My Story...

Discussion in 'Loss of Both Parents' started by Alyssa, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Alyssa

    Alyssa New Member

    It's taken me quite some time to reach out, but better late than never.
    My struggle with loss started in 2010. A close friend of my family's killed himself after being wrongfully accused of inappropriate behavior with a minor. He was an amazing man who loved life and certainly lived to the fullest so it's been a struggle to accept.
    Following him, my Nana fell very ill and my father cared for her until her death in June of 2011. She was 90, so while I was devastated, I could accept it. She had a full life. The hardest part was the division of the family afterwards and the loss of our family home.
    2012 was a blur, traditions were dwindling, less and less time was spent with extended family. I used to see my cousins, aunts, and uncles almost weekly. Now I'm lucky if I see them once a year.
    In September of 2013 my father was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer. It had already spread to his liver, kidneys, and lymph nodes. He started chemo that November and went weekly through the end of June. He lived two hours away from me but I commuted to take him to his first chemo and any other milestone appointments. I took him to have his port and his feeding tube put in. He had to undergo blood transfusions almost weekly.
    In July of that year he was hospitalized again and the doctors said it was time for hospice. I moved him into my home to take care of him.
    I wasn't able to take time off of work but I did my best.
    Near the end of September 2014 he was admitted into the hospice unit for pain management. He wasn't himself at all. He thought he pulled a muscle in his chest but the nurses told me they thought his esophagus was basically falling apart at this point.
    They seemed to find a good balance of meds to keep him comfortable. His personality was back, he was smiling and laughing. We thought he'd be able to come back home to rest. He took a turn for the worse and was no longer able to speak or move. He passed on October 3, 2014...three weeks before my wedding. He was 50. I was with him. It was peaceful.
    I was distracted from my grief because my husband and I were trying to get pregnant.
    On July 7, 2015...exactly one month after her 49th birthday, my mother had a heart attack. Paramedics revived her 6 times. She was life flighted to the nearest cath lab. They had her heart repaired after a 15 minute procedure. I tried to remain hopeful. They induced hypothermia then tried to wake her the next day. There was nothing as far as brain activity besides minor movement in her pupils. Her boyfriend and I pulled the plug as soon as we could. We watched her literally gasp for air for about 11 hours. She passed on July 9, 2015. Again, I was with her.
    I was responsible for the remains of both of my parents and I had no clue what I was doing. I'm in my 20's with a younger sister who just disappears in these situations.
    Well..my husband and I stopped trying to conceive. He was devastated as well.
    But still, three months after my mother's death he started cheating on me. He refused counseling and left.
    The husband isn't much of a loss just really added to the helplessness of everything.
    Really hard to think anyone cares or ever cared. Extremely overwhelming to be so alone in the world.
  2. Ellen C

    Ellen C Guest

    Dear Alyssa:
    I don't know where to begin. I have tears in my eyes as I'm reading your post. Although I am considerable older than you are, having just turned 63 on Sunday, it is amazing how much we have in common. I also lost both parents. My wonderful step-dad, who was really my Dad for 30 years died in 2005 from Mesothelioma. I was with him when he died and I literally felt my heart break. I still haven't fully recovered. My Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006, had surgery and survived for 9 years. Towards the end of 2014, her COPD and Congestive Heart Failure got much worse. I was the primary caregiver. I was still working FT- 60 hours weekly at that time. My Mom lived 2 1/2 hours away from me. I was there every single weekend. Took care of everything from doctor appointments, meds, paying bills, finding live-in help and then finally towards the end...getting hospice care. She always wanted to die in her home and I promised her I would honor her wishes. My only sister is truly a POS, and I'm sure you know what that means. She turned her back and let me handle everything. We are permanently estranged and I sincerely doubt that will ever change. My Mom died on May 4, 2015 and again, I was with her. Heartbreaking. However we said all the things that needed to be said and in the end we both knew how much we truly loved one another. And after waiting nearly my entire life, I finally heard from her what I never really did...that she was proud of me. She made me promise to be OK and to try to be happy. She stopped breathing and died peacefully....in her home. I gave the eulogy at her funeral and that was the last time I saw my sister. I have no other family left.

