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Coping with Death

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The loss of a loved one is something that everyone experiences at some stage in their life, however, it never becomes easier. We would like you to share your experiences on how you have coped or are coping with the death of a loved one.

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      09.02.2014 20:17
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      Losing a loved one is so hard, but people are out there to help.

      I'm not exactly sure if this is the right time to be writing this review, but I will share my experiences anyway.

      My husband passed away on 1st January this year of septicaemia, in effect, blood poisoning. This was caused by an infection which he had got in his kidneys which got into his blood stream. He had trouble with his kidneys earlier on in the year, and they had put a stent in the tube which runs from the bladder to the kidneys, and this is where the infection came from.

      He was admitted to hospital late at night on 30th December '13 with low blood pressure. The next day when I went to see him they were then taking him for an xray. After this, the Doctor came down and told me they were moving him to the High Dependency ward, so I followed to be with him. The next day, they rang me at home and told me to get to the hospital as soon as I could. They had him plugged into all these machines, and told me that they could not get his blood pressure up to what it should be. And if anything happens, they won't be jumping on his chest so to speak as he is too poorly. I said I understood. I rang his family (he has 5 sisters) and told them to get to the hospital to see Bob as soon as they could.

      The next morning, I was at the hospital by 10am when they rang me again and told me to get there as soon as I could. I said I'm downstairs and am on my way up to the ward. Some of his sisters were already there, and they took us all into this room. (This was on the 1st). They said that his blood pressure wasn't rising, and there was nothing else they could do for him and, although it was down to us in the end, it would be best advisable to switch the machines off. If we kept them on, we wouldn't be prolonging his life, but just prolonging his death. So we all decided to let them turn the machines off. We all sat there in tears, well, I had to go outside for a cigarette. I phoned my stepmum up in tears and told her.

      We were at the hospital all day and he passed away at 9pm that evening. When he passed away I felt numb and didn't know whether to cry, scream or just stay silent.

      But the immediate few days after that was the worst few days of my life. Bob had been in hospital on previous occasions in 2013, but I knew the hospital would get him better and he would be home. But now, I'm phoning people up informing them of his death, trying to sort out the funeral and also my financial situation. For about a week or more I was crying every day about something or other to my stepmum and sister.

      His funeral we could not get booked any earlier than 4th Feb. But I am thankful I got the Minister of my choice to do his funeral as he knew Bob, and so many people were there to support me. Afterwards we back to my church for a 'celebration of life'. It was lovely, and the Church helped me so much with all of this.

      I know it's only been just over 1 month since he died, and am slowly managing to get everything sorted out. People have been very kind. My family have been wonderful. The night Bob passes away, my sister and niece were round mind at midnight that night to sit with me, and my brother came up the following morning to be with me.

      I know have my husbands ashes, and I keep getting people asking me what I'm going to do with them. To be honest, I have no clue. The cremetorium said they send out a pack of ideas what to do with them, so said to wait till I get this pack through before deciding, so will do that.

      Although I still don't feel 100%, I feel a lot better than I did before the funeral. I just have to come to terms with the massive change in my life - mainly living without Bob, but also financially and all the practical day to day things. Bob used to deal with all the bills and finances, but now have to learn to deal with all this on my own.

      Thankyou Bob for the 22 years we were together and making my life a happy one. =)

      Thanks for reading.
      Louise.

      NOTE: This review is also written on Ciao under the same username.

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        01.02.2010 20:15
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        Life goes on until we meet them again

        My mum died in 2006 at 47 years old. It came as a huge shock as she had been fit and well when she died. When she was pregnant with me she had a brain haemorrhage and was told that I wouldn't survive and her chances were slim, but we both made it and she was ok right up until she died.

        She had her Chinese and went to bed, my dad was working on the computer downstairs and when he went up to bed he saw my mum and knew she had died, she had another brain haemorrhage, after seeing it the first time he knew what had happened.

        I didn't live at home at the time but my brother was there and he tried to resuscitate her but she had already passed away and was pronounced dead at the hospital. I wasn't told until a few hours later as I was on my own with my son and my dad didn't want me to be alone when I got told the news.

        It was a very serial time, when I spoke to my dad I though he was playing some kind of sick joke (although my dad would never do that) I guess I just didn't want to believe it. I even remember nervously laughing when it was explained to me. I walked around in a daze for ages not knowing what to do, trying to be strong for everyone. I remember seeing my mum in the hospital bed with tubes coming out of her mouth, I wish I had never seen that because it's the most vivid memory I have of her.

