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Plan B


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I recently picked up a book titled "plan B" by Sheryl Sandberg which discusses the loss of her husband. In the book she talks about how she had her whole life planned out but then suddenly, her life changed. Plan A was not an option anymore. Her only option was to "kick the s*** out of plan B". 

I suppose that is what I have been faced with recently. Plan B. I had this life before and now it's gone. This is my new reality. On a Sunday night my best friend, Milena was over at my house. We were planning her bachlorette party. I was supposed to be the maid of honor in her wedding. We drank wine, laughed and talked about how much fun this party was going to be. I would have never thought that would be the last time I would ever see her. Tuesday night she invited me to meet her for dinner but I was so exhausted from work that I turned down her offer. "Please! I'm right down the street from you!" she insisted. Nonetheless, I declined. Wednesday morning I received a text from her, what I believed was a chain letter, in Spanish. I didn't think anything of it. Saturday night I received a phone call from one of her other bridesmaids asking if I had heard from her. I realized that I hadn't. She asked if I received the "weird Spanish text" from her. I had. She expressed that she had translated the text message and Milena was talking about hurting herself. We could not get in touch with her fiance so we decided to go check on her. I thought to myself that she was probably just going through some stuff and needed a friend. I was about to walk out the door when I was told she was gone. Gone?!? What do you mean gone?! I thought to myself. It turns out that my best friend, the girl who was just at my house two days ago smiling and laughing, had shot herself. The text she sent me was a suicide note. I spent the entire night pacing back and forth in my apartment. There was no way she did this. There was no way this was possible. I did not sleep at all that week. 

The week leading up to Milena's funeral was a blur. I couldn't tell you where I was or what I was doing. I felt like I was in a fog. The wake was on Friday night and I remember barely being able to walk to the casket. When I finally did, I remember touching her thinking I could wake her up. She was so stiff and so cold. I will never forget that. The next day was her funeral. That morning, as soon as I opened my eyes (from the hour or so I slept at a time), I cried like I have never cried before. I had to call a friend to come over so that I could calm down. I was hysterical. When it came near time for the funeral I sat on my kitchen floor with what felt like the weight of an elephant on my shoulders. I felt like I could not get up. I did not want to go. Nothing in me wanted to go to that funeral. I had seen enough. Eventually, I picked myself off the floor and decided to go. 

I was talking to one of the other bridesmaids on the phone about the celebration of life I had planned for Milena. My cousin was calling me but I ignored her. She called again. I answered, figuring if she was calling back to back it must be important. The first thing she said was "Kimmy, are you ok". I was a little confused "yes, I am on the way to the funeral". She sounded worried "You don't know?". I answered her question, "Know what?". The only thing she had to say was that I needed to call my mom. I started screaming. I knew what was wrong. I immediately called my mom and asked her if my dad was ok. I was hysterical. She started crying and asked where I was. No one had to tell me that my father had passed away. Somehow, I knew. I look back on the crying I experienced that morning, the random text I had sent him the day before,  the feeling of not wanting to move, and no one having to say the words that my father was dead... and I feel that somehow, subconsciously, I knew I had lost a part of me. My dad was only 58 years old. He was not sick. He was not elderly. He just died. Just like that. I don't believe the results of his autopsy but that is a whole other story. I also have a hard time believing that my friend committed suicide... which is again, a whole other story. 

The time following all of this is a complete blur. I made the all of the arrangements for my father. Since he was out of town working it was too expensive to have his body transported. I decided to go with cremation and my little brother and I would view him before. That was important to us. Turns out, we were not able to see him before he was cremated because he was too badly decomposed. All I have left of my father is a box and some ashes. 

So, that is a condensed version of how my life completely changed in the matter of a week. Now I am faced with plan B and honestly, I am having a really tough time with it. I have always drank but following the passing of Milena and my father... I really started to drink. It's been about 3 months and aside from the past 2 weeks... I would say I stayed drunk. It got to the point where I was so drunk and so emotional that I debated suicide myself. It's been two weeks now that I have not touched alcohol. I decided I had to let myself face reality to get through it. I don't feel like myself and it scares me. I don't feel like being around people because I feel like I am such a depressing energy. I have a really hard time getting out of bed and once I am off work I go home and sit on my couch until it's time to do it all over again. I now have sleeping pills which I take but I still do not sleep a full night. I feel like I'm dreaming... like this is all a bad dream that I will just wake up from. Prior to this I thought I was at a point where I had come to terms with death. I have lost a lot of people but that's just part of life. This has knocked me down and I don't know if I will ever be able to get up. 

I apologize for the length. I think I just needed to write this all down. 

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I'm so sorry for all that's happened to you, and I can't imagine how traumatized you must feel! It's good to know that you got all of this out, dear Kim, and certainly you are most welcome to keep coming here for the compassion, understanding and support you need and deserve ~ but I think you need more than this. I urge you to get yourself to a qualified grief counselor as soon as possible. You have been hit with not one, but two sudden, unexpected and catastrophic losses, and to think that you can find your way through all of this without professional support is not realistic. What is more, it is not necessary. There is good help out there just waiting for you to ask for it, and I hope with all my heart that you will get busy doing so. See, for example, Grief Support for Survivors of Suicide Loss

I suggest that you call your telephone operator or public library and ask for the numbers for your local mental health association or your local suicide prevention center. Either agency will have good grief referral lists. You need not be suicidal yourself to get a grief referral from a suicide prevention center. Use the Yellow Pages and call hospitals and hospices near you. Ask to speak with the Bereavement Coordinator, Social Worker, or Chaplain's Office to get a local grief counseling referral. Many hospitals and hospices provide individual and family grief support to clients for up to one year following a death, and offer bereavement support groups to the general public at no cost. 

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@kimber1492  I am so sorry for all you have been through and are going through in the loss of your good friend and your father.  I also encourage you to seek professional grief counseling...not every counselor is the same, but one trained in grief is a must...suicide complicates things and is very hard to get through, so much is involved.  Your own mental health may depend on it.  My father was 62 when he died, I was just 29 years old, I think it's harder to navigate these losses when you're younger, at least for me it was, all the more so when they're unexpected.  A couple of days ago Dr. Phil was talking about the recent shooting and he said we need to find meaning in our grief.  That statement was the one thing I took away from the hour long show.  It is a way of building something positive out of all of the negativity.  Grief is a complicated thing, in the beginning all we see is our pain, that's all that seems to present to us, but through the years we discover so much more through it that we couldn't begin to comprehend in the beginning, let alone assimilate into our lives.  It can be a lengthy process.  I rather think grief does not leave us where it found us, it changes us profoundly.  I've discovered in my own life that the things that caused the grief were horrific to me, but the resulting changes in me I've seen as rather good...still, none of us would choose grief or say Bring it on!  None of us.  It's a hard road.  It has taken every "help" I could glean, from counseling, journaling, learning, learning, learning, from articles, to being here, books, listening to others, even art therapy and I've been at this for years.  I cannot begin to imagine trying to make my way through this in my layman's mind without all of the helps I've received along the way.  Sometimes we need that community effort.

In addition to the link Marty provided, I hope these will also be of help to you:






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