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This is Ami zillazangel. Chad died

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    Anybody want to know what it's like almost 2 weeks out? Heres my facebook post today::

    So it’s noon and it’s shaping up to be another super fantastic groovy awesome great day in griefville.

    I went to the doctor today to get Ativan or Xanax or anything for the party which is really a funeral which is finally really hitting me now that people are actually arriving. Because I had a massive panic attack when I picked up a friend from the airport yesterday.

    Which is why I keep asking people to pick up people from the fucking airport FOR me because I was pretty sure that was gonna happen. And it did. So all you people who said no to me, thanks a lot.

    Then I got drunk at the hotel bar I dropped her off at and had to uber home (obviously) because I have no calm down drugs to take instead of drinking to calm down from my panic attack.

    So yeah, that’s the backstory of why I was at the doctor at 8 am this morning. I realized finally, finally it occurs to me, that SHIT I am gonna totally be a MESS at this party that actually is a fucking funeral no matter what I call it. I NEED DRUGS TO GET THROUGH IT.

    At doctors check-in the clerk super cheerfully asked how I was doing this morning. I’m getting a tiny tiny tiny bit used to that, but it’s still incredibly jarring. I want to say “what? Are you KIDDING? It’s HORRIBLE my husband just DIED - oh today for extra fun and I’m also hung over”.

    But of course as I have to, social convention requires me to lie, and so I said I’m doing fine with a half fake smile.

    Then as they always do, she confirmed my various info. Name DOB address insurance etc. then she brightly asked: single, married, widowed or divorced?

    It reverberated in my head like a shotgun had gone off ricocheting around bouncing through my grey matter leaving Swiss cheese hole tracks behind.

    I stood there in absolute shock my mouth literally hung open. My ears started ringing. My world went dark and narrowed into a tunnel, I started to sway and then the world went totally black.

    All I remember next is waking up with people staring down at me and me looking straight up at them from the floor. I’d passed straight cold. Then I sat up too quickly and promptly vomited all over a poor someone’s shoes.

    So that my friends is how it feels the first time you are even ASKED to say out loud “i am a widow”. And I never did actually answer the question! I sure can’t wait for the next time I go and have to answer that question. Over and over and over again every time I go, they routinely ask that question. Yes I know to expect it now. But shit.

    I never even noticed that question before. I was always just .... married. Sometimes I joked I was married AND divorced. That question isn’t benign nor funny anymore.

    Then later in the morning, yes today, this same morning, I got totally overwhelmed again meeting with some people (people I love and who are massively supportive, it was the topic we were talking about and probably the aforementioned barfing that overwhelmed me not them) when my heart started racing, my chest started to hurt, and then the world started to go dark again.

    I slithered out of my chair to the floor voluntarily before my body did it for me involuntarily. I stayed there on the floor for a long time and later of course had to be driven home (home = Elisa’s where she knows to just simply say as I lay here feeling sorry for myself “yep this sucks” and not hover or fix it or say something stupid platitude).

    This. Fucking. Sucks.

    I want to close my eyes and hope it just all gets better but EVERY GODDAMNED FUCKING DAY HAS GOTTEN WORSE.

    Not better.

    They lie. Time doesn’t heal. I call complete total bullshit on that.
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager


      So yah. Welcome to being fucking me. I miss him so GODDAMNED much. So i betcha no one thinks i'm a FUCKING DEVO now.
      Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager


        So sorry, Ami. Don't let yourself go down the road of alcohol or drugs to numb your pain. It can become a permanent crutch. Please ask your religious minister or physician for a referral to a grief counselor or grief group. It can help to share with others who are going through something similar. We are here for you too...vent as much as you want.

        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


          No, time doesn't heal. Time allows things to get better, meaning that you eventually get used to the new norm and you learn coping mechanisms, you can enjoy aspects of your life again and remember things without descending into an abyss...but that takes a lot more time than two weeks. Most grief counselors say that it takes at least a year, which is why they also advise not making any important decisions during the first year. You will be out of your mind with grief sometimes, then emerge into a patch of sunlight, then dip back into the abyss again - eventually, the spaces between peaks get longer and even out. You will have a private wound, but you will be able to function again, and even to smile and laugh - and mean it. I agree with KLD, a grief counselor and/or support group would be a big help in the meantime, if only so that you can learn what to expect and see that this suffering is shared.
          MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions


            Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
            So sorry, Ami. Don't let yourself go down the road of alcohol or drugs to numb your pain. It can become a permanent crutch. Please ask your religious minister or physician for a referral to a grief counselor or grief group. It can help to share with others who are going through something similar. We are here for you too...vent as much as you want.

