I am very sorry to hear you have lost so much. But, sadly, shareholders are the ones that take most of the risk in public companies. If you had invested in the debt, as opposed to the equity, of these companies, you would have likely received a fixed return on your money plus your principal back. As a shareholder, you agree to take more risk.
The firm can make a lot of money and the stock should trade up and your returns could be much higher than if you are a debt holder. But when things go wrong, the bulk of the pain is felt by the shareholders who agree to take the upside along with the downside. Of course, in the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, not only were the shareholders wiped out but most of the debt holders were too. So debt can also be a risky investment.
As for your dividend payments, they were never contractual obligations, only something that a company pays if it can and chooses too. That's why dividends are the first to go when a company gets into trouble. Anyway, I hope you made some money in the market on Monday, which soared close to 500 points.