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    The TDS grief/bereavement thread 
    #1
    Bluelight Crew effie's Avatar
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    Welcome to the TDS grief and bereavement thread

    I have decided to start this thread after speaking to a few TDSers who are currently experiencing bereavement - including myself. The aim of this thread is to share any useful resources you have found, great websites, practical support, tips and advice, as well as being a place where we can talk about our own experiences, how we are feeling and who we have lost - and hopefully help others too. Grief is one of the most painful and difficult things we can experience in our lives, and it can be really hard sometimes finding help, support and people who really understand, especially when you are in the midst of it all, so I hope this will be helpful..

    As I am from the UK I have compiled some UK resources (although a lot of the websites have information which may be useful to anyone) but if anyone has anything they know about in US/Aus/anywhere else that you would like to share, please post in the thread or send me a pm and I'll move them to the right place

    UK/European resources

    Cruse


    http://www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk/

    Cruse is the main bereavement charity in the UK, offering support and information for anyone who has been bereaved including free counselling (but with a waiting list which varies from area to area) and local bereavement groups, as well as a listening telephone line run by trained volunteers and email service.
    Tel - 0844 477 9400 (9.30am - 5.30pm weekdays, 7pm Mon and Wed)
    Email - [email protected]

    Samaritans

    www.samaritans.org

    The Samaritans provide a 24 hour listening/counselling service aimed at anyone who is feeling suicidal, hopeless, or in despair.. so if it’s 3am and you really need to talk to someone, these are the people! I have used them a few times and they are absolutely fantastic. You don't need to be suicidal to ring - they are happy to speak to anyone who needs someone to talk to..
    Tel - 08457 909090 (24/7, every day of the year)
    Email - [email protected]

    The CALMzone


    www.thecalmzone.net

    This isn't something I have used myself but I have heard a lot of good things about it - it is primarily aimed at helping young men to deal with many different issues including bereavement. There are a lot of good resources on the website and they have a listening line you can ring if you want to speak to someone too.
    Tel - 0800 5858585 (Sat-Tues 5pm - midnight)

    Counselling Directory

    http://www.counselling-directory.org...reavement.html

    A counselling directory to help find a registered private bereavement counsellor in your area (UK only).

    Often free NHS counselling is available from your GP (and Cruse) so it is worth checking there first, but there is often a long wait and services vary from place to place. Private counselling isn't always cheap unfortunately. I found a very reasonably priced counselling service with trainee counsellors through my local University – they are all final year students and it is a lot cheaper than private counselling usually is, so it is worth looking into! If anyone is in the Bristol, UK area and want to know the details of the service I use, send me a pm

    Bereavement Services Portal

    http://www.iccm-uk.com/

    Help with the practical aspects of registering a death and arranging a funeral etc - it can be almost impossible to deal with this side of things when someone dies as you are in such a state of shock, so this is an extremely helpful website.

    BBC Bereavment Resources


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/emotiona...h/bereavement/

    Really helpful website from the BBC with loads of info and resources on bereavement.

    National Association of Widows

    http://www.widows.uk.net/

    Not just for widows - this organisation is for any women who have lost their partner - I have joined despite not being married to Dave! They offer information and local bereavement groups plus a forum on their website (there is a small joining fee)

    Booklet from the Department of Health on sudden/traumatic death and suicide

    http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/...dh_4139007.pdf

    Online booklet from the Royal College of Psychiatrists on bereavement and what to expect


    http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealt...reavement.aspx

    Bereavement forums

    There are LOTS of these, and there isn’t a specific one I have found especially helpful – they all have different styles and approaches, but can be a really good way to help yourself feel less isolated and to speak to people who understand – you can find many by searching google. If I find a particularly good one I’ll post it here, but right now all I need is TDS, counselling and my friends

    Finally, don't forget to see your GP - they can be an excellent source of support and can signpost you towards any useful services in your area as well as helping you to access psychiatric services if you need them.

    ***more to be added later***


    The rest of the thread is for talking about whatever you want to talk about - tell us all about who you lost, talk to us about how you are feeling, share anything you have found useful, have a rant when you are having a bad day and hopefully we can support one another. You are welcome to contribute if you have not been bereaved yourself, of course, but please remember that people who have been bereaved have been through something incredibly traumatic, and everyone responds differently - there is no right or wrong way to grieve and some of the emotions we experience can be difficult for others to comprehend. I hope this will be a competely non-judgemental and supportive space
    Last edited by effie; 04-11-2011 at 07:04.
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    #2
    Bluelight Crew effie's Avatar
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    Canada and North/South American Resources

    (Many thanks to fizzle and herbavore for their help with this section)


    Hospice
    General services relating to death and dying as well as grief.

    Veterans Services
    services for veterans, their families and their friends

    Compassionate Friends

    National Organization for Parents suffering the death of a child, as well as support services for siblings

    National Institute of Health

    Suicide Crisis Center

    http://suicide.com/suicidecrisiscenter/

    Can be called from anywhere in the U.S. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    Tel: 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-8255

    This is a link to a page on their site that lists a number of other resources, including online therapists or help for locating a therapist in your area. http://suicide.com/suicidecrisiscenter/callchart.html

    If you scroll down to about the middle of this page, it also has listings for all 50 states, which then divide up into individual counties, so you can get help closer to home. It also includes listings for Canada, plus instructions for how to call them internationally. http://suicidehotlines.com/

    Crisis Hotline

    http://www.clbockwitz.com/crisisHotline.pdf (Just fyi, this is a PDF, I know those slow down some peoples computers...)

    These are their general helplines:
    Crisis Helpline (any kind of crisis) 800.233..4357
    Youth Crisis Hotline 800.448.4663
    National Child-At Risk Hotline 800.792.5200

    And these are the ones specific to bereavement:
    Bereavement Hotline 800.445.4808
    Grief Recovery Helpline 800.445.4808

    The link posted above for this one includes help for several other things as well, including rape and domestic abuse.

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

    Tel: 1-800-273-8255
    For hearing or speech impaired with TTY Equipment: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)
    Spanish speakers: 1-888-628-9454

    BCBH (British Columbia Bereavement Helpline)

    http://www.bcbereavementhelpline.com/

    Tel: 1-877-779-2223 or 604-738-9950

    I'm sorry I don't have more info on this one, I didn't see any hours listed so I would assume its 24/7.


    ***more to be added later!***
    Last edited by effie; 18-11-2011 at 04:54.
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    #3
    Bluelight Crew effie's Avatar
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    Australia and NZ Resources

    (Many thanks to Tripman for his help with this section)

    Australia:

    ADULT SERVICES

    Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement
    www.grief.org.au
    The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement is an independent, not for profit organisation providing grief and bereavement education in Australia. Its mission is to build the capacity of individuals, organisations and communities in order to enhance well-being following adverse life events.

    National Association for Loss and Grief (NSW)
    www.nalag.org.au
    National Association for Loss and Grief (NSW) offers grief support groups as well as training and advice on grief issues. Regional chapters are located across the state.

    Bereavement CARE