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Way too much loss to bear

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Old 09-20-2007, 06:46 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 51
loverLife HB User
Way too much loss to bear

I am glad I found this board. I have not reached out to many people and I know I need to talk to someone. Here it is is a nutshell: My father passed away last July 06 after open heart surgery. He spent 6 weeks of hell in the hospital until he died. His wife, my step mom was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer the very same day that my father was diagnosed with heart blockages. We(he) knew it was a risky op because he was 80 and had kidney failure. He was a risk taker and he wanted to be around for my step mom. after Dad died, my step mom was ill for 7 months until she passed in Hospice last February. My sister, 53, had Hep C and had liver failure 5 years ago. She made it through that night when they gave her 50/50 chance of surviving. She was a recovering alcoholic, who after the liver failure, became sober and lived the next 5 years in AA meetings, helping other alcholics, and her faith was restored. She was complaning of shortness of breath, fatigue, etc. She was on Inteferon, her 2nd round for the HEP C. Her doctor said it was probably a side effect of this drugs, it is like Chemo for the liver and it makes you feel like crap. On August 8 she came to spend the night with me to take her to a Pulmonologist the next day. She was complaining of feeling faint, I felt her and she was ice cold and clamy. I told her I was going to admit her to the hospital. We went and her B/P was 69/42 when we admitted her and her oxygen was 80. They immediately ran tests, put her on oxygen. I spent the next 5 days with her in the hospital. On the 2nd day they told us she had severe pulmonary hypertension and had weeks or maybe months to live. I started to cry, and she was the one comforting me. She never complained, and was calm about it all. She had high hopes that they would find a blockage and fix it. I knew better, but for her, I said I ad hopes too. I was sitting with her on August 13th when she went into respiratory failure. They let me stay in the room with her, until they made me leave. They came back and said they had revived her. I went in and told her I loved her, she chuckled and said "I almost died". And said I love you too. They told me to cal family in. I did, my sister, brother, and brother in law all got there in abouot 30-40 minutes. They had taken her to ICU and would not allow me to go with her. They came down to the waiting room and told us to come in because they were doing chest compressions on her. I told them she did not want to be ventiallted. We had discussed her wishes the day before and I had all the paperwork ready for her to sign for living will, but it never happened because she went into resp. failure. right before I was going to give it to her to sign. WHEN they revived her the doctor asked her if she wanted to be ventiallted if need be or extrodinary measures taken to save her life. She said NO. THANK GOD, because if she had not come back and said that to him, legally, they we (she) would have not had a leg to stand on. They called him down and asked him if she had said that and he said yes, so they told them to stop doing compressions. We went in, she was still with us (not really), a nurse told her she was going to give her a shot of pain med and it would probably kill her. I said OK because I didn't want her to suffer long. I wish I had not have said OK because she could still hear me. WHY did I say that! I feel guilty, it would not have changed to outcome. She died about 5 minutes later with us at her side. Scince then, I am not sure if I am in extreme grief and depression. I have no motivation, lack of energy, cry everday for her, scream in the car, THREE family members in one year is too much! WHY!! My giref for my sister is unbearable. I am also still grieivng my Dad and step mom, was just getting though that grief when this happened. I have had ddisease, death and dying of loved ones for the past 13 months and I am so blaza about life right now. Is anyone else REALLY depressed after losing someone suddenly? I lost my Mom in 1991 and I got over that in about a year or two, but I didn't have this depression that I am having now.I suppose I need to pick up the phone and call a grief couselor. I still talk to her everyday and if I would have known she was that sick I would have gone up and stayed with her or had her stay with me. Her death was a complication of liver failure, with caused HBP, then pulmonary hypertension that lead to congestive heart failure. QUICKLY. Thanks for reading.

