logo
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#232771 02/19/06 02:15 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 95
C
Amoeba
OP Offline
Amoeba
C
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 95
As you can see this is a brand new forum! Please introduce yourselves, and share a little bit about you and why you have come to find us at the bereavement forum.

My name is Corinne, and I lost my mother in 1998 when she was 51. She was diagnosed with lung cancer, and died within ten months. The following year, we lost our first child, my daughter Rowan. While these are not the only losses that I have experienced, they are the most profound to me. I am astounded daily at the impact my losses have had on my life, and how this new me is steered toward others who have also experienced such deep loss.

I am not a grief counselor. I am simply a fellow bereaved person looking to connect with others who are experiencing a loss. You are not alone!

Last edited by Corinne_Bereave; 02/22/06 07:49 PM.
Sponsored Post Advertisement
#232772 03/02/06 02:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 126
J
Jellyfish
Offline
Jellyfish
J
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 126
Hi Corinne. I am glad to see that you have taken over this topic and I feel like I have some place else to go (besides therapy) to discuss my losses.

Firstly, I want to say how sorry I am for the loss of both your mother and your daughter. I cannot imagine the depth of pain you must have felt at the loss of a child, although the loss of a parent is rather intense as well.

My story is this: my father was diagnosed in 10/2004 with extensive small cell carcinoma (just a long name for lung cancer that has spread). At that time, the cancer was in 1 lung and in his lymph nodes. He took 6 months of treatment and was declared "in remission" in 02/05. Three months later, the cancer was back and it was now in both lungs, lymph nodes, and his brain. He took radiaton on his brain first, which he started going downhill after the brain radiation. But then he took chemo as well. After many medical mishaps, many hospital stays and doctor visits, and half the treatments of radiation to his chest that the doctors wanted him to take, he finally had had enough and died on my oldest daughter's birthday, November 12, 2005 at 2:00 a.m. He lived with us from June of '05 until his death in November. He had just turned 72 in August right before his death 3 months later. So he lived almost 13 months after being diagnosed. This has had the most profound effect on me. He was the first person I have ever lost that I was really, really close to and loved very deeply, with all my heart. I try to describe it as the same type of love I have for my children, the same magnitude, just a different type of love.

If that weren't enough, I lost a cousin on January 25th of '06 due to a ruptured brain aneurysm. He survived two weeks on life support and once life support was removed, he passed away 10 minutes later. He was only 44.

If that weren't enough, I lost a brother unexpectedly on either February 3rd or 4th of '06. He was found on the 4th, but from the little info we have gained so far, the "estimated" time of death was in the wee hours of the morning on February 3rd. We have no idea what happened, just that there was some blood where he was sitting on the couch and some on the floor beside that area of the couch, he had picked up the phone, but dropped it before he got to make a call, and he had also had a cigarette in his hand that had fallen and burnt out in the carpet (thank goodness because he was living in my father's old house that is now mine and I hadn't had time to get insurance yet). He was only 36, would be 37 on March 26th. I am awaiting the criminal investigation report and the autopsy report results. This has made things pretty intense. We weren't close at the time of his death because, as happens when illness hits a family, I felt that he didn't "do his part" in helping my father (neither did the other 2 brothers) and I needed a lot of help, which I didn't get from my siblings. So there was some animosity, which I have tremendous guilt over because I had not gotten around to forgiving him before this happened, and I am usually a really forgiving person. I guess I was just still doing my grief work after my father's death and was really focused solely on that. I also am stuck in the stage of grief where this does not seem real to me. That it didn't happen. I guess where I didn't see him on a daily basis, just weekly or every two weeks. When I go to the house, I still expect him to be sitting there when I walk in. I don't know. It's hard to explain other than it just hasn't "hit" me yet, I guess.

If that weren't enough, my cousin's 9-month old baby boy died unexpectedly last week on 02/21. I did not get to attend the funeral because I was sick (I have strep throat). Such a tragic story.

So that's my story. One missing piece is that I lost an uncle on March 19th of '05 as well due to lung and bone cancer. He died 6 weeks after being diagnosed (he went in because he thought he had pneumonia).

So 5 deaths in the span of one year (not yet a year yet and I keep waiting to be called and told that someone else in my family has died - you know how they say death runs in 3's). Some days I feel like I am losing my mind. I am in therapy, which helps, but I feel like I need some hand-holding on a daily basis and there's no one left to hold my hand (my primary "hand holder" was my dad and then my husband, and of course my husband has to work, so he can only do so much at this point).

