Christine Sutton
  • Female
  • Hillsborough, NJ
  • United States

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About Me:
I am a 45 year old woman. I have three older children, I am disabled with lupus but in the process of returning to school for my PhD.I have worked in the field of psychiatric advocacy for most of my life until becoming ill. I use the arts of photography and writing to express myself and my feelings-lately I feel as emptier than ever imagined possible.
About my Loss:
Three weeks ago yesterday from the time of joining this group my husband died unexpectedly in his sleep.It was four days before his 50th birthday.I was in the hospital at the time for a complication related to my illness My sister found him after he had been dead for at least 12 hours, most likely more. He was the love of my life. We had been living as married five years. I had finally found the person who made me the best me. He was humble, gentle, kind and someone I could have only imagined existed. Before Steve I had started to believe there was no such person on earth. The love and compassion we had was unique. The thought that I will never see him again eats at my stomach, takes something of my being away from the inside out. He was also disabled; we spent all the time together, similar to a retired couple. His disability was by no means life threatening, not in the physical manner. He had a serious mental illness. There are still questions in my head of suicide. I will not know the cause of death for at least another ten weeks. I have known pain and trauma, but I never imagined the intensity of this particular emotional pain. Some people say it never goes away, and I feel like a zombie in my own body.I can't imagine this never altering to a different type of grief, because if it stays like this forever, my life will be empty. I do have a modicum of hope, but that is all. Am I am going through a process which will someday take Steve from my everyday senses to the sense of soul and heart? This is hard to imagine and harder to find.
Are You a Service Provider? If Yes, please tell us about your service.
not now, but ironically I used to service as the coordinator of traumatic loss for the county where I was working. This type of loss is impossible to imagine. I am not sure what type of empathy I was really able to provide now that I have experienced it.

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Christine Sutton's Blog

I thought they were you

I heard humming upstairs,

like a moth against a screen.

I thought it was you;

I ran up towards the sound, a

pillow of warm expectations

clutched inside my pounding heart.

It was not you.

A fallen Christmas bulb

circled around wooden floors

singing in bright colors with

dancing, bouncing bells

I heard glasses of peppermint

martinis clink together,cheer in the

next room at a holiday…


Posted on December 23, 2011 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

Letter to my Love

Dear Steve,


You always said, "you talk, I listen". You were a wonderful listener; goodness knows I am a talker at times. You not only listened, you also cared, heard, and understood. I so want to reach that part of you now, in these lonely days, in these moments where your presence is not only silent, but empty. I look for your essence and feel my own blindness, hear my own silent breath, feel unstoppable tears, falling,…


Posted on November 20, 2011 at 3:00pm

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At 12:02pm on November 28, 2011, Brenda Ann said…

Dear Christine,

     Thank you for thinking of me.  I can't believe that the accident has caused so much pain.  It makes me feel so fragile and old.  Young people bounce back but I am finding that 60 year old arthritic, fibromyalgia, grandmas aren't so bouncy. 

     May I add some ideas that may temporarily ease your pain? 

