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  1. My husband died June 30, 2017. A social worker observed I wasn't functioning too well and advised me to move from my apartment where I'd lived for 10 years to a personal care home. I took her advice and made the move and wish I hadn't. Not only did I lose my husband, but also my apt and all my possessions as well as my car. Now it is 3 years later and I have no life. The loss of my car meant I can't get to support groups that would help me and my independence. I live on social security disability and of that $1,000 a month goes for rent to the personal care home. I also went to a dental clinic and they advised I have all my upper teeth extracted, which I did and wish I hadn't. They were working and not loose or causing me pain. And I didn't know how much a denture was going to cost. I still can't afford one and there is no financial aid since a denture is not considered medically necessary. I can't chew much of what is served at the personal care home, but I'm still paying for it. I buy my own food at the local grocery store which costs me about $80 a week. I have no family or friends. I miss being married but it doesn't look like I can meet anyone new. I just feel like crying much of the time, knowing my life will never be close to what it was. I live 200 miles from my hometown, which is still affected by COVID, otherwise I know I'd find support there. It feels like I've lost everything that mattered to me. My husband and I were married for 25 years.
  2. It has been almost a year since I have regularly posted on this specific topic of my journey through grief and healing. Next month it will be four years since my beloved wife(Rose Anne) died. This past year has been full of reflection, and real acceptance of her death. The time line is different for everyone of us and it has been full year of introspection. The loneliness and accepting the reality of all this is what my mind wrestles with daily. Irregardless, life continues to march on one day at a time. Initially, I was certain I was going to die from a broken heart but apparently it just felt that way. The purpose in resuming this topic is to express and show to others that come here that there is life after death for those of us that are still living. My wife loved movies and memorizing certain dialog. In the movie, "Shawshank Redemption", the character says... "Get busy living". I couldn't see or comprehend even how to do that. This forum , helped me and many of us to deal with this grief and given us tools, friends, and fellowship for us. None of us knows what the future holds but some of us do know who holds our future. Search for and discover your path, and begin to use the tools that we are given here. I plan to share what positive changes are happening on my grief healing journey and hope to encourage you to do the same. Shalom
  3. I don't know if anyone will still read this. It is quite long.. but I can only wish someone would try to help me. I'm grief stricken with guilt over a stray outdoor cat. He was recently euthanized in a shelter a week ago. I've been caring for him the last year and a half. He was left by his feral mom when he was little in our property. Since we already had 2 cats indoor, my hubby didn't want anymore addition so I just fed him from our deck. There he stays and after eating would just lie down on the chair next to our sliding door. At night he comes back to sleep on the same chair. Our cats know him and he's been friendly towards them. They even sleep next to each other by the glass door. Eventually, I am able to pet him and he kneads and purrs a lot too. I named him Tabby. He sometimes wanted to come in but because he hasn't been fixed and vaccinated, I couldn't let him in yet. 
 I did try to capture him in the hopes that someone else can adopt him but he's smart and when he sense it, he would just run away. I did call the animal shelter if they can put him up for adoption but told me they were full. I still planned to catch him whatever it takes because it had been very cold outside. A couple of months ago, he didn't come at all. I blame it on another male territorial feral who's been chasing him away. I still wait for him every night in case he did come back. I somehow felt he would starve because he doesn't seem to know how to catch anything and he's used to being fed by me.
 I was wishing that maybe someone had adopted him. A week ago, I saw him again, walking slowly and being cautious towards our door. As soon as he saw me, he came straight away, and was wagging his tail! But I was shocked to see him limping and what seems to be a broken hind leg. He had a wound and seemed swollen. I immediately petted him, he purred again and then I gave him food. He ate a lot and seemed to be very hungry. Again, I wanted to catch him and get some help. I observed him for a couple of days and made some call to the animal shelter. They have been assisting me with the TNR of a cat colony i'm taking care of. Maybe they can also help me with him. He was able to walk still but not using one of his hind leg anymore. He was still able to jump up our deck to eat. Then come down again to go relieve himself, then inside the cat box I made for them for winter and harsh weather. He would just stay in there until the next feeding time or when he needed to go. The animal shelter agreed to take him in since he's injured but informed me that if he was deemed un-adoptable, that there is a greater chance he would be put to sleep. I thought if they get to know him and give him a chance, he should be ok since I can pet him and he still purrs despite his injury. On the third day, I was able to coax him in the cat trap. It didn’t have to be triggered, I just slowly moved his cat food further inside and he went in on his own while nibbling. He wasn’t agitated but was meowing wondering why he’s in there after I closed the latch. I placed a cloth over it so he’d be calm. This is where I noticed more of his injury, and it looked like a puncture wound. The person from the shelter came and took him away. Since there is a COVID-19 restriction, I am not able to see him after that. He did say that their vet will be able to look at him in a couple of days. I was worried for him though because his injury may get worse from the transportation to the shelter. I was told that he was very shaken upon arriving and he didn’t let anyone touch him. The next day though he was calm and was inside his box. The following day that he went to the vet, I got a voicemail saying that he has a dislocated hip, broken leg (not even sure if this was just from observation or x-ray as the rep who took him said they may not do an x-ray on him but just observe) and that he would be needing massive dose of antibiotics. Also a leg amputation which mean he will not be allowed to go back outside. He will need to be quarantined as he had a bite of unknown origin. They're guessing a bigger animal that bit his leg and dragged him around. They asked if I wanted him back but that it is going to be a rather expensive vet bills. And that he will have to be indoors all the time. Their vet recommended he’d be humanely euthanized because they deemed him un-adoptable as they can’t handle him. I’m sure he was so scared of this unfamiliar territory and new people. I wished they have given him a bit more time to get accustomed to them. He was already sedated when they called and wanted to know what our decision were soon. If we agree to have him euthanized instead, they will not wake him up anymore and go on with it straight up. I don't know if they even did any x-rays of him. As far as I was told, they would just do some observation. I was desperate and confused, I don’t really know what to do.. so I had my husband speak to them instead. I couldn’t bear the thought of him being put down so I had him call. He asked if he was to go on surgery and live, will he still have a good quality life? They said since he’s an outdoor cat, he may not like to be indoors and also because of his condition, the infection seemed to spread to some other parts of his body. And from how bad it sounded, and a rushed decision, we’ve reluctantly agreed to euthanasia. They said we did the right thing, but i'm still second guessing. I cried for the next few days. And felt so guilty and depressed. He came back knowing I’m his shelter, that he’s safe with me. Knowing I will be there for him and take care of him. That I’m his refuge. He jumped up the deck even though it was hard for him. He can take it. He was a survivor and a will to live. He was always happy to see me… I should’ve been the one who gave him the chance.. I should’ve given him a few more days for him to get accustomed to the new environment. He would’ve loved to be indoors, as he always came inside a few inches from the door. I would know.. He was still ok, it would’ve been better for him. I felt that when he was at the vet shelter, he wanted to escape because it was an unknown territory, another traumatic event for him. That's why he wasn’t calm with other people. I wonder if he struggled too much and so they deemed him un-adoptable. It’s hard for me because my husband was not 100% on board initially. He thinks I’m humanizing the cat too much. And he doesn’t feel I should take care of him because we already have two cats. I didn’t fight for him and I regret it so much. My husband did regret it later on but was too late. I wish Tabby could forgive me. I know I can’t turn back time anymore.. This feeling really sucks. I’m in so much grief. I wish I had more resources and took the time to get more informed of his situation. I browsed online and found that there were similar incidents as him, if not worse, and they turned out ok after being taken care of. And there would be other shelters that would take in injured cats. I’m regretting that I should have fought for extra testing to make sure I was doing the right thing. I feel so rushed and so confused. I really didn’t want him euthanized, I just wanted to get help for him. We should’ve just taken him back. He trusted me. We had a bond..
