Grieving- what should I do?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by halfwaynowhere, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. halfwaynowhere

    halfwaynowhere Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2008
    La Puente, CA
    In October, I met someone. We started texting regularly, and started dating in the beginning of November. We had been taking time getting to know each other, he wasn't very talkative when it came to his feelings, but each time we saw each other, he opened up a little bit more, and I learned a little more about his past, his life, his family. Still, there was a lot I didn't know, but there should have been plenty of time for that.

    On December 23, I spent a few hours with him. He hadn't been feeling well, shortness of breath mostly. He told me he thought it was anxiety, which seemed in line with the stress he was going through with the holidays, and running his own business. We hung out, watched the Steelers game together (he was a huge Steelers fan). He had told me if he didn't feel better the next day, he was going to go to the ER.

    7 PM Christmas Eve, I received a text message from him. All it said was "Congestive heart failure. My lungs are filled with blood. Merry christmas to me. Sorry." After that, nothing.

    I had a bad feeling about that, and have been constantly checking obituaries, but hadn't found anything. Finally today I tried googling his name, and found it. He passed away on the 26th. I learned a lot more about him from reading his obituary- that he had been previously married, he had a daughter and a stepdaughter. The obituary also mentioned his "girlfriend", but they had broken up last January.

    I'm very broken up about this. My life has been incredibly chaotic, just one bad thing after another. I was really getting to enjoy his company, and every time he sent me a text message, he brought a smile to my face. I miss how comfortable I felt when he held me, I miss watching TV together, him patiently putting up with my silly questions and comments about football while watching the Steelers games. I miss sitting at home keeping track of the scores when we weren't watching the game together, secretly rooting for his team to win because I knew it would make him happy.

    I hate that I had to find out about this from a google search. I had been hoping that at least someone would look through his phone contacts and let me know. When each day passed without hearing from him, I pretty much knew, but there was still a tiny bit of hope, and that was shattered today. I've been a wreck ever since. I hope he knew that I cared about him, though I'll never know how he felt about me. There's a part of me that wants to reach out to his family, let them know what he meant to me, and that I was there with him on one of his last days. Things weren't serious between us yet, but things looked like they could head that way, and I was hoping they would. But at the same time, I know that they are going through a lot, too. To lose a family member so unexpectedly, even if they were for the most part, estranged. And I feel like the last thing they need is some silly girl coming out of the woodwork and pretending she knows what they are going through.

    I did leave a short condolence note on his obit page, along the lines of "we only knew each other for a short time, and while i'll never know what i meant to you, you meant a lot to me". I want to write something in the guestbook on the mortuary website, but i feel like since i don't really exist to his family, maybe i should stay that way. after all, we only dated for two months. Should I just stay out of it? If I do say something, what would be appropriate? I'm afraid of saying something wrong, and upsetting his family. I really don't know how to handle this situation... I wish I could attend his service, but he's back home with his family in Kansas....
  2. WIChookchick

    WIChookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2010
    Rural Brooklyn, WI
    A friend of mine went through this, a few years ago. I know what you are going through. I Just wish some one could have been there to share the news with you, when you found out.
    First off, PLS, if you have a friend nearby, call them, make a promise to them and to your family you won't do something stupid, selfish and something that may make sense to you NOW..
    IT won't in a few months, Make that promise that you WILL not look to end your own life.
    I made my friend promise that, and he is still here today, and one of my best friends. I am his rock, his anchor and most of all, his friend.
    He met a wonderful lady about the same age as he, she was from a 2 or 3 generation japanese family, but they were very traditional. HE was not known to the family so they
    rejected him, as he was not a family friend 1st, and her then her intended.
    She shipped ALL of her things out here, he and she had web cammed for hours, sent silly presents and emails, Very similar to your texts that your special guy sent you.
    She intended to stay, but her father's disaproval, sent her into a panic. She was 45 at least, but went back to settle things down.
    While there, within days of returning to Burbank, she was in the hospital, she called and emailed my friend, after a few weeks in the hospital, her phone calls became a little
    shorter.. and then finally nothing.
    2 weeks after hearing nothing, I called her mother, she said in a very matter of fact tone.. "Oh she died, 2 weeks ago in the hospital".. they hadn't even told her best friend,
    who I KNOW had to have been known to the family. I called the best friend, to confirm, she called, devastated and then called me back to confirm.
    I then had to go in person to tell my friend.

    I can say this, IF you can celebrate his life, to remember him in some way. ( we got a brick at a local humane society), share your memories of him, it will help.
    Don't bottle up your emotions, give yourself permission to grieve. Its ok to be angry, and to be sad, and to cry.
    I have seen people who have had to deal with this, you CAN get through it.
    PLEASE.. PM me if you want my phone number, I would love to talk.

  3. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    I am so sorry for your loss. [​IMG] Even though you weren't together a long time, I can imagine the impact it still had on you, especially because you never got to properly say goodbye and because it happened so unexpectedly. I say you have all the right in the world to grieve for him in whatever ways work for you.

