Wrong, wrong, wrong time to die! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 33 Old 04-09-2002, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone else feel that their loved one died at the worst possible time? When my little brother died,

*I had just told him I was pregnant; he was really looking forward to being an uncle

*I was getting married in a few weeks

*There was a big family reunion coming up, which my dad had been planning for years (also my dad had not seen Harley for 3 years and was really looking forward to it)

*After living like a bum for a few years, Harley had recently gotten a job

*The next day, he was supposed to help me move to my dh's place

*He had just gotten a new girlfriend

*Also, and this is weird, the day before he died, he was talking about how happy he was with his job and his girlfriend, and how he had so many good friends, "and new socks!" and he said "If I died tommorw, I'd die happy."

*He died in an alcohol-related accident, and he had just signed up to go into this court-ordered treatment center

But of course, if the situation wasn't like this and he died anyway, I probably wouldn't be thinking "Oh well, at least it wasn't really bad timing or anything!"

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#2 of 33 Old 04-09-2002, 04:47 PM
 
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Oh,Greaseball,it hurts so much when we lose people we love,doesnt it? I know what you mean about the timing thing.But really is anytime a good time to lose someone? Have you ever went to grief counselling or anything? I hope you find healing.How long ago did you lose him?
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#3 of 33 Old 04-10-2002, 07:38 AM
 
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Greeseball, I agree, the wrong time to die. Your feeling angry and confussed about his death. So many emotions you have to work through - I'm so sorry.

My only advice would be - let yourself feel - get angry, go outside and scream (to God, to him, to anyone). You have a right to your feelings, it's a body's way of working through this tradgedy and helping you deal with it and find peace.

Your in my thoughs:better
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#4 of 33 Old 04-12-2002, 11:54 PM
 
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I can relate Greaseball. My mom died when I was 17 years old.

* She died on Easter
* Shortly before she died, she said "I just want to live long enough to see you have children." One month later, on Mother's Day I found out that I was pregnant (I had ds when I was just 18)
*She died 2 months before I graduated from highschool
*She died one month after she & my father reconcilled and chose not to divorce

Since your brother died in an accident, that alone is hard enough to bear because there was no closure. My thoughts are with you.
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#5 of 33 Old 04-22-2002, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking about going to one of those groups, but I'm afraid to because people might ignore me. When I talk about Harley at other meetings, no one will talk to me afterwards, and I'm afraid of that happening again. And also I'm embarrassed to tell dh that I feel like I need a "support group." I'm also afraid people will say "It was god's will" or whatever. But I have a feeling sometime I will go.

I ordered a copy of the police report and it pretty much sucked - it's kind of obvious that he really did drown and that he didn't just fake his death, but I'm still not sure how it happened. I talked to a lawyer about suing somebody but they say I may not have much of a chance because he was drunk and it's pretty much his own fault...I just think somebody could have done something. There were two high school kids in the boat and they let him in with them knowing he was drunk, but still, I guess it was his own choice.
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#6 of 33 Old 04-22-2002, 06:36 PM
 
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Oh,I know that feeling of being afraid! I have been to groups in the past for other things and it is scary and hard,but sometimes it's a risk worth taking.Do a search on the internet and see what you can come up with that's near you.
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#7 of 33 Old 04-22-2002, 10:35 PM
 
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Greaseball~

My ds and I have attended a family grief and loss group since my dh died. We found it so helpful, especially in dealing with all the things you hear after a loved one passes on, like "He's not suffering now", "He's with God" or "At least you had him in your life for ________ years." I could get angry, mad, sad, depressed, happy or have other emotions and I wouldn't be judged or told to "feel" differently.

Best of luck to you in your healing journey.

Hugs~

Lisa

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#8 of 33 Old 04-23-2002, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night I went to this NA meeting and talked about Harley a little and as usual everyone ignored me, but there was this person there who was one of Harley's drinking buddies and I asked her to tell me a story about Harley and she just walked off! That really sucked because just not talking to me after I share about it is one thing, but that time I actually initiated a conversation and just got totally shot down. I can understand not knowing what to say, but don't people get it, that the worst thing you can do is say nothing? She could have at least said "Sorry, I can't think of anything right now" or whatever.
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#9 of 33 Old 04-23-2002, 03:52 PM
 
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Oh,man Greasball that sucks.i hated NA when I used to go.Find a new group.
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#10 of 33 Old 04-25-2002, 07:37 AM
 
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Greesball, I'm sorry I didn't say something sooner - I was out of town for a few days and I'm just now catching up.