  4. An Indomitable Ending The air was cold, sterile even, as I rounded the corner and entered room twenty-two of L&M Hospital’s Emergency Room. Nurses and orderlies bustled busily up and down the hallway behind me, their brightly colored scrubs covered cute animal prints clashing violently with the somber, worried atmosphere of the ER. Monitors and machines in every room and at the nurses’ station beeped constantly in maddening dissonance. The crisp, sharp smell of disinfectant and impersonal care hung heavy in the air. My mother lay to the left, in bed one of ER room twenty-two; tangled in a hopeless mass of wires and hoses. Before I even approached her bedside, I knew it was bad. Her reddish-brown hair, once a vibrant red, is thin and matted down by the heavy straps of the bi-pap mask that obscures most of her face. Mom’s eyes are closed tight, the skin at their corners wrinkled and tense with concentration or pain. I wasn’t sure which. Head lolling to the left, her breath comes in short stunted gasps through her cracked lips. Her entire upper body heaved desperately with each inhalation, drawing in as much precious oxygen as she possible before she had to exhale to purge what CO2 she could. My heart broke to see her like this, struggling for every breath. Just like it did every other time I’ve walked into this emergency room to find her over the past ten years. I sat down heavily in the chair beside her. I took her hand. She didn’t seem to even notice. Her skin felt thin and fragile; like century-old, yellowed parchment that might crumble at my touch. Dark purple bruises covered her arms and hands so thickly from the blown veins and Prednisone that her natural skin tone was only visible in small splotches. The constant courses of steroids have also added small, alien growths, like hard, scaly warts, in random places all over her. Momma’s head shifted limply with each gulp of air as I stroked the back of her hand with my thumb. “Momma,” I called out gently, placing my other hand on her shoulder, “I’m here.” No noticeable response. Blinking back tears, I gave her hand a gentle squeeze, some part of me paranoid that her skin would crack under the pressure and tried again. “Momma? You’re not alone. I am here.” I feel the barest of squeezes back, as though it was all she could manage. I hear you, the squeeze said softly, and I am glad you are here, but I can’t spare any energy for anything else but breathing in and out. One of the nurses bustled up to the other side of her bed, a friendly half-smile fixed to her face. I don’t remember exactly what she said, a lot of the details are missing from those three days, but it was some kind of placating report on how mom was doing. Still waiting for test results; x-rays of her lungs and blood work, I think; and for the doctor to come in. I asked how long my mom had been so unresponsive. The nurse didn’t know. “She was talking to me earlier, a little panicked and confused, but we were communicating. Since then I’ve been trying to let her rest.” (Or something along those lines) I have never seen my mother this far down before. Once, about seven years earlier, she had been close; delirious from lack of oxygen and CO2 buildup, “hypoxic” they call it, but incredibly chatty. My sister Melissa and I could barely understand what she kept trying to tell us through the gasping, slurred speech, muffling of the bi-pap mask, and the constant hum of its compressors. We joked that she sounded like Boomhauer from King of the Hill. It’s odd how humor is our first line of defense when we are standing in deaths shadow. Mom recovered that time, as she has countless times before. Thumbing her nose at her disease and climbing slowly back to her feet. This morning when my phone rang, I almost didn’t answer. I was rushing around getting ready to go over to the nursing home. I had been to see her the day before and knew she was struggling. She had talked about how scary it was to be alone in the nursing home, especially at night, unable to breath. I had stayed all day, just holding her hand or sitting beside her while she slept and had promised to be back the next morning. I picked it up and answered just before it rolled over to voicemail. It was the care manager from the nursing home. She told me they had found my mom in a hypoxic state this morning and had called an ambulance. I had been half-expecting the call based on how mom had looked the day before, but a tight, squeezing fist of fear wrapped itself around the pit of my stomach none the less. We’ve been here countless times before, but despite the familiarity of the situation, it was always terrifying. My wife, Trish, asked me if I needed her to come with me. I had told her not to worry about it, I would be fine. I was wrong. She was in the back yard getting ready to clean out the chicken coop when she answered the phone. “It’s bad. I need you.” That was all I could think to say. No matter how long you’ve watched death slowly overtake someone, you’re still never truly prepared. My mom had fought, suffered, triumphed, and fought some more on a perpetual rollercoaster ride of emphysema, COPD, diabetes, anxiety, hypoxia, and lung cancer for more than twenty years. No matter how bad things got, no matter how much the simplest of efforts cost her towards the end, she never gave up. She held onto her faith in God and her love of her family and just kept going. Breathing in and out, living the best life she could with what time she had left. I often marveled over her strength of character and the power of her will to live; to fight. She had always been a fighter, even as a kid from what I understand. To get up and face the day - every day, though, knowing that she would be battling for every breath, that she would have to weigh every task against her dwindling stores of energy, was incredible. No, she wasn’t always in perfect spirits, and sometimes she wanted to just give up. Who wouldn’t? But she never did, not even on her last day. Watching her over the years, I have often marveled over how much we take the simple ability to draw air into our lungs for granted. We don’t even think about it most of the time, it just happens unconsciously. To slowly lose even the most basic of life’s functions, betrayed by your own body as it is overcome by disease, must be utterly terrifying. People suffering from lung disease, people like my mom, face this horror every minute of the rest of their lives. To keep going in the face of such insurmountable odds, knowing that no matter how long or how hard you fight, death draws inexorably closer, is the definition of heroic. Trish arrived while we were still waiting for the doctor to make his rounds. Just her presence eased my worry slightly; at least I wasn’t alone. Mom was still unresponsive, and I was warring with myself over whether to start calling people. In the end I decide to text Melissa and my niece Lizbeth. They both lived out of state, but if this is it, they would both want to be here. When the ER doctor finally comes in, he is brisk and matter of fact; impersonal. They don’t know what’s causing this exacerbation, her x-rays don’t show fluid in her lungs and her flu test was negative. He had another doctor from the ICU coming down to consult. The ICU doctor was awesome. I wish I remembered his name. He took me out to the nurse’s station to talk about end of life treatment and what steps we wanted to take. He was one of the few that were thoughtful enough to take the conversation out of the room. Mom was dealing with enough just trying to breath, she didn’t need the added stress of listening to us discuss her death. The ICU doctor was gentle, but direct; the next steps would be to intubate and put her on a ventilator in the ER while waiting for a bed in the ICU. I expected this. Mom and I had talked about it again just yesterday. Intubation was ok for a few days at most, and only if they felt she would be able to pull through with the extra help from the vent. I wasn’t prepared for him to tell me he wasn’t sure if she would ever come off it. Then he asked me about other lifesaving measures. Would we want to use suppressors? I had no idea what those were. Apparently, mom hadn’t been this far down before, so no one ever asked me before. The doctor explained that it was medication to keep her pressure up and her organs functioning, but it was only a delaying tactic and it would cause her extremities to ‘whither’ as pressure was maintained in her core. No thank you. Would we want electrical cardioversion (shock paddles) or CPR to try to prolong life. Let me tell you, even if you have talked to your loved one in advance and know their wishes, it is hard to tell the doctor not to try to save their life. But mom knew that when the time came, she was ready. Again, I told him no, but inside I was screaming. I did give consent to intubate. I could tell he truly didn’t think she was going to recover and get back off the vent, that he was phrasing it as “he wasn’t sure” to spare me, but I did it anyway. I just wasn’t ready. I felt horribly guilty and selfish. Guilt was an odd addition to the churning maelstrom of fear, pain, and loss in the pit of my stomach. I rationalized the decision by telling myself that it was to give Melissa time to get here from Maryland. She was already getting ready to come, but not planning to leave until later in the evening so she had time to get her own family settled. As soon as I was done with the ICU doctor, I texted Melissa to leave now. I didn’t want to talk on the phone. I texted Aunt Sherry in Texas to let her know, trusting her to spread the word to family down there. I sent messages to a few other people to get the word out. Then I gave my phone to Trish. She fielded the rest of the calls and texts asking for updates and expressing condolences. Trish was amazing through it all. I am not sure I would have made it through without her. Thank you, Trish, I love you. I am so grateful to have you. The phone tree did its job though. Todd, one of my best friends, walked into the ER room before we ever thought to tell him. Trish’s sister had told his sister, his sister told him, and he just got in the car and came. Todd was a rock for us all to lean on through the whole process. He worked in the background, never leaving until it was over, doing he could make things easier or more comfortable. Food runs, coffee runs, running interference when emotions conflicted, anything we needed. Thank you, Todd, I love you. It meant the world to me. People kept arriving throughout the rest of the day and Melissa made it in around eleven o’clock that night. Mom had made the move up to ICU and we were only supposed to have two visitors in mom’s room at a time. So, the other twenty-odd people took over the ICU waiting room while waiting for their turn to visit. Unfortunately, as inappropriate humor is a staple in my family even at the best of times, we did drive the one other person in the waiting room out. I saw him later in the maternity waiting room down the hall. I still feel bad about that. Sorry whoever you were. The stark contrast between the two rooms was weird. In the ICU things were somber and quiet, voices low as though too much noise would disturb mom even through the fog of morphine. The waiting room, on the other hand, was vibrant and active. Family and friends gathered together joking and laughing, telling stories about mom, reading Cosmo quizzes out loud like a poll, making light of death with a rambunctious celebration of life. It became easier to be in the waiting room. I told myself I was staying outside because there were so many people waiting to visit. While this was true to an extent, I was also hiding. Smiling and laughing with the raucous crowd helped drown out the anguished sobs of the terrified little boy I had shoved into the back corners of my mind. I didn’t sleep much that night on the foldout chair-cot. I knew this was the end, and as the waiting room emptied out and quieted, I could no longer ignore my sorrow. Mostly I just lay there with my eyes closed, numbly waiting for Melissa to have time to visit with our mother. Knowing her heart and mind would need time to assess and process the situation before I could talk to her about what must be done. I climbed stiffly to my weary feet at six in the morning. I had to go get ready for a surgical consult for my back that I felt I couldn’t miss. I should have rescheduled. I was so exhausted and distraught I barely remember what we discussed. Good thing I brought Trish with me. Of course, that was partly because I didn’t think I should drive. After the appointment, I took a four-hour nap in my own bed before going back to the hospital. Yet another thing to feel guilty about. How could I possibly choose a few measly hours of sleep over my mother’s final moments? I realize logically that my guilt didn’t make sense, that everyone has limits, even me. Logic loses to loss though. Almost as soon as I got back, Melissa told me we needed to talk. The haunted look in her eyes told me we were on the same page even before she spoke. She had been talking to the ICU doctor, a different one this time, and she felt that we should extubate and switch to comfort measures only. I let her finish explaining why and agreed immediately. I don’t think she realized I was already there and had just been giving her time to catch up. Together, we went into the ICU and asked to speak to the doctor. This was the real reason I had agreed to intubate, I realize now. I needed mom to hang on long enough for Melissa to get here so I wouldn’t have to face this alone. I had spent years praying that mom would pass away in her sleep, terrified that it would come down to me having to tell the doctors to let my mom die. I used to wake up in cold sweats, still shaking from the nightmares about having them “pull the plug”. Thank you, Sis, I love you. I was so glad to have you beside me. We waited until later in the evening to make the switch to comfort only. We wanted anyone that needed to say goodbye to time to come. We also took calls from distant family, holding the phone to mom’s ear so she could hear them say goodbye and that it was ok to let go. I think we waited a little longer than we needed to, just