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hard time dealing with 3 losses in less than a year

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Old 08-01-2005, 11:34 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2005
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plutox6 HB User
hard time dealing with 3 losses in less than a year

hi there. i am new to these kind of things but i am really having a hard time sifting through things. the short of it is that from august of 2004 to now i have lost my grandmother (77yo), my mother (54yo) , and now my father (57yo). and to top it all off i haven't even reached 30. sure, i knew things would happen but i never phathomed it would be sooner than later.

everything started to fall apart last june. my father contracted west nile virus in arizona and ended up in the hospital for 2 months. he nearly died and had encephalitis from the disease. his short term memory never fully recovered and the weakness, among other things, left him unable to care for himself. he also had history of strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. i had to place him in a private group home (my parents divorced in 2000 after 29 years of marriage and growing up together as children) 2000 miles away from all of us.

well after i got back from dealing with his struggle, i had to travel north to my mother's house in july for her to have exploratory sx. while she was in sx they discovered that the cancer had returned 5 years after being in remission, and it came back with a vengence. her bowels were severly matted together and there was no way to even dissect any out. so, they basically closed her back up and felt chemo was the only chance.

well, upon leaving the hospital i discovered that my grandmother, my father's mother, was a floor below my mother. she was declining rapidly due to what they discovered to be pancreatic cancer. so, i spent some time there with her and my aunt before leaving the hospital.

two to three weeks later in august, i was on a plane heading west again to close out my father's apartment as he would never be able to care for himself on his own again. when i arrived out there i was planning to let my father know about his mother in person the next day. well, that night my aunts called to inform me that gram had passed. so now i get to go tell my father that not only was his mother sick and i didn't tell him, but now she had passed. i didn't tell him over the phone because his memory was still bad and i didn't want him to hear that alone and then possibly forget or get confused.

so, after staying the week out there with him and helping him, i hit the highway with a van of my father's belongings and drove home.

after i arrived home a week later i got the call my mom had to be taken in for emergency sx. she made it through the sx but within a day i knew something was off. i felt i needed to head up home. i called and talked to everyone up there and headed home. my husband and i arrived there late in wee hours of the night. i got to see her and we talked.

what had happened was her bowel was so weakened by the cancer it perforated and was leaking. they repaired it but her strength was so low due to the 2 rounds of chemo she was going through. reality started to set in thaty mom was not going to pull through this one. as a family we pulled shifts at the hospital for a week and a half while she slipped into a depper sleep that allowed her to pass. of course even with so many of us there, she waited until we were either asleep or out of the room before she passed. that was sept. 10, 2004.

i made it through the holidays, most of the birthdays, and still seem to be in auto pilot.

well, a week and a half ago i headed back home to walk to childhood home i was born into before it was sold. it is the only house i ever knew, but neither my brother nor i could move in. the day after i arrived, i received a phone call from my dad's dr. in arizona.

my father had gone in to the hospital earlier that week with chest pain and i had been in contact with him, checking in. well, that morning he was due to be discharged adn when he went to get out of the bed, he slipped, hit his head on the railing and fell.

the staff picked him, placed him in bed and examined him to make sure he was okay. everything checked out. three hours later when the dr. came through to discharge him they found him unresponsive in the bed. the hooked him up to a vetilator and started performing tests. when the dr. called me to let me know he that he was concerned about a brain bleed as he had a blown pupil.

i told him that my father's living will was against anything artificial and anything that would prolong his life. but in that instance i agreed to let him on the ventilator until my brother and i could catch a flight out there. he said they would.

he called back a couple hours later with the cat scan results that showed 2 subderal hematomas and a deeper subarachnoid. i told him that we were planning on heading out that night and he said okay. an hour later the intensive care physician called me. he talked with me at length about what was going on, and being in the medical field myself, i knew what he was asking.

my father was by definition brain dead and we were only prolonging his passing. they didn't feel he would even be able to hold on through the night for us to get there. so, i had to make the call i never thought i would have to do.

i respected my father's wishes to the very end and realeased him so he could start a new journey.

there was never any question about he wanted, i knew what he wanted, and it was written also. but not being able to be with him is really bothering me. he wanted cremated so i will never get to see him again. i have no closure. the only thing i have is knowing that as daddy's little girl i did right by him.

that was july 22, 2005. so, here i am, very lost, confused, angry, among so many other things. i just returned home the other night and i am now packing again to fly out to arizona to scatter my father's ashes in the desert.

if there is anyone out there that can even begin to make any sense of any of this i would really appreciate it. i never thought i would be an orphan before i even hit 30. there is so much that i needed to learn from them still. still so many stories i wanted to hear. well, i thank you for letting me vent a downsized version of everything that has gone on. if anyone has anything that they think might help me sort through all of this it would mean a lot. thanks.

