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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. Orjude

    Orjude Member

    Reading how you have lost loved ones from the past makes me think I am not alone in the way I am feeling and I don't know the answerer.
    I hope it is ok to post here, I am new to this. I only found out this past month that someone whom I knew 41 years ago passed away 6 years ago this past may. He had made a big impact in my life back then. I moved away and I lost contact with him but I have thought of him many times in the past 41 years. I decided to do an internet search on him and his obituary came up. I find myself thinking about him everyday and then I am in tears. I wish he knew how much he has meant to me over the last 41 years, I have been wondering if I should send a Sympathy Card with a note telling his son what impact his father had on my life. Or is would that be inappropriate?
     
  2. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

    I can relate so much to this. I too googled his name and found his obituary. The emotions came out slowly, then suddenly I was sobbing. I cried every day for two months, and I am still grieving. It amazes me how I was somehow able to put that away somewhere inside me for so many years.

    You are welcome to post here. I felt like I was intruding at first too, but the other participants in this thread, including the man who started it, made me feel welcome and like I wasn’t alone.

    This is a safe place to share your grief. You are not alone in this. I sent a brief email to his sister, and she was appreciative. It opened up a longer email correspondence which abruptly ended when I over shared. I don’t think it would hurt anything to send a card. I hope you find ways to honor his memory and the love you shared. I know it hurts.
     
  3. Orjude

    Orjude Member

     
  4. Orjude

    Orjude Member

    Thank you for your advice, I didn't know if I should share with his son how I knew his father, and the advice he had given me that change gave me the courage to leave my abusive husband of five years. He had gone through a divorce himself and could tell I was very unhappy in my marriage. His son was 5 at the time same age as my oldest daughter. I don't want to bring up anything that would upset him. He has no idea who I am and its been 40 years since I had seen his father. Leaving my abusive X was the best thing I could have done for my three girls and myself. Although just moving out didn't stop the abuse, I had to get a restraining order and moved 100 miles away to protect my girls. Leaving behind my friend behind, my X threatened to kill him if he found him.
    Again thank you for your advice, I am going to think about just sending the card I have picked out. Maybe I will only sign my first name and mail it hope it will help me stop crying when I think of him.
     
  5. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

    Sorry you had to go through that. Is there a gravesite you can visit? That helped me
     
  6. Orjude

    Orjude Member

    There is a gravesite, I don't know if I can handle going to see it at this time. Maybe some day I will make the trip. After posting here I have decided that I need to try and avoid thinking about him as much. Still I find my mind going and I tear up. I notice when I am doing things like walking the dog, talking to my kids and grandchildren helps not to think of him. I don't want to forget him, just want to think of him with out the tears. Thanks again.
     
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  7. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    That is the hardest thin to do. It has been 19 months now since I discovered that she died 38 years ago. I have tried to simply not think about her, but it does not work. Everytime something shows up with a date on it, like a movie made in 1984, I immediately think to myself "Linda was already dead". Trying to use the fact that it has been 50 years since I saw here does not work either. Nor does avoiding looking at her pictures. The only think I have found does work is focus on celebrating the love, beauty and wonderful person she was, and avoid focusing on the tragedy of her death at suck a young age.

    You cannot avoid the sorrow of their death completely, but always follow it with love and good memories. It helps. So does keeping yourself as busy at possible on other things. Sitting around watching TV and/or doing nothing will bring on the grief. Keep yourself busy.

    And we are always here to talk.
     
    alwaysme likes this.
  8. Orjude

    Orjude Member

    Thank you for your comments, it is helpful knowing that I am not alone who feels this way. I am trying to focus on the good memories. I still tear up. He was 33 the last time I saw him, he passed away when he was 66 and he would have been 73 this month. I keep thinking will I ever get over his passing. Thanks again everyone for sharing what its been like for you. It does help to have some place to go where others understand.
     
  9. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

    Welcome! Im so sorry. you are going thru this. I completely get why you would want to. I battle with that too
    I want his mom to know how much I cared about him and how good he was to me but I dont want to bring up bad memories since I dont know her and he was so young . I think for you though it would be nice. Its his father so that would make him feel good.
     
  10. Orjude

    Orjude Member

     
  11. Orjude

    Orjude Member

    Thank you Sue M. for your advice, I have been thinking about sending the card with a little note. July is always a tough month for me my dad passed away suddenly at the age of 55, 41 years ago today, it was 5 months after my meeting him. This past week have been crying a lot thinking of my dad thinking about him. I decided to lite a candle for both of them and then I listened to his favorite song. Wild Wild Horses. His favorite album by Bob Seger Against the Wind. It did help me relax and I smiled thinking about both my dad and him (I haven't been using his name here yet.) I want to thank everyone here for being so thoughtful and kind.
     