because we weren’t ready. At roughly nine pm on February 13, mom’s morphine was increased, and the tube was pulled from her throat. There would be no more medical care beyond comfort measures. We were officially waiting for her to die. They had told us that it could take minutes or weeks, no way to tell. It was all a matter of how long she chose to fight. I knew it wouldn’t be long, that she likely wouldn’t last the night. I also knew it wouldn’t be minutes. Mom had been fighting for so long she didn’t know how not to. Her body and mind were spent and ready to lay down arms, but her soul had always burned brightly. The ICU nurse, Natalie, lifted the limit on visitors and the room grew crowded while we sat with her. The energy in the room was charged and expectant, like it was going to happen any second. Mom fought on. We read to her; passages she had underlined in her bible and notes she had taken while studying the scripture. Melissa played gospel music for her on her phone, and we sang along with the songs that we knew. Mom’s favorite was That Old Rugged Cross. We laughed and cried together until the hour grew late and the crowd around us began to thin out. Melissa and I held her hands almost constantly from either side of the bed, and my dad, Glen Sr., stood beside Melissa near mom’s head. They had divorced when I was eleven but had reconciled their difference in the past few years. He still loved her. I could see the heartbreak in his tear-filled eyes but had no room to comfort him around my own grief. Near midnight, with only a few of us left in the room, Melissa and I felt the beginning of the end through mom’s hands. Her energy was different, more subdued, and there was more and more time between breaths. Melissa leaned over to press her finger into the back of mom’s hand as I was holding it. The white spot she pressed into mom’s skin didn’t flush back to pink. One of us asked someone to go get Lizbeth from the chair-cot in the waiting room. At twelve thirty-four am on Valentine’s Day, my mom, Alma Lurlene Madsen, took her last breath. My sister and I were holding her hands, I was stroking her hair with my other hand, my father was holding onto her shoulder, and others were crowded around the bed, some reaching out to touch her legs. She was not alone. She was surrounded by love. She finally let go. I felt her leave. There was a sudden, soft rush of energy through my hands as her spirit went to greet the loved ones that had gone before her. As nurse Natalie, who had been watching her vitals from the nurse’s station, came in, I told her mom was gone before she made it past the foot of the bed. Natalie listened for a heartbeat, then confirmed what I had already said out loud. My mother’s life was over. Barbara Karnes, a hospice nurse and author, wrote that the dying still maintain some awareness of what’s going on around them, that a protective parent might deliberately wait until their child leaves the room before letting go to spare them the pain of their passing. I think she was right. Mom knew that some of us needed to be there. I had promised to hold her hand and make sure she was not alone in her final moments, but she didn’t want it to be a spectacle. I feel that she waited until the crowd had thinned, until there were just a few of us there to bear witness. She wanted a little more privacy, not just for her final moments, but also for our grief. My mom is gone. The world seems dimmer without her light. To lose a parent is to have one of the cornerstones of your foundation ripped out from under you. Before I even had conscious thought, she was there. Even in utero I could hear the hum of her voice through her body before I heard any other sounds in the world. Yet, somehow, I must grieve and learn to carry on without her. I am not certain that grief ever “gets better”. How could it? If you cherish their memory, you will always feel pain over their absence. Sometimes the burden is heavier than others, but I think we just get used to carrying it. On the days when it’s hard, when I struggle just to get out of bed and face a world without my momma, her memory is what lifts me up. If she could face each day, so can I. I have to, to honor her. I must roll over, put my feet on the floor, and stand up. I know it will be hard, but I just focus on breathing in and out. Some of the task before me will be taxing. Sometimes I will want to give up. My mom taught me not too, though, leading by example. So, I will go on, as she did, fighting every step of the way if need be. Of all the lessons my mom taught me, her last was the greatest, and I hope I can manage to manifest it in myself. Like the Chinese Proverb, “Get knocked down seven times, stand up eight” she never gave up. She always climbed back to her feet. She was strong. She was brave. She was powerful even in at her weakest. She was Indomitable.
  5. I have been reading through this thread & other parts of the internet trying to put my mind at ease with what i can do. My situation at the moment is the following. I had been dating someone for about a year & a half. He always struggled to express emotions as most Men do which i understand. We had a great "Honeymoon Phase" we had fun all the time. Barely fought about anything. I had met him once i had come back to my hometown after being overseas for about 4 years. He introduced me to new people & all his friends whom all accepted me. I was so happy being in a relationship where everything was okay & minimal effort, we made sure to always have fun & be happy. Up until about February this year things started spiraling. His Father was ill & i knew it took a toll on his emotions except he was never one to talk, all his friends always said it's how he has always been & he never even spoke to them about how he was feeling. If there was a fight AT ALL he would always say "it's okay, just know this is how i am and i like to let things go instead of sharing my emotions" he said he loved me because i don't push him to do this. Hi Father passed away in February. Then things started getting even worse, i even had my own problems to deal with but i felt i can deal with them on my own as i did not want to add onto the hectic pressure he was feeling. It would not have been fair as i don't know what it is like to lose a parent. i started getting weird in the sense he stopped giving me the attention he always used to, even before his father died. He used to send me cute messages, post photos, compliment me all of that. Before his dad died when i questioned him about these things he'd simply say " I am not dating the world, i am dating you & you should understand that just because i don't talk all mushy all the time or post photos of us or anything doesn't mean i love you less" I left it there thinking everyone has a different love language. And he already said he doesn't love me any less. I knew that when tough situations arises he was the type to isolate himself. I mad a big mistake the day of his father's memorial. We had a mutual friend there. He said i suppose just out of being nice to her he told her she looked cute that day. I immediately felt insecure cause he barely told me for some time that i am cute or pretty. Hell he used to say those things all the time. I had then told him it hurt my feelings, however i regret even getting upset over something so valid yet trivial. ON THE DAY OF HIS FATHERS MEMORIAL. How could i be so stupid. Things just we weird for some time after that even though i did apologize i don't think it sufficed. Then March came, the 12th was his Birthday (It was a Thursday). That day we weren't chatting a lot on Whats app. I however knew i was gonna see him that night as we got together as a group of friends to celebrate his birthday. Because he was being so sour with me on that day I was actually quite rude. He could see i was upset and i clearly expressed it. He asked me what was wrong & my response was " What's wrong with you?" He answered by saying " If i have to explain to you that i am going through a difficult time then i don't want to" We still got to the place we met his friends & I didn't look at him or speak to him at all. I was upset in front of everyone ON HIS BIRTHDAY which was so so so wrong. We had quite a big fight but went out elsewhere afterwards & it seemed a bit better cause we had a short chat in the car. The next day being a Friday he didn't speak to me AT ALL. I thought we resolved what happened but obviously not. I kept on asking if we can just talk & he just kept on saying he has nothing to say. Later that day i asked him if he still loved me he said "yes". I went to bed next to him with his back turned to me wondering if i should even hold him or not & what should i do because i have really messed this up. The next morning being Saturday we were meeting up with friends to celebrate his birthday further. He had gotten up & i was crying a lot because i felt so guilty about what i did. He saw me crying and asked me "Why are you crying" I told him because i messed up so bad & I don't know how to fix it. He looked at me & said "I have already moved on from what happened & so should you" I thought well okay. Seems like we can just forget that, i did't want to because i am a fixer, i like to fix things knowing it's been spoken about & resolved. But because from the very beginning he always told me he doesn't like being pushed i left it, I went to have a shower & just before I did i said please forgive me and hold me. He just kept saying "I don't want you to keep apologizing, i just want you to also have a good day" I agreed with that & said I also want to have a good day. We went & it was quite a good day. That night we got to bed & he was still so so distant, I sat up and tried to speak & apologize again. I said to him i understand he is going through a tough time but all i ever ask for is just some love & attention like in the beginning. I said if you could just tell me now & again that i actually mean something to you the i would not have reason to act this way. Sunday came we had lunch with his family. Monday came i went home as i had work & so did he (we only saw each other on weekends). I had typed out a message on my phone's notepad i wanted to send to him that night. It was just me saying how happy i am we are able to still stand strong through difficult times & i will work o how i was & how poorly i acted over the past few days. I told him i am sorry & i am glad we can get through it. I wanted to send it to him when he got home after work.Monday nigh he still managed to say things are looking up & it will be okay, he said he loved me that said good night. I ended up not sending the message i typed out on the notepad as he said it's all okay? I though well let me not carry on talking about what happened. He said it's fine so i believe him. Tuesday came we chatted a bit the morning, by the time i got home he messaged me to come outside & broke up with me saying that the recent fight have changed his feelings towards me & that's just how he feels. I didn't beg or plead, I felt emotionless in that moment. The only thing i could say was people fight & things happen when there is pressure & all he could say is he's seen this pattern before & he can't change how i feel i need to accept it etc. I got out of his car & the only thing i could say was "have a good night" The next morning I sent him a message asking him if we could please talk about this more thoroughly. I sent him the message I typed out on the Notepad & said I wanted to send him this but I did't because he said things are fine. He proceeded to say it's how he feels & that's it. I said then I am just asking for chance, he said he's given it to me already. Which i never understood because the fighting was only recent so this would be the first chance I am asking for? I told him to please think about it. He read the message & didn't reply. I left it for another day but my mind was spiraling. I sent a very long message the next day that was honestly so sincere trying to explain to him tat couples fight in tense times & that no real relationship is perfect & no perfect relationship is real. He proceeded to once again say it's how he feels, i need to accept it. He said after the recent events his feelings have changed & he loves me but isn't in love with me anymore. That broke me, yet i kept on trying & trying. He said we didn't talk things through when something happened but HE was always the one that never wanted to talk. Look at just the other day when he said "I have moved on from what happened & so should you". How do you push to talk about feelings if he hates being pushed & he just said that? I understand the messaging didn't help but i just couldn't understand. I told him I am trying my best. His response was "I hope i didn't make a mistake & i hope i don't fu%*ing regret it" He said " I know you are trying but I don't know what to say & i can't give you what you want" I just said to him I will give him space & i said i hope this dark cloud over him disappears & hopefully soon we can just talk about this again. I am trying to understand what to do & what i can do to win him back in the sense is it just him going through a really tough time? Did he really mean all of that?Do you think he said those things because i kept on messaging him? How could he give up if the fights were only so recent? Is the pressure too much because he is grieving? He still hasn't told any of our mutual friends because if he did the girls especially would have messaged me by now, but tomorrow (Saturday ) they are all having a BBQ, which I was invited to & if I don't pitch up & they ask why what will he say? If he tells them does it make it even more real?I am so confused because it was just two fights that happened on unfortunate days I i can't take the past back. I just want to show him I can fix it as I have learnt from it if he can just give me a chance. I did't once throw his faults in his face... I just need some advise if anyone out there can help me find my way back to him. I am sure about it. I am breaking down so much I don't know what to do. I don't want to message our mutual friends begging for help because it would push hi away even more if he found out. Please... help me.