That meeting must have been so hard on you - for that I'm sorry. I remember attending a support group after dd died and they were all a bunch of 'stepford wives'. Ok, it happened, now get over it and smile and be happy! I went home and cried even more, thinking something was wrong with me.

I agree with Saige, try to find another meeting. Maybe drive a bit further from home if you must. The group I finally found was about 45 min. away, but well worth the drive. You really shouldn't go through this alone - it's obvious you have unresolved issues and you owe it to yourself to seek peace. Not find a way to feel 'perky and happy' about what happend. A way to start feeling again and know it's ok to feel.

If a group dosn't work for you could you afford greif counseling? That was another rout with me that really worked. My tharapist gave me so much back then.

Keep talking - you can talk here any time you wish, we care and we listen. Would you feel comfortable starting a thread about your brother. Like a memorial thread? Maybe you could slowly work through some unresolved issues?

Take care of yourself. I hear how lost you're feeling in your posts. Know that ohters have felt that way and there is hope.

Sending gentle thoughts to you.
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#11 of 33 Old 04-25-2002, 08:15 AM
 
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I'd love to hear about your brother Greaseball,if you feel like telling us about him,what was he like? We're you guys close?
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#12 of 33 Old 04-25-2002, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, he was 2 yrs younger than me and we really didn't start getting along until I was maybe 15. (I'm 23 now, he was 20 when he died.) Then on his 19th birthday I apologized for all the mean stuff I used to do and we became friends. He would call me up just to talk, and things like that. We didn't hang out much, but he definitely supported me in my quest to reunite our family.

We grew up in the same abusive, hostile environment, but he didn't have the problems I had because of it. No behavior problems, lots of friends, never got depressed or overly angry. He was a normal guy - played lots of sports and video games and things like that. He also liked to cook.

Then after high school he started drinking a lot and his ambitions just evaporated. He spent time living at friends' places, crashing on their couches, partying all the time and raiding other peoples fridges for food. He was a great athlete in high school and during his last year or so he got really skinny and unhealthy-looking. He was living in this house that had holes in the walls and a caved in floor, and I kept telling him he could come stay at my place but he was happy where he was. Or maybe he just knew he couldn't drink at my place. I didn't understand his lifestyle, but he was happy. Also I don't think he bathed for maybe a year. He used to have a double mohawk and then he let it grow long and it would just hang in his face. Sometimes he would put hair wax in it and slick it back, but he never washed it out, and sometimes he wouldn't comb his hair for a really long time.

He was funny, didn't really hate anyone, and he wanted to have a family someday. On the last day I talked to him I was about 10 weeks pg and I said "It's your turn to have a kid now!" He said that he almost had one when he was 18 but his girlfriend had an abortion. I was surprised because I thought he was a virgin the whole time. It makes me feel a little bit better if I imagine he's with his kid now, and all the cats he used to have.

My dh said he would go to a group with me. It's kind of hard to talk about this with him because he never met Harley (he died the day he was supposed to meet dh) and also no one in his life ever died, but I think he tries to be supportive. There's a group in my town coming up in a few weeks, and if that one doesn't work there's another town a half hour away. The town where my NA meeting is is an hour away, so maybe I could even go there. He doesn't understand why I ordered a copy of the police report, but I think part of the reason is I just want to know everything about what he was doing that day - what he was talking about, who he was with, what kind of things he was doing with his friends and all that. Kind of like a last link to him.

Also, he was such a sloppy eater that when he ate he would get food on the back of his chair.
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#13 of 33 Old 04-26-2002, 08:00 AM
 
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G-Your brother sounds like a really cool guy,that just got a bit misplaced,kwim? Happens to alot of people.Thanks alot for telling me about him.Hey,I totally understand the need for the police report,when my boyfriend hung himself,I got everything,the reports,the coroners report,everything.It was just something I felt I had to do for some sort of closer or something.It's good your dh is trying,even if he doesnt know what it's like.I think you should check out that group,give it a try.This might sound really really stupid,but have you taken a picture of your baby and left it on his grave? Thats what I did,just felt like maybe they'd see it.
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#14 of 33 Old 04-26-2002, 08:27 AM
 
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Saige, that's a beautiful idea!

