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Spartacus
July 9th, 2004, 05:20 PM
Since AM's departure I have noticed there seems to be a lack of new threads being started....so I am trying to help fill that gap.

Almost a year ago my father learned the cancer he had been fighting for a few months was terminal. A short time ago we learned that he will now probably not be alive this Thanksgiving and could be gone as early as September....perhaps even August.

I have only had to deal with the death of my grandfather. His death came suddenly and unexpectedly and it was pretty traumatic. I was in fact closer to my grandfather than I am with my dad.

I was wondering if anyone here has experienced the death of a close loved one and would not mind sharing how they dealt with it?

KevinBrowning
July 9th, 2004, 06:06 PM
Yes, there are not nearly as many new threads since AM left. I think if he doesn't come back by next year, we should memorialize him in some way. For instance, we could make an award for whoever started the most threads, and call it the AM Award. Just a thought.

I have not had any very close people die in my life, yet. When I was very young, my godfather died. Then, in the late '90s, my paternal grandmother died, but I had never seen her very much, so I wasn't traumatized. Then, my great-grandmother died a couple years ago, and it was the same situation, basically. I will only mention this briefly, because it's painful to even consider. I have always lived within a few miles of my maternal grandparents. I've always been very close to them. When I was younger I saw them almost every day. There was a period early in high school when I didn't see them as much. Now, I make an effort to visit them almost every day. They are quite elderly, both in their 80s. Disregarding a possible freak accident with my parents or sister, they are the only very close deaths I will have to consider in the next 10-15 years.

ShadowKnight
July 9th, 2004, 07:07 PM
His name was David, a good friend I had growing up, an older man, in his 30's. He was a janitor in my apartments, and he would have to fix our toliet a lot, lol... but, i still remember him. He was one of my closest friends as a young kid. I would always play my nintendo and he would stop by and play with me, it was funny, he didn't know how to play at all, but he was there. I can't explain, he may have been a lot older than I, but our family had a love for this man, he was always around, and he was just very friendly.

One day, we heard of an accident he was in, and later he was reported dead. I'll never forget him, I just prayed to God that he was up there, and that someday, I would see him again, and I truly believe that.

Another situation at the moment, my Uncle is suffering from a cancer, they are giving him 7 months. More than ever, we have been visiting him and praying for him, and I just can't imagine him dying. He's such a funny and great guy, as far as what I do, I pray, and I trust in God. God is still capable of miracles, and I believe that with ALL my heart.

HappyLady
July 11th, 2004, 07:06 PM
I was wondering if anyone here has experienced the death of a close loved one and would not mind sharing how they dealt with it?

Gosh, Spartacus...you're getting a lot of my prayers lately. You seem to be facing some tough times.

I have had four people who were close to me die, but not the same as losing a parent. I lost my 9 yr old cousin when I was about 17. She was born with a congenital heart condition and wowed doctors by living as long as she did. She was a very sweet child and I remember dealing with her death with a lot tears and remaining close to the family. My mother is an artist, and she painted her portrait upon her death in her favorite dress.

Another death I had to deal with was a friend of mine committing suicide. It was the same year my cousin died. There was always some controversy over whether he accidentally killed himself playing with a gun, or whether he intended to pull the trigger. Those closest to him knew he intended to pull the trigger. He frequently spoke about killing himself shortly before he actually did. That death was different for me to handle, because I found out from one of our mutual friends after his death that he had a crush on me. I felt very guilty, like I somehow contributed to his death. I always thought he was a cutie, too, and I wouldn't have been against the idea of dating him had I known he liked me. But that was all dealt with with a 17 yr old mind, and that of losing a friend. It's not the same as losing someone who you have known and loved your whole life long.

With your strong fundamental religious background, I would imagine that death would be easier for you to deal with than it would for someone without that foundation. You know, as I agree, that you will see your father again in the afterlife. The one suggestion I would make is to make sure that you express your feelings about your father to him while he is still on earth. I have no idea what your relationship is with your father, but tell him you love him, hold his hand, or express your love for him however you feel comfortable while you still can and cherish it. While you will need to suffer watching him suffer, and you will miss him dearly, it is only a temporary missing, and it too, will pass when you meet again. It is those thoughts that I would keep close to you throughout the end of his life.

tinkerbell
July 11th, 2004, 07:19 PM
There's no real way to "deal with it."
It's just one of those times in life you have to put faith in God to help you heal.
I lost one of my best friends in high school, He was trying to scare his girlfriend into coming back to him,by attempting suicide..Unfortunatly, she didn't show up in time to help him and it was too late.That one, I will never heal from.He was so young.Plus it's hard to really heal over something you carry anger over.