  6. This is a question about grief and a close friend’s behaviour that’s really troubling me. I am a woman in my late thirties, I lost my father to a prolonged illness a month back. My mother passed more than decade back. I have had a really close male friend who’s been one of my closest friends for many years. We are both in our late thirties and have been friends for twenty years. He himself has lost both his parents in recent years, and through my father’s illness has provided a listening ear and emotional support to me. He wasn’t at my dad’s funeral as he lives in another city, but 4 days later, came down to be with me over the weekend. I was still in a bit of a daze, and was largely busy sorting through my father’s belongings etc. but spent evenings with my friend, prioritising him over other relatives etc., who also wanted to meet with me. I was grateful that he came down to be with me, but wasn’t quite myself so soon after it had happened. We talked about both our parents, loss etc. and also about other general, somewhat silly stuff. Towards the end of his visit, we had (to my mind), some very frivolous, silly banter about his dating life (he’s single and looking). He hugged me and left, but called me on the phone a while later. To my utter shock, he shouted at me, as something I had said had touched a raw nerve somewhere. I was so shocked by the sudden change in his tone and the fact that he would yell at me while I was mourning my Dad, that I broke down on the phone, told him I couldn’t talk about this at the moment and kept the phone down, but not before hearing him say “yeah whatever”. It totally broke me. Later that night, I sent him a couple of messages expressing how I felt shocked at his behaviour and that I couldn’t believe he would yell at me at such a time, about something so trivial and obviously frivolous. He never responded to it. It’s now been over a month and I have heard absolutely nothing from this friend. I’m not only deeply grieving my father, but also confused, angry and deeply hurt about his behaviour, as I simply cannot understand why someone whom I considered one of my closest friends for over two decades would abandon me at a time like this. I simply don’t understand his behaviour. Am I missing something here? Should I just consider the friendship over? Have I done something obviously wrong? Surely, I don’t deserve to be treated like this?
  7. Hello everyone, To those seeing this who are grieving, who are lost, who need comfort - I send love and light. Most people, like myself, find this place during hard times and that’s ok, because it means we are not alone. My mother passed away over a month ago and her death has devastated me like nothing before. I’m shattered, lost and not myself. My heart and soul are broken and the person I was when she was alive is not who I see and feel now. Everything is different and the pain, the numbness, the lack of connection, hope, clarity, peace and all is the by far, the worst experience of my life. In particular, it’s affecting my relationship, with a person I thought was absolutely “The One.” We haven’t been together long, but had a long friendship pre-relationship and the quality of our connection if unspeakably deep and true. When Mom was alive, she and I were unstoppable. We were inseparable. It was so right. Now, I don’t feel any love, any connection, any thing. I want to be alone and I don’t want to have to care of anyone. The pressure of having to take care of her and be a decent human being is hurting me further. I hate myself for letting her down and for not being able to give her what she deserves. I’m not being mean, or harmful, just sad, just distant and not present. God knows, she deserves better than what I can give now and better than who I am now. And in truth, I am not the same and will never be the same. Before I ask what I came here to ask, a bit about my Mom and I and why this loss hurts so much so. Mom raised me. I never met my father. She never brought me around me, ever. I have no siblings. We were quite poor and she suffered from massive anxiety issues. As a child, I knew I had to stop up and take care of her. I did that. I became an adult way too soon. When I was 12, Mom started having heart and lung problems. In a nutshell, I spent my twenties and thirties taking care of her. You’re talking a million days in the hospital, so much work at her place, you can’t imagine. I was a caregiver and that turned me into a perpetual giver. I take care of people and have never had anyone to take care of me. Mom gave all she could, but she couldn’t take care of me like she wished. Needless to say, I have trouble with letting people in. But I am infinitely kind and loving. I try damn hard to be a good soul. I feel so far away from my partner now. I love her. But I want to be alone and feel that I’d heal better and find peace better if I were alone, without the responsibility of loving and living with my partner. What are your experiences with this? What do you all think I should do? Any signs I should look out for? Thank you all. Wishing you love, peace, presence, good energy and all your hopes and dreams. Love from NYC HeartbrokenJ
  8. We lost our Little Bear on Monday. She was a dear little girl, only 10 years old and she came down with an illness we were never able to definitively identify after two vets and many visits. Repeated blood tests were normal. X-rays revealed nothing. The best they could tell us was "cognitive canine disorder" similar to Alzheimers in adults. She didn't appear to be in any pain, but this once joy-filled little dog that was so full of love and zest for life no longer wagged her tail at all, or enjoyed anything she used to...she just slept and ate. It broke our hearts to see her like this. She had the heart of a puppy and had always met us with wiggles and wags--like she hadn't seen us in a week, even when we'd only been gone five minutes. She often laid next to us, but was like a little toddler...never wanting to be held, always wanting to play. For the last couple of months she barely lifted her head when we came home. She slept on our chests for hours at a time, snuggling under our chin and pressing her check to our lips for kisses. Our son suffers from a medical condition and she has been the light in his life through the years of struggles he's faced. He was devastated watching her decline and we took her to multiple vets looking for an answer. She started to become confused, staring at the carpet and walls, seemed to forget how to drink so we mixed water in with food we cooked and prepared at home. The last vet we took her to said she could live for a long time like this and he was sorry he couldn't do anything more. He was grateful she was eating and said that was the main concern. He said this was the new normal for her and we would never have the dog back that we once had. It was hard to hear that but it helped us move forward and let go of pouring hundreds and hundreds of dollars we didn't have into tests that didn't reveal anything. He gave us medicine to try for the cognitive disorder but we didn't see a difference, she was still on it when we lost her. It was hard to think of her living like this for years, but we also couldn't bear to put her to sleep since she didn't appear to be in pain. I did research on canine cognitive disorder and read one source that said dogs with CCD lived longer than dogs without it, one possible reason being that they visited the vet more often. We missed our joy-filled Little Bear but we realized this was going to be our new normal and we were going to love her just as much and make her as comfortable as possible. We had deaths in our extended family over the past two years that were untimely and devastating, and in the wake of those deaths, we accepted an invite to go on vacation with our extended family. For months we planned a once in a lifetime vacation. It gave those grieving something to focus on and look forward to. In the meantime, Little Bear started showing symptoms, and was diagnosed with CCD. We hated the thought of leaving her to go on vacation. She had always come with us but it would be impossible for her to make this trip. Since she wasn't in pain we thought she would be okay if we left her in the care of a trusted family member who lives a few hours away and who is nurturing and loving. We pictured them snuggled for hours together. She had always loved going to their home since she was a puppy and knew them by name. We knew this was the best place she could be while we were gone. We were gone two weeks. We missed her everyday and couldn't wait to get home to pick her up. Our son said over and over again how much he couldn't wait to see her. We felt the same way. There were several sick people that we were exposed to on our way home from vacation and our son and I picked something up...by the evening of our return, we were both sick. I didn't want to expose the couple who watched Little Bear to whatever we had, so my husband made the trip to pick her up alone. That night, I Face-timed him and saw Little Bear sleeping on his chest. I couldn't wait to hold her again and tell her how much I love her. But that night, the unthinkable happened. The couple had been letting Little Bear out on their fenced in and gated deck to go to the bathroom. They felt it was less confusing for her than going in the grass and said they just rinsed the deck off after she went to the bathroom. So that night, my husband let her out on the deck. The deck wraps around two sides of their house. There are several bird feeders on the deck and in the past, we've seen raccoons at the feeders at night. There haven't been raccoons there in a couple of years, but my husband didn't know this. As our Little Bear paced for a place to go to the bathroom on the deck, my husband decided to make sure there weren't any raccoons lurking around the corner of the deck that might surprise her. He walked around the side of the deck to make sure the feeder was clear and it was. When he turned back around, Little Bear was gone. He said he couldn't have looked away for more than 7 seconds. It was raining hard. He quickly looked around the deck and she was no where to be found. He thought she may have walked through the slats of the deck so he jumped the gate and ran to the area below the deck. They have a walkout basement and it would've been a 10 foot fall for her. He looked all around and couldn't find her. He yelled for help and the couple watching her brought flashlights and called the sheriff. Within 1-2 minutes of her disappearing, three people with flashlights were looking for her. Under bushes, through the lawn, behind flowerpots and under cars. They live in a rural area with woods and ravine. The sheriff and my husband searched the hill and ravine. The drove the neighborhood and searched the properties of the surrounding homes. Neighbors joined the search. It was pitch dark and after two hours of looking in the rain, they called off the search. My husband and a couple people looked again in the morning. They never found her. My husband called me with the news the morning after she disappeared. When I assured him it wasn't his fault, he broke down crying like I've only heard him cry once before in over two decades of marriage. I could imagine the panic he had gone through and my heart broke for him. I felt in my heart she had died and that there was nothing more he could do to find her. There are numerous coyotes in the area and owls. I felt in the seven seconds my husband was checking for raccoons, an animal took her. I couldn't imagine her pushing through slats on the fence and falling over the side and no one finding her. They were searching with flashlights within a couple minutes, the only delay being that my husband started looking even before that, without a flashlight, while he called for help. Little Bear had been so weak and tired. When she came up against an obstacle, whether furniture or a wall, she would stop and stare at it, or turn around and start pacing. But now I can't stop thinking. What if she pushed through the slats and fell off the deck? I know they looked for hours and hours for her. Surely they would've found her? But maybe they missed a spot I would've found her in. I can't imagine what happened to her. I can't sleep at night thinking of where she might be or how she died. She was such a loving dog. The most loving dog I have ever known. She deserved so much better than this. I feel like I failed her. When we left her to go on vacation we knew she had CCD, but we thought she would live for years. While we were gone, the couple watching her said she declined even further but they didn't want us to know because we were out of the country and couldn't have gotten back any sooner. They said she seemed to lose her hearing completely and her eyesight was worse. She bumped into things. Would run into their legs and act like she was caught and couldn't get out. She paced constantly and only laid down when she was exhausted--but never let them hold her. The snuggling I had imagined never happened with them. How it breaks my heart to think of her anxious heart. Was she wondering where we went? My husband cried and told me he didn't want to tell me but when he got to the couple's house, Little Bear didn't know who he was. She didn't want him to hold her. I told him I saw her laying on his chest when we Face-timed but he said that was the only time she let him hold her. I keep thinking, what if I hadn't gotten sick and I'd gone with my husband to pick her up? Enough of the events of that night would've changed and she wouldn't have disappeared. Maybe I would've let her out in the grass. Or let her out earlier and an animal wouldn't have gotten her. Or I could've held her and told her l loved her and then when she went out that night she wouldn't have run away. She would've felt warm and safe. Was she afraid when she tried to get off the