Greeseball, I feel honored that you shared your brother with me. I agree with Saige - he sounds like someone who got lost somewhere along the way. Actually, you could have been describing an ex-boyfriend of mine. So when I read your words, I think of this passionate and loving person who was just trying to find his way.

I'm so sorry that things didn't work out better for both of you. But I want you to read what you just wrote and remember someone so dear to you. You can keep his memory alive and share it with your children as they grow - they'll think it's cool that he had a mohawk and want to know more about him.

Another suggestion, you may want to make a scrap book or dedicate a wall in your house to him. Put pictures of him and some things that remind you of him. Make it a calm place, light some candles and take some time to remember him.

Thank you again for sharing with us. Please continue to reach out to us.
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#15 of 33 Old 04-26-2002, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have pictures of him up in my room, and a photo album with mostly childhood pictures. We had a funeral service for him at the lake, because the body was never found, and I wrote him a card and put in some pictures of us, and we all threw in some of his favorite foods (cheese, mustard, and apple juice) and a Metallica tape, and my dad tossed in a cigarette and an opium poppy even though Harley was not into those things, and then on his birthday I went to the lake again and gave him another card, a cheese-and-mustard sandwich and pictures of my wedding and of dd when she was just born.

I hear that when you break up with someone it's a good idea to take down all their pictures and stuff, but I hope that's not true when someone dies. I just want to hang on to every last link that I can. At the memorial service all of his remaining stuff was left for people to go through and take what they wanted, including 2lb blocks of cheese and little mustard packets, even his hair wax! I took this Harley Davidson blanket I got him once and it's hanging in dd's room now, and I also grabbed one of his jackets. The jacket had not been washed in years and I washed it with a bunch of stuff and it got the other stuff all dirty! At first I thought, I can't wash the jacket, it smells like Harley! But then I realized, no, it smells like an old jacket that was never washed. My sister took his measuring tape and packed it with some clothes and it made the clothes smell bad. I think Harley was amused by how long he could go without bathing. It's funny, every Christmas he'd get some Harley Davidson thing and he had no interest in motorcycles.

I bet a lot of people say this, but it really looked like he was getting out of the bum phase. He just got a job and was buying his own food and even agreed to go to this court-ordered treatment center.

Also, a few months before he died, he ran into this guy who takes pictures of young men as a hobby and occasionally sells them, and Harley agreed to have a few pictures taken. (I know, sounds like kind of a shady character, but I guess Harley never got molested or anything.) He brought the pictures to the memorial and they were really nice and professionally done. He said that Harley was one of 55 people being considered for a Calvin Klein ad! (That's probably just something he tells the guys to get them to do photos, but still, it was interesting!) I think the pictures are actually on the internet - I don't know how to post a link but I think it's http://www.efn.org/~infotech/HARLEY.htm Last time I went there only the first three links were any good.

I think Calvin Klein should use one of the pictures anyway.

Thank you all for your support - how long has it been since your loved ones died? I keep thinking, when the time without the person is equal to the time with the person, things should be better. I only have memories of Harley from when I was maybe five...that's fifteen years...it's been a year now...so maybe in 14 years I'll be all better!
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#16 of 33 Old 04-26-2002, 03:34 PM
 
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I love the cheese and mustard thing!!! Did he always like those? Man,I think you should leave the stuff up until YOU are ready (if ever) to take them down.It's such a personal thing.I've read that about it taking as long to get over something as the amount of time..dont know if it's true or not.I do know that as time goes on,it DOES get easier-but then one day it re-surfaces and you get that sick feeling in the pit of your belly/combined with that anxiety suffacating feeling,but at least it comes less often and with longer spaces in between.You know,I think individual therepy is better then the group thing.Have you tried it?You and your brother sound alot like me and my brother.Somehow I got to carry all the crap from my parents,and he kind of held it all in.It really does sound like your brother was getting his shit together.Dont let anyone take that feeling away from you.Have you had a party to celebrate him? I've lost my best friend (when I was 15) and my boyfriend (when I was 17), and both times a few months after they died we (all their friends/siblings) had a party for them.We drank beer and told stories,and laughed and cried and celebrated them.And you know what? Both times it's when the healing began for me.