Last edited by plutox6; 09-07-2005 at 10:48 PM.

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Old 08-02-2005, 11:23 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,593
Johnster HB User
Re: hard time dealing with 3 losses in less than a year

My dear plutox6,

I really do feel your pain. I lost the very same people in my life all in one year as well just last year. I however was 40, my grandmother was 86, mom was 61 and dad was 64. They didnít exactly make it to retirement either. Iím afraid my story continues to get worse but this is not about me. I can still sit here a year later and try to find a reason or meaning to add to so many theories. Yes it is so hard and sometimes makes you feel all alone in this. Memories come back and grieving is so intensified when itís our parents and it is so bad when itís both so soon and so early. I know there are others though. Some here are like us and even younger. The biggest lesson I have truly learned is never to take anything for granted. Our time here, people who come into and touch our lives are all blessings and gifts from God. It helps me to have faith and believing in the next life where I will see them again when itís my time one day. Until then I will remember and try to put into practice their hopes, dreams and good morals they have in stowed in me. I will continue to touch and affect others as they did too. This way I keep a piece of them alive here as well. Alive in me and in my heart where I hold them close to me. I say this all today realizing that this itís my momís birthday and the first one I feel awkward not celebrating. I think I will try to find a way to celebrate it anyway but I always will remember.

I am so sorry and I hope something I have written will help you. I will keep you and your family in my prayers at this very difficult time in your life.

God Bless

Old 08-27-2005, 07:07 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Samiol HB User
Re: hard time dealing with 3 losses in less than a year

Dear plutox6,

I am completely new to this site but your message kind of stared at me traight away.Perhaps it't the similarity of the situation I was in 3 years ago when I lost 3 people I loved in the just over a week, 10days to be precise.

I just turned 30 in April 2002, had the long awaited wedding, great holiday in Thailand and things looked so great until one evening I recieved that dereded phonecall.

My mohter had 2 strokes when I was 15 yo (now I realise that it was then that I lost her 1st time, as she never was the same after it)
My sister phoned to tell me that mum was taken to hospital and that things don't look good. She was bed-bound for nearly a year so I kind of knew it was coming but I was so not ready for it... It doesn't mater how hard you try, even when you know it's coming - you can never be ready to face the death of a loved or...especially multiple losses..

That night I received another call from the nurse that looked after mum, she passed away at 6.00pm on Saturday 12 July 2002... It felt like the whole world changed and I knew that my life will never be the same again...

On Sunday after a day of travelling I arrived at friend house just before midnight, I phoned my sister to make arrangements to meet the following morning - and as if this one death was not enough - there was another news for me. My father died of heart attack that very Sunday - at 1.00 pm just as I was lifting into the air on a way to bury my mother - He was dying!

18 hours after my mother he passed away, she must have called him and he followed even that they've been seperated for 15 years and lived 800km apart...

I really belive that even that they haven't been together the love they sweared to each ohter the day got married ...was always there...

Due the distance and timing I sculd only attend one funeral, my mother's, I wished I could be there when they burried my father...I wish I could see him before he died, I had so many issues I needed to sort many things to ask him and to tell him that I loved him and that I understand and forgive him for leaving me & my mother....but I was too late ...he's gone forever and I even wasn't there to say goodbye to him...he was only 64...

I visited the grave but in some ways it didn't feel that still doesn't , it's only sometimes when I think about my life as whole I realise that the two most important people in my life gone forever, I feel like an orphan, a small lost girl that has nobody to turn makes me feel very sad and lonely...

But that's not the end of this sad strory, the day before my mum's funeral I visted my dear friend. Man I've known for 10 yeas, the man who secretly had feelings for me all this time, the man who stand up at front of 60 people and announced that he's life regret was the fact that he met me 20 years too late...a very special man.... I knew that this visit would be my last... he had stomach cancer so we all knew his time was limited.

Exactely a week after my parents were buried he died in hospital... I never got a chance to attend the service or to join the friend on a "field trip "as they called it ( I think it wasn't legal to scatter the ashes or someting like that)

By this time I was back to England, I burried my fellings & got myself busy with work,study and all those other things we do to keep ourselves from going mad... but it didn't really work. It took me a long time to realise that.

3 years on and I still feel like a little lost girl, I suppose there always be times when I feel like that but at least now I'm trying to let myself grieve and cry when I feel I need to , I'm working on getting the deep burried feeling out and deal with them , get over the issues that I never sorted when they were here so I can get a closure on that chapter of my life. In some way it's like making peace with them&myselfat the same tim.