        6 months after her death I had a nervous breakdown, I never wanted to deal with her death, I was numb. I moved away from the town I grew up in and lost contact with many of the people I knew, it was only then, when I had nothing to do but think a lot, that I allowed myself to come to terms with everything that had happened.

        Grief is a process, I nor anyone else will ever understand, we all deal with death in different ways. I went through the shock, sadness, guilt, resentment and loneliness. I used to cry every day and was severely depressed but 6 months ago I saw a medium and since I have been able to start living my life again. I still think of my mum daily but I no-longer dwell on her death but enjoy the memories I have of her.

        I have many things to be thankful for in my life, after all we were given 19 more years with my mum, as she could of died during her pregnancy and I have her beautiful grandson who she loved dearly.

        My mum didn't have cancer or any other kind of life taking illness she died peacefully in her sleep after having her favourite takeaway... she was not afraid. I only wish I could of told her how much she meant to me and how much I loved her.

        Its those who are left behind that suffer and my heart goes out to those of you who have ever had the unfortunate suffering of losing a loved one.

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          31.01.2010 21:57
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          it's all written it the review

          I first posted this on ciao, and have decided to leave the first paragraph in as that is how I felt when I wrote it. I wasn't sure if to post this review here as I haven't been a member on the site for very long so I waited and thought about it and decided to go for it.

          I don't really know why I am writing this, I have wanted to write part of it for a long time. I have written some feelings about it but nobody has ever read them - not even my husband. I must warn anybody that is going to read this I don't know what I am going to write, so if I ramble or upset anyone then I am sorry.

          The category is 'Member Advice on Coping with Death' but can anybody really give advice on this - I don't think so because everybody handles things differently therefore copes differently. I believe people can only tell how they dealt with it or didn't.

          I first came across death when I was 8 years old, my Nana had her bed downstairs and my Grandad cooked her meals, I can't remember how long her bed had been downstairs but one day I remember going to visit with my mum after school as we did everyday. My mum had tears in her eyes and one must have rolled down her cheek as I remember saying why are you crying but she said she wasn't. Being so young I didn't realise my Nana was really ill. She didn't go to hospital (well I don't remember her doing) but my mum stayed over and my cousin stayed at our house so his parents could go too. My cousin was the same age and we cried when we were told she had died but we wasn't allowed to go to the funeral - should we have been allowed? My sister who was 13 at the time was, but didn't end up going, she has never really been very good about death and funerals ever since.
          My mum didn't really eat and lost lots of weight she was around my age now. It doesn't bear thinking about.

          How does a young child cope with death, I think I just carried on, I was sad but I got over it although I do still think of my Nana now and remember what she looks like.

          6 years later my Grandad got ill. A doctor came to our house to speak to my mum but she wasn't in and he said to me that my Grandad was a very sick man and needed to go to hospital. My Grandad did go to hospital and around the same time my Grandma had a heart attack and was admitted to the same hospital. So both my parents had their only survivng parent in hospital.
          One day my sister and I got the bus on our own to visit I was 14 my sister 19. We went to see my Grandad first and nurses started getting chairs for us to sit down at his bedside. I didn't realise how bad it was, we didn't stay long and my sister started to cry as soon as we left his bedside. As we got to the end of the ward my mum and dad came rushing in. They had been phoned to come straight away. The nurses must have thought it a bit strange when two kids had turned up.
          I went to see my Grandad again but my sister never did and on the night he died her and my cousin had said they were definitely going to see him the next day - they never got the chance.

          So as a teen how did I cope - I don't know. I went to see my Grandad, I remember seeing his thick white hair from the doorway in the chapel of rest and not knowing if I was going to go in or not but I did. My sister couldn't. I remember my mum writing a letter into school saying I wouldn't be in as I was going to my Grandads funeral. I don't remember anything else I don't remember who drove me there as my mum and dad went in the main car. Why don't I remember? I can remember what he looked like.
          I remember one thing about that day and that is my cousin playing ball outside and banging the ball outside someones house that always moaned about children. The man came out and had a go but this time my cousin (14 like me) told him to leave him alone as it was his Grandads funeral.

