Shocked finding out someone I loved died many years ago

Discussion in 'Grief in Common Updates, Questions & Answers' started by Rob67, May 15, 2020.

  1. Lorna1975

    Lorna1975 Member

    Thanks for the link. I’ve been keeping a journal too. My friend that knew him has been a great support. She understands grief. The friend that told me I should write a book doesn’t understand at all. Our story might be book worthy to her, but she doesn’t understand my grief. She suggested I get therapy. That was not the best thing to say to me. It made me angry and hurt. Ive been dealing with a lot of emotions the past few months and I didn’t need those added to the list. When she asks how I’m doing now, I just say much better. I do find the death date was the hardest and although I still catch myself choked up or tearing up, I feel the anguish has subsided quite a bit. I still think of him a lot through out the day and try to rationalize things but the intensity isn’t there like it was. I’m hoping things continue to improve for me.
    I just found out his little brother only lives a block away. When I learned that, I wondered how many times he was there to visit. So close but so far. This brother was a lot younger than me so he wouldn’t likely remember me. I can’t live in the past. If I had answers for all the questions I have, it still wouldn’t bring him back. I have my memories and they are all good ones. Lofe goes on.
  2. Lorna1975

    Lorna1975 Member

    Life goes on and so does love♥️
  3. DarthSpiderMaul

    DarthSpiderMaul New Member

    That reminds me of something I experienced this past August. I had just found out that this former classmate I had from when I was in 7th grade until halfway through my junior year of high school died in November of 2020 a month before he would've turned 18. I was completely unaware about it for nearly two years. What happened was that I was looking up some of my old classmates to see what they're up to now. When I googled this one specific person, I found a link with his photo that said obituary. Panicked, I clicked on the link and it said that he died. I was shocked that he was dead for nearly two years. He was absent from halfway through my junior year until graduation during the pandemic, but the thought of him being dead never occurred to me. I thought that he had switched schools or something, but as I looked into details, it said that he was dealing with mental health issues which was related to his death. After that, I copied the link to his obituary and immediately messaged my best friend from the school we went to and broke the bad news. I asked him if he was aware of our classmate's death and it turned out that he was also unaware. I'm honestly more bothered about the fact that I was unaware than that person's death by itself. Here's part of the conversation my friend and I had. Screenshot_20230618-211432_Messenger.jpg
  4. A common friend

    A common friend New Member

    Just when I thought I was the only one….mine came almost 43 years after I last saw her. We were bith young but deeply in love despite that. I got out of the military and she graduated Class llege. Both one year later.

    we lost touch and both got busy in life. I never forgot about her and thought about her regularly as the years went by.

    Finally this March Inwas going to find her and reconcile. When I did, my hopes of a happy reunion were eliminated 30 seconds into the phone call with her daughter.

    she passed away 19 years ago from cancer. Destroyed emotionally doesn’t begin to describe it. It is 3 mos hence and I am just now capable of discussing it.

    The repressed emotions that bubbled up left me crying and numb to a point it affected my job a bit. Got through that and am dealing with it as best I can.

    Advice? Give in to your grief and mourn until you come out. It is not our fault they past but we do and will bear the pain. Cry. Cry as much as you need to. I carry a pic her daughter sent me of her 42 years ago in my phone. Instill pull it up and let the tears and memories flow.

    3 mos later I am improving. I truly pray for her, her family and the hope that should I make it to heaven we are reunited for eternity. The loss is palpable and crushing but, I am facing it and healing. Grieve THROUGH it.

    i wish you luck and am sincerely for your loss.
    Sarah Moore likes this.
  5. LostLove

    LostLove New Member

    About 30 years ago we were working at the same company. First day I joined the company I thought she was really attractive and no way she would be interested in me.

    During my time there, I found out she liked me too. She asked me out via a friend, but I said no. I was in my early 20's and put job ahead of love at the time. Remember she was so upset at the time. Big mistake, wish I could go back and correct it. I never did tell her how much I felt for her. We all were made redundant a few years later and never saw her again, she found someone else had 4 kids and died in 2012. I only found out a couple of years ago looking for her online.