deck? Was she looking for us? Looking for cover from something that scared her? Looking for the car so she could go home? Was she just disoriented and she walked through the slats? Did she push her way through? But if she pushed her way through, the drop was ten feet. Wouldn't they have found her? Then it had to be an animal. An owl? A coyote? I don't know what happened to her! Seven seconds and she vanished. What if I had gone down to look for her the next day? Maybe if she had fallen off the deck I could've found her. But hours upon hours had been spent looking for her and I believed she was gone. Now I lay awake at night and am tormented during the day thinking what if...what if she is still out there? What if I could have found her but instead she died in the rain? Afraid and alone. If you think I could've done more, please don't tell me. I can't bear it. I didn't tell our kids or anyone else what really happened. Everyone knows how sick she was with CCD. We are telling people she died overnight before my husband could bring her home. No one has questioned that she died overnight or how she died. She was a shell of her former self. We can never tell our kids what really happened. Because of our son's medical condition, the stress of hearing the devastating news of how she disappeared could actually affect his health and we don't want to take the risk. He would wonder, as we do, is she still out there suffering in the woods? Did an animal take her and she died that way? No matter how we look at it, she died a terrible death or is dying one now. She was a tiny thing...less than ten pounds. I can't imagine she is still alive. And yet I wonder. And my heart breaks for her. I just can't stand the thought of her being out there. The couple that watched her thinks we are terrible for not telling our kids and have told us that repeatedly. They feel we are putting them in a position of lying. We tell them we just aren't sharing all the facts. We believe she has died. What good will come from sharing about her disappearing? We are tormented as adults. What would knowing the circumstances do to our kids except torment them as well? Risk our son's health? Our daughter has cried until her eyes are practically swollen shut. Right now they believe she is gone, died from causes they haven't even asked about because they saw her decline. In their minds they know why she died without us saying a word. A dog friend is buried on the couple's property. They think she is buried next to him and that is the one fact we made up. But she is probably on the property somewhere. She will never come home and that breaks all of our hearts. We had to provide an explanation for that and the kids never questioned it...only cried that they wished she would've died at home so should could be buried here. It is a burden not to be able to share my torment with anyone. It's why I'm writing this. The couple that watched her and my husband are the only ones that know the anguish of how she was lost. The couple makes me feel bad every time I've talked to them because they keep telling me I'm lying and they feel it's the wrong thing not to tell the kids she vanished and we don't know where she is exactly or how she died, or even if she is really dead. I can't imagine she isn't. There are only a handful of neighbors spread out over acres and acres of woods. And my husband's heart is broken enough without me telling him how upset I am not knowing where she is. He always took such good care of her. Stood outside with her every time she went to the bathroom in our yard, and we live in a suburban area. He was always afraid a coyote or hawk might get her. He spent seven seconds checking for raccoons so they didn't harm her, he turned around, and she was gone. My poor husband. He is devastated. I can't tell friends because I'm too afraid someone will slip up and say something. I am going to take the circumstances of her death to my grave. Except here. I'm thankful that here I can share what happened with strangers...strangers who are somehow more than that because they know the grief of losing a pet they love. Our children are out of the home at the moment and it's the first time I've been able to really break down and cry about the terrible way she left us. I've read about dogs going off to die. Maybe she did that. But if she did, I believe it was because she was afraid and confused, not to spare our feelings. I just can't believe she is gone. And I can't believe she left this way. We owed her more than this. I wish I could go back and give her a comfortable transition...put her to sleep in my arms. Warm and safe in her own home. I looked into that option so I would be prepared if the time ever came. Prepared to have someone come to our house, versus taking her to the vet to be put to sleep. I wanted her to feel as loved and safe as possible if and when the time came. I thought she would live for years. Content. Not happy--as much as we wanted that for her. Not in pain. But content eating and sleeping and being loved by her family for several more years. I thought confusion is no reason to put her to sleep. The vets never even suggested it. They were happy she was eating. They said CCD is fairly common and we just needed to know that she won't be the same as she was before. But I think it may have been something else. Something they missed. How else could she have declined so rapidly? We will never know but I wish with all my heart that we could go back in time and spare her this terrible ending to her precious life. I just hope and pray she is already free from the confines of her body. That she went as quickly and as painlessly as possible. That somehow she was at peace when she passed. And I'm crying again because I know our sweet little bear didn't go peacefully in the rain on the dark night she vanished. Dear God, please help me bear this pain. Please, I pray, may our Little Bear be with you now. I am thankful for the gift that she was in our lives. I'm thankful to anyone who made it to the end of this post with compassion in their hearts for the pain we are in. If no one did, it still helped my heart to write it. May all who are grieving be blessed with peace. And if you are reading this, may you remember the blessing of the time you were able to share with those you love.
  9. Grief sure seems to make a lot of people worse...more narcissistic, more crazy, more of whatever they are. I had a friend named Wayne, who was a gifted ceramicist and painter. He was also a fighter pilot in Vietnam and the agent orange and jet fuel exposure he got from decades flying and training pilots caught up with him via cancer, and the second bout killed him in early Dec 2018. He was a sweetheart of a man and had many friends. After his military retirement he devoted himself to art and was very prolific. He had a ceramic studio in a trailer he owned, took classes at the community college, and was very involved in many aspects of the art community. He was also very active at the community rec center, where he exercised regularly. He was friendly, kind, generous, and many people loved him. It was heartbreaking to us all to see him decline suddenly and die. I met Wayne at the community college in ceramics classes, and also saw him at the rec center, and we talked about all kinds of things when we saw each other and texted when we didn't. I loved him, as did a lot of people. At the college, there is a clique of middle aged and older women who have been working in clay for a long time. They socialize together to the exclusion of "new" women artists, but draw in new men, and seem to fawn on them. This sort of thing exists all over the place. You know what I mean... So this group is like a little bully clique at the college. The classes have beginning, intermediate, and advanced students all together, and so there are students who have been there for many years, who work on their own thing, socialize, and sometimes help the less experienced. The man who has taught ceramics at the college for many years - let's call him Tim - has tolerated the bullying in his class for the six years I have been involved there - and no doubt before that. I try to keep my head down, work on my projects, and stay out of their way, which is difficult, because they make demeaning comments and literally push people out of their way. They seem to see themselves as a "top tier" of privileged students who can boss and demean the rest. I usually do hand-building, but decided to give the wheel another try this semester because there is a new teacher, who is an amiable young man who is quite skilled. While Tim has been impatient with my repeated attempts to try to learn on the wheel, the new teacher has tried hard to derive ways to teach me what has alluded me. This is great, but it has been frustrating. Since I am rather relentless, I keep at it on the wheel. Meanwhile, the bullying has intensified in the presence of the new young teacher and since Wayne's death. Wayne had tons of stuff related to clay...finished wares, partially finished wares, clay, tools, glazes, chemicals, kilns, wheels, and so on. Apparently the same is true with his painting things. His son said at his memorial that he really wanted to give as much os Wayne's tools, wares, and so on to Wayne's friends. He as asked repeatedly didn't he want to be paid or have the money to to something, and the son kept insisting that he believed his dad would have loved his pieces and tools go to his friends and people who loved him and his work. But the bully clique descended and things got ugly. The son was in town early this week and the word went around the clique in whispers. I heard this and contacted his son, who encouraged me to come out to the trailer and he would give me a few or Wayne's pieces, which I did. When I got there the whole bully clique was there and they were nasty. One greeted me with, "did you come to pick or help?" I tried to avoid them and talk to his son and look at the trailer and it's contents, which was overwhelming, even after two days of it being picked over and hauled off. These women decided that that they should get all of the stuff together and sell it, and set up a scholarship in Wayne's name at the college. I had heard about this at the college and that they had tried to badger anyone who had anything of Wayne's to pay them for it. So, out at the trailer I talked to his son privately, about his dad, his work, and so on. He offered me some pieces and several times came over to me with a bowl or mugs I hadn't seen, asking me if I would like them. I ended up with four bowls, three mugs and a couple of other odd pieces. When I was walking to the car one of these women was following me, yelling my name. I ignored her, but she pursued me to my car where I couldn't avoid her anymore. She told me, "if you took anything you need to pay for it" and explained what they were doing. I told her that Wayne's son had been very clear about his wishes and how he felt about his father. She went on some thing about how the scholarship was taking things "full circle" and didn't I want things to go full circle. I ignored her and went back to the son, asking him if he wanted me to pay him or these women. He said, "No, no, I want you to have them and it is not my intention for you to pay for them". I told him what this woman had said and he said, "WHO said that?" I told him and he told me to take and enjoy the pieces. So I did. Later in the day I called the college and talked to the dean about the bully pack and their horrible behavior in class. The physical intimidation, pushing, demeaning comments that go on right in front of the teacher...it has been hard to go into class knowing I will face that, and I don't think the college wants that to go on. I told her six or so of the more flagrant things, including one woman who has shoved, dragged me along with her as she walked rather than walking around me. She has also pressed up against me in a group because she wanted the spot where I was and I couldn't move other because other people were standing in a tight group listening to the teacher. So she would stand there, pressed up against me, so I could feel her breast and whatnot against me. Ewww... I have not been silent in class, but protest, with no impact. She also goes up to the sink when I am using it and puts a bucket between the spigot and my hands to fill it, and if I say anything says, "I am just taking your runoff", which of course would be below my hands and not above. Another woman was particularly nasty to me one day (the same one who chased me to my car) and I said to her, "do you have kids?" "Yes, she said". I then asked her, "do you know I'm not one of them?" "Yes", she said. "That's good!" I said cheerfully and with enthusiasm. So, none of this had had any impact, which is why I went to the dean. She was sympathetic and understanding, saying that the new teacher was an adjunct faculty and probably felt uncertain about how to handle the situation, which he had really inherited from Tim. She also said that she had taken a class with Tim a year or so ago, and had been bullied in Tim's class in front of Tim, even though she was the dean. She said she would talk to him and possibly pay a visit to the class. I was late to class yesterday because I work two hours away and sometimes it's hard to get out early. When I got to class, the teacher seemed to be a little tense but didn't say anything - just body language, like a tensed jaw. The class seemed subdued, everyone was very polite, no one was pushing anyone else around, and the three of them didn't say a word to me. That was good. I know this was kind of long, but it seems so typical in a way, of how grief intensifies dysfunction and how people can get into the most awful behaviors struggling over the stuff that a deceased person owned. It is insensitive to the bereaved and disrespectful to the deceased person, whom they supposedly loved so much.