Unfortunatly, I've lost several people I'm close to.My boyfriend I dated before my husband was killed in a car crash. Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me and I swear I see him when I'm out and about, and then I remember. I have dreams and we have conversations in them and when I wake I feel the pain that I know he's not here.

I also volunteer with the elderly.I'm taking time off right now.I recently lost my favorite, and even though I miss her, it was her time.I try to think about how full her life was and it was her bodies time to rest.Sometimes, when I'm driving or doing cleaning, I try to have conversations in my head with those I have lost..Just remembering times we shared, it helps to keep them a part of who I am.

I hope when your fathers time comes,it will be peaceful.I hope you will have the chance to say goodbye and all the things you would regret not saying.I try to think,death is only our next life.

Spartacus
July 12th, 2004, 06:18 AM
With your strong fundamental religious background, I would imagine that death would be easier for you to deal with than it would for someone without that foundation. You know, as I agree, that you will see your father again in the afterlife. .

No I do not know that. I have never been that close to my father. He has always been distant. When he left for Viet Nam I was 4 months old. Upon his return my teeneaged mother made it clear to him that I was "her child" not his....This came out in Family Therapy when I was an adult and it explained a lot. My father has always been distant and to say he is "non-demonstartive" would be a huge understatement.

I do not know if I will see my dad after I die. All one can do is pray God have mercy.

I've tried to have conversations with him over the past few months, but it just never touches on the tough ground I think we should cover. I think I'm OK with that though. He either does not want to cover the tough subjects, or is unaware there is anything to cover. Not looking forward to having to care for my Mom after he is gone. She has MS, a disease that cripples but does not kill. Combined with the longevity in her family's genes we are looking at decades of caring for her in ever-increasing degrees.

No one ever said ife is fair. Nothing is ever certain. All one can do is lead a good life with as few regrets as possible and pray God have mercy on us.

HappyLady
July 12th, 2004, 06:50 AM
I do not know if I will see my dad after I die. All one can do is pray God have mercy.

I can relate to your feelings. My father was a terrible father and human being in many ways for most of his life. I believe he has made an effort to change his ways, but not to the degree that one could say his past is his past and he turned over a new leaf. On his deathbed, there probably won't be the warm and fuzzy feelings portrayed in sappy movies from most of his family since the majority have disowned him.

I chose another approach, however. I forgave him and took control of our relationship. Whenever my father crosses a line with me, I make it very clear that he is being inappropriate and that if he wants a relationship with he'll have to mind the boundaries. He complies because he loves me. It took us several years to get to the point that I feel we have a healthy father/daughter relationship, and largely, I am responsible for it. He never would have reached out to me.

The advice I would give you is to not give up on mending the relationship now and attempting to resolve what you can. And then further, what you cannot mend...forgive. And then further, what you cannot forgive...accept. Easier said than done, I know. But not impossible.

Also know that by the time you realize you won't see him again (if his soul should be separated permanently from you), you won't really know that until you are resting in God's arms yourself, and there will be no pain about it at that time.

I know I sometimes jump ahead in my life, imagining my life after many of my spous and many of my loved ones have died, and it is so painful a thought that I cry. But I talk myself out of it with the knowledge that when those moments come, I will be equipped emotionally to deal with them. Even if I'm not, living obliviously for now with the gratitude that I have still have time to build my relationships and make them stronger keeps me in the moment. Stay in the moment, and make it as meaningful as possible.

Is it possible if you join the military, you will miss the time you have left with your father?

Spartacus
July 12th, 2004, 06:59 AM
Is it possible if you join the military, you will miss the time you have left with your father?

NO, I won't be re-enlisting that soon.

I have already accepted and forgiven everything. Same goes for him I think. He is not a horrible human being...he just aint too human...a workaholic...

Dionysus
July 12th, 2004, 07:11 AM
....he just aint too human...a workaholic...

Hmmm...

Do you mean he's the kind of guy that feels a sense of duty and that his family has spent their lives having to accept it?

HappyLady
July 12th, 2004, 07:50 AM
He is not a horrible human being...he just aint too human...a workaholic...

Then you don't have as high a mountain to climb as some people like me did. My Dad was and still can be a total jerk. ;) Be thankful and cherish your time with him as much as possible. I know that is what I try to do with my Dad, even if he can be a jerk.

Spartacus
July 12th, 2004, 08:02 AM
Hmmm...

Do you mean he's the kind of guy that feels a sense of duty and that his family has spent their lives having to accept it?


No, He has spent most of his adult life avoiding family, avoiding conflicts and just plain not spending time with his family much at all. He does not know how to connect with anyone on an intament 1-1 basis.