    Now I cannot get her out of my head. I think she is around me in spirit but I cannot tell for certain. The kids dad has since moved on and had a few relationships since then.

    I regret what I did and regret not telling her my true feelings at the time. I just hope we get together in the afterlife and make up. Can't get her out of my mind, it's like I am going crazy.
    Sarah Moore and Lorna1975 like this.
  6. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    This sounds almost like my situation. The only difference is that 4 years ago I found out she died in 1983. But I don't think the numbers really mean anything. I have been trying to "get her out of my head" for 4 years now. I have come to the realization that I will never be able to totally forget her and that perhaps I should not. She indelibly imprinted herself in my life 50 years ago, when I knew her (high school). Remembering her seems like the right thing to do. After 4 decades, others have pretty much filed her away, and her immediate family is all gone now. After 11 years it is quite possible that you are in fact her last torchbearer, at least on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis.

    What seems most effective to me is to channel the sorrow into love, making my remembrance of her more meaningful, as though she knows I am her last torchbearer. After all, it may actually be possible that she does "feel" this, as we do not know what reality exists after we shed this mortal coil.

    You are not alone friend, as you can see from the size of this thread. We are all here to support one another.
    Lorna1975 likes this.
  7. sxdipi

    sxdipi New Member

    It's been a couple of months since the last post - hoping this is still active.

    I felt relieved to find this space. Like many, I lost someone long before I realized. My high school girlfriend, Merrie and I had an intense relationship. She was one year behind me - I met her when she was a freshman. There's never been such a close relationship - even when we weren't going steady, we were best friends. We spent most of our time with each other, and when we couldn't, we'd have 8 hour long phone conversations. I was her first boyfriend, and she was my first physical relationship.

    But our relationship was turbulent, because of me. As hormones raged, I would feel compelled to act on any impulse I had. I was also very moody and that could change literally from moment to moment. Many times I treated her badly, took her for granted - but our good times were absolutely euphoric.

    When I graduated, and after I had broken up and gotten back together with her four times, we didn't see each other much. She started dating other guys, and eventually she went away to college. We kept sporadically in touch by writing, but it became more distant and eventually we just didn't anymore.

    This was almost 45 years ago. During that time, I continued having periods of pining for her, missing her. I wrote songs about her. In 1989, I wrote a letter to her but she never responded (which was unusual, I sometimes wonder if she even got it). Shortly after that, I met the girl I would marry, and stopped trying.

    Last year (2022), I learned that she had died - three years prior. I was a little shocked, but nothing major. Then last month, I had this sudden realization that she was gone - and fell apart. My reaction shocked me, because I am usually able to handle losses with a minimum of emotion. I didn't react this way when my grandparents, died, my dad died, my very first girlfriend died, or when my mom became debilitated due to multiple strokes. But here I was, even on Prozac, going on crying jags over this girl I hadn't seen in 40 years, inconsolable.

    Like many here, I dug deep into finding out more about her life, hoping somehow I could solve a problem that had no solution. I poured over all her letters and notes from high school, visited our old school several times, listened to (and recorded) songs that remind me of her - as if I were daring the pain to get worse. I reconnected with mutual friends who were there when we were together. And here I am six weeks later, absolutely no better. Echoing what some folks have said (I read every post) - I'm also experiencing an existential crises after I visited her childhood home one day and found that it had been demolished and replaced. That made me realized that first we are gone, then our stuff is gone, and finally all memory of us is gone from the earth as if we had never been here.

    It hurts - but the love is connected to the pain. I'm afraid that if I somehow manage to normalize and adapt to the pain, that the love will likewise fade - and as much as it hurts, I feel like I need to keep that love. At the same time, my mind goes over and over things - running scenarios ("what ifs") and going in circles trying to figure out how not to feel so bad.