Does the feeling of losing your mind ever go away?

Thanks for letting me share and I hope others know that they're not alone.

#232773 03/03/06 02:50 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 95
C
Amoeba
OP Offline
Amoeba
C
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 95
Dear Jennifer,

I don't even know where to begin! You have had one heck of a couple of years!!

I am so sorry to learn about your father's illness and his death. It sounds so very similar to my own mother's situation. She too had small cell lung cancer that went away only to return in her lungs, liver, and brain. Her illness lasted only 10 months from diagnosis until her death - but she was only 51 years old. It was sudden and unreal for all of us at the time. She got sick in February - thought she had pneumonia, and that was that. Looking back, I know that she was ill at Thanksgiving, but she thought it was just a cold that was lingering and how could we have known?

I understand so well the closeness you mention with your dad. I can hear in your words how much your heart is aching that he is gone. Were you able to say all that you wanted to say to your dad? With the experience you've also had losing your brother, you know firsthand how hard it can be to have unfinished business between you when one dies.

I am so sad to know of your brother's unexpected and unexplained death. When do you expect to learn more? Do you have other siblings? It must be really difficult to come to terms with all the issues you had with your brother at the time of his death, coming on the heels of your father's death. I find that it is very difficult to be gracious when people disappoint you surroundign death, as you explained your brother not being there to do his part when your dad was dying. I had similar feelings with my siblings at the time of my daughter's death... and more than 6 years later I confess that I am still coping and trying to get past the feelings I have toward them over it. Have you found any methods that were helpful in your therapy sessions? I am curious to know if you have.

All of this loss for you ... it is so much to bear. I am so glad to know that you are being proactive and talking to a professional about this - because it is serious business to make sure that you resolve your grief and that you do it in a healthy way.

As far as the feeling of losing your mind... I think that does go away. I don't know that it happens at any specific point, but I do know that eventually, especially because you are giving your grief so much attention - you will find yourself being more of your normal self. I personally believe that there is no going back to your 'old' self... you will find that you're in a "new normal" that will require some adjusting to get used to.

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story with me. I look forward to continuing to talk more about all of this.

With love,
Corinne

Last edited by CorinneO; 03/03/06 02:51 PM.
#232774 03/04/06 03:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 126
J
Jellyfish
Offline
Jellyfish
J
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 126
Yes, actually I did get to tell my father "most" of what I wanted to say. When I said it, it seemed like that was all, but, of course, now that he's gone, I think of so many more things I could've said.

It was sad because when he first started chemo, he thought chemo "cured." I didn't have the heart to tell him any different and the doctors didn't tell him any different. I kept telling him that he would beat it and he kept telling me that he wouldn't. So the Thursday afternoon before he passed that Saturday, he had been "in and out," talking about and "seeing" things from his past. He used to stay and work on a farm when he was young. So, for example, on Wednesday night he was looking at the floor and said something like, "That heffer is down. She's going to have a calf. She needs help." My husband told him, okay, that he would go and help the heffer. Things like that. So on Thursday afternoon, I was walking around his bed and he pointed up at me and he said, "I told you I wasn't going to make it tonight." He was so hoarse from the rad therapy to his chest that I couldn't hear and I bent over and I said, "Huh?" He tapped my cheek lightly and said, "I told you I wasn't going to make it tonight." I said, "Make it to what?" He told me, "I'm passing on" and started crying. So I told him how much I loved him, how terribly I would miss him, that I would think of him every single day (which I have, no doubt), and that he should go ahead and go on and do what he needed to do. That he would be in a much better place, with no more heartbreak and pain, no more suffering. Then my husband talked to him and told him that he would take care of me and our girls (my dad said the whole time he was sick that he was only living to see my babies grow up). After that talk, he was sort of "out" again. Looking for his car keys, going "home," etc. Really restless. But yes, at that time, I said all that I could bear to say. Now that I think about it and reflect back, I could have said so very much more...much, much more.

