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About chandrasmom

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  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:
    Hospice of the Calumet, Munster, IN
  1. I would like to add a book to Marty's list. After the Death of a Child, by Ann K. Finkbeiner has revealed many a-ha moments to me. The author lost her own son in an accident and interviewed many other parents whose children died in different ways. What I find comforting about reading this is realizing that I am not alone in some of the things I feel. It isn't just me being dramatic (as I think some people believe). I am not crazy. Deborah
  2. Renee, It was my oldest child who died. And it was cancer that took her. So I do not know the agony of such a sudden loss, but I do know the pain a mother feels when one of her children dies before her. It has been almost a year since my daughter died, and I can tell you there were days I didn't think I could get out of bed, eat a meal, do anything. By taking it moment by moment as Marti suggested, I survived those moments, hours, days, months. I cannot tell you that the pain is gone, but I can tell you that is has become more bearable. I am still finding my way back to some semblance of a "normal" life. And having other children keeps me working at that for their sake. Your daughters need their mom, so keep putting one foot in front of the other through the weeks and months ahead. Holding you in my thoughts and prayers, Deborah
  3. Moonflower, My daughter was 36 (just a few weeks shy of 37) when she died of colon cancer on February 9, 2007. Thankfully, we had 2-1/2 years from the time of diagnosis until her death, so there was time to say the things that needed to be said and to seek and give forgiveness for old hurts. You are right; it is hard to lose a child of any age. I used to think it would be harder to lose a young child before the parent/child bond is tested. But with an adult child there are so many years of memories, both good and bad, that can make things more difficult. Losing your daughter so quickly and so soon after the death of your father must be especially painful. If it's any consolation, the pain is not always so severe as it is for you now. I don't believe it ever goes away completely, but it does become more bearable, and the breakdowns become less frequent, though they are not always predictable. My heart goes out to you. Please feel free to email me if you would like to talk. Deborah
  4. Linda, I just purchased a book that you may not be ready for yet, but jot the title down somewhere and take a look next time you are in a bookstore: After the Death of a Child. It tells what parents of children of all ages experienced when their children died. I find it helpful because it reminds me I am not crazy, I am not carrying my grief too far, I am not being maudlin, etc. Plus, it reassures me that there will come a time when it doesn't hurt quite so bad and it doesn't hurt all the time because others have suffered through and reached that place. That doesn't mean we will get over their death, but we will learn better how to live with it. Another book I have found comforting is Healing After a Loss. It's a book of daily meditations for people who are grieving. If leaving the light on for Steven makes you feel better, keep doing it. I brought home a small lamp that Chandra loved and leave it burning through the night. I also still wear clothes and jewelry that belonged to her. Knowing that these things once touched her skin comforts me. I've also been keeping a grief journal, just writing down things I need to express or things I want to remember. That helps. And some day when I'm able to read it through, I know I'll be able to see how far I have come. Sending prayers and strength your way, Linda. Deborah
  5. Thanks for the "welcome back" Bob. I think the reason I drifted away is because I find the message board format cumbersome, though the people are charming and witty. I have trouble remembering where I posted and which topics I've already read. I was part of a similar format for caregivers of loved ones with cancer and found that one difficult to keep up with as well. Fortunately, a small group of us from that site formed an email group, which is nice because they are all just there when I check my messages. We have listened to and supported one another through the deaths of several of our loved ones. Being able to talk with others who have been through this helps more than anyone who hasn't needed it will ever know. Deborah
  6. Linda, I believe the friend in America who referred you to this site is also my friend. When she told me about your son, she asked if I could suggest anything that might help you. Besides having friends like Pam to listen (she was very supportive of me after my daughter's death in February), having an online group like this is most helpful. I told her about this site in hopes you would check it out and learn that you are not alone in your pain. It helps to talk, Linda, to tell your story as many times as you need to, to share your pain with others who are also riding the roller coaster that is grief. If you ever want to talk one on one, Pam can tell you how to reach me. Deborah
  7. I haven't posted here in awhile, but something brought me back. Probably the holiday season. Everyone is so merry, and all I want is to get through it. My 36-year-old daughter died February 9, 2007. This has been the hardest year of my life with many ups and downs. People have started telling me it's time to move on, but to me that sounds like they don't want me to remind them of my loss anymore. Soon I will have to get through the 1-year anniversary of her death. I am trying to "move on", but I'm still so sad so much of the time. It's difficult to find joy, to feel normal, to return to my life. There are days when I feel better, but there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her several times. The couple of weeks before Christmas I felt like I had taken giant steps backwards. I cried almost every day, sometimes over stupid stuff. I started telling people not to drop a hat cuz I'd probably cry over it. Since I've managed to survive Christmas I'm not so weepy. But I'm dreading February 9. No matter how many years we had with our children, there weren't enough. Nobody can understand how much this hurts unless they have walked in our shoes.