  10. Hey guys, my mom's health is declining rapidly and I would like to start gathering some resources for myself. I am overwhelmed by the number of books you can find online. Can anyome recommend a few good one's for help with grief after death, or anticipatory grief?
  11. My baby of 8 yrs whom We spolied and loved more than ourselves was attacked & killed by another dog while boarding in a kennel facility while me & hubby were on vacation.We have no kids and he is our life!There is a huge guilt on our part.What if we didn’t leave him, what if we didn’t go on vacation, all sorts of “what if.”We’re so broken that we both can’t sleep sincecwe found out (12.22.18).We cry ourselves to sleep & wake up crying.We skipped the Christmas celebratiom as we’re both on bed and miserable.I myself can’t & won’t do anything.We haven’t gone back to work.I’ve been so depressed & can’t forgive myself!I’m still grieving for the death of my dear dad in Aug.And now this.. I can’t handle all the pain!So much emotions overwhelmed me.I don’t want to leave my bed as I can’t stand seeing the rest of the house especially our family room where he stayed for 8 yrs.We have our daily routine that haunts me every second.Please I need advice & help! Thanks!
  12. When I was 4 years old I woke to find my greatest nightmare come true. As I walked into the kitchen that day calling her name, completely unaware of the trauma that awaited me, I found her on the kitchen floor. My tiny self did not understand death and I thought she was sleeping. I tried so hard to shake her awake, but to no prevail. So I did what she did for me every night. I ran to my room and got my blanket and pillow and favorite teddy bear. It wasn't until I tried to lift her head and kiss her cheek and the hair fell off her face that I realized my life as I had known it was over. The one permanent, constant thing in my life, the one thing I thought would always be there, was now lifeless. I'm 24 now and that day still haunts me. I have blamed myself for not doing more (even though she was gone long before I had even awoken), I have blamed her for leaving me, I have hated myself and God and every one around me. I have struggle with depression, anxiety and been suicidal. 8 years later my brother was diagnosed with cancer and 8 months after that he passed. I lived through hell and fought at it's very depths to get out. Next month is the anniversary of that dreadful day but I can say now that I have truly healed. No one, NOTHING, can replace my mom. But I have found a love and a happiness I never imagined I would have again. My soul still aches from the sting of her death and I still shed a lot of tears. This anniversary is hitting me harder than I expected. I can't help but think of all the things she has missed. And I wish more than anything that she could see me now. My heart will forever be broken from losing her. But I hope to always live as someone she would be proud of. I'm grateful for the examples of the people in this forum and my heart hurts for those who are hurting too. But I promise you are not alone and I promise that while your loss will never go away, the pain will dull and you may even find yourself smiling again one day - I did. As part of my healing and my gratitude for the strength I have been given to endure, I started an initiative called The Mom Effect. It is a space and community where we can come together to be what each other needs. I am a firm believer that we can heal eachother. That I hold the missing pieces of someone else's heart in my hands as they do mine. No one can replace what you have lost, but so many people understand that kind of hurt and can give to you what you are missing. I have also started a blog about my healing and the things I've learned. I'm not trying to solicit but do hope that my experiences can help someone else who is enduring their own hell in this very moment. passionateponderings.com @themomeffect
  13. Hi Everyone - My Dad passed away one week ago today. He had liver cirrhosis which lead to liver failure. I have known for 3+ years that this would eventually kill him. It was a very slow, painful, and difficult process to watch my Dad - the strongest man I've ever known, end up in the state he did. My step-mom and I took care of him the last 6 days before his passed and were doing in-home hospice care. My Dad and I were extremely close. I've spent nearly every weekend with him since he first got sick, talked to him on the phone every other day, and now that he is gone it doesn't feel real. I was concerned my Dad was holding on so long because he didn't want me to see him die. So last Thursday I talked to him and told him I'd be back in 6 hours and that if he wanted to let go, that was OK, but if he wanted me there I'd be back. He ended up passing an hour later even though the hospice nurse said he wasn't showing the immediate signs when I left. So I didn't see him die and I never saw the body. In my mind, it's like he's still alive. The week I spent caring for him is all a blur - it feels like a bad dream that I just can't wrap my head around. I cry occasionally, but only when I'm alone and really think about what has happened. I cried hysterically when he passed but only for a few minutes then sobbed on and off that day. I started back to work on Tuesday - 4 days after he passed and everyone looks at me like I'm an alien. They all say they are shocked at how well I'm handling it, but it's just because it doesn't seem real. No one knows what to say to me and it makes me feel like I'm some sort of heartless person. My Dad was my world and the pain of knowing he isn't here any longer will hit me harder than anything before, but it's like my brain won't let me figure that out. It's just like any other day and I think I'm freaking people out by not showing my devastation. I'm getting married in two months and I had everything planned out with my Dad - how we'd walk down the isle, the song we'd dance to, a photo montage to play in case he couldn't dance, he even had his outfit picked out - this should be completely devastating to me, but for some reason I can't wrap my head around it. I feel sort of dead inside and like I'm just a robot going through the motions of life - burying my Dad's death deep within me so it doesn't actually hurt. It's so confusing.