About my brother: we were very close as teenagers. He was almost 5 years older than me, but we hung out together all the time. Had each other's "back" sort of thing...lol. Got into a lot of trouble together. Then he moved away and we tried to keep in touch, but he was a troubled person and life took over for both of us and we had our own things to deal with. He lived away from here for quite a while and only moved back 2 years ago in May. So he was gone for about 14 years. We tried to get along at first when my dad got sick and my brother did real well at first, but when things got tough, he stepped back and did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Everything was left on my shoulders. Yes, I have two other brothers and they did the same. Anyway, the brother that died, Greg, he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder years ago, but refused to try any more medication after he tried several and they made him worse. He just had a really complicated life, some trouble brought on his own, some things happened to him when he was young that weren't his fault but he never got "over" it. I say he was troubled, but after reading his journal, he was more than troubled...he was a tortured soul. I just couldn't do anything to help him. I had tried, many people tried, we just couldn't "reach" him. So that's another part of my guilt, I suppose. I am carrying a lot of guilt and regret over his passing. I mean sometimes it feels real and other times it doesn't, so when it does feel real, I have a heavy load to carry.

As far as therapy...it's a client-centered therapy, so basically I am "getting things out there," but as far as learning anything from it...I haven't yet. But this week, I am going to ask about some coping skills because I have had complicated grief. I turned to the wrong things to try and find peace and take away the pain, so I have had that to deal with as well. I need my therapist to tell me how to cope naturally with things instead of turning to things that will just hurt me instead of helping me.

As far as what we know about my brother's death...we don't know anything yet. I mean speculation by the funeral director, coroner, etc. We don't even have a death certificate yet. The funeral director stated that the autopsy report takes a while to get, so I am trying to wait patiently. I did order the criminal investigation report, which should be coming. But that will just basically tell me (and show me if I choose to look at the pictures) of how he was found, etc. I mean the girl that found him told us how she found him, but it doesn't jive with the condition of his body. I don't want to get too graphic on that, but she said that she found him sitting back against the couch with his head back and he looked peaceful. That's not possible because there was full lividity in his face, plus of where the blood was, the cigarette butt, etc. So I don't know if she changed it in her mind because it was too traumatic for her to deal with or she just told us that to try and make us feel better or what, but it cannot be true either way.

Sorry for going on and on, but I am starting to feel better from my episode of strep throat, so it frees my mind to start thinking and dealing with things again. That's one good thing I can say about being that sick...I was too weak and too tired to think about anything but being sick. Now I am getting back on my feet and things have hit me head-on the past two days, I guess.

If you don't mind me asking, what happened to your daughter? If it's too much, I will understand. I just can't imagine losing a child. It's so tragic and unnatural for a child to pass away before their parents.

#232775 03/05/06 06:56 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 730
Gecko
Offline
Gecko
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 730
Hi Corinne and Jen. I posted on the Child Loss forum last year, not realizing it was about something different. I am very sorry for both of you; the losses and all that accompanies it. I have buried two daughters, and my father. Dad was not too difficult; when a person lives a full long life, it is more natural. He was just 64, I was 28 and back then 64 seemed older. He had liver cancer. My first daughter was a preemie and died at 13 days old. I was almost 7 months along when she came early. This almost totally destroyed me, losing this baby I loved so much. Three years later my prayers were finally answered, and I became pregnant with my second daughter. I could once again smile and laugh. 24 years later, on my daughter's 24th birthday, I was baking her an extra large cake for all the friends coming over. She and her friend left to do a couple of errands while the cake baked. An hour later the phone rang. It was raining, and almost home, the car spun out of control and hit two trees. She was going 30 mph and was wearing her seat belt; it was raining. She died from a brain stem injury and her friend received a mild concussion. The first year was just awful. The second year started out just as bad, and at 2 1/2 years, something shifted, and things felt different. Better. It has been 3 years and 3 months now. One thing I have found out is that there are a lot of people around us who have experienced similar losses, you just do not find out until this happens to you. Actually, once you start talking, they are liable to come out of the woodwork! And one of the biggest helps to me has been to talk to other people who have been through this. It gives me the strength to carry on in a somewhat normal capacity (whatever that is <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />), and to be there for other people, when this happens to them. The thing that has helped me the very most is praying. Corinne, I do not see how there can be anything sadder than burying a child. Jen, you have been through a whole lot in such a short time. It will make you a very strong woman. And then you will be able to use this strength to help other people. Both of you will! <img src="/images/graemlins/angel.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/angel.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/angel.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/angel.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/angel.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/angel.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/angel.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/angel.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/angel.gif" alt="" />

Last edited by firefly; 03/05/06 06:59 PM.
#232776 03/07/06 02:26 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 95
C
Amoeba
OP Offline
Amoeba
C
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 95
Hi Jen, and Welcome Firefly!

