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Am I Normal?

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Hello everyone I'm Brian and new to the boards nice to meet you. So glad I found this board as I see I am not alone. I lost my grandfather to cancer in 1989, grandmother to cancer in 2000, and my other grandfather to a heart attack 3 days after my grandmother died in 2000. Is it normal to worry about losing someone else? My father is in great health but my mother has a heart ailment known as A-fib. They think mom's A-fib was brought about by the stresses of moving in with my grandmother once she was diagnosed as she provided 24/7 care. I don't have the nightmares but it does affect my sleep as sometimes I'm unable to actually sleep. Mom is doing great with the problem and her meds but after losing so many relatives it stays on my mind all the time. I also find myself thinking a lot still about my grandmother who died in 2000 as she was like my second mother. She and I were really close due to her son (who would have been my uncle) dying in a school fire back in the 1950s in North Carolina. I guess the big question I have is anyone else faced the same circumstances and what did you do to improve your own quality of life. I'm an only child as well so that's another stress factor. Thanks in advance for any advice.....

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I think there are others of us with these fears. My paternal grandparents both died at age 62 so when my dad was nearing that age I was a nervous wreck. Well he passed 62 but never made it to 67. Now I have another fear. My grandparents were the original owners of the house I live in. My husband and I lived here together just 19 days shy of 37 years. He passed away Jan 18,2008. Guess what age he was? You betcha. He was also 62. It is a little disconcerting to say the least. I try not to live in this fear but it is always in the back of my mind. The biggest problem right now is I almost hope it comes so that then I will be back with Tom. I would never do anything to harm myself, but at this point in my life, I certainly wouldn't be sad. You just can't let the fear rule your life. God has a plan and even though we don't understand it we really can't change it either. I thought Tom would live to a ripe old age with me because everyone but his one grandfather lived to be in at least their 80's but it just wasn't meant to be.

In other words, I think that a lot of people who have had multiple losses wonder when the next shoe will fall. We just can't let it rule our lives. We have to live them to the fullest that we can because there is nothing we can do to change what or when the ultimate end will be. A person could worry them self to death and I certainly don't want that for you.

I'm glad you found this site because people here will be honest with you. They will stand by you and bring you through your problems so no matter how silly you think your question might be don't hesitate to post it here.

I hope it helped you to know that other people worry about some of the same things.

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Hi and Welcome. :)

In my non-professional... only credentials I possess is having lost people I love.... personal opinion.. YEAH.. fearing the loss of others is "normal". It's not fun to grieve. No one would want this to happen. Being a bit fearful of losing others is a product of how well you are loved and love in return.

I know exactly the fear you are speaking of. And yes.. I too have spent some sleepless nights pondering "What if" scenarios....

But for me... I found if I played those scenarios ALL the way out and thought about when the worst does happen... actually helped me. Because while I was thinking it through.. I realized... I would be terribly sad.. yes. BUT I would be able to handle it. Because each time I got to a place in my scenario that was tough.. I realized.. hey.. I've been through this before. I know what to do. I know how to help them.. I know how to get help for me... I can survive this.

Because I think underlying my fear of losing someone was really my fear about me not being able to "handle" that loss. But I know that isn't true anymore. All I have to look at is the losses I have already suffered, grieved and survived.

If someone else in my family were to die... yes.. accepting the sadness and the missing... would be terribly hard.

But I know I that I can feel it and still live my life and complete my own purpose here simply because I have done it before. I have some experience. Of course each loss is different and I know some would be horrendously hard. But I have lost folks that I used to think I couldn't live without or would always be with me here. And I am still intact.

Sure your Mom has a heart condition. And the truth is.. someday she will indeed pass. But that doesn't mean it will be right now. You have told us her condition is being managed and she is doing well. Maybe... you could remind yourself of that when you are having one of those sleepless times. Also at that time... maybe remind yourself you have suffered the loss of three grandparents and... survived. Your parents have lost their parents and they have done relatively ok right? Have some confidence that you will be ok too.

The way I look at it is... you lost two significant people in your life within days of each other... THAT was hard! Hard on you and your folks. And I think when one has a bunch of crises at once.. one can get a bit gun shy of having anymore crises....EVER. I think that is absolutely normal.

My Mom died kinda suddenly in 1/07. In June of 07 my husband faced a huge and dangerous surgery. And yes I thought there was a distinct possibility I could lose him as well. That prospect with two kids was scary... period. And I had many sleepless nights of course coming up to that surgery. I ran the worst case scenario all the way down to the last detail and saw... I would get it all done somehow. I'd be horribly sad for quite awhile... but... I would survive it. I had to keep reassuring myself I could handle whatever happened. Yes of course I would have been totally devastated with grief had I lost my husband (I didn't) but I knew... without doubt I would handle it all somehow. I looked back on what I had already handled in my life and realized I could get through this too.... somehow. I didn't have to find out how at that time because he recovered.