    I think contacting someone in his family, even just briefly to say you had been dating him for a little bit before his death and liked him, and are grieving for him as well, would be nice. It could be that they would find some solace in that and that way they'll know there is someone else thinking of him. It doesn't have to be long and protracted, just a brief acknowledgement of your connection and condolences.

    I'll be thinking of you and wishing you the best. Hang in there, and remember him however you see fit. There's nothing wrong with grieving for someone you knew and cared about. [​IMG]
  4. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live without the one we lost. They are tools to help frame and identify what we may be feeling. They are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. This from The Kübler-Ross model, commonly known as the five stages of grief, was first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying.[1]

    I hope this helps a little. Sometimes it helps to know that what you are feeling is normal.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. wolftracks

    wolftracks Spam Hunter

    Nov 6, 2009
    I sent you a pm
  6. growinupinfl

    growinupinfl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sweetie grief is normal, sometimes we grieve for people we never met. You need to breath and give yourself permission to grieve and stop wondering if strong emotions are justified because of a time frame. Just realize you lost someone you really liked, and you had hopes and.dreams that this might be the man for you and all the other thoughts and hopes that go with that. It is similar to when a woman finds out she is having a miscarriage when she did even know she was pregnant, or didn't want the pregnancy. But she will often still cry and grieve for the loss of what it was to at it could have been, and the loss was not her choice. Your loss took all those hopes of a new life with him and those possibilities with him too. If that doesn't give you a right to grieve then I don't know what will.

    Maybe you knew this gentleman before his death for you to learn. The message you wrote describes a man who had put up very high walls towards other people. You tell of a man whose pain from a minimum of two failed relationships caused him to not want anyone close him. He may have emotionally and physically distanced himself.from his family to the point that they did not even know about you. I think he may have held everyone away from himself to the point he may have died alone. Even at the end he didn't tell you what hospital or ask you to come up. He made the statement "merry Christmas too me. sorry." To me the merry Christmas part sounds like a man who has accept that this kind of out come was what was to be expected from his life. I think the sorry was a 'great another person sucked.into my world of pain'

    when you said your life is chaotic because of the bad that happen one right.after another. I bet he made statements like that before he shut down for self preservation from the world, he very well could have emotionally checked out from his daughters and everyone.else.before you met him. Maybe it was because of.emotional issues or maybe he knew there was something wrong with him and didn't want to burden or.hurt anyone.with his illness. So inturn you and his family have to deal with the.pain of a.sudden death_
    I want you to think about somethings, no matter how busy chaotic life is do you want to leave others you care about the way he did? Is there anything so bad in life that you must fear feeling? Even if something or.several something bad happen doesthat make all life bad? The only one who can minimize you into a silly girl,.or anything else is you.

    The only thing that can make all the bad stuff in your world stop is you. When you make a not let you, and realize you were important and in his life. Maybe his daughters would like to know he had a friend and someone to talkto before he got sick. You are special enough that you very well could be the person to offer them peace of mind.
    Stop looking at life for the.bad. Even in this painful death your.words of.kindness could be.a gift from God.
    The song by Casting Crowns 'I will praise you in this.storm' or.superchik 'beauty from pain' says it best about having to go through some serious stuff.
    Think of it way gold has to be boiled and melted to be.purified then it is hammered pressed molded scrubbed before.becoming a favorite piece of jewelry. Diamonds.get chiseled cracked sawed on before.becoming the most sought after the world. Imagine gold or diamonds being declared unworthy just because they were not.refined yet or if the gold.decided nope I am done enough, we.are not.going too wait for the rest of the impurity to leave. Now the gold is stuck at.a.lesser value because it did not like the heat.

    Realize all this chaotic bad is just the impurities boiling off. But I think you might shine more than you think. Don't let all the.pain in life Chase you like have chased away your friend from his family. But maybe just maybe, God knew it was your friends time as it has been since God first thought of him. If he had feelings that made him leave his family maybe he was brought to you, to help you learn and grow, and He knew you could give peace.
    I've typed enough, if you think I overstated or was rude or.misunderstood yell pm me scream her or chat I can take it. If you think it is all useless drivel I can take.that too. Want to talk we can do that and you are to pm me.

    Ps. Please excuse bad typing first long message com my phone.
  7. halfwaynowhere

    halfwaynowhere Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2008
    La Puente, CA
    Thanks for the support, everyone. Please bear with me, my thoughts are pretty fragmented right now, I'm trying to organize them the best as I can.

    There is absolutely no chance of me turning to self harm. I have a small network of friends and family that I'm leaning on for support through everything that's been going on. It doesn't stop me from feeling alone, but I'm in a fairy decent frame of mind where I won't do anything extreme. I'm not even taking the vicodin i was prescribed for my dental pain (had two root canals on tuesday) because I don't want to feel like i'm self-medicating or anything.