I don't mind at all sharing about my daughter. Rowan was diagnosed at birth with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder that happens at conception. It is just like down syndrome, which is Trisomy 21 (the babies have three copies of the 18th or the 21st chromosome respectively.) For T18 it is usually fatal, and for T21, well - you've probably seen children with Down Syndrome all of your life. Rowan lived for 22 hours, after being delivered via c-section. If you are interested in reading her birth story, here is a link to it at my foundation website forum that bears her name. I work with bereaved parents after the loss of child during pregnancy and in the infant period.

Rowan's story:
http://www.rowantreefoundation.org/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=33&topic=6.0

Rowan was our first baby, we had two pregnancy losses before her, and lost another after her. It was such a heartbreaking time. She was born and died at the anniversary of my mom's death. Rowan would have turned 6 this past December. Not a day goes by that I am not thinking of her, but I have found so much peace in the work I am doing now and in the past that I am doing ok. We have been blessed with four healthy living children since losing Rowan, they are almost 5, 3, 2, and 3 months old. (Hence the delay in my reply!) Thank you for asking about Rowan... if you have any questions or are curious about anything... please ask.

Firefly, I am so sorry for your losses too. Your experience is now my own greatest fear. I have already lost one child... I want my living children to outlive me. What were your daughters' names? How have you been coping since your older daughter died? I am just so sorry.

Jennifer, my heart just aches for you with all of the questions, and negligence and uncertainty surrounding your brother's death. My uncle (my dad's youngest brother) died mysteriously and was found in poor condition... it is really hard to find resolution when there are so many loose ends. Regarding your dad... was it hard to see him moving back through his life like that? My mom was in hospice in her final months, and she did the same things - becoming like a child at times. It was sad for me to see her that way, because she was a brilliant woman, well read, and just so amazing to me when she lived.

Ladies, I am so glad to be connecting with you here!

Talk more soon,
Corinne

#232777 03/19/06 05:20 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 730
Gecko
Offline
Gecko
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 730
My daughters are named Alison and Jennifer. And ever since Jenn died 3 years and 3 months ago, there are Jennifer's everywhere in my life. It took us a little while to get used to everyone being named Jennifer, and I mean everybody. We actually laugh about the fact that we are now inundated with people named Jennifer coming into our lives for one reason or another. It makes us think of her even more! <img src="/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

#232778 03/21/06 06:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 95
C
Amoeba
OP Offline
Amoeba
C
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 95
What beautiful names for your much-loved girls. It sounds like you are facing life without your daughter Jennifer rather bravely... I think that is a wonderful gift to find laughter and fun in spite of all the sadness.

I just recently had my first experience with meeting another child with my daughter's name. We were at a local bouncy castle place with my children, and there was this little girl who wanted to jump with me and my kids, so I asked her grandma if it was OK to pick her up. I was holding her in my arms when the grandma came over to and said "Rowan, make sure you are careful with the other kids." and I just looked into her eyes and was stunned. I was holding her, and all I could do was say "Rowan" to her. It was very strange.

I shared that with a friend who said that she feels like it was my Rowan's way of telling me that she was there with her siblings having a ball too. I love the idea of that.

It does make you wonder when things like that happen though...


Link Copied to Clipboard
Brand New Posts
Spooled Threads and Deterioration
by Cheryl - Sewing Editor - 02/29/24 01:57 PM
Psalm for the day
by Angie - 02/28/24 12:50 PM
2024 - on this day in the past ...
by Mona - Astronomy - 02/28/24 12:24 PM
Astro Women - Birthdays
by Mona - Astronomy - 02/23/24 11:02 AM
Inspiration Quote
by Angie - 02/23/24 09:05 AM
Bird Buddy
by Angie - 02/22/24 08:18 PM
Sewing Ideas for St. Patrick's Day
by Cheryl - Sewing Editor - 02/21/24 05:33 PM
From Candlemas to March Equinox
by Mona - Astronomy - 02/20/24 03:20 PM
Tennis Legend Roger Federer - New Documentary
by Angela - Drama Movies - 02/19/24 08:57 PM
Lined Note Paper Template for Digital Planner
by Digital Art and Animation - 02/19/24 08:38 PM
Sponsor
Safety
We take forum safety very seriously here at BellaOnline. Please be sure to read through our Forum Guidelines. Let us know if you have any questions or comments!
Privacy
This forum uses cookies to ensure smooth navigation from page to page of a thread. If you choose to register and provide your email, that email is solely used to get your password to you and updates on any topics you choose to watch. Nothing else. Ask with any questions!


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2022 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5