  • One would be to be sure to keep talking or writing on this support group site.  You can always contact me and I would be very happy to talk to you by phone. (we can exchange phone numbers by personal email – if you would like)    Talking can be a helpful release. Following the death of all ten of his children, as well as some other personal tragedies, the ancient patriarch Job said: “My soul certainly feels a loathing toward my life. I will give vent to [Hebrew, “loose”] my concern about myself. I will speak in the bitterness of my soul!” (Job 1:2, 18, 19; 10:1) Job could no longer restrain his concern. He needed to let it loose; he had to “speak.” Similarly, the English dramatist Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth: “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.”  So talking about your feelings to “a true companion” who will listen patiently and sympathetically can bring a measure of relief. (Proverbs 17:17)  Putting experiences and feelings into words often makes it easier to understand them and to deal with them.  And if the listener is another bereaved person who has effectively dealt with his or her own loss, you may be able to glean some practical suggestions on how you can cope.  When her child died, one mother explained why it helped to talk to another woman who had faced a similar loss: “To know that somebody else had gone through the same thing, had come out whole from it, and that she was still surviving and finding some sort of order in her life again was very strengthening to me.”   What if you are not comfortable talking about your feelings?  Following the death of Saul and Jonathan, David composed a highly emotional dirge in which he poured out his grief. This mournful composition eventually became part of the written record of the Bible book of Second Samuel. (2 Samuel 1:17-27; 2 Chronicles 35:25) Similarly, some find it easier to express themselves in writing.  One widow reported that she would write down her feelings and then days later read over what she had written.  She found this a helpful release.   Whether by talking or writing, communicating your feelings can help you to release your grief.  It can also help to clear up misunderstandings.  A bereaved mother explains: “My husband and I heard of other couples that got divorced after losing a child, and we didn’t want that to happen to us.  So any time we felt angry, wanting to blame each other, we would talk it out.  I think we really grew closer together by doing that.”  Thus, letting your feelings be known can help you to understand that even though you may be sharing the same loss, others may grieve differently—at their own pace and in their own way. 
  • Something else that can facilitate the release of grief is crying. There is “a time to weep,” says the Bible. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4) Surely the death of someone we love brings on such a time.  Shedding tears of grief appears to be a necessary part of the healing process.   One young woman explains how a close friend helped her to cope when her mother died.  She recalls: “My friend was always there for me.  She cried with me.  She talked with me. I could just be so open with my emotions, and that was important to me.  I didn’t have to be embarrassed about crying.” (See Romans 12:15.) Nor should you feel ashamed of your tears.  The Bible is filled with examples of men and women of faith—including Jesus Christ—who openly shed tears of grief without any apparent embarrassment.—Genesis 50:3; 2 Samuel 1:11, 12; John 11:33, 35.  You may find that for a time your emotions will be somewhat unpredictable.  Tears may flow without much advance warning.  One widow found that supermarket shopping (something she had often done with her husband) could reduce her to tears, especially when, out of habit, she reached for items that had been her husband’s favorites.  Be patient with yourself.  Do not feel that you have to hold back the tears.  Remember, they are a natural and necessary part of grieving. (this is part one)
At 12:01pm on November 28, 2011, Brenda Ann said…

(this is a continuation - the second part)


  • Research questions you have about death in the Bible.(I would be very happy to help) This way you will be leaning on God and developing an even closer relationship with him.  The Bible assures us: “Jehovah is near to those that are broken at heart; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.” (Psalm 34:18) Yes, more than anything else, a relationship with God can help you to cope with the death of someone you love. How? All the practical suggestions offered thus far have been based on or are in harmony with God’s Word, the Bible. Applying them can help you cope. 
  • In addition, do not underestimate the value of prayer. The Bible urges us: “Throw your burden upon Jehovah himself, and he himself will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:22) If talking out your feelings with a sympathetic friend can help, how much more will pouring out your heart to “the God of all comfort” help you!—2 Corinthians 1:3.  It is not that prayer simply makes us feel better.  The “Hearer of prayer” promises to give holy spirit to his servants who sincerely ask for it. (Psalm 65:2; Luke 11:13)  And God’s holy spirit, or active force, can equip you with “power beyond what is normal” to go from one day to the next. (2 Corinthians 4:7)  Remember: God can help his faithful servants to endure any and every problem they may face.  One woman who lost a child in death recalls how the power of prayer helped her and her husband through their loss. “If we were home at night and the grief just became insurmountable, we would pray together out loud,” she explains. “The first time we had to do anything without her—the first time we went to church, the first event we attended—we would pray for strength.  When we got up in the morning and the reality of it all seemed unbearable, we would pray to Jehovah to help us.  For some reason, it was really traumatic for me to walk into the house by myself.  And so every time I came home alone, I would just say a prayer to Jehovah to please help me to maintain some sort of calm.” That faithful woman firmly and rightly believes that those prayers made a difference.  You too may find that in response to your persistent prayers, ‘the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your heart and your mental powers.’—Philippians 4:6, 7; Romans 12:12.  The help that God supplies does make a difference. The Christian apostle Paul stated that God “comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those in any sort of tribulation.” True, divine help does not eliminate the pain, but it can make it easier to bear. That does not mean that you will no longer cry or will forget your loved one.  But you can recover.  And as you do, what you have experienced can make you more understanding and sympathetic in helping others to cope with a similar loss.—2 Corinthians 1:4.