But you know what? I have confidence today that I didn't have before all that thinking on those sleepless nights.

I am very much a "stay in this one day" type of person. I want to appreciate what is in front of me.. today.

I don't worry too much about tomorrow. I can't.. I will get overwhelmed. And the bottom line is.. I don't even know what tomorrow will bring... so I do not want to waste today worrying about tomorrow. And what is the thing that makes me feel so strongly about ANY of this in the first place?

It's simple.... LOVE. I have learned that love is the most important thing in life.

Sure you will eventually... someday be separated by death... but... you will be able to work through your grief as you are and have done already for your grandparents.

And as I have learned.... after having lost some real significant people..... sure their bodies do die. But.. their love never does. That's as real today as it was before their bodies passed away.

Life is a journey.... and part of it is dealing with death & loss. But that's only PART of it. There's so much more to life than dealing with loss.. and I for one don't want to miss out on it. I can live my life having suffered losses.... still. I can be sad and still be on my life's journey. I can feel the pain of loss and feel the joy of life simultaneously. They aren't mutually exclusive. One may indeed enhance the other.

So I don't know if that helps ya at all. But I'll bet your Mom would be wanting you to not worry about the day she passes...

Now.. I'm wildly guessing... but I think she would prefer you to be looking to this very day and the very wonder of it... fulfilling your own life's purpose and walking your own journey. There is joy in that.


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  • 2 weeks later...


I think that your fears are very normal. My grandmother died five years ago and I was extremely close to her. It was very hard for me, but I was fortunately very close to my mother and we grieved together. Then 17 months ago my mother was dx with small cell lung cancer. She died December 2, 2008. I miss her so much. I am actually afraid that I will lose my father very soon as well. He is not sick, but my parents were married for 45 years and knew each other their entire lives. I actually do dream that he will die of a broken heart. He used to be a heavy drinker and I worry that he will fall off the wagon. I think that anytime we experience great loss or the possibility of it we get scared. It is extremely normal. When my mom was sick I felt a constant anxiety in my chest. My advice to you is to spend as much time with your mom as possible. Create happy memories and focus on living day to day even if you are afraid. We will all die eventually, we just do not know when. I think that the lack of control is what is most scary. Allow yourself to have those feelings of fear, but don't let them consume you. Take care and I hope your mom is doing well.

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  • 2 months later...

Kate, (kissmekate)

my mother also passed after battling small cell lung cancer on 11-16-08. She was 65years old. My parents would have celebrated 50 years marriage in June. How has your dad handled every thing? My dad was immediately searching for someone to keep himfrom being alone. He cannot bear to be at home alone.He was completely devoted to my mom. He started dating in less than a month after my mom passed in November. Then his lady friend moved in with him in February. My dad does grieve but he doesn't allow me to see him. He tells me to get over it that my mom isn't coming back. I know she's not coming back but I still miss her and wish that I could just talk to her one more time.

If you see this post I hope that we can continue to talk to each other. Maybe we can help each other go through the grieving process.


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I am so sorry to hear that. I replied to your message via e-mail but came here to read the thread that you saw my response to. Wow! You must really be struggling with all of this. I can't imagine. My dad has showed no interests in dating. He does not even go out except to see us and the grandkids. I do not know your father, but it seems like he may be in denial. I really do not know what to say. I think if his lady friend brings him comfort than I suppose it is okay, but I am confused as to why he refuses to see you. Do you have any siblings? If so what do they think? My dad did recently take a trip to Las Vegas by himself, which I thought was odd, but dating??? , that would make me really uncomfortable.

I am sorry that I have no advice but will keep you in my thoughts.

God Bless,


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I think your fears are very validated and true. Some people seem to say you can spend your life worrying about things that didn't happen or may never happen, but when you have suffered some many losses in any time frame, I completely understand!!!!!!!! I am so sorry to hear of your losses. I wanted to share this with you. You are not alone. I was 39 years old when my beloved husband of 20 years passed away of cancer ( 08/20/2007) then a few months after that my best friend in the world died of a accidental overdose(prescription medications) then, my grandmother died. After this my children began battling many illnesses( very serious) Then our kitchen caught fire, and then I became sick and still battle with swollen lymph nodes( steroid treatment) and last but not least my uncle committed suicide. In between all this my mother in law and father in law both battling cancer and my sister in law fights for her life everyday with lymphoma. So many times I wanted to give up but here I am. I hope I can give you some strength and peace to be strong. Love, Kim

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