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Old 09-20-2007, 05:36 PM   #2
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kathryn+2 HB Userkathryn+2 HB User
Re: Way too much loss to bear

I am sorry for your losses and I do understand. I lost my brother ,dad ,and grandmother within a six month period and recently lost my mom. My dad's death was due to a sudden heart attack at age 60. My brother at age 35 to cancer , my grandmother to heart failure and my mom who was healthy as a horse to a brain injury as a result of a fall. It is very hard to go through that. It got to the point where I just couldn't handle it and I went on antidepressants so I didn't have to feel at all! Not a good idea. I would have been better off going to see a grief counsler. All it does is delay the mourning process. I think a grief counsler is probably a good idea. Also in time it does get easier. Take care.....Kat

Old 09-21-2007, 05:50 AM   #3
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mark78 HB User
Re: Way too much loss to bear

hi Loverlife, your post is harrowing -- you have been through so much. I am sorry for your losses. As I read your post I had a feeling that you were suddenly pouring out all your feelings in one go. I think this group is a wonderfully supportive and empathic environment but I can't stress enough how important it is to examine your overall support network: family, friends, voluntary organisations, helplines, professional and medical. Try and cater for all your needs. Grief therapy would provide a very safe and healing space for you to explore your feelings; I have had it myself. Anti-depressants can be a real help and I don't feel there should be any reluctance to take them for a period of time if you feel that they are necessary.

For me grief was and is partly a process of forgiving myself for things i felt (unreasonably but genuinely) i should or shouldn't have done. I hope you find what you need to help you on your healing journey.
take care

Old 09-21-2007, 10:28 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 51
loverLife HB User
Re: Way too much loss to bear

Thank you both. It is good (well wish we didn't have to be in this forum - to find others going though similar siuations. I actually picked up the phone yesterday called a grief counselor who I will see on Monday.

To all of you - All I know from my own experience is that the loss (losses) we feel the more grateful we should be for whatever it was we had to lose. It means we had something worth grieving for. The one's I am sorry for are the ones that through life not even knowing what grief is. From the book HEALING AFTER LOSS by Martha Hickman
Light love and healing to you all

Old 09-24-2007, 05:59 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: USA
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slfuller HB User
Re: Way too much loss to bear

I'm so glad you're going to see a counselor. You've just experienced too much loss all at once to go it alone.

Old 01-09-2008, 01:32 PM   #6
whos smiling
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whos smiling HB User
Re: Way too much loss to bear

I just read your message and although it has been since September I am sure you are still having a very hard time. My only sister died of breast cancer in March of 2007. I had been with her through her whole battle. She developed a staph infection at the incision site that took six weeks to clear up, she became diabetic due to the surgery she had severe burns on her chest from the radiation and then she developed heart failure from the chemotherapy which eventually (depending on who you talk to at the hospital) led to her death. I miss her every day so much that my heart just about breaks. I try to pretend that I'm ok because everyone around me acts like I should be. To top if all off, her husband went nuts starting dating and got engaged two weeks after her death. When that fell through, he abandoned her two daughters so I had to take them in to raise them. I am on Effexor to help but it really doesn't. I can't stand to go to work every day because I have to be so "on" all the time. On christmas eve I was wrapping presents and it suddenly dawned on me that for the first time in 42 years (my sister's age) I would not be wrapping a gift for her. When I started crying I felt like I had to go hide in the bathroom because my husband just looks at me like I'm nuts. I have lost my father to a heart attack, my mother to lung cancer, and my precious only sister to breast cancer. I'm angry and hurt that it wasn't me. I'm the oldest I was always supposed to die first and now I just feel all alone. My heart goes out to you because I understand those feelings too well. God Bless you and I will keep you in my prayers.

Old 01-10-2008, 11:42 AM   #7
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clasact1956 HB User
Re: Way too much loss to bear

I too lost a few people close together and I was the one who gave my mom the last shot of morphine that ultimately killed her. She wasn't expected to live that day anyway and was in tremendous pain but the guilt I still carry since 1998 is still with me.


Old 01-10-2008, 11:46 PM   #8
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Monkey7935 HB User
Re: Way too much loss to bear

Every day the pain is there, it will never go away. But it will get better. You learn how to live with it. When I lost my brother (May God rest his soul and watch over the rest of his K-9 unit in Iraq) I couldnt believe it. I disbelieved it so much..I didnt go to the funeral. And then I hated myself for not going and was feeling responsible for his death. I should of went to a grief councelor, but I didnt. I should of. I'm still upset, I still cry. And I know it is okay to cry. I cant even bring myself to watching even disney movies like A Little Princess without freaking out and hyperventelating. It took me a few months but I slowly started to accept it. How did your appointment go? The thing is to never give up, and to remember all the good times. What would your sister say or your father say if they saw how sad you are? Sometimes it helps looking from different percetives, and yes, talkng about it.

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