I hope that you find something here that will be a comfort to you…


At 7:33am on November 23, 2011, Brenda Ann said…



I am sorry that I haven't gotten back with you until now.  I was in an auto accident and really got shook up.  Whiplash, etc. and doctor visits have taken so much time it seems as though I barely have enough time left to eat and sleep.  I could use a little less eating but I really do need to sleep. 


Speaking of sleep, did you know that Jesus compares death to sleep?  Read closely the account of the resurrection of his friend Lazarus at  John chapter 11. (John 11:11-15) . . .He said these things, and after this he said to them: “Laz′a‧rus our friend has gone to rest, but I am journeying there to awaken him from sleep.”  Therefore the disciples said to him: “Lord, if he has gone to rest, he will get well.”  Jesus had spoken, however, about his death. But they imagined he was speaking about taking rest in sleep.  At that time, therefore, Jesus said to them outspokenly: “Laz′a‧rus has died,  and I rejoice on YOUR account that I was not there, in order for YOU to believe. But let us go to him.”


You see, Jesus knew that he was going to bring Lazarus back to life.  His disciples would then be assured that God had given him power over death.  This resurrection would be a faith strengthening event for them.  Death is like a deep sleep during which we are unconscious with no worries or sense of time passing.  Lazarus had been dead for four days, which posed no problem for Jesus.  Jesus tells us, “Most truly I say to YOU, The hour is coming, and it is now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who have given heed will live.  For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted also to the Son to have life in himself and he has given him authority to do judging, because Son of man he is.  Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.” (John 5:25-29)


Your Steve will be brought back to life… 


This brings up additional questions:

  • Where will those who have passed away be resurrected?
  • What will the conditions like?
  • Can we hold our loved ones in our arms again?


These questions are answered in the pages of the Bible.  If you would like, I would be happy to share the scriptures with you.  Let me know…


Be assured of my deepest empathy,



At 7:09am on November 21, 2011, Brenda Ann said…


Thank you for your reply and friendship.  I have an appointment right now so I will write to you later today.  Until then, may the God of all comfort wrap his loving arms around you. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) "may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,...comfort YOUR heart…”


At 11:32pm on November 20, 2011, Melissa Broome said…


Your very welcome..If yah ever need to talk I'm here :)

At 4:04pm on November 20, 2011, Melissa Broome said…

Dear Christine,

I'm happy my poem touched you, like it Should, I think you are the only one who truly has understood the poem as far. I'm very sorry for your loss. I wish there was something I could do to take all of our pain away on this site..But there's not a magic pill. I hope after time we are able to live without as much pain. I know I will never stop missing my mother..But I would love for the pain to be less. I hope we can be friends and help each other on this long road of healing. I know I will need many friends on my journey as will you, I'm very glad we both found this site to help us on our way. Big hugs to you!!


At 3:04pm on October 13, 2011, Annette Dominguez said…

Christine. I too lost my husband on 1/1/11. The emptiness is horrible. I cry almost everyday still. I feel like I am just adrift in the sea of grief. I work from home so am here by  myself everyday and it is very lonely. I think that is part of the grief too, knowing that the man that I loved so much will not be coming back. I just can't stand it sometimes. I cry and cry and cry some more. I just don't know what to do sometimes. I have to stay healthy because I have two kids that depend on me. They are both in college and are not here but I sitll keep going.  I keep praying that I will feel better. I know I will never go back to the normal I had before but I sure hope that this horrible empty feeling and sadness will go away.


At 2:13pm on October 12, 2011, Amanda Ab said…
Christine, I am sorry for your loss. And sorry that we are on the same boat.. Words cant describe the pain that I feel, the loneliness, the anger and frustration. I so much want my husband back here with me..


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