    And like you, I ended my marriage on XMAS Eve of 2014 when I discovered that my wonderful husband of 19 years had been having an affair for the past 10 years. We were together for 25 years. I filed for divorce and found a new place to live. And if that wasn't enough, in April of 2015 I had to put my 19 year old cat to sleep. I had her since she was 6 months old. I was devastated. The pic to the left is Kennedy, the new cat I rescued and adopted in August of 2016. Truth is...she rescued me.

    Let me just say this Alyssa. I know exactly how you feel when you say it is overwhelming to be so alone in the world. I am in the exact same situation. No more parents, no husband, no sister and no real close friends. What I will tell you is this and if it sounds like a cliche, I apologize. We both have the best 3 people in the world...ME, MYSELF and I. Yes, that's right. Inner strength, fortitude and sheer guts got us both this far and I know you don't believe it now, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. How old are you now...26 or 27? Certainly a far way off from middle age. You have your whole life ahead of you and even though it's hard right now, it will get better. I tell myself that as well, even though I am well into middle age and basically in the last chapter. I'm a realist and I know that the chances of me finding my soulmate is slim to none. And I would bet that like me, you also have trust issues. When your partner lies and betrays you, it really changes you forever. It gives you reason to pause and think very hard, as it should. Trust has to be earned.

    You sound like an intelligent young woman and a caring one as well. Basically a younger version of me. Yes, it's very lonely being on your own. The holiday season is a killer for me, but I just realized that I'm almost finished with December and I survived! I'm a tough old dog for sure, and I haven't even told you about my life from 16 to 36. I could write a damn book!

    How do you get thru everything? Well, you take pleasures in the small things in life. Whether it's a beautiful day, a new recipe you tried out or the kindness of strangers. For all the hurt and sadness out there, you can also find joy and happiness. During my worst months, I joined bereavement support groups and also a divorce support group. And then I started to volunteer. I work 2 days a week in an assisted living place. I read to older people who have no one and I just spend time with them. I suppose in part because I miss my parents terribly and I want to make someone else happy. It helps them as much as it helps me. And 3 days a week I work in an animal shelter, helping to socialize abused animals and get them ready for adoption. I truly love animals and I can't fathom anyone abusing them, so I do what I can to help and find them good homes. It's not everything, but for now...it's enough.

    And I'm sure you'll find your way also. You're stronger than you think.

    I hope some of my words rang true with you and I hope I've helped.

    Please write whenever you feel horrible, overwhelmed and just really alone, because you're not. There's so many people in the same situation.

    Hope to hear from you.

    Take care of yourself.

    Joanne Weinbrom and Elle like this.
  3. Alyssa

    Alyssa New Member

    Hello, Ellen...We do have quite a bit in common! I didn't even mention my love for animals...I have five dogs, five cats, three birds, and two rats! (Yes, rats!)
    My mother worked for a veterinarian for 16 years.
    I'm a caregiver in a group home for people with developmental disabilities...I care for four men who have been my little family since I lost mine. I try to just work the holidays and keep to myself. But I'm miserable this time of year!
    I have a new boyfriend, but like you said...it's hard for us to trust.
    I was with my husband for 8 years, only married for 1...but we were best friends since we met in seventh grade so it's definitely hard to trust anyone.
    And I just turned 28 on the 5th!
    I try to just take everything day by day. Then before I know it, it's weeks and months down the line and I've survived.
    Thank you for understanding and reaching out.
    griefic likes this.
  4. Ellen C

    Ellen C Guest

    Dear Alyssa,
    We do indeed have a lot in common! We were even born in the same month! I must admit though that rats do nothing for me .

    You sound like you are doing all the right things for sure. One day at a time. Just make sure that new boyfriend treats you in the way you deserve!

    Good for you and keep hanging in there!
    All the best and I hope 2017 brings wonderful things for you and much happiness!

    griefic likes this.
  5. Alyssa

    Alyssa New Member

    Thank you, I hope you have a good year too!
    And give rats a shot! They're great companions!
    Elle likes this.
  6. Elle

    Elle Member

    Wow. That is a flood of loss and at such a young age. I'm so sorry that you had to cope in those situations alone bc no one should have to deal with so much death, and so much awful death, alone. What is up w your sister? Is she scared/guilty? Do you have any contact w her?

