I hope that this site is active enough for me to stay on ...

Discussion in 'Finding it Difficult to Move Foward' started by Broken9902, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Broken9902

    Broken9902 New Member

    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.
     
  2. cg123

    cg123 Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry for all the losses you have experienced. While reading your post I couldn't help but have tears in my eyes. You have suffered too many tragedies in your life. I can understand all the pain and loneliness you are dealing with because I, too, am grieving for the people I have lost in my life. The holidays are an especially difficult time. I wish there was an easy answer to how to deal with such grief but, unfortunately, there isn't. All we can do is remember the good times and do the best we can in moving forward. One never forgets but somehow we learn to live with our grief. Wishing you the best.
     
  3. Broken9902

    Broken9902 New Member

    Thank you for responding, I admit I was getting desperate as I waited for someone to do so. This site doesn’t seem to be as active as I had hoped it would be.
    I’m so sorry for your losses.
    The holidays are awful. Today, Christmas Eve, should be a special day, as it is the evening that was my family’s main celebration. But now there is no celebration, there’s nothing. My son went to his girlfriend’s home, my husband is working, and my daughter and I are home. She’s eating ramen and hanging out in her room, I’m drinking coffee and watching Hell’s Kitchen in the living room. No gifts to be had as we are broke.
    My heart is aching for my old family life.
     
  4. cg123

    cg123 Well-Known Member

    The holidays are an awful time for those of us who are grieving. I understand that your heart is aching for your old family life...wish we could bring that back but, unfortunately, we cannot. I am trying to ignore the holidays as best I can and just keep busy until the holidays pass. This site is usually more active ...perhaps because of the holidays people are not responding as quickly. Be grateful that your daughter is home with you and try spending some time with her..perhaps that will help you and also her. Perhaps just watching tv or talking to each other will make you feel less lonely. The holidays will pass but grief stays with us for a while and we have to somehow learn to move on and live with it even though it is so hard to do. Hoping you find strength and peace to deal with everything....
     
  5. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

     
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  6. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

     
  7. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    I tried posting above and the reply did not show up.
     
  8. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Broken9902,

    This makes my third attempt to post - here goes

    I understand how comprehensive grief gets worse as you struggle with each new death you face in life. I never have fully put on paper all at once my story in those terms, but to let you know I have been shattered by death over and over throughout my life.

    I am going to be brutally blunt and open up to you and others to let you know life while it can be good, it can also be extremely hard to go on, time after time after multiple deaths in your lifetime.

    For me my story begins with my grandfather, and grandmother who I spent summers with. At age ten my grandfather had a heart attack, there was no 911 in those days (60 years ago). He asked me to get his rifle and stop his pain. I panicked, ran out of the house, as grandmother was shopping in town. I ran from house to house knocking on doors yelling for help, and it wasn’t till the 3rd house someone finally answered and came and helped. When he died years later I was serving in Okinawa when i got the call he had died.

    My grandmother developed Alzheimer's and eventually no longer recognized me as I stood in front of her. She died about 6 years later.

    At home one aunt and uncle would come to our house on the weekends and play cards with my parents. I so enjoyed listening and watching them. My aunt died one day, and was found by my uncle as she had opened the window and was found leaning out the window. My uncle could not take the loss of his wife so he hung himself in that very same room two days later, just a block from our house.

    My two favorite uncles who had always taken me fishing both had heart attacks there in my grandfather’s house. As each of these deaths accumulated, I had developed a problem of visiting gravesites at this point. It just brought too many bad memories forward.

    As time passed my dad died of lung cancer. It was at this point that I developed panic attacks. I had actually believed I forgot how to breath. The stress of everything had accumulated over time to the point that those attacks were my way of trying to deal with everything. My doctor treated me for depression, and that lasted for 6 months, but I could now at least deal with life on a more even foot.

    My mother who I was taking care of got to the point of needed special care. She ended up in a special hospital, and died there 6 months later of stomach flu.

    I had used the service as a way to escape my life in Maine and all the bad memories it held for me. A shift worker of ours was killed by a dump trump in Okinawa. Her fiance was also on our shift and it was tough to help him get over it, he was crushed.

    In Two Rock Ranch, just outside Petaluma, California I was bowling with a military friend, just the two of us, and he got a call on the phone his dad had just died. Man, trying to help him calm down enough to start on his way on emergency leave home was very tough to take.

    When in Nha Trang South Vietnam, we were hit with a 122 rocket. I had got off shift and was asleep as the rocket hit. I was so startled I knocked the door off the hinges, as I ran for the bunker. The rocket hit my work van, a coworker was killed and 3 others wounded.

    There were other deaths in Vietnam, though I did not personally know them, their loss had a significant impact on how you viewed each day as you awoke.

    My most significant loss was of course my wife Nadine of 42 years. I watched her wither away over the course of ten years. Some of what I have seen her endure was just too damn awful to even attempt to describe.

    So I will say, yes, I have seen multiple deaths. I have been changed permanently and will never again be the naive young kid I was. I don’t have all the answers, I can’t even answer the why.

    What makes it even worse is this time of year. The holidays are extremely hard to overcome. My two sons and I haven’t put up a Christmas tree in over ten years now, or used decorations of any type.

    Even though I put on the best face I can for those who really don’t know me, if it wasn’t for my belief in God I don’t know if I would have still been here today. God is the one true thing I cling to the most in life.