Thanks for the pics.Thats some crazy hair!!!! He looks like a cool guy.
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#17 of 33 Old 04-26-2002, 03:50 PM
 
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Greaseball,
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#18 of 33 Old 04-26-2002, 03:57 PM
 
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Greaseball,
I think everything you are doing is ok., no matter what you think at the time. I can relate to the fact that the timing sucks because your brother was just getting his life "on track". My mom as also. We were not real close over the past few years, she made a lot of bad choices, but Ithink was coming around. Called me on Christmas, which she NEVER did (I was asleep). Anyway, we had visited in December so she did get to meet my new lttle boy. She was murdered in January and I am not sure if even in 14 years I will be ok with it. I keep thinking, oh if we only had a little more time but then I would have wanted more time, there just is never enough time. The pictures of your brother remind me of my younger sister. I am in grief counseling but only because the state of NJ pays for it but it is extremely helpful. I hope that evry new day brings comfort for you. I think about my mom everyday.
Take Care.
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#19 of 33 Old 04-27-2002, 12:35 AM
 
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Greaseball~

Thank you for sharing your brother with us all. Its always good to put a face with a name.

My dh died on 1/5/00. I have good days and bad days~its like a rollercoaster ride to me. I have kept a journal related just to his death, since a few days after he died. Writing in the journal, along with coming here has helped me alot. After he died, I tried to write down all my memories of him down so that I wouldn't forget. I wrote down his favorite foods, music, etc. I also wrote it for my ds. I never got the autopsy report~I had such a hard time, just reading the death certificate. It SO FINAL and it still makes me sick to my stomach.

I don't think I will ever "get over" it. Its much better now than I was 2 yrs. ago. We have attended a family grief and loss support group that has helped us so much. I am SO grateful for them. But, there still isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him or his death.

Warmly~

Lisa

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#20 of 33 Old 04-27-2002, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He always liked those sandwiches. I think they are gross, but my dh tried one and liked it!

The memorial service was the best thing. All his friends were there and we all told funny stories and ate food and played music. I live in a different town now but I'm still trying to get ahold of some of his friends, because they might be more into talking about him. I have two home videos with him and a small photo album with mostly childhood pics. I'm contacting family members for other pics and maybe then I can put together something neat. I also write down all the funny stories I can think of when I remember them. It would be good to have something for when dd starts asking about him. I'm not sure what that will be like.

I guess sometimes I think he'll be back someday and then everything will be fine. I keep expecting to see him hitchhiking or waiting on my front porch when I get home.

I guess I'm also afraid of being OK, like I might forget him someday, like maybe years and years later it will be as if he never was.
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#21 of 33 Old 04-27-2002, 02:35 PM
 
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I know the feeling you mean.I would be sitting having a good time,then suddenly feel REALLY guilty and upset b/c I realized I hadnt thought about it for a couple hours.I think that's all part of the healing process.You will NEVER forget your brother.You were both formed in the same womb,and will have ties together FOREVER.He will ALWAYS be a part of you.I think getting a scrapbook made is a cool idea.ANd also sharing stories with people,too.

If you want to talk about his death here at all,go for it too.We're here and want to listen and talk with you about it if you want to.PM or email me anytime to.(I can PM you mt email if you want it)
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#22 of 33 Old 04-28-2002, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I keep thinking this is one of those things that happens to "other families." It feels like I'm stuck in this sick nightmare, that it can't possibly be true and that by some miracle he will be found and be taken to a hospital and revived, and the story will be in all the papers, and the government will want to do all these experiments on him to find out how he survived at the bottom of a lake for a year, and no one will be able to find out anything, we'll just be glad to have him back. And I'll be able to show him all the stuff from the memorial, and say "This is from when you died!" and he will laugh.

Also, in those cards I wrote him, I asked him to give me a sign that he was OK, and I didn't get any. So I use that as an excuse of why he's not really dead, like if he were he would have given me a sign. Or maybe I'm just "not ready."

What exactly does "letting go" mean?
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#23 of 33 Old 04-28-2002, 06:08 PM
 
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Greaseball~

IMHO~I don't think that anyone ever "lets go" of their loved ones. You can't forget about a person, no matter what their age or how long they were with you. I think you make peace in your heart about their death. I have accepted my dh's death, but there are still sometimes that its so hard to believe that he is truly gone. We do rituals surrounding anniverseries, holidays, etc. to remember him, so we haven't let go.