    What is so messed up to me is that before a string of losses, we think we're safe in that there's no shortage of people we love in our lives. But in no time at all we can be stripped of that. I had a family. I had 2 parents, a brother and his daughter and his wife. I remember thinking I was glad to have moved here bc of my relationship w my niece. I was always the youngest by far in my family. There were no kids except me, so to have a relationship with a kid I was actually related to was so special. In 2014, my brother cut us out of his life and we weren't allowed to see my niece. It's a long story but that was the bottom line. He an his new family moved far away. Goodbye to those relationships. Then I had my parents. In 2015, my dad got leukemia and a year later he died. Now I have a mom who's in her 70's and to be honest, I'm just waiting to lose her too. "Just the two of you?" people ask about the holidays. No, we hired some strippers to keep us company this year, I want to say. But really, I'm calculating how many years I have left w her.

    When we think about painful inevitabilities of the future, our brains kind of go out of focus, to protect us. No, that won't happen, we think, or by the time that happens things will have changed. But I know that they won't. I'm one person away from being completely alone and it's frightening. How do you cope, day to day? What do you do to cover the loneliness? Does it work?

  7. Elle

    Elle Member

    Sorry, just read your other post. Glad you have a bf. Companionship is important. Don't give up on that. And yes to animals. I don't know what I'd do without my dogs.
  8. Ellen C

    Ellen C Guest

    Let me give you some valuable, yet unsolicited advice. If you're one person away from being totally alone, get down on your knees and thank God that you still have your Mom! And then spend as much time as you can together. Do things you both enjoy. Have fun, talk, travel if you can, tell her what she means to you, hug her, settle your differences and cherish your time with her. She could very well live another 10 years or more!!!
    Where do I get off telling you this?
    I lost my Mom last May. She was my last person. So now, aside from my beloved cat, I am totally alone.
    I would give my left lung to have one more day with my Mom.
    Live for today and don't worry about what will happen one day. Don't waste any precious time preparing for unhappiness until you have to.
    Just saying.
    Happy New Year to you and your Mom.
    Elle likes this.
  9. Elle

    Elle Member

    Thanks so much for this, Ellen. What is that quote, it's not what happens to us in life but how we deal with it? Your post is really helpful. I have a sense now of some things I can do. I've wanted to volunteer at a local animal shelter for some time now. I've also been looking for a grief group and thought in a big city it'd be no problem to find one. It's been way harder than I thought just to find a group of sad people to sit down with! That's all I want to do but so far it's online stuff or $50 a session or $20 for the workbook. There's gotta be something basic that doesn't cost $ or take three hours to get to by bus. I'll keep looking.

    Hearing that someone has experienced more loss and found interests and passions that fill her life and make it meaningful gives me hope.
  10. Ellen C

    Ellen C Guest

    I meant to address above to Elle. Sorry
  11. Elle

    Elle Member

    Thanks Ellen. I will keep your words in mind and try to do that. Nothing lasts forever but if we let fear of loss guide our lives, they're going to be pretty dull.
  12. LauRae