    I understand that 16 year old me was immature, self-centered, and hormone driven - but I'm still I'm mad at him. I'm even more upset by 1980's me, who just didn't try hard enough. Here's the kicker - 1980's me didn't push because he didn't want to chance upending her life again and then walking away like he did before. But that left me with a huge "if only" that I now have to live with.

    Her notes break my heart every time I read them, but I can't stop. She wrote that she knew that in the future, she would just be another girl to me. And how badly I want her to know how untrue that is. I wasn't ready for emotions that deep for about 10 more years, and even then, I didn't get in my car and just go see her. At least I would have known whether something was still possible.

    I've been happily married for over 30 years. But there's this part of my heart that she has and a way she knew me that no one ever would. The hopelessness is so painful - just like most folks here, I can function but any spare moment unoccupied puts me into this deep sadness and melancholy - like I'm jerked into and out of different realities.
  8. Sarah Moore

    Sarah Moore Member

  9. Sarah Moore

    Sarah Moore Member

    Welcome to this world of " what if"s". It is a world I never thought I would be in also. I shared above that I found out a wonderful guy I dated in 1980, committed suicide 12 years later. He was the kindest guy I have ever known, 2 tours of duty, one, a year before he died. I let my memories of " Jay" just live deep in my heart but I didn't look inside to dwell. I am also happily married and thought this great person was also living his best life. I searched for him online...maybe to just let him know I remembered him.. I don't know. I found his sister and saw him in uniform and then the bad news. As I lived my happy life, he got into an abusive relationship after he came back from Desert Storm. One night...........well.........and I never heard the gunshot..
    I wish I could tell you that 2 years from finding out that I am better. Sometimes I am, sometimes I am not. I still say his name daily to the stars. I have been able to share with his sister how I feel about him. My heart dumped on her when I reached out..........I was a stranger...but she did remember once he mentioned me. I have sobbed with regret, remembering the last time he called and I said I could no longer go out anymore. He was moving away and called when he came back to our town. I just closed the door and didn't say " oh, by the way, I love you. I love everything about you. I love the time we had, even though it came to an end. I wrote about you and will always remember you". Nope, I just closed the door to my heart and went on.
    Seeing his face from the pictures his sister sent me, knocked me to the ground. You see, I did not keep pictures of him..probably because I just couldn't. I have written about him, sobbed, went to his old home and walked the alley where we stood, I researched his old girlfriend that abuse him...mentally and physically, I stalked his past life. I needed to know more, everything, all things. I bought a wreath and flowers for his grave. I found his old house online and looked at the window of the room where he killed himself. I needed to find him, tell him, apologize........I don't know. I speak to the stars, moon, trees, wind...and cry my apology. I actually even went to a medium and she was able to greatly comfort me. She said he mentioned, the Willow Tree. No, I said to her, I don't know a Willow Tree. When I got home I actually looked up at the remembrance angel I had recently bought, made by Willow Tree. That and many other things were so true.............his boots..., I could go on, but you get it. She said " he says don't feel guilty" and I do! I hope all of this was true, because it comforts me.
    You will not " get over' the love you shared. You will curl up in bed sometimes and sob with a grief that does not make sense to others. You will have good days and bad days. You will learn that you need to cry and just keep going on. It is real. It is true. Love hurts. That hurt is what makes you know it is real. Please learn to carry this sadness and love together because it represented a wonderful love. You will do it...step by step.
    Deborah A. and Sue M like this.
  10. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

    I can relate to “daring the pain to get worse”. What a great way of putting it.

    Please don’t agonize over decisions you made when you were 16 or so. We all did stupid stuff when we were young. I try to remember that myself when I wish I knew then what I know now.

    And mostly I want to say that the love will never fade. 45 years love has remained in your heart. That love will always be with you. And most likely was with her too.