Good question Greaseball!

Hugs~

Lisa

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#24 of 33 Old 05-05-2002, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yesterday my dh and I went to visit these old people who live in the neighborhood where I grew up, and they had a picture of Harley on their wall. It was the flyer from the memorial. I have one in my room but it was weird to see one in someone else's house for some reason.

My dh directs a choir at a church and sings solos there as well, and in a few days the church is having some kind of special service for people who have lost loved ones, and he's going to be singing there. I decided I'd go, but I just hope it's not a bunch of people saying "he's with god now, so you should be happy!" and stuff like that.
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#25 of 33 Old 05-08-2002, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It was ok, I guess, but I probably would have liked it better if I were religious. Dh got up and lit a candle for me, but I didn't light a candle because I figured I could do that at home without a bunch of people staring at me. Hopefully next week I can make it to that non-religious support group.
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#26 of 33 Old 05-09-2002, 12:45 AM
 
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Greeseball, I'm glad your seeking out ways to remember him. It sounds like you have a great deal of unresolved issues right now and this will help you work through them all.

I'm so glad you've shared more about him. I'm getting to know him through you.
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#27 of 33 Old 05-10-2002, 03:08 AM
 
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Actually I do have this feeling too. My father died a month before my wedding. He had been in the hospital but was getting better and had been transferred to different rooms until he was on the relatively healthy floor for people who were going to be discharged soon. He was getting better and I had just been to visit him and was talking to him about walking me down the aisle. The next morning he died. I never heard the phone ring that morning when my mom and sisters tried to call me to tell me he was going fast, and by the time I got to the hospital he was gone. I was really upset about it all because I feel like he always wanted to live as he was a very positive person. He was going to come to my wedding, dammit! And because he didn't want to be "kept alive on machines" they didn't do anything to revive him and just gave him morphine. He had breathing problems and had aspirated vomit, so he died pretty quickly after that. OK, now I'm sitting here blubbering like an idiot and this happened over 5 years ago. Anyway, it's made me think twice about being classified a DNR!
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#28 of 33 Old 05-10-2002, 03:20 AM
 
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Awww, I checked out Harley's pictures. What a nice looking guy. I'm sorry he never got to be an uncle. Sometimes I try to picture my father holding Molly when she was a baby, and I can actually create an image in my mind where he is holding her when she is about 6 months old and she reaches out to grab his nose. At some point I will probably be senile and convinced this really happened, but it's kind of sweet to imagine.
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#29 of 33 Old 05-10-2002, 10:31 AM
 
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Greaseball, I just want to say how sorry I am for your loss....thank you for sharing about your brother with us...he sounds like a wonderful person...

I lost my Dad when I was 22 (12 years ago) and although the sharp pain of the loss is gone, I still miss him and always think about him when we are celebrating important events in our lives. The memories now are not of his death though, they are of his life: who he was, what he liked, what he would think of what is going on now....

I do think support groups can really help, hopefully you will find a good one. Have you called the Hospice in your area? They always have bereavement support groups. Also, they may be able to direct you to a group specifically focusing on "sudden loss" which you experienced.

Take goodcare of yourself and remember that every feeling that you are experiencing is perfectly normal.... I have heard it said that the only way to get over grief is by going through it...don't deny yourself time to grieve....
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#30 of 33 Old 05-10-2002, 11:16 PM
 
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Greaseball, I am sending you lots of positive energy tonite. My mom died when I was 5 mo. pregnant. She had been in a nursing home after a bad stroke since I was about 2 mo. along. I would go to see her everyday and encourage her by saying "you have to get better, I want to enjoy this baby with you."
When it became clear that she wasn't going to get better, I told her that we would all be OK, that it was OK for her to move on, and that she would always be with us. I reassured her that I would tell my child all about her, and that he/she would feel as if they knew her through me. She died about 12 hours after I said these things to her.
I don't believer you ever "get over" a huge loss. Your grief is just a journey, and you walk it daily. I guess for me, it just doesn't feel like such a hard, uphill climb anymore. I think of her often, but more times with laughter than tears. It has been 6 years since she died. It is trite, but time is a healer, so is love. Allow yourself to walk your own path, and let the love you are offered in to help you along. I will be thinking of you. Sandi:better
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