CC
July 14th, 2004, 10:14 AM
I am sorry I have not been here and of course you know I am not speaking of godly inference, I will outline my story and if you'd like me to elaborate on any of it I will.

Mother and father divorced when I was three years old.
My morhter was diagnosed with breast cancer, (this was in the days of slash and burn treatments)
The court awarded my mother the two oldest girls and my dad us boys, me being the youngest.
As I grew up I and others noticed that in spite of me being the runt of the litter that my dad was always quicker to swat at me, hit me harder and treat me more harshly than my older brothers. At the same time he bragged about my physical ability and (he said) good looks...to others. He never told me "I love you" a single time. I don't think he knew the words.
As I got older I began to pick up bits and pieces of rumor in the family that I wasn't my dad's kid. I really couldn't quite put it together cause afterall, I lived with him, I called him dad, he beat me. Even mom (when I got to see her) said it was nonsense. But I realized "it" was the source the extra dose of misteatment I received from "dad".

I put him out of my mind and went about growing up. Fortunately for me there were two people who gave a damn and saw I needed guidance and each in their own way gave it.
The first was my top sargeant(sp?) in the army. I spent most of my two years under him avoiding him as he more than not would grab me by the scruff of my neck, figuratively and sometimes literally.
The next was a far gentler man who was into nature and peace. He was even a pacifist. He was accomplished in several areas and became like a father to me. (he doesn't like it when I make that comparison).
He has epmhazema (I know that one is spelled incorrectly) and gives himself maybe five years. Especially since he took up cig smoking again after I had nagged him into quiting almost twenty years earlier. He figured what the heck and now he pulls around an oxygen tank in one hand and a cig in the other.

I had disconnected from my entire family (I had learned that indeed I was the "black sheep" of the flock) By the time I was notified of my dad's death he had been in the ground six weeks. I didn't care a bit, still don't.
On the other hand it was hugely uplifting for me to call that 1sgt and relate what I've been through.
I'm hoping against hope that I will be able to take a vacation and see him next year or the next. I would go to his funeral and I know I should not wait till then but rather call my trip an emergency and go out and see him now. But business is a determining factor. I have set things into motion that now must be tended.

The 1sgt declined my offer of lunch should I get back out there. So be it. He was my master for two good years. But I have learned that it takes two to make any friendship work. He has plenty of friends who will be at his funeral I am sure.

But my mentor, my friend with the air tank, has no more family. Heck, he has willed his house to the people who rebted the B side (duplex), though they won't know it till he dies. He has no family save for a couple of nephews and a neice who have never stayed in touch.

Life's demands keep me from doing what I wish to do. But I only wish to do it if there are "two" as it takes two to have a relationship. I have had many friends die in tragic ways over the years. Riding my bike at the head of a funeral procession got to be enouigh that I vowed never to ride my bike in a funeral ever again. Two of those friends committed suicide. I tryed, we all tryed to make them understand. Another did the same only we never suspected a thing from him.

Some people you can reach a little, some not at all. I believe the responsibility lies with the one needing attention the most. I can do what I can, but I'm not going to throw my life off track to either try to save someone or comfort them when they, for any reason, will not reciprocate.
My uncle (of who I was always close too) died of cancer a couple of years ago. Though he lived far away we kept in touch. We even talked about death. He told me he always enjoyed my calls and letters so I wrote and called, right up to the end. I didn't go to his funeral. I had no need to as he knew how I felt about him and visa-versa.
My mother is now 80. (she lost a large chunk of her body but she survived the cancer.)...She knows who my real father is but since she has never admitted it I'm sure I will never know. I think all you can do is love a person as much as they will allow and accept that that isn't always equal............:O)

FruitandNut
July 28th, 2004, 08:12 AM
Spart's father has passed away, I've sent him a couple of PMs from a Christian as well as a human perspective that appear to have helped his understandibly turbulent emotions at present. For those so inclined say a prayer, for the rest, positive vibes. I lost both of my dear parents in the space of five months, one just before Christmas 1999 and the other in early May 2000, theres still an emotional void and their birthdays, and Mothers' and Fathers' days are poiniant reminders.

