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Old 02-10-2012, 05:34 PM   #1
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Can't stop the thoughts and images in my head

Hello

Two nights ago, the local police came to our house and knocked on the door. They explained they were there at the request of the police dept in a small mid-western town. ( I am in New England) My cousin had my name and number in his wallet for emergency contact. They informed me that my cousin had passed away and I was to call the police in the small town.

I called and felt badly to learn my widowed cousin had passed away. He was found dead at home. He had some health issues, but certainly no one expected his passing from them at this point. Funny thing is that my mom had been trying to reach him for two weeks with no response from him and was worried. I thought he had just gone on a bit of a trip or something.

Anyway, in speaking with the detectives, I learned that he was discovered after his mail had piled up in the mailbox and the mailman notified authorities.
The medical examiner determined he had died on Jan 26, two weeks before he was discovered.

I am thankful for the mailman's concientiousness certainly. What I can't get out of my head is this picture in my mind of my cousin laying there dead for two weeks. I don't yet know how he died. I wonder constantly if he was laying there suffering, alone and scared. Did he hear the phone ringing and couldn't get to it?? I keep seeing visions of him struggling for help and being unable to get any. It is haunting me.

To complicate it a bit, he has a son from whom he has been estranged for years. I have no idea what caused the estrangement. The son lives maybe 60 from him. However, the authorities did not know how to contact him or find him and asked if I had any information. I had little, but said I would check with family and see if anyone had any bits and pieces. Eventually, through some web searches, I was able to locate the son and found a contact number and address. I called the detective back and notified him. Together we agreed that it would be better for me, as a family member, to contact the son in lieu of the police knocking at his door.

I did reach him, explained who I was and shared the news of my cousin's passing. What an emotional phonecall. The son was totally overwhelmed. Who wouldn't be. I told him where his Dad's remains are, gave him all the needed phone numbers and ended by saying we would talk again when ready.

I think the situation between them is what is adding a whole lot to my upset here. Maybe I am a bit angry at my cousin and at the son for the estrangement. I am angry that my cousin died alone and was left to rot for two weeks. I am angry, I am sad, and I can not seem to let go of the emotions, feelings, or images.

Geeze. As I write I guess this is the first time I have acknowledged the anger. Dumb emotion to feel during grief, huh? But here it is.

I don't know what I expect from writing this to the world. Maybe just needed to vent. I can't seem to cry about it. No relief. No relief. No relief.

That's all. Nothing more to say I guess. It is what it is. It just isn't what it should have been.

Last edited by reachout; 02-10-2012 at 05:37 PM.

 
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:37 PM   #2
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Re: Can't stop the thoughts and images in my head

Quote:
Originally Posted by reachout View Post
I think the situation between them is what is adding a whole lot to my upset here. Maybe I am a bit angry at my cousin and at the son for the estrangement. I am angry that my cousin died alone and was left to rot for two weeks. I am angry, I am sad, and I can not seem to let go of the emotions, feelings, or images.

.
Reach,

Being upset is part of the process.

In the grand scheme of things,we are supposed to live,love and laugh...

Your caring nature and concern for others is definitely evident.

Letting go;now that's a(proverbial) horse of a different breed entirely.

Allow yourself to experience the good,with the bad and at the end of the day,if you are left with more questions than answers,then you're exactly where you need to be(for now).

I definitely relate to what you're feeling and I truly hope that you stay the course.

Set some time aside each day,for yourself....

Please remember that these thoughts are a manifestation of how you are feeling in general.

Respectfully stated,
Phoenix
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:47 PM   #3
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Re: Can't stop the thoughts and images in my head

Hello Phoenix

Thank you for the thoughtful response. I have been thinking about your words since reading them the other night. You brought me back to some reality when I was losing it. This phrase is what I especially found helpful:
Allow yourself to experience the good,with the bad...

That was the reminder to me that I had lost the balance. I have some great memories of my cousin. They are good and worth thinking about. The bad... the estrangement between father and son.... well, I don't own it at all. It was between them, I don't know the whys of it, and maybe it was necessary.

Balance. That is what I had lost sight of in this.

The images of my cousin dead in the house for two weeks... well, I have thought and focused on that to try and figure out why it has been so hurtful to me. I think, in the end, I felt hurt for him that that was how his life ended and he just lay there. But the truth is, he lay there dead. He was beyond knowing or caring about the days that passed during this time. He had moved on at the moment of his death. I believe that through faith and know that my cousin has long believed that to be a truth also.

Oh, I am still sad, very sad, about his passing but have learned in the past years how to grieve and acknowledge grief. I know the grieving is not over yet. However, the anger has passed. I can let the anger go, I think, because it is really not mine to be angry about. I let it out, I have faced it, now understand more about it and can let go.

You have been a great help, my friend. It's like you blew some kindness into the midst of my turmoil. Funny, I wrote that post impulsively and once I had hit that "submit" button, I really questioned why I had let loose and felt kind of dumb about the whole thing. Today, I see it was a good thing.

Thanks for the kindness
reach

 
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