Lost my aunt, my friend, and my uncle in <6 months.

Lost my aunt, my friend, and my uncle in <6 months.

Postby ovoce » January 23rd, 2016, 8:30 am

Don't really know what else to say. They weren't my closest relatives/friend but they weren't distant either. None of them were natural. My aunt was at my wedding in late June dancing and next thing I know it's late July and I'm getting a call from my mom crying telling me to call her hospital room and say good bye. I've had lots of deaths in my family but I've never been able to say goodbye to someone who was still lucid and knew they would be dead soon. It was very surreal to hear her say clear as day "I'm glad I could go to your wedding, it'll be something to remember me by. I love you. I have to hang up now, I'm tired." then to get the call that she died that night. In November, I found out one of my best friends from elementary through high school (though we talked less frequently once I left the state to go to college) drove into a tree. It was great weather, early in the morning, and no drugs or alcohol were found in her system, so nobody know why it happened but I fear the worst. That was horrible not only because it was someone so close, but someone my age (23) and so unexpected. Ever since I've been having even more/worse panic attacks. They were happening DAILY, though for the last month, as my depression has worsened, they only come by about every week, and much more mildly. Finally, my uncle passed away the day before Christmas eve. This one was expected, as he'd been battling cancer for a couple years. He was staying with my grandma (his sister, but it feels weird calling him great uncle because he was only in his mid fifties, everyone starts families young on that side), who was the one who found him and I don't even want to get into her reaction according to my grandpa because it just breaks my heart too much. My uncle's daughter arrived at the airport around 20 hours later to see him, that was pretty sad too. So many people in my family have had cancer (on my mother's side my grandma and grandpa [both died], 2 uncles [one died], one cousin, and on my dad's side my great grandpa [died] and great grandpa, the aforementioned uncle [died], another cousin [died], and I feel like even someone else I'm just not remembering because it's too much to remember) that I told my husband after he said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me (long before he actually asked me to marry him) he could break up with me if he wanted because I'd probably die young of cancer.

It has just been overwhelming, and of course now every memory I've ever had of them will just pop into my head for no reason. I couldn't for the life of me think of a single memory of my aunt to give my mom for her speech at her funeral (ridiculous because there are so many), then during the funeral suddenly remembered clear as day that she was the woman who taught me how to dance at her own son's wedding when I was 11. I hadn't spoken to my friend in a couple months, but I will now suddenly remember CDs she burned for me, or stupid jokes on the internet we laughed at until 3am together, or sharing my bed with her at sleepovers. It's not even that I want these to stop (though I do want the paralyzing fear of death to stop), I just wanted to get them off my chest. I know some of you feel the same <3
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Re: Lost my aunt, my friend, and my uncle in <6 months.

Postby oak » January 23rd, 2016, 10:55 am

I am sorry for your losses. That is alot to deal with.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
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Re: Lost my aunt, my friend, and my uncle in <6 months.

Postby ovoce » January 23rd, 2016, 11:06 am

Thanks, Oak. Being heard means a lot right now
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Re: Lost my aunt, my friend, and my uncle in <6 months.

Postby Welp » June 9th, 2016, 3:05 pm

Hey Ovoce,

Thank you for sharing. I know this post was actually a little while ago, but I wanted to reach out and see how you are doing.

I know that no two people grieve the same way, but your story touched a part of me that has really struggled with my own grief and I wanted you to know you are not alone.

When I was 16 three people I knew died, and my dog was hit by a car and killed. I was the one who found my dog, and the guilt crushed me. It was one of the first deaths I had ever experienced. Over the course of two months three people I knew died. None of the people I was directly related to, but they were people that meant a lot to me. In particular one man who had let me stay at his house one time when my father was particularly out of control died of a heart attack very suddenly. Grief is hard. Grief back to back to back can be demolishing. I can pin point this year as the year that my OCD became apparent. If I just thought about death the fear that it would happen again would cascade over me and seize my whole body. I would then feel guilty for feeling this emotional about the deaths of people and my dog, when others had lost their parents and loved ones. A therapist years later explained to me that all of this resulted in a complicated grieving pattern that results in a feeling similar to physical pain. I think it was worse than physical pain, because physical pain is hard to remember. I remember perfectly what that grief felt like.

This is one of the reasons I wanted to reach out to you. I was tormented by unwanted thoughts about death for five years. I was finally able to overcome it when I first started to see a counselor to help with my OCD. My complicated grief was one of many things that became apparent the more I addressed my obsessions and stopped my compulsions. We were able to really dig into and work through it. This involved a lot of that ugly crying you do where tears and snot seem to manifest straight out of your face, but it felt so good to do it. It was like all those years I had been carrying it around with me and allowing it to grow and grow and grow.

My grandfather died recently of prostate cancer, and while I miss him deeply I was actually able to grieve him in a way that felt , I won't say good, but right. I am afraid of cancer, mostly because I am afraid of dying in a hospital a shell of myself. I'm probably one of the few 26 year olds with an advanced directive for that reason.

I just wanted you to know that your grief is valid, and it is hard, and you.are.not.alone. If you still need to talk about it, I am always happy to listen.

Welp
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