Atticus
July 28th, 2004, 08:19 AM
I think the Irish truly have the greatest way of dealing with death. Instead of mourning the loss of a relative or friend, you instead celebrate their life. Add a few kegs into the mix and you have a grand ol' time. You have to think about the great times you had with that person, of the laughs and the smiles. Life is about happiness not dispair and sadness. I'm sure noone would want their relatives to be stricken with grief. Of course, you miss the person and you wish they were still alive but death is a natural course in life and happens to everyone. There is no point in fearing it or mourning others. They had a good life and you have to think that way. Make the best of life and make the biggest impact you can. I don't believe in an afterlife so it's always my opinion that you won't see those that have pasted away after you die. You have to think of the good times not the death. Sadness doesn't help you. It doesn't benefit you. You have to get over it and move on. Death happens to everyone and life is just a ticking clock that will give out at any moment so live life to the fullest while you still have it.

mrs_innocent
July 28th, 2004, 11:05 AM
There is no point in fearing it or mourning others

The grieving process is a natural one and needs to be allowed to happen. It's great to reflect on what a great life the person had or what have you, but it's another thing completely to disallow yourself to feel the loss (assuming the person was close to you). Mourning is a healthy response.

My Grandmother passed away when I was 14. I think I had a somewhat rare relationship with her, as she was much like a mother to me most of my life. My Mother and I lived with her for as long as I can remember. Everything that happened in my life, she was there right next to my Mom. They were my only family my entire life: my Mom, my Grandmother, and my Uncle. They're all I had ever had, so losing her had a huge effect on me. I was trying to avoid grieving; I attempted to act like I didn't care. I stopped going to school, stayed locked up in my bedroom, only coming out for a meal here and there and showers after my Mom had gone to bed. I didn't take phone calls or visitors...my whole world stopped. Then my best friend told me the exact same thing your stated in your post, Atticus--to get over it and move on--; it didn't help. I tried to take her advice, though, because nothing else was seeming to make the pain go away. I found myself on a nice little path of destruction until my Mom finally had to put me in counselling. I've never been one to express much emotion, least of all when I'm hurt in some way. I kept everything inside until I eventually just 'blew up'.

Now I've moved beyond my Grandmother's death for the most part, but only because I allowed myself to feel. Her birthday was November 23, and ocassionally it falls on Thanksgiving. That part of the year is usually the hardest on my Mom and me. I'm not really sure how I feel about an afterlife either, but I know that nothing is certain. Sometimes I do like to believe she can see me, that she was there when I got married and when I've given birth to my daughters. Those are the things that make up my life now, and I know she'd be happy to be here with us.

FruitandNut
July 29th, 2004, 01:13 AM
I think the Irish truly have the greatest way of dealing with death. Instead of mourning the loss of a relative or friend, you instead celebrate their life. Add a few kegs into the mix and you have a grand ol' time. You have to think about the great times you had with that person, of the laughs and the smiles. Life is about happiness not dispair and sadness. I'm sure noone would want their relatives to be stricken with grief. Of course, you miss the person and you wish they were still alive but death is a natural course in life and happens to everyone. There is no point in fearing it or mourning others. They had a good life and you have to think that way. Make the best of life and make the biggest impact you can. I don't believe in an afterlife so it's always my opinion that you won't see those that have pasted away after you die. You have to think of the good times not the death. Sadness doesn't help you. It doesn't benefit you. You have to get over it and move on. Death happens to everyone and life is just a ticking clock that will give out at any moment so live life to the fullest while you still have it.

Being half Paddy myself, that tends to be my approach. I have always felt that it is much more emotionally traumatic though, in the case of a much younger person - there is in linear terms, less of a life to celebrate.

You can't beat a good wake if the person has had along and largely good life. That is the type of send off, maybe not too riotous, that I would wish to have - its a shame that I won't be able to enjoy the booze myself.

Mourning is natural, but objectively it is self-indulgent. For those of us who believe in a better afterlife, it is almost as though we are wishing they were not participating in their well deserved 'party' of a lifetime.

Andacanavar
August 3rd, 2004, 06:27 PM
Hmmm...

Do you mean he's the kind of guy that feels a sense of duty and that his family has spent their lives having to accept it?

My father to a tee.

My dad has had a difficult, from what I know of his first 30-35 years or so (he's currently 64). His father was the classic alcoholic family beater (died from cirrohisis), and his mother gave all her children up for adoption so they could escape the beatings that she couldn't. You have to remember, this was the late '40's, early '50's. Different times.

At 17, he joined the Navy and had a 25 year career in the military. He dealt with the death of his younger brother, who was killed in an accident by a drunk sheriff, fought in the Vietnam rivers in two different tours, lost many of his good friends in that war, and after coming back from that his first wife, who turned into a drunk while he was at war left him and convinced his three sons to disown him.

He's never said much about it, as a matter of fact most of the things I know about my father come from my mother. He also gave me pretty much anything and everything I needed growing up as far as material things go. Though he hasn't said it exactly all that much, I know he loves me. though he will avoid talking about the more difficult things in his life if he can prevent it.