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  12. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    I am feeling I am in an emotional quandary. I have started to experience a time-based reality in my grief over Linda. Reflecting on the enormous distance of time since I saw her last, and from the time she died. After all, it has been almost four decades since she died. Five decades since I saw her last. I think of events/memories, usually trivial, which come back to me that happened back then and see just what a huge amount of time this represents. Of course, in reality it has been 19 months since I found out she died, so in practical terms that is when my grief started. But still...the enormous amount of time. At 67 I am approaching the sunset. Not there yet, but just 10 more years or so to go if I am lucky. And I knew Linda way back on the other end of my life, at the beginning when I was just a teenager.

    Seeing this in time perspective moves me closer to the next step in grieving; acceptance. But I find myself feeling guilty over that, like I am not honoring her memory. And I am sure I am the last one carrying her memory, at least at this level. This is just so difficult to process. Except for one thing. I have no doubt that I am still in love with her. Over the past five decades her memory was on the back burner. Someone from the past and an example of a personal failure on my part (not maintaining some kind of relationship/friendship with her). The discovery of her death brought all the old feelings to the front, and they are here to stay.

    These have not been good days for me.
     
  13. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry you are feeling like this. The acceptance is the hardest part. She is so lucky to have you love her so much. Somehow she knows. I do believe we will see them again in someway. I try to look at it as they were meant to come into our lives for a certain amt of time for reasons we dont know. Its amazing how people that we havent seen in decades mean more to us then past relationships we have had longer. We have talked so much on here, can you remind me how you found out she passed again?
     
  14. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear you’re having a hard time. I can relate. I know this sounds corny, but I read on one of my teabags that “love is an experience of infinity“. I really believe this to be true. Chronological measured time means nothing. Time is not as real as love and the memory of love. You will never forget Her. Acceptance doesn’t mean you’ll forget about her or you would have forgotten about her a long time ago.

    I too put my memory of him on the back burner and when I found out he died all the feelings I had in the past flooded into the present. And you’re right, the discovery that they have died is recent.

    One thing that you told me that has helped me is to do some thing with the love, like create some thing or Put more love into my friendships and other relationships. Thanks for posting, it helps me every time. This stinks
     
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  15. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    I believe we will see them too.There is more to reality than this feeble existence we have here, for just a matter of decades. Nature wastes nothing. It simply transforms things to something else.

    I found out she passed away on Facebook. Her high school boyfriend, who she loved instead of me, married her in 1977. I know that for a fact. Yet he posts a request for a picture of her. He should have enough pictures to sink a row boat, so I knew something was not right. People started posting pictures and referring to her in the past tense, so I asked about her life. Did she have a career, kids, etc. At that point I simply took it in stride, as I have lost a lot of friends and classmates. A couple of weeks went by and I forgot all about it, until someone replied telling me I did not understand, and that she died in March 1983. The very second I saw she died almost 40 years ago, at 28 years old, it was like a cold dagger pierced my heart. All of the old feelings, and a lot of memories, just exploded all over me. She was cheated out of her whole life. It just twists me up inside.
     
  16. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    Yes it does stink. I try to focus on the love I have for her, but the sheer tragedy of her death at such a young age brings such profound sorrow to my heart. If anyone deserved a full life it was her. Love does transcend time. Real love, not just attraction. I had a lot of unfinished emotion over her back in high school when she basically told me I was being too clingy and straining the relationship she was having with her boyfriend. She was nice enough about it, but for self preservation I packer my feelings away, like in a time capsule. I fell in love with another girl named Donna my senior year. It was Donna I carried a torch for many years after high school (I screwed that up too. Life was a lot harder when I was 16).

    When I found out in December 2019 that she died 40 years ago that time capsule exploded all over me. What does help me is what one of our mutual high school friends pointed out to me. She was the kind of person who would not want someone suffering like this over her. When I use that point of view I can almost feel her comforting me and telling me she was alright.
     
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  17. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

    This month marks a year since I found out he died. I’ve learned that I will always live with this grief and the heartache of never being able to talk to him again. I’ve also learned that the love I have for him remained inside me deep somewhere for decades and has surfaced this past year. I’ve also learned which behaviors bring more hurt (Facebook searches, internet searches on him and his ex wife) and which activities bring peace and serenity (visiting his grave, writing and painting, and sharing on here). Sharing with you has helped me laugh at times, honor my grief and know it is ok and that there is nothing wrong with me, give love to others to honor him and the love we had, and reminded me that nothing in nature is wasted. He will be with me forever.
     
    Sue M likes this.
  18. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

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  19. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

  20. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

    Yes thank you. It has everything to do with this past year of grieving that’s why I posted it here.