    I hope you will see better days and healing. Take care of yourself.

    david
     
  9. cg123

    cg123 Well-Known Member

    Yes, life is very hard when you have dealt with so many losses. I, too, have lost many close relatives with the most recent one being my sister whom I lived with and was my best friend in the world. I no longer have any family left so I do feel all alone in this world. While I do have a few friends who live in other states it doesn't compare with me losing a close family member. Right now I am trying to put my life back together if I can. I plan on moving back to where my friends live (where I used to live) but it is overwhelming to think that I have to do everything by myself, ie, sell my current condo and buy a new one in another state and everything else that goes along with moving out-of-state. Sometimes I do not feel strong enough but know I have to force myself.

    I am truly sorry for all the multiple deaths you have seen in your life. It is true that we will never be the same again. Wishing you the best.
     
  10. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    cg123,

    Sorry for your loss of your sister. Before my wife died, she had already lost 2 of her brothers, and one of her sisters, then her parents.

    Nadine my wife was of course broken by all them losses as well. As awful as this sounds, we both travelled multiple losses in life and had to console each other over time.

    Being alone (no family) as you now are cg123 must be very hard. Moving closer to friends is a great idea. I know moving is not fun, but sometimes that is what our life needs to help us right it somehow.

    Never stop seeking help, as I have in life, and never think you are alone in life. There are people out there who will listen, who will help in anyway they can, and most of all never think your grief is any less important than mine or anyone else's.

    You take care of yourself. Listen to your heart and move in ways you think help you the most. I know the unknown is amazingly hard to deal with, but in the long run, you will help yourself by not giving up or giving in to despair. God Bless

    david
     
  11. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Broken9902,

    My first post addressed to you was to let you know I too have unfortunately experienced many losses in life. That was to let you know I realize how each and every new death we face, make our life harder, and hard to carry on at times.

    This 2nd post is to address the depth of your post.

    When you speak of your emotions like a tidal wave it is so true. One day we can feel ok, and then something catches our attention, a picture, a show, a comment, a thought or just life in general, and we as a person are once again showered with emotions. Tears are a thing that is a regular part of our life now, so please don't ever feel like they are wrong, or fear that someone else will see how bad you are feeling. All that grief is just the reality of life grabbing hold of us, a natural occurrence.

    With you losing so many family members there is just no way we as a person with feelings can't help but feel totally lost and unable to move forward in life. As my own losses mounted I had to find a way besides others that I could personally help myself deal with all these losses. Sure a hug here and there is really beautiful and gives you a great feeling inside, but that will wear off and then you fall back to the reality of your life experiences.

    Personally I found music to be a coping tool for me. I know there is a wealth of music out there for every feeling we could ever experience. So I have listened and listened over and over to so many songs to help me get through my day and overcome some sad moments in time I was feeling.

    I found a singing group, and this song is one of their songs.

    As I have listened and cried there are so many songs that touch our heart and hurt deeply. Those songs like that are what can help as part of the healing process.

    I also have found that sometime music with no words is also very soothing when I am feeling bad, and even lonely at night. This is one such melody I can sit and listen to in silence and it touches me.

    When we are unable to find the words to help us describe how we are feeling inside, there are those who have created songs with words and music that speak so beautifully for us. This is one such song.

    Writing this is almost impossible to not cry as I write, because I have been there many days in my life. These are words to you that I care for you, I care for you to get better, and are able to face life. Just know it is ok to hurt.

    I am sure your parents saw themselves in you and your sisters face, and your daughter as well. You all probably gave them great joy in life. I am sure many events and pictures covered what they treasured the most about all of you. Jim Croce once sang a song that fits this aspect of life so well

    Losing our parents is so devastating. They shared their life with us, and we with them. There are not adequate words to put those feelings down on paper. So many hugs and kisses, those night they read to us, they tucked us in and smiled at us so many times in life.

    This is a song a dad sang for his daughter

    What I am saying by showing you songs, they were created for everyone, for those special occasions in our lives to speak for our love with one another.

    I know songs words or songs won't wipe away the hurt, or stop the tears we have and shed, but just know you were special to so many people in your life, and you still are. I know it ok to cry, it is ok to wish the hurt away, but you will always have their memories always on your mind.

    So if you can, find something to help you cope with life, and never stop reaching out to others, we will listen, and we will hear your words. You take care of yourself and take your life slowly and never forget. God Bless.

    david
     
  12. cg123

    cg123 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your kind words and support. It does help and I wish you well too.
     
  13. Sheila512

    Sheila512 Well-Known Member

    The song "I"m Not Broken" was as far as I got this time. I listened to it several times and it is amazing. Thank you so much for this gift. I will certainly listen to all of them when I feel a little less vulnerable.
     
  14. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Sheila512,

    I am so happy this song helped in some small way with your grief in life. I know we are all frail, we hurt in so many ways and we search for ways to help us through each difficult day in our life.

    Even though those who create things of beauty, art, songs, written words or a talk to us may never actually meet us, what they have created has left a lasting impression for us all. I am sure those creative things were made with much caring thought and the beauty of that person is so apparent in their final piece they display for us all.

    I know we all have hurt at times in our lives. We seeks answers or ways to cope. The only true thing of amazing beauty is sharing with one another what helps each of us. I of course know I don't have the perfect answers, but at least it is an effort I make to let everyone know, even though I am one who holds much hurt I try to let others know I am not yet ready to give in or give up on life. To me it is much too precious.

    david