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My name is Katie I am 20 and I am a teen volunteer for Hospice of the Valley. I have attended two different teen grief and bereavement groups in the last year. Since the year 1999 my family has suffered the loss of a family member each year. In 1999 when I was 14 my cousin who was also 14 committed suicide. His death was one of the hardest ones to deal with being that he was my age. In 2001 I lost my step grandma to lung cancer and I also lost my great grandma. Also in 2001 my maternal grandma was diagnosed with lung cancer, she passed away in May of 2002. It has been such a struggle losing all these members of my family and things just seem to get worse. In November of 2002 the day after Thanksgiving, my grandpa who I share my birthday with went into the hospital where he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease. My grandpa died in March of 2003 right before my highschool graduation. Once again in September of 2003 we lost another family member. My dads youngest brother was at a lake with his girlfriend and another couple. There at the lake he jumped in off of the boat, came up struggling, went back down and then was not found for three days. After my uncles passing we endured two more deaths. My stepdads mother passed away in January of 2004 and my Aunts husband passed away in November of 2004 he too took his life like my cousin did. Such a young age and such a short amount of time and everyone is disappearing from my life. Not only did I endure the loss of so many family members in a way I lost my father who left when I was only 9. Most people hear my story and immediately drop their jaw with awe. Just a couple of hours ago I found out that my moms uncle who had also been diagnosed with lung cancer took his life yesterday. So much heartbreak and not enough time to heal. I am very interested in reading other peoples opinion and I wish for all the support I can get. Thanks to all of you who read my post and reply.

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Hi Katie,

Too much heartbreak and not enought time to heal. That is partly what it takes, time. It also takes a determined attitude to not let it get you down. I am sorry you haven't had time to heal. You will heal though. You will. It's hard to know what to say to all those passings. It's mind numbing to think about it all.

You are a teen volunteer for Hospice! That is a wonderful way to honor those special people that are no longer here. I bet you make a lot of people happy, just to know you care.

Although you grieve for them now, think how blessed you are to have had them in your life, however brief. And you can take things you learned from them and use it in your life today and for the rest of your life.

Hopefully there will be NO MORE passings in your family for a long, long while. It would be good if you have time to grieve. Also, even if your dad isn't with you each day, it doesn't mean he doesn't love you. I bet he does. A lot.

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My dear Katie,

Welcome! I am so delighted that you have joined our Grief Healing Discussion Groups and have been posting in our Teens Talking to Teens forum! I see that you've also posted your very touching poem about your teacher in our Poetry of Grief and Loss forum, too, and I want to honor you for that. Thank you!

As I read your story and the other writings on your own Web site the other day, it occurred to me that, by participating as an active member in our Teens forum, you really are in a position to help a lot of other young people -- not only because you're "walking the walk" but because clearly you're a person who is working to make meaning out of all the losses you've endured in your young life. I so admire and respect you for that, and I think that is a message worthy of conveying to others.

I wonder if you would be willing to share the URL address of your own Web site, so that others can find their way to it through this forum? Also, I'd like your permission to add it to the Links page of my Grief Healing Web site, under the category labeled CHILD / ADOLESCENT GRIEF. Would that be all right with you?

Most sincerely,

Marty T

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  • 1 month later...
I wish to tell you all that we had yet another death in our family. We had some family from Illinois come down here to Arizona for my brothers wedding, Commissioning into the USAF and College graduation. It was a very eventful week. My family came down on Tuesday May 3rd. My brother got married May 5th and that was the morning when my uncle called to tell us that my moms Aunt Ginny who had been suffering from Alzheimers had passed away during the night. We were lucky to have family here who gave us support and love. I just wanted to let you all know whats been going on in my neck of the woods.
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