New here, hoping to find others who actually comprehend what it’s like to struggle with not just grief but complicated grief. It’s something that is not understood, one cannot even imagine it unless one actually lives it. I’ve lost people in my life. I’ve experienced the grief process quite a few times. My grandparents died. Great aunts and great uncles passed away. I even lost a friend, at one time we were best friends. I cried, I grieved, I experienced the normal waves of grief that one would go through as time went on. I eventually hit a point at which I was ‘ok.’ I can talk about these loved ones without breaking down. Absolutely ‘normal’ grieving processes. I am the youngest of 4. On January 24th, 2009, Mom called me to let me know that my sister above me had passed away. She actually died while a CD was playing in her room ... to the song Time to Say Goodbye. (She has suffered 2 strokes in 2004, the 2nd completely debilitating her.) Mom was shaken up and wasn’t sure of what to do so I called 911 from my house, as well as made other calls to some family members. My husband, kids, and I rushed over to my parents home. We saw an ambulance driving out of the neighborhood and I cried harder hoping that they didn’t take away my sister before we came. I needed to see her, I don’t know why but I needed to do so. We arrived, police were still there, as was my sister. The 3 police officers who were there were concerned about my Dad, he was showing a bit of distress so they called the paramedics back just to check his vitals. I went into my sister’s room. The image of her has been forever burned into my memory. I cannot unsee it. I will not go into describing it but I’ll just say this, that my sister’s eyes were open and I can’t forget the look on her face. I asked a police officer to please please please close her eyes. The death of my sister was the first immediate family death I’ve experienced. The grieving process technically began after her 2nd stroke. But when she was actually gone and really never coming back I found myself in a state of shock. After a few days I felt as if though she was further away. A week went by and she was even further. Two weeks, further away. It was actually frightening for me. Dad was cancer free as of Easter that year. (He was diagnosed in July 2008.) My parents celebrated their 50th anniversary that June, we had a surprise party for them. Our parish priest came and they renewed their vows. Needless to say, it was a poignant celebration. In November of 2014 my Dad was taken into surgery to relieve the trouble caused by blockages from adhesions from the colon cancer surgery. He was in and out of the ER a few times and initially the doctor was against surgery given his age and health, but she then advised us to go for it because it would alleviate the symptoms and end the ER visits. The surgery was a success. There was some bleeding but it was to be expected, and he was doing ok. On November 15th the doctor on called Mom to let her know that he could come home later that day but that his oxygen levels were not up to par. ??? Mom phoned the hospital back to speak to a nurse who assured her that he wouldn’t be discharged. November 17th, 2014 ... my husband and son went to visit, with Mom. My daughter and I weren’t able to go because she wasn’t feeling well. Dad had pneumonia, btw. My son called me, said that he was chatting, all was good, he asked for a banana as a snack. A little while later my son called back and told me to go to the hospital. They had brought Mom home, and as soon as she took off her coat her kitchen phone rang. The nurse told them to come back. (As I relive this while typing it out I am starting to cry.) My daughter and I rushed out of the house and midway to the hospital my husband called me to tell me to just go to my parents house. I asked ‘Is he gone?’ I think I screamed it. My husband’s silence was deafening. We continued on to the hospital. My daughter and I broke down. I couldn’t breathe. My heart was shattered. My hero, my protector, was gone. We arrived at the hospital and I immediately went to my Dad’s room. One of Dad’s nurses showed us to another room where we could all gather and have privacy and go back and forth from Dad’s room. My oldest sister, nieces, nephews. (My brother lives in another state.) Mom wanted his wedding band so I volunteered to be the one to get it. I went back to Dad and his nurse had to help me because I wasn’t able to get the ring off myself, I was crying that I was hurting him in the process. I cried because I was HURTING him and he wasn’t even alive. Losing Dad knocked the wind out of me. He died 2 weeks prior to my daughter’s 6th Nutcracker performance. Up until that performance neither of my parents have ever missed a performance of hers (she’s a dancer), they’ve attended all recitals and Nutcrackers and the few musical theater productions in which she performed. I still have Dad’s ticket for that Nutcracker. Still. This was a journey that hasn’t at all become any easier. I was aching. Months later I began to see a therapist. On Valentine’s Day of 2016 my Mom suffered a stroke. She was completely healthy. We had just seen her that day. Spent a few hours at her house. Later that night we were all at the ER, not knowing what would happen. Mom looked terrified. I talked to Mom everyday. Everyday. But Valentine’s Day of 2014 was the last time I heard her voice. I never recovered from Dad’s death. Never. I can’t tell you how much I struggled with this. I was dying inside. Eventually my brother made it up, and he, my sister, my uncle (Mom’s brother) and I went to the hospital to discuss moving Mom to another facility for hospice care. I wasn’t able to handle the conversation with the nurse so I left the small room to return to Mom’s room, and placed my head on her chest and cried. I needed Mom. My brother had followed me and reamed me out for showing emotion. He was so angry with me. I mouthed the words go to hell to him. On March 3rd I was visiting Mom. I could see that her breathing was labored, so I called home to get my husband and kids to come. Eventually everyone was coming, in and out, spending time with Mom. Later in the evening only my daughter and I were left. I couldn’t leave. A nurse brought a blanket and pillow for my daughter and we made a bed using two chairs for her. At 4:00am I was feeling badly for her. She wanted to stay with me when my husband and son went home hours earlier, but I knew I couldn’t expect her to stay any longer. Drove home. We fell asleep in the living room on the sofas. Headed my husband get up at around 8:30 so my gal and I crawled into our bed and slept a bit more. At one point I was not fully asleep, yet not fully awake, I saw my Mom as clear as day. She was so close to me, her eyes were literally sparkling. She looked deeply into my soul and I SAW love. I quickly got out of bed because I needed to know something. I found my husband in the kitchen. He said that my sister had just called. Mom died. I collapsed. Mom died on March 4th, 2016. 16 months after Dad. My world was completely thrown off its axis. My parents were my support system. They knew my struggles. They were always there for me. As I stated before, I never recovered from losing my Dad, I was still in the throes of severe grief when Mom died. I couldn’t breathe, I was drowning. My brother, to whom I was extremely close at one time, proceeded to tell me how to grieve and for how long. A few months later I began to deal with emotional abuse and neglect from my husband and SIL and still do. Went through some other traumatic experiences and was essentially dealing with them alone, despite having 2 remaining siblings. So much more happened later that year and I continue to struggle. I have a therapist but can’t see him because I owe him. I’ve been on my own, struggling with severe complicated grief, emotional abuse/neglect, anxiety, depression, PTSD. The complicated grief is paralyzing at times. The waves of grief aren’t just waves, they are tsunamis. Huge tsunamis. When I say that I cannot breathe, I literally cannot breathe. I am 51 years old and I have had moments during which I am bawling and pleading for my parents to come back. Yes, it’s that bad. Remember I mentioned that my Dad passed away 2 weeks before a performance of my daughter’s? Well, Mom died 2 weeks before a performance of my daughter’s as well. TWO WEEKS. I have been crying so hard while typing this all out. The pain is deep, I feel it in my entire being, my heart, my body, my soul.