          I only talked about things to my sister or cousin my sister said we should make sure we see our Grandma lots as she was our only grandparent now. (I never knew this Grandad as he died when my sister was 2).
          When I was 16 and working my Grandma had another heart attack (she had since had a stroke as well) and then another 3 in hospital. Her mind never went though. Whilst she was in hospital my aunty my dads sister also took ill (poor dad). Turns out she had cancer. My Grandama also had it but never knew but she was in a lot of pain. My Grandma was very religious and the priest visited her often in hospital. Some members of the family wanted to bring her home as previously they had tried respite care rather than hospital. My dad said no and as the only male amongst the children (he had 7 sisters and his brother died at 3) his word was the one that counted - my Grandma always noted him as next of kin.
          My aunty died and nobody told my Grandma they decided it was best that way.

          About a week later I fell out with my mum - I have no idea why, we are both firey women.
          When my Grandma died 3 weeks after my aunty I was at work when I found out (my mum and I still weren't speaking). I phoned my sister and made her phone the hospital to find out how Grandma was. She didn't phone me back so I phoned somewhere (don't know where the hospital???) and spoke to my dad. I remember him saying something and me saying No but I know - my Grandma was dead. My sister walked round all day with a photo in her hand and thought it was horrible if anyone said it might be for the best, nicer place no pain etc.
          I was older this time my Aunty had died 3 weeks earlier and my sister and I had sat in the crem looking out the window and whispering to each other. At my Grandma's funeral I sat with my sister and the funeral went on etc. We came out and me and my mum were still not talking which with children now I find very hard to accept.
          My dad, mum and sister hugged outside and I sort of stood there, arms were then opened for me. I don't know why I have said that because although I do rememeber it vividly I don't want anyone to think my mum was horrible - it was just a faze that teenagers go through and I was probably the horrid one.
          So how did I cope, well once again I got on with it I remember my Grandama a lot and what she looks like and what she did. I remember every Sunday when she was well that we used to walk her to church after visiting then my dad would walk to pick her up and take her home after. I cried but had to get on with it.

          I didn't come across death again for another 11 years (those who have read a previous review may well know who this is). This was the hardest to cope with and I didn't even know the person. It was my son my first born child.
          I had a perfect pregnancy and start getting pains at 39 weeks my husband was out on the Sunday when I started getting pains so I went round to my mums for a bit like I did on a Sunday. My waters didn't break so I thought I was having practice contractions. I didn't sleep very well and husband went to work on the Monday as I had backache. He finished early to come home. I eventually phoned the hospital in the evening (being my first child and my waters hadn't broke what should I do). I was told if I had being having pains that long I wasn't in labour and to take paracetomol and have a bath or warm shower. After this I phoned my sister then about an hour and half later the hospital and they asked me what I wanted to do - how the hell did I know so they told me to come in. My sister phoned back and told my husband to take me to hospital which he said he was doing.
          I found out later my husband had a really bad feeling as we were driving there - me I was excited I think really.
          I went on a moniter when I got there, after a bit lots of people were there - I should have known something was wrong doctors don't need to be in delivery rooms unless there is a problem. My baby was in distress - still it was going to be ok to me, my sisters baby had been in distress and everything turned out ok. Suddenly a C Section was mentioned but there was no time for that special care was on alert and I had to get my baby out. Still I thought everything would be ok and even told the doctor off for hurting me.

          It wasn't ok 12.07am and they were giving my baby adrenaline Mark shouted come on Georgie - I told him to be quiet WHY! my baby was ok. Then the doctor came over to tell us there was nothing they could do....................................NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO that wasn't true.

          He died when he was 31 minutes old.
          We had photographs done by a photographer that the hospital used. Then I had to go to theatre as the placenta was stuck. They said we would be 15 minutes tops and Mark had hold of George. I was over 45 minutes in theatre I watched the clock go round and thought I was going to die too. Mark was scared to death that he was going to lose me too as we were that long.
          I came back to the room and we were left alone, we could hear other babies crying and wished ours was. I went home at 5 pm that day I couldn't stay I had had a temperature, but although they wanted to keep me in I was going home.

          So how did I cope with death now, well as a couple we talked loads argued over nothing and cried loads. We also drank loads but didn't seem to get drunk my family came round loads and we just wanted to be alone. So we went away for a few days where nobody knew us so we could just talk. Mark had said in the hospital that he didn't want this to split us up.
          We had the funeral two weeks after George had died, just us and very close family - we felt nobody knew him so they shouldn't be there (rightly or wrongly it was our choice) some of my aunties would have been there but were told no.

          I didn't mention earlier but my sister actually touched George at first she stood outside the hospital room freaking out because he was in the room with us but I told my dad to tell her he was staying.
          We got an extra car for all the flowers that had been bought for George as there were so many but it is such a horrible thing carrying such a small coffin. I will always wonder if I had a low pain threshold and gone to hospital earlier would things have been different.
          We got loads of cards and flowers from people and it was nice knowing so many people cared.

