 hours away.  He is not thinking of the consequences, and I know he knows better.  This is a young man who sang in the church choir, sang solos for church, listened to Christian music, etc.  I am really torn as to what to do.  I worry that I did something wrong to make him choose this path.  My biggest fear is that he will contract aids and die before he's 30 or that he'll tell the wrong person that he is gay and he will get "beat up" or "killed."  Maybe I wasn't there enough for him...maybe I started dating too soon after their father died....maybe I didn't come across as caring enough.  I thought I did, but......I don't know.  He started College in August, but I have my doubts that he will make it.  He is making bad choices, is having sex with other men, is treating me with great disrespect, etc.  When I try to talk to him, he starts an arguments, starts to bawl, and hangs up on me.  I have no idea how he's doing in College as far as his grades are concerned.  I am now having health problems.  My blood pressure is sky high and I am on several nerve medications.  I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  I do have a serious boyfriend, and the boys seem to like him a lot.  He has been by my side through everything that's happened so far (we have been dating for 18 months).  I know God doesn't give us anymore than we can handle.  And I know I have to hand my son to God's care, but it sure is difficult.  I want God to "hurry up" so my son will at least make wiser decisions, etc.  I've read the other posts, and there sure are a lot of people with as many hardships (if not more) than I have.  The best of luck to all of you or are suffering.  I understand your pain.
September 16, 2008, 8:02 am CDT

Loss and Grief

I can relate to the loss.  I lost my husband to cancer on Aug 08/08.  The diagnosis came quite unexpectedly and he passed away 4 months later.


He was my best friend and we were only married 2 1/2 years.


I have recently started a group grief counselling session sponsored by the Hospice Society.


How do you prepare yourself for this?



September 16, 2008, 8:19 am CDT

murder and widowed

Dr.Phil--I'm not so sure i can agree with your statement of being prepared. How was I to know how to be prepared when my parents were murdered in a robbery in the night time. Then my husband died a year later. I realize tragedy comes when least expected but there isn't any way I can be prepared for the heartbreak which comes with it.

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