I know I can't bring them back to life but I think of them a lot and want them to know that I'm gonna be ok, and somwhere inside me I believe that they know already., I know they wouldn't want me to be sad all my life.

The feelings you've described are normal, we all feel shock,anger and frustration as we haven't got any control over what has just happned.
We all grieve differentely but it's important that you let youself grieve, it's hard and it takes time but it will get better - it will never be the same or as good as it was but it will get better - trust me I've been there...

I found that councelling can help, I've left it much too late as I'm only having it now but even so it's helping, maybe even more now as I'm ready, sometimes talking to someone independed who's not involved gives you a new perspective and lets you see things in different light.

If you prefer talk to your family, just don't lock your feeling inside you...
The most important thing is just take yout time and the peace will come, it might take sometime, but it will come....


Last edited by Samiol; 08-27-2005 at 07:36 PM.

Old 08-27-2005, 07:26 PM   #4
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golfguy49 HB User
Re: hard time dealing with 3 losses in less than a year

That is a very sad story to have to read, much less live through in your case. I cannot say I have had your experience, but all I can say is that there is no greater joy for oneself than bringing joy to others. I might suggest you channel your energies into helping desperate children in need - sometimes seeing the pain of other helps us put our own troubles into perspective.

Old 08-27-2005, 08:00 PM   #5
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Re: hard time dealing with 3 losses in less than a year

I'm so sorry for all 3 of you. All your stories brought tears to my eyes. I don't have the answer, but I wanted to offer my condolences to all of you.
I worry about my mom dying because she's the only family I have left. My grandparents are gone, dad died 5 yrs ago and I have no brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc. Except for my great aunts, who live far away and are in their 80's. I know one day I will be an orphan too. I have no children.
All I can suggest is keep them alive in your heart, they never really leave you. I know that sounds so cliche, but it's true.

Old 08-29-2005, 12:52 AM   #6
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CARAT414 HB User
Re: hard time dealing with 3 losses in less than a year

I came here tonight to see if anyone was hurting like me so I wouldn't feel so alone right now. I had moved my parents in with me in Feb 2004, because my mother had been told she had less then a month to live, my father had a nervous breakdown upon hearing this news. I lost my favorite aunt and my neice in April of 2004 after they both suffered from the injuries of a car accident. My mom passed May 25, 2005 in my home. My oldest brother passed that November from an accidental drug over dose of depressants. On April 16, 2005 I held my fathers hand and told him it was okay for him to rest and he left me. My other brother just passed away on the 22nd of August.
With all that has been happening in my household over the past week we all including me forgot that yesterday the 28th was my 41st birthday. So here I sit on my couch knowing that every relative I had 41 years ago is now gone, and I am left here feeling as though I dont belong and wondering what is next???

Thank you for at least letting me vent and see that I am not the only person that feels a bit overwhelmed with the cards that have been dealt to them.
Life shouldn't be measured by the breaths that you take, but by the times it takes your breath away.

Old 09-07-2005, 10:40 PM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2005
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plutox6 HB User
Re: hard time dealing with 3 losses in less than a year

hi there and thanks to all of you willing to offer words of comfort and to help me see that i am not alone in this boat. i looked back at my post and i apoligize for it's length and lack of paragraphs. i just corrected that so it wasn't hard to read anymore. i just started writing and couldn't stop.

i made the journey to arizona with my hubby and other family and we had a beautiful release in the mountains. just as my brother and i were about to release dad a pack of coyotes started howling out of nowhere. it was so perfect. my father loved the desert and it was so fitting. there were so many signs out of that experience in the desert tha i can breath a little easier knowing that he is home where he longed to be.

of course i am still far from accepting it. i know there are a lot worse out there and i should be thankful that i had parents but i struggle with not knowing where to turn when i am looking for advice on life or to share things that are going on. my mother's anniversary is only 2 days away and it seems unreal that a year has gone by already. i can still remember so much from that week and a half, as if it was last month.

i did go talk to a counselor and she gave me several things to experiment with in terms of greiving. i guess group therapy is a big thing but i don't think that i could or would hold up very well. maybe this kind of format would prove more beneficial. it alllows me to share and reread my thoughts without feeling too overwhelmed.

well, thanks again, and i hope that maybe in some way i will be able to help you as you have helped me.

Last edited by plutox6; 09-07-2005 at 10:52 PM.