  14. Easter is almost here, and I'm missing my mom and dad so much. Mom died April 12 last year, and was buried on Good Friday. She never had the chance to open the special Easter basket my brother and SIL fixed for her that had the sonogram of her new grandbaby, a beautiful, precious boy born on December 4. We were supposed to spend Easter as a family at Oschner in New Orleans, but she passed away instead. I hate cancer. It has wrecked so many lives. My dad was heartbroken and we think her sudden death contributed to his. He had COPD, diabetes, and other health issues, but his heart was broken. We tried to mend it, but couldn't. I still feel so guilty for not forcing him to go to the doctor. Maybe they could have saved him. All the joy has been sucked out of my life, and I feel so alone right now. My sister and her husband live up in Selmer, Tennessee, and my brother and SIL live over in Hattiesburg. With my parents gone, I feel like I don't have a family anymore. We are getting together for Easter, but in a few days, everyone will go back home, and I will be alone again in an empty house. I wish the pain would go away. But what I really want is my parents back. I know God isn't punishing me, but sometimes it feels like he is. Thanks for listening, TeasingGeorgia
  15. Hello. I’m very new here, and I don’t know where to begin except to say that I’m heartbroken. I apologize in advance if this post is long. A lot of terrible things happened to me, and there aren’t many places I can be myself and just talk about my feelings. My mother died suddenly and unexpectedly on April 12, 2017 at Ochsner of acute myeloid leukemia. It happened less than two weeks after her ENT initially suspected that she had cancer. None of us, not even mom herself, knew she sick, as she was so vibrant and active. It was devastating. She was truly the heart of our family. She and my father were married 51 years, and while Dad didn’t talk about the loss much, we all knew he was heartbroken. My father died February 13. I was living with him so I could take care of him after Mom passed away. Dad suffered from a lot of heath problems, including COPD, emphysema, diabetes, and an enlarged heart. He was very dependent on Mom, and I picked up where she left off the best I could, seeing that he took his meds, getting his meals ready, getting his CPAC and bed ready at night, etc. But I failed in my duties as a caretaker. I could have saved him. Dad has always had difficulty breathing, and around Thanksgiving, his feet began to swell. My sister and I noticed and offered to take him to the doctor. But he refused. As much as we loved him, he was a very stubborn man who refused to go to the doctor unless he needed his prescriptions refilled. By Christmas, his feet were looking really terrible, and his breathing was worse. My brother, sister, and I were begging him to go to the doctor. But he still refused, insisting that he was ok. What he did do was let me fix an Epsom salt soak for his feet. But the swelling didn’t go away. So I went behind his back and set up an appointment with his doctor for January 2. But the weather was terrible at the time, and he told me that it was too cold to go to the doctor and to cancel the appointment. His 6 month appointment was February 5, so I respected his wishes and cancelled it, making sure to keep the 2/5 appointment. On February 2, his CPAC machine broke. He told me to take a look at it, but I had no idea how to fix it, so I took it to Thrift Home Care (the local supplier for O2 and breathing supplies). I filled out the paperwork and was told that he would need a prescription from his doctor to get a new one. I took this as good news because it meant he couldn’t get out of going to the doctor this time. He would have to see the doctor whether he wanted to or not. We rode out a very rough weekend without his CPAC. He was going through 2 tanks of O2 a day, and I begged him to let me take him to the ER. My sister was calling twice a day, begging him to go. My brother was using pictures of his new grandson (his namesake) as leverage, begging him to go. But he refused to go and said he was right where he wanted to be. Sunday night, he even pulled a stunt trying to get out of going to the doctor on 2/5. He said, “I want you to call the doctor Monday, and get the prescription for me. Then I won’t have to go.” I informed him it doesn’t work that way, so if he wanted a new machine, he’d have to go whether he liked it or not. So on February 5, we went to the doctor as scheduled. I described all his symptoms: his difficulty breathing, his swollen feet, leaning over in his chair, falling asleep in his chair, etc. She suspected congestive heart failure and ran some tests. Then she set him up for a 2/15 appointment with a heart specialist. I also told her he needed a new CPAC, and she wrote the prescription. Dad was happy because he was ready for his CPAC. After dropping Dad off at home, I went to Thrift with the prescription, but they told me they didn’t have everything ready yet. They were waiting for Medicare and other paperwork. They gave me more O2, and I went home. Dad got crabby with me because he was expecting to get his CPAC right then so he could take a nice long nap. On February 6, Dad stumbled getting out of bed and wanted me to stay home with him (I am a school librarian). So I took the day and sat with Dad. All day I begged him to let me take him to the ER. My sister and brother were calling and begging him to get to the doctor. My aunt (his sister) begged him to go. But he would not go. We told him that if we called 911, an ambulance would come for him and he wouldn’t even have to get out of his chair. But he said he didn’t need an ambulance. I asked him if he wanted me to call my uncle (his BIL), or his best friend. But he said no, he was OK. On February 7, he finally got his new CPAC and had a great night’s sleep. We got the results of the tests and found he didn’t have congestive heart failure. For the first time in a week, I got a good night’s sleep, too. But things fell apart. His feet were still swollen, and he was still groggy, falling asleep in his chair. I was still begging him to let me take him to the doctor, but he just wouldn’t go. He slept until 2:30 on Saturday. He did NOT sleep well without his CPAC and thought I was helping him by letting him sleep in. My aunt called and hollered at me when she found out I was letting him sleep that late. She told me I was the most cowardly, irresponsible adult she had ever met, that I needed to grow up, take responsibility, and call an ambulance. I did NOT need to hear that after the week I’d just been through getting the new machine and hung up on her. Dad woke up, grouchy as a bear because his sleep had been disturbed, and I told him it was nearly 3 in the afternoon. After church on Sunday, I fed him meatloaf and green beans, meal he normally loved, and he just picked at it. This concerned me, and I asked if he wanted me to call an ambulance or someone to come over. He said he was OK and was going to hold out for the doctor’s appointment he had on Thursday. On Monday, April 12, I prepped the library for some visiting VIPs, got him a happy for Valentine’s Day, and went home to fix him dinner. He said he wanted ravioli, so I fixed that for him. He ate every bite while we watched Women’s Snowboarding and the Men’s Super G. He kept telling me how much he loved me, and I told him how much I loved him, too. Around 10PM, I got his bed and CPAC ready, and he got up for bed. He stumbled a little, and I asked him was he sure he didn’t want me to call someone, and he said no, as always. When he got to the bathroom, I curled up with a cheesy romance novel. I heard him bump around in the bathroom and asked if he wanted some help, and he said no, he just wanted to go to bed. So what did I do but curl up with that stupid, cheesy romance novel again and settle down for the night. I woke up at 2:30 with a strange feeling. I checked on Dad, and he was sleeping. I was glad he was going to let me take him to the doctor on Thursday. And what did I do but lay back down and go to sleep. I woke up at 5:45, got up and ready for work like I always did. I fixed Dad coffee, poured his orange juice, set out his meds, and even put out a slice of king cake for him as a treat because it was Mardi Gras. I looked in on Dad, but didn’t wake him up, then I left for work. I wish I had stayed home. I wish I had just called 911 and dealt with him later. My aunt called me at work because he wouldn’t answer the phone. I left ASAP and went straight home to find that he had passed away in bed and had been lying there while I was at work. I am such a miserable failure as a caretaker. I should have done a better job and never left his side for even a second. I know my aunt blames me for his death, and I feel like the rest of the family does, too. All I want is to be buried next to my parents. I’m sorry I failed you, Dad, and Mom, I’m sorry I didn’t take care of him. Please forgive me. I will love you both forever and wish I was good enough to see you again. Thank you for listening, TeasingGeorgia
  16. My girlfriend broke up with me recently on 10/30/2017 we had a great relationship and were the same page. She has two kids and told me her kids are her life. I accepted them and we started going out together. The kids are 2 and 5 one days she was on her way to visit me and she was running late. She was in a car accident someone t boned her on the driver side my girlfriend suffered major broken bones and her daughter was killed in the accident. I’ve been there for her since the beginning. She wanted me there with her at the hospital she even wanted me with her when they took her daughter out of life support. I knew it was going to be hard and I will have to be patient. She recently broke up with me almost a month since the accident. She told me that she felt like she can’t be in a relationship right now and that everytime she sees me it reminds me of that fact that she was on her way to visit me the day that she lost her daughter she said she thought I was being pushy that she not blaming me but she can’t help it that it’s wrong and that she can’t show me the love I deserve or need because of that thought. Ever since then I just left her alone I did write to her but did not get a response. I don’t know what to do I don’t k kw if there might be a way I can get back with her. We both were in love with each other and I still am but don’t know what I should do please help me and advise would help thank you This is what she wrote to me the day of the breakup. I know you're there for me. But I can't open up to you. I just can't, I know you've done all these things for me and I'm highly appreciative. But I don't think that I'm in a position right now to have a relationship. The person I love the most is gone. My daughter is gone. And I lost her on my way to your house. When you were being pushy and needed me there at a certain time you're always so pushy. And I'm not blaming you. But every time I look at you I think about that. It's not right. It's wrong. But I can't help it. I don't want you to be angry. But I can't do this. I can't give you or show you the love you deserve. I'm numb. I hope that you can please understand. I really need some room to breathe. My life seems so surreal. Everyday is getting worse. I miss my daughter so much. All the love I have is for my kids. I don't have anything left of me.
  17. On the outside I am very successful. I have a good job , nice home and kids who live away and are doing well and a nice boyfriend who likes to spend time with me . Yet I feel so alone in the world. There is a deep sadness that shows up on Sunday afternoons that reminds me of all the losses my dad who died suddenly when I was 9 years old my mom 2years ago and now my dog that lived for almost 15 years. I see mothers and daughter andpeoplewithfamily a foam so jealous that I never got to experience family peace. One of four children we barely talk we were never close. I have tried mindfulness exercise writing etc and that feeling never goes and nooner really understands. I think if maybe I could connect with others in a similar place it might help me heal. I am totally open to any kind of support. Thanks so much
  18. Worse days are coming.. I was put in such a situation where I had to rehome my beloved dog.. Because of my finances I worried that something would happen to her and we wouldn't be able to afford it. That is enough to bring someone to tears alone.. Here's where it takes a turn for the worse.. My dad just lost his job. If he doesn't get a new one in 3 months we will lose the house. On top of this my worst fear is coming true.. My dog is now walking with a limp. She can't put any weight on it. It's her birthday today. This is literally bringing me to tears right now. If I give her to a rescue what if she needs a surgery and they don't have the resources for it and they have to put her down? I feel so guilty and hurt because the one year of my mom passed and it was rough but I was going to get through it. People reopened old wounds by apologizing to me when I was rehoming her. They were trying to be kind but all it did was remind me of what I had lost and what I went through. I was coping but it was still hard Now by Christmas/New Year's I might be homeless and my dog might be dead or alone and scared thinking we abandoned her. The agony of it is ripping my heart to shreds. I haven't cried this hard in months. I hope a kind rescue will be sympathetic and help me but I just. I just don't know. This stuff always happens at once and it's hard and magnifies my grief. It feels so hopeless and it's horrible knowing thst you can't take care of your pets. I just don't know what to do. I hope she finds a good home but it was hard enough when she was healthy. I attracted pretty much every nut and dog flipper that has made these past two weeks hell, of horrible meet and greets and suspicious behavior. People wasting my time about her. People asking nosy questions then disappearing. People on the DO NOT ADOPT list. It has been beyond stressful and each blow brings me back every bit of progess I have made over the year. Each day brings new challenges I'm not ready to deal with and each challenge, threatens the people and animals I care about most. It's just too difficult.. I don't know anymore. We were doing good and then suddenly we aren't anymore. The holidays were going to be stressful enough, but now this... It's a whole new low.
  19. My cat left this world march 1st, 2017, he had a sudden heart attack. He was a very lovable cat, and I miss him dearly. My dad made the cross and nailed it together, I wrote the poem. And drew the picture.