    Sue M likes this.
  11. Jen80

    Jen80 New Member

    I was stationed in Germany in 2000 with Terry, I loved him, he was my best friend. He asked me to marry him several times. I also said no, told him I would ruin him. I loved him but I always thought he was to good for me. I left to go to Fort Campbell, I alway figured that he would find love, I pictured him married with kids. He was amazing, kind, generous. I should have kept in touch. I did reach out to friends we had in common. One told me I had broken his heart, to leave him alone. So I did, but I thought about him often. Another told me he had cancer but I had broken his heart by not marrying him when he asked. She also told me he had enough to deal with. I had several family members that recovered from cancer so thought he would also. No one would give me his contact info. So, I moved on got married, had kids. Thought about Terry often, hoped he was having a great life. I looked up his name on social media never found an account. I figured he just wasn't into social media. Finally today I just put his full name Into Google, there was an obituary from 2004. I am broken, my husband doesn't understand why I can't stop crying. I don't know what to do. My grandmother died, my aunt and uncle has died. Nothing comes close to this. I don't understand why. I don't get the heart ache. Yes he was my best friend, yes I loved him deeply. I knew he was to good for me. I knew he deserved much better then me. I just don't understand my is heart broken. Maybe because he loved more then anyone has ever loved me. Maybe because I left him, and I could have been there for him. I feel like I have to go to his grave and see it, talk to him. I wish I could go back in time do it over. I thought about reaching out to his brother, but I Maybe crazy for that. I don't know what to do. I just know I am heart broken and don't understand why.
    Deborah A. and DarthSpiderMaul like this.
  12. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry My heart goes out to you. Its because you cared for him kept it deep inside and now its coming to the surface. Its unexplainable feelings you get but its all love. It did help me going to the cemetery, so I would do that.
    Deborah A. and alwaysme like this.
  13. Jen80

    Jen80 New Member

    I will be going this weekend. Thank you for replying. I didn't realize that I could get the wind knocked out of me like this. I don't know how else to explain it. Hopefully going and saying goodbye will make things better.
    Deborah A. and Sue M like this.
  14. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

    We are here for you! Being on here and talking with people helped so much. People who haven't experienced these feelings will not understand, this group here does .
    Deborah A. and alwaysme like this.
  15. sxdipi

    sxdipi New Member

    Jen80 - Oh how I can relate. My post is 447, a bit above yours. Very similar in SO MANY ways, especially that about him loving you more than anyone else has ever. It's been 3 months since it hit me. I thought I was improving but I'm not really. I've been in therapy, crying every session. I struggle to remember more, and it's frustrating that I can't. At the same time, it hurts that I do - I'm driven. It's like a hamster wheel and I can't get off... I can come up with airtight reasons why I shouldn't be so emotional, but emotion doesn't care.
  16. Jen80

    Jen80 New Member

    Sxdipi it is so strange how it hits you. I've been Journaling alot lately. It's been helping somewhat. It's hard not to get stuck in "what if". I wish you the best and hope we all find peace with our past and the pain of losing someone we have loved.
    alwaysme and Sue M like this.
  17. cw46203

    cw46203 New Member

    I just found out a couple days ago my friend died of a drug overdose, I know she had drug problems, and I tried to help her get clean but she didn't really want it. I moved about 600 miles away from her in November 2021, we kept in touch since I moved, but one day she just stopped responding to my calls and messages, which she has never done in the past. I didn't have anyone to contact to try to find out about her except one person and they didn't know anything, until I received a message a few days ago, telling me that she died of an overdose in July 2022. Last time I talked to her was July 18th and she died on July 31st. When I went home on vacation just this last August I went to places I knew she used to go just hoping I might see her, when all along she has passed away over a year ago. I'm so devastated and I just cry constantly. I never told her, but I was madly in love with her and I can't help but think if I hadn't moved she might still be alive. She was cremated and there not even a grave at a cemetery I can at least visit. It's just hard to deal with. I understand what others are going through.
  18. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

    That is devastating. I’m so sorry.
  19. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry. Being able to go to places that remind you of her is special too even though there isn't a cemetery. My heart goes out to you
  20. Sarah Moore

    Sarah Moore Member