  8. I'm jumping into this discussion kind of late, but wanted to share my experience following my daughter's death. We no sooner got through planning things with the funeral home than my daughter's fiancee started throwing things away and bagging things up. I quickly grabbed some of the things I wanted to keep to remember her by so he wouldn't trash those. He wanted every reminder of her to "disappear" from his house. So shortly after the funeral my younger daughter, daughter-in-law and I had to go to the house and finish sorting through whatever he had not boxed up already. We made sure everything left with us one way or another. I find it comforting to wear some of her clothing and jewelry--like she's here with me when I do. When I do something I'm a bit anxious about I make sure to "take her with me" by wearing a favorite ring and an ankle bracelet to give me courage and strength. She also had a little lamp she loved, and we kept it lit through the long, dark nights of her final weeks. I keep it lit here in my house now and think of her every time I turn it off or on. I hung a couple of her necklaces around the rearview mirror in my car and sometimes I just touch them and talk to her. I think those people who want no reminders are missing out by getting rid of things that could help them heal. But we all grieve differently... Deborah
  9. Doublejo, I don't understand either why so many losses come at once. I lost a beloved little dog in May 2004. My 34-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in July 2004. My grandson was stillborn in April 2005. My daughter died in February 2007. And now I am preparing for the death of my 10-year-old rottie who was diagnosed with bone cancer in May 2007. Is there something we are supposed to learn? Are we not getting it? Will the losses keep coming until we do? I love the quote about every death being important. A good reminder that everything in this universe is connected. I keep thinking about what Nietsche (sp?) said: "If it doesn't kill you it will make you stronger." We should be good and strong by now!
  10. Maxwell's Mom, I, too am going through the anticipatory grief of losing a beloved dog to bone cancer. Sophie is a 10-year-old rottweiler. We just celebrated our 10-year anniversary together. She has been through a lot in her short life: 2 cruciate repair surgeries and a spleenectomy. Now this. She was dx. in May, and we have no idea how long she will be with us. So long as we can control her pain, I am happy to do whatever I can to make her time remaining enjoyable. I understand your feelings about allowing Maxwell to enjoy his beach, but I would add a word of caution based on what the vet told us. Bone cancer makes the bone affected more and more brittle, which can cause breaks and fractures from the simplest movements. And if a break occurs, there is no choice but to euthanize. We try to keep Sophie from running (though she doesn't do a lot of that anymore) and take her for daily rides in the car now instead of her usual walk. Every time she runs to the fence to bark at something my heart skips a beat. I'm so afraid she will break something and force us to make that final decision. So far, her pain meds are keeping her comfortable. Hope that is the case for Maxwell too. My anticipation of losing Sophie is balanced by the fact that I lost a 36 year old daughter to colon cancer in February. I know that if I could survive that, I will survive saying goodbye to Sophie too. Take care, Deborah
  11. It helps to hear from those further along in the grief timeline, Derek. I actually got through the ninth of this month without a lot of pain, though I spent most of the day thinking of my daughter and her final days. I'm sure you are right that there will eventually come a time when February 9 is the only day I truly dread. I spent yesterday with a friend who lost her son 6 years ago. Only now can she think of working on that day. Deborah
  12. Yesterday I was really on edge, in a funky mood and wanted to cry at the silliest things. I had a cyst removed from my head yesterday, and I had been curiously calm about getting the procedure done--not even a slight case of nerves. You see, I took Chandra with me. I wore my ankh with her name and birth and death dates on it, her ankle bracelet, and her ring, and I knew that she would loan me some of her strength if I needed it. But how could I get worked up over a little cyst removal when she had been through so much more? The doctor was her usual unfriendly, snippy self, and when she left the room I started crying. The rest of the day went downhill from there. I kept wondering what the heck was going on with me. And then I realized it's the beginning of another month, leading to another ninth of the month. On August 9 it will be six months--half a year--since Chandra died. It's like my subconscious gears up for that day at the beginning of each month. Depression sets in. I want to crawl into my shell and stay there. And everything makes me want to cry. Will it always be like this? Or will the first of the month eventually slip by without me noticing? Deborah
  13. Dolores, There is nothing selfish about a mother grieving the loss of her child. And everyone grieves differently. All we can do is what we think will get us through the day, the week, the month. Assuring you of these things is a good reminder for me. Sometimes I feel like I should be "getting on with things" better than I am. But I'm doing the best I can. Deborah
  14. Dolores, Other parents who have lost children tell me we will not ever "get over" this grief, but we will eventually learn to live with it. And it will become more bearable in time. I don't write in my journal every day either. But when I become particularly upset over something or just plain mad it does help to write it out. I have moments like you mention when I don't think I can get through another painful hour. But then I do. And I know I will continue to have these moments. It helps to talk to a trusted friend at those times or just to sit down and have another good cry. Sometimes when I am driving or shopping something will hit me and I will start crying. The death of our children has forever changed our lives, but I don't believe for one second that they would want us to give up on life. That would almost be an insult to our children. How can we waste whatever time we have left when their time was cut short? For now, of course, we are stuck in a state of limbo, unsure what we are meant to do and with no energy to do anything much. But there will come a day when we can take a step. And then another. And another. And those steps will carry us through the days until we see our children again. When I am tempted to give up and give in I think about other people who have suffered through this pain and even worse--there are parents who have lost multiple children in accidents--and who have somehow survived. You and I will get through this too. Deborah
  15. Julienne, As Derek points out, you are going through depression (which is perfectly natural) associated with grief. My daughter died Feb. 9 and I could barely do anything for a couple of months. I did a lot of reading about grief, so I understood that my lack of energy and motivation was normal, and so I gave myself permission to do whatever I needed to do to get through the day. When I felt able to set small goals I began making short lists of things to do--nothing monumental--just phone calls, returning books to the library, etc. Some days I only checked one thing off my list, but it gave me a sense of still functioning. I still don't have all my usual energy back, but I'm doing more around the house and yard. This gives me a sense of accomplishment without pushing me to be out around people. I still have a tough time going to the store and being places where I have to interact with others. Deborah
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