  20. A Place Between Three Trees I began going to the woods several weeks after Chloe died. I would lay on the earth and sometimes weep and sometimes feel energy and healing being drawn into my being. I began talking to her. In one of the first conversations I said, "So WHAT, It’s just just over?! After nurturing and growing the deepest of connections, it’s just done?!” I knew that Chloe was physically gone but I didn't believe for one minute that the connection of our spirits and hearts was done. Just because the answer for death as I knew it had always been, "she's happy and you'll get to see her again when you die." There was no way I was waiting that long! And yet, I knew that maybe it wasn't up to me. Still, I was unable and unwilling to accept the only answer that had ever been offered to me. I asked Chloe if it was over. I heard her say immediately, "our relationship is not over, but the language will change." I knew at that point that she was right there and I could pursue my quest to find her and understand what life and death really are. I didn't know what she meant by ""the language will change." I began to study, meditate, pray and feel. Shortly after the message from Chloe, I was reading a book and it mentioned the same idea, that it was possible to continue contact but you had to learn the language of your loved one. And so I gave myself to silence, listening, feeling and being. My senses began to grow and become fine-tuned. I was finding that I could now ask Chloe questions and receive answers. She began showing up in my life. Going to that place in the woods was a necessary place to finding that connection. It allowed me to cry, be at total peace, communicate with Chloe and just sit in silence with her.
  21. Okay, so my boyfriend and I have been together for 4 months now. but after being together for a little over 1 month, his brother tragically and suddenly passed away. Since then, he has been a totally different person. I have been there for him since the second he got the news, and I haven't left. We had a fight where he spoke to me and treated me in a way where I won't condone in a relationship that has been built on mutual respect and honesty. (this wasn't the first time and he blames the outbursts on his anxiety about his brother) I have been VERY understanding about his outbursts and high level of anxiety due to his brother's passing. But out of anger I broke up with him, he didn't seem to even care. Later on that day I call him to talk and take back what had happened.. but he did some self reflection and realized that he "needs space" because he doesn't want to treat me the way he has been treating me. What I don't understand is why he needs space from only me and why he is only pushing me away and is more involved with being with his friends when I have been nothing but good to him and there for him. He hasn't made me a priority at all since his brother died and I understood he has so much more going on, but why is it okay for him to be with his friends and not me? Why am I the only one that he needs time away from? I'm giving him the space he asked for, but it is really hard for me because he was so contradicting and confusing and refused to really talk about it. I love him and I believe what we have is special and he says the same...but then why the sudden change of heart.
  22. I just don't know how to cope with what I'm feeling right now. I've dealt with severe depression before but this is a sadness and guilt like I've never known. At 7:00 last night, my puppy, my best friend, was struck and killed by a car. But I feel like it's entirely my fault. His favorite thing in the world is to go on car rides. My brother and I were going to get something to eat, so I decided to bring him along. He was his happiest self in the car, sticking his face out the window with the biggest grin on his face. I even took a video of him dated just a few minutes before he died, which is attached to this post. Usually when I get out of the car when he's inside, I make sure he's sitting and staying before I open the door. This is the one time I didn't, because he was in the backseat so I thought there was no way he could get out. But I was wrong. He jumped through the crack between my seat and the door, and before I knew it he'd hit the ground running. He'd run off a million times before, so we were sure we would catch him. He was even just out of my arms' reach at one point but I just couldn't snag him. My brother almost had him and ran after him, but my dog tried to escape and ran right into the road. It's this part that really kills me. I didn't see the car hit him, but my brother did. My brother said the car hit my dog in the back and spun him around, and that my dog made eye contact with my brother and the look on his face said "Help me," like he knew he'd made a mistake. And then he just kind of laid down in the road. My brother said that face will haunt him forever. The driver didn't even slow down. My puppy had never been out in traffic before. He didn't know the damage a car could do. My brother stopped another car from hitting him (what is wrong with people, STOP or at least SLOW DOWN), picked him up, and carried him back to me. I was in shock. My puppy was still moving a little bit, kicking his legs, trying to breathe. I called 911 - I didn't know what else to do - and begged them to please please please please send whatever they could right now. They could only send a police officer, and by the time he got there, my puppy was gone. I watched him die. I just kept petting him and telling him what a good dog he was and how much I loved him. I don't know when exactly he died so I hope to God that he heard me and that he died knowing how loved and cared for he was. I closed his mouth. I tried to close his eyes but they wouldn't close. I called my parents and they came and met us. We weren't even home, so we had to wrap his body in a blanket and drive him 20 minutes back to our house. We laid him on our porch swing while my dad and brother dug his grave. I couldn't leave his side. I just held him and stroked his fur and sobbed and kept telling him over and over how much I loved him and, "You're such a good boy." I was numb watching my dad put him in the ground. Then I was completely lost. I didn't want to eat, sleep, watch TV, anything. I'm completely distraught. An hour ago, my brother and I dug back down to his grave and laid his favorite toys, a few treats, and a bunch of Cheez-Its (his favorite human food) down in his grave. We listed a bunch of things we'd miss about him and said a prayer over his grave once we laid the sod back on top. I truly don't know how I'm going to move on from this. Or the memory of this. Or the guilt. This dog helped me through so much. I've had him since I was 10 and I'm 22 now. He helped me through depression, anxiety, suicide attempts, broken hearts, abusive parents, everything. He was so innocent and happy and deserved nothing but goodness. He must have been so scared and in pain, and that's what kills me the most. This little pure beam of sunshine having to know such pain and agony. I need to know that dogs go to heaven, that he's happy and healthy and that I'll see him again and be able to apologize to him and tell him I love him and feel his unconditional love again. Imagining the alternative makes me want to die. My puppy was 12 years old, but he still had all the energy of a puppy so it doesn't really feel like he lived that long. I suppose it's of some comfort that he never had to experience the limits that old age would have put on his bod, but it just hurts so much to imagine all the potential years he had left to live, all the memories we could have made. It's so surreal to think that just a few hours ago he was licking me and I was petting him and he was running around the house and happy riding in the car with the wind through his fur and now he's dead in the ground. The pain is unbearable. Can anyone please give me some advice on how to go through this? Or just give me some peace of mind? Do you believe that dogs go to heaven and that I'll see him again? I can't stop thinking about all the things I could have done differently to prevent his death. I feel like I've sobbed my body weight in tears and I just don't know how I'm going to be able to face tomorrow. IMG_1537.MP4
  23. I feel that no one my age can possibly understand the depth of the pain I have to live with everyday. Grief is a burden; for every loss, it's like you must carry a heavy bag that no one can see. I am carrying so much pain and it takes so much for me even to get through the day and do even one or two things. I feel so isolated by grief because I have been forced to experience so much tragedy at a time in my life when it seems that everyone else has everything. I am so resentful of social media. I also feel resentful of people who have ignored my losses, people who I considered to be friends, and then it feels so heartless that they can't even address such a huge loss in your life. I see people having kids and getting married and having huge family dinners and their lives are so full, it makes me feel even more alone. I try to be grateful for all that I have, and grateful that I had such meaningful relationships to begin with, but losing them is tearing me apart. I lost my father suddenly and tragically when I was 26. While I was still trying to get back on my feet, my brother was diagnosed with a rare cancer. During that time, my mom was very sick but it wasn't until another 6 months had passed that she was diagnosed with advanced cancer. My brother died within 18 months and I am approaching the 2 year anniversary of his death. My mom is now in palliative care and I am caring for her at home. I cannot bear another loss and losing my mom is disconnecting me from myself in a way the previous losses didn't. My mom is my best friend, my guide, and has helped me cope with all the pain in my life. I don't know how I will face anything without her. I want to retreat and hide away from the world but I am also afraid this loss will harden me and take all the joy from my life. I want more than anything to live, and yet, I am paralyzed by sadness.
  24. Dear All, My brother died last Sunday. The police came to our home at 9p.m. and said my brother was deceased. I couldn't argue with them, I couldn't save him, he had already died. That moment was the worst moment of my life. The 5 days after his death, we had to do all this planning for the funeral, arrange for family to come, all while I was in so much pain and shock. There was no moment to stop. I don't understand why I couldn't have stopped my brothers death. Why wasn't I given a sign to call him or to drive to his home and help him? I also am confused because he wanted to live and we wanted him to live, so why did he have to die? He was only 29. As his younger sister I'm just so confused, saddened and angry. I don't understand why he couldn't have just been sick and gone to the hospital. During adulthood, my brother pushed me away so we weren't in regular contact. Although I was frustrated, because I didn't know what I did wrong and I reached out numerous times, I accepted it because I assumed we would always be by each other. I just assumed he would always be alive with me. He's someone that I always assumed would take care of himself and be alright. He had that self-assuredness about him that he was always in control all the time. I don't understand. He was only 29, he wasn't suppose to die. Now, I'm just so overwhelmed and sad. I just want to lay in bed all day. The other half of my heart is gone and there's nothing I can do to bring him back. It all happened so quickly. He was alive and then he wasn't. That's not right. That's not fair. Now i'm so anxious because anyone can die at anytime. And my 4 person immediate family is suddenly 3 person. And we weren't prepared for this. I'm just so sad. I hope my beautiful brother was happy, and that he knows he was so loved. I miss his energy on this earth. At his wake, his friends wanted to speak with me. And I just couldn't. I just sat on the ground in another room most of the time and tried to drink water. One of them wanted my number so we could share stories of my brother, but my stories are from our childhood and teenage years. I didn't hang out with him a lot as an adult. Did I do something wrong? Should I have been closer with him as adults? My goodness, if I knew he was going to die I would have driven down to his apartment and forced him to sit and eat lunch with me and to become my best friend. I just don't understand why it was so sudden and why we couldn't say good bye to him. I'm just really sad and unsure what to do or think. I didn't expect this. My whole life is changed forever. I always protect my family and I couldn't protect him.
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