            Ugh!!! Did you REALLY just tell me to not go down the road of alcohol or drugs?????? Jesus. I've been a widow for 13 DAYS, I post raw sheering pain to show people WHAT ITS LIKE to miss your husband and THAT is what you have to say? God. Why do you think I DON'T have a grief counselor? Why do you think i HAVEN'T been to my physician? Why do you think I'm not hooked with young widows in a similar situation? Why didn't you ASK if I have those things instead ASSUMING I don't. I DO have ALL of those things, not that it's your goddamned business.

            I am so fucking done here. Last I was last time but I now I REALLY mean it.

            Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager


              ZinZ ,
              Life can be so lopsidedly unfucking fair to some of us. I too suffered the indignities of enough tragedies to fill three generations and can certainly commiserate with your level of bitterness with what life has dealt you. I agree that life can surely suck at times and understand how it can get the best of us. I remember you well and your posts in my early days of SCI after mine in 2002.
              I can also state with the utmost conviction that there's not a condescending or insensitive bone in SCI NURSE'S body, and you'll be hard pressed to find a more compassionate friend looking out for your best interest on these message boards then her, and I for one am grateful for her committment here.
              I'm sure it was your frustration venting. I regret your loss.


                I doubt I'll sleep much tonight; as I know you won't either. Your raw sheering pain and agony of losing Chad reverberates so deeply. I hope you come back. There's no advice or wisdom I can offer; just one of support and a knowing of the deep despair in losing such a dear good man.


                  I haven't been to these forums in an awfully long time and not really sure what drew me to it today. I do remember you well and offer my condolences to you and your family.


                    Here is video of the main part of the Epic Chad Harris Afterparty. I even make a small guest appearance. My son's name is mentioned many, many times, which I have zealously guarded over the years. Please pretend you didn't hear it .... but I wanted to share this video enough that I am sharing this. The second video is the slide deck we showed. My son is almost 18 years old now. He was 3 when I joined here. Wow.

                    This video is worth watching not just to celebrate Chad, but to learn about how to live life. Chad was truly an inspiration. Not for his chair and "overcoming it". But for being the most kickass cool man ever. Who lived life big.

                    And for how I'm doing? It's very hard. It's not better yet. It's different. And man, it sucks. I miss him more than the brightness of a thousand million suns. I have written a grief blog. I am The Mad Widow. and you can find me there from now on. Thanks for being my friend all these years.

                    The party/funeral video 29 mins as follows, Chad trivial pursuit 0-3 mins, tribute by Shayne his SCI doc and very dear friend 3-4 mins, tribute by Lee, the boy, now man, who saved his life at his injury (and he tells the story of saving his life which is truly stunning), 4-9 mins, my eulogy (which is 90% funny) 9-23 mins, 23-24 talking, 25-29 mins song performed live and end.


                    The story referenced in my eulogy:

                    Slideshow, which is 13 mins and ends - abruptly and without a reason we know of. Kinda like his life. (although we learned later it was ALS, the FTD subtype ... what a bizarre thing for a high quad to die of ... no wonder we didn't see it eh?)

                    And if anyone ever doubted our love, just watch this slideshow. You cannot fake 15 years of absolute pure joy and love. It just RADIATES from our faces. I watch this over and over and over again.


                    should you wish to stay in touch, find me through my mad widow blog above

                    Farewell my friends, Ami (who is not an alcoholic, drug addict and never plans to be one despite being a widow....)
                    Last edited by zillazangel; 20 Apr 2018, 4:59 AM.
                    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager


                      Ami, I have not logged on here in forever. I was compelled to log in tonight. My old Facebook account has been changed to a new one. I am so sorry to hear of Chad's passing. You and he made me a better person for merely sharing your stories and showing me just how much someone CAN accomplish in life, SCI or no SCI. I send you hugs and wishes that you are able to collect and cherish the good memories in your heart. Rest peacefully, Chad...and good thoughts for you and Notsosmallboy...❤⚘


                        Amy, those videos are absolutely beautiful. The love and joy that you, Chad, your son and your whole family (including your dear doggie) shared are so present and vibrant. The last photo in your sideshow, of Chad rolling away alongside your son, brought tears to my eyes but they were tears of appreciation for the fullness of what love is. Thank you for coming back here to post those links.
                        MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions


                          Great send off to an extraordinary guy. May you and your family find peace in the days to come from all the wonderful memories you all created.


                            Ami, glad that you posted the links even though you said that you'd never be back. I watched today and feel like I lost a friend that I never knew. Thanks for the memories and the chance to see photos of small boy and his iterations.
                            Don - Grad Student Emeritus
                            T3 ASIA A 27 years post injury



                              Thank you for coming back and sharing these videos.

                              "At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of the summer, we remember them"
                              Sylvan Kamens and Rabbi Jack Riemer


                                Thank you for sharing the videos! Chad seemed like a friend to everybody he met!