    He was a sad, broken man. I saw through that, and I had hoped that I could help him through that. I wanted to, because I felt he deserved it. Maybe I was getting in way over my head, but I'll never know. I know that communication is important in a relationship, even if its hard to talk about feelings sometimes. But I wasn't rushing things...

    Part of me feels responsible for not getting him to the ER sooner. I know that I had no way of knowing it was something that serious, though.

    Part of me is angry because of all the things he never told me. And that nobody contacted me. I talked to my brother today, and made him promise me that if something ever happened to me, he'd at least attempt to contact people close to me, even if it means snooping through my phone messages or something. Because I wouldn't want anyone who cared about me to miss out on that information, or have to find out the hard way.

    I'm thinking I should probably stay away from his family. If they included the information about his girlfriend in his obit, then maybe they didn't know they had been broken up for almost a year. Maybe she's pretending things were ok for his family's sake, and I don't want to get involved in a messy situation. I'm sure that after spending 5 years together, she still cares about him, and maybe that's enough.

    Mostly, I'm just cold. I can't sleep, I've got the heater on and a blanket, which usually keeps me pretty warm at night. I keep shivering, I'm freezing. I'm nauseous. I couldn't even eat a bite of dinner, and that says a lot because I'm an emotional eater, and I've had that food in the slow-cooker all day, and was really looking forward to it. I'm home alone because both my parents are currently hospitalized, one long-term, one short-term, but we aren't sure for how long. My SIL came over to keep me company for a bit when I got home from work today. What I want more than anything right now is for someone to hold me and not let go. But that isn't going to happen. I know I have plenty of people around who care about me, that's becoming more and more evident lately with everything thats been going on. And I know that helps in the long run, but it doesn't make me feel any less lonely. I think I had sort of been looking for someone to "protect" me from my problems when we started dating, and it hurts that much more knowing that he isn't around to make things better, and ironic in a sense, that he's just left me feeling even more empty than before.

    Before I knew for sure, I had pretty much suspected it. I had even been telling people that he was dead, then would clarify and say that I didn't really know for sure. And I thought I was handling it okay. I even went on a date on Saturday (didn't go well, but no big deal) trying to move on. But until I knew for sure, there was a shred of hope that he was okay, and I came up with countless reasons why he hadn't contacted me. I really didn't think it would hit me this hard if I knew for sure. Now I feel disgusted with myself for even thinking about dating other people right now, before going through the grieving process. But I also know that I can't just sit around, I have to move on. And while I might not be ready right now, there's nothing wrong with moving on.

    I've been through the miscarriage situation before, so I know what that's like, too. And even though its been awhile since that, I do still think about what could have been, even though the situation was less than ideal. It was hard going through, even harder because I had to do it alone. I didn't have anyone to talk to about it, because I didn't want anyone to know about it. I still blame myself sometimes, even though I know it really wasn't my fault. But things do get easier, even if they never completely go away.
    I think you've got him figured out, spot on. I got such a bad feeling when I read his text message. It felt like he was giving up on me. I spent the next day worried sick about him. I wanted to cancel my christmas plans so I could go see him, so he wasn't alone in the hospital on christmas, but he didn't give me any more information. The obit said he died in the city where his daughter and ex wife lived, so hopefully they got to see him. After all, his daughter is way more important than me, so I can forgive him for not letting me see him.

    I was raised taking care of my dad, and later my mom, and I struggle with accepting that its not selfish for me to take care of my own needs sometimes. I can't help but think about what everyone close to him is going through, and that I just don't matter that much. I'll survive, I'll get through it. Its going to be hard, but I know I'll manage somehow. Life will either get better, or it won't, but either way, its life.
  8. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    You are in shock and nobody can blame you. It appears you put more into this relationship that he did. Horrible you had to find out in such a way. I can't offer you comfort, advice, or any thing but my deep felt sorrow in how you were left out in the cold.
  9. halfwaynowhere

    halfwaynowhere Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2008
    La Puente, CA
    Again, thanks everyone for the support.

    I'm feeling a lot better today, i'm thinking a lot clearer. I have a tendency to fall fast, and even though I was making an effort to take things slowly with this guy, I did get attached too quickly.

    I realize now that I wasn't a part of his life. Whether or not I could have been at some point doesn't matter now. I need to leave his family alone, let them deal with their own things, and just move on. I think part of the reason I was attracted to him was because he was so broken, and I'm naturally a caretaker. I try to fix things, try to set my own needs aside. But I'm still alive, and I need to focus on me now.

    I'll never lose those special memories we shared. I'll never be able to watch The League again without thinking about him. We used to watch that together... I'll never forget that first kiss, or the last.

    I just wish the physical feelings would stop. I still can't eat, I need to leave for work soon. I have to take antibiotics and I can't do that on an empty stomach, but I don't think I can hold food down right now. I know things will get better over time, I'll meet new people, go on with my life. This is just one of those crazy bumps I have to get over first...
  10. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln

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