Old 09-14-2005, 11:06 PM   #8
Tammy Spencer
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Re: hard time dealing with 3 losses in less than a year

Hi i have a simalar story to yours it brought tears to my eyes and made me think of mine back in 2001 my mother and my cousins wife died in a car accident my aunt and my dad and my cousin survvived then 2 yearts later my grandmother died then a year later my aunt died then about 6 mounths later we found out my dad had melanoma cancer it time being of this my hubby was deathly sick with steven johnson sydrome and lupus on life support but he makes it through it my husband just passes away august 3rd of 2005 due to lupus and alot of other things wrong with him then my father passed away august 25th 2005 due to his cancer i was so mad at god for taking the last 2 people besides my kids i loved so much away but then i relized thaat he had to do it for a reason then i blamed myself i miss them so badly i wished they were here with me my hubby wasnt suppost to die he was only 39 years old he got real bad and made it through it only with a 5% chance of making it so i thought oh yes we did it and we were really trying to change our lives and then he got sick agian only five days of being home then 2 weeks later we lost him it just seemed so unreal i had to make the choice of taking him off the ventalater and it was so hard i just couldnt do it i thought and my sister in law and the doc made me realize we were making him suffer me an dmy hubby had our ups and downs but i could always run back i loved him so much and now i had to make a choice that i couldnt turn it back it hurt so bad i stayed with him untill he passed away and it did hurt so badly he was my love of my life and always will be now i dont ever think i could love another man agian after all this then my father had to go to the e.r and we lost him that night it was so wierd people with cancer are suppost to get down before they go he didnt we went to eat the night before out of town he did so great never complained ever i just couldnt get it ofcourse i couldnt let him die alone so i stayed with him he also didnt want a ventalater on either or anything so we didnt and right before he died i was holding his hand he wasnt responding and he raised his had as he was reaching for someone so i thought he was coming around i started hollering at him to come back to us and then he died it was like my mother had come to get him and he was showing us he would be ok and all through this he had a smile on his face. explain that? i just wish they hadnt left me they were so important to me they are what made my time go by besides my kids yeah i got tired alot from taking care of them but i would do it again too because i feel like i needed them too and yeah i know i should be happy i got to be with them when they died but it was so hard too sometimes i wish i would have not made it in time for them to go because i just have that picture in myhead and cant get it out and now i keep dreaming my hubby is alive and i wake up thinking he is too then to see i am only dreaming then it sucks i cant even get the nerve up to go through my hubbys or my dads stuff here at the house i feel like i am booting them out i just wish they were stil here with me i miss all them so much!!!

Old 10-10-2005, 08:07 PM   #9
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Tiina HB User
Re: hard time dealing with 3 losses in less than a year

Im sorry for your losses too. I am struggling as well with loss. I lost my dad to a brain tumour over 18 months ago, aged 64. He was diagnosed just before my wedding and that shook my world. It wasnt the fairytale wedding I had planned after all. I was just getting secure with the world recently. Life was almost great again and I was adjusting to grief and not so worried for my mum being a widow as she was better too. Then BANG! My sister's husband, aged 34, died of a massive heart attack - unexpectedly. There were no signs of anything wrong. He left behin two children, aged 2 and 14 months. How cruel the world is. Now I am worried for my sister and the children. All over again. It seems like I can never enjoy my life. My wedding was coloured with grief, and now the joy of my 3 month old baby girl is coloured with grief. Although - I must say - my daughter keeps me going and smiling. I cant make sense of my brother in laws death!!!!!!!! Im still in shock and numb
SOrry for not being much help to anyone. But if its any consolation - there is grief all over the world so dont feel alone people


Old 10-29-2005, 04:19 PM   #10
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bride527 HB User
Re: hard time dealing with 3 losses in less than a year

What sad stories.........I can totally relate though, I lost my mom in April (85) and my Dad followed her in July (86)....They just could not go on without each other. It was the saddest thing. She died of complications from Alzheimers in a nursing home and he was diagnosed with lung cancer after she passed. He ended up dying in the same nursing home, actually the room right across the hall from hers. It was horrible. I was there with each of them when they passed. It is something i will never ever forget. Although it was peaceful and i knew it was there time it was so hard to let them go...I am 53 years old and i have a wonderful husband and three grown sons and a one year old grandaughter. Thank Goodness for all of them, but i miss my parents so much, We were so close and I just cannot believe they are both gone., I lost two parents in three months. The loss is tremendous and i think about them every day. I know i am still in the greiving process and it will take time. We all have to hold on to the memories and remember they are always always with us.....I know it is hard but we have to go on and be strong. (easier said than done).....My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.........bride527

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