    LauRae Member

    Just would like to say that I'm thinking of you, Alyssa.
  13. Alyssa

    Alyssa New Member

    Thank you.
  14. Karen VanCleve

    Karen VanCleve New Member

    Hi everyone I just wanted to introduce myself I am a new member and I am hoping talking and hearing others stories will help me with my issues of grief
    I to have suffered so much loss in 11months
    7 in total which three I sat with them when they left this world
    I lost my mom, my stepdad, my best friend
    My brother in law , and three different friends of the family. Just knowing I am not alone already by reading your posts. I really am sorry to each of you for your losses.
    My children and husband say I am in such a dark place and I must reach out to others
    My mother was the first loss and my world crumpled but the very next day I had to be my stepdads caregiver and support system
    In a way I think I replaced her for him
    So I never even had a chance to really let myself grieve for her. He passed on aug 1st 2018
    Unexpected and didn’t suffer at all
    So that was some comfort
    All of the other losses were all do to cancer
    It didn’t matter what kind because it took every single one of them
    But they to had me and friends to be there and all passed so peacefully
    But not my mother, she suffered for months upon months and I tried everyday to get her someplace she liked and to give her what she deserved but I was never able to do it in time
    She was very clear her whole life that her faith would take her when it is ment to be
    Yet she never even turned to her faith when things got bad
    I was mostly responsible of her and her decisions and had to make the decision to basically be done trying and go into hospice and let her go pain free But they had her drugged the last two weeks so I asked if they could slow the meds just so I can talk to her I had to know what she felt
    See in order to keep her pain under control she would basically remain as if she is just sleeping and have not one ounce of quality of life
    But this was only the last two weeks before that she was completely awake in a wheelchair but me my husband were with her every single day so we still enjoyed each other my children came my grandchildren came my sister and her friends
    Her mind was not there anymore but there were times she became clear as day those were the times I took advantage of and we would talk about old memories it was wonderful
    Anyway they got her awake enough to talk with me and she didn’t say it’s ok honey I’m ready to go it is my time all the stuff she used to say
    Nope she was upset that why couldn’t she have no pain but still be able to be awake and functional. When I mentioned hospice she said I was crazy
    Needless to say I wish I never had that talk
    My mom went into hospice and died 10 hours later
    I miss her so much that it hurts I miss them all
    But I lost the person that even as an adult I knew I could always go to her and lay my head on her lap and she would play with my hair just like when I was little
    My real father died when I was twelve so he was my hero bringing up three children and moving across the country all alone
    She was a warrior
    Sorry I won’t do these long posts
  15. Alex G

    Alex G New Member

    Hello, fellow human beings :)

    First off, as heartbreaking as all of this is... there is comfort knowing we all have shared experiences. I want you all to know that my heart goes out to you for being so strong so far.

    Now what can I say about my experience? Its different, mainly because much more time has passed since the loss I have endured. I may have to back up before they initial loss, back to when i was 10 or 11. I had taken the day off school, because I hated it. This day was special. The day my mother ate a bottle of pills and had my dad call her back from his office for me to pick up the phone at the same time and hear her say "Phil, Ive done something bad"
    After the ambulance arrived and took her away, I waited for my father to get home and off we went to see her at the Hospital.
    I learned what a charcoal beverage was that day, since it had saved my mothers life. That and the speed the ambulance showed up.

    She was in and out of Psych wards for the next year or two, dealing with her own pain from the past.
    Her father (my grandfather) had driven into a neighbors garage when she was 17, and left the car running as the tailpipe fed him his last poisonous breaths.
    Her own brother, only a few years after her episode, hung himself in his own apartment, alone and dealing with a drug problem.
    She took the the bottle pretty hard. So hard in fact, that she fell and hit her head on our concrete basement floor.
    With a goose egg atop her cranium, she decided that AA was a viable option.
    She got clean. She found her guardian angels, and a lump on her breast.

    After all that searching and wading in a viscous pool of pain and confusion, she had found happiness. Happiness that would only last a year or two.
    The tumor was removed, unfortunately to no avail as it ravaged her from the inside out. She died beside my father in the hospital on November 11th 2004.

    My sister, father and I became an unstoppable force of family and strength after enduring what my mother had gone through.
    He moved on and found a beautiful soul to match his, he deserved it after losing the first love of his life after all.

    I was doing dishes a few years later during the second year of college i was attending out of town. The phone rang. My dad had suffered a stroke the night before.
    I must have been dreaming. There was no way this was happening again.

    He would undergo brain surgery to remove the tumor.
    He powered through it, free and clear!!

    or so we thought.

    It came back with a vengeance. It took the use of his arm, his speech and eventually the use of his entire body.
    He died September 19th 2011 at home, with me my sister and step mother. He fought for too long.

    I was numb, and feel like I still am. I started doing drugs and drinking heavily for years... until last year.

    I met the love of my life 2 and a half years ago and we are now expecting a baby girl in December :)
    I have quit doing drugs, drinking and smoking all on my own.

    I've stumbled upon this thread because I'm trying to continue to heal and stay strong so I can make sure my daughter grows up to be a strong and independant woman. I want to share my story while absorbing your experiences to know everything is going to be alright.
    If you've made it this far, thanks for listening and again, I know we can all stay strong :)