          So after writing this that doesn't really give any advice I feel a bit better.
          I truly believe you don't get over some deaths and the pain never goes away it just becomes easier to deal with. Everybody is different but for me it helped to talk to my husband the only other person that could begin to understand how I felt. I also talked to my best friend that would listen, for some reason I couldn't talk to my family I felt a brick wall had come down for my mum and things weren't mentioned, my dads my dad and my sister got too upset. I also wrote things down and made a recording of how I felt (my husbands idea) then deleted it, I was never going to see my son go to school or have his first pint etc. and my arms ached to hold my baby again.
          I don't believe in God but sometimes I wonder if there is something after death, I don't really think there is but I think if there is do my granparents look after my son.


          My son would be 11 now and although I have 2 wonderful daughters I still wonder.

          I have just re read this review after reading one on miscarriage and it still made me cry and my son would be 14 now.

          He would be 15 now and I still cried a little after reading this, I never forget.

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            24.01.2010 07:22
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            how i am coping, am i coping?

            I have decided to write on this subject as i am indeed trying to come to terms with the recent death of my darling daddy. I am finding it almost unbearingly painful. Some days i wake up and go through the day strong, other times i cannot hardly speak or go through the motions without being on the verge of tears.

            What i find so hard to come to terms with is how life goes on around as if nothing has happened. The clock still ticks away in the room the television still plays in the corner. Cars pass down the road and people are shopping and gossiping in the street and i just want to shout "hey wait a minute, dont you know that my dad has gone!!!"

            I am still quite young at 34. My sister is six years younger unyet we have lost both our parents. My mum died with breast cancer when she was 40 and my dad died this november at 55 with mnd. I find it very hard not to be bitter, i wonder why our family was chosen to be ripped apart by illness not once but twice. i know that this is a natural process of grief to be bitter, But it does make me so angry inside and for an easy going laugh a minute girl like me i find these feelings so alien.

            I spent a lot of time with my dad during his last year. He was cared for by my wonderful stepmum 24 hours a day 7 days a week and boy was he cared for well. I spent a lot of days with dad as i was worried that my s mum needed a break. At the beginning of his illness we would have long chats and a walk into the garden. But as this evil illness ravaged his body he was unable to even talk and so i would read to him. His smile and courage always shone through. As his illness progressed we were able to tell each other that we loved one another and he even told me what plans he had made for his funeral.

            This is the only consolation i have at the moment, knowing that i had a fantastic loving relationship with both my mum and my dad. They were both young and i never got to see either of them old. But how blessed am i to be able to say that i was able to have those precious times with my dad at the end of his life. To be able to share the journey with him until the final moment when he had to go alone.

            Yes it is hard, sometimes so very very hard but i owe it to both my parents to carry on with my head held high. My father was a rugby player and he would be telling me head down and drive forward!! I have to look at the positive things in my life and boy i have those. I have two beautiful children a fantastic and loving husband a beautiful sister and wonderful if not a bit insane friends who have kept me going and proven their weight in gold over the last year.

            I know i will see my mum and dad and all the other people i have loved and lost again. I believe that when i die they will be waiting for me. I have no doubt in my mind that we will all be together again. I believe in spirits and have had a few strange experiences since my dad has gone which if my hubby hadnt seen as well i wouldnt have believed my eyes. But my dad was a hell of a character and i knew he would give me a sign that he was ok. Just knowing that he is looking over me gives me the strength and determination to carry on.

            Believe it or not i was much closer to my mum than my dad. But i have spoken how his death has effected me as it is still raw. My mum died 11 years ago and although i still miss her with all my heart the pain does become easier to live with. I am just so grateful for the love and support my mum and dad gave me through out my life. Their unwavering dedication to me is what will get me through.

            So to refer back to the title of this review i would say that i am learning to cope with death. I have to find the strengh within me to pick myself up and dust myself down and carry on. I have beautiful and precious memories which i am well aware some people will never have. I think it is important to cut myself some slack and realise that im going to find some days harder than others but the one thing i have learned is to let it out. Not to bottle it up inside. Share the way i am feeling with my friends and family. I also find it a relief to talk to my dad as i know he is always listening. Telling him how i am missing him and how sad i am makes me feel connected to him still.

            I have found it very hard to write this review. However if it helps someone who is recently bereaved then i am glad i have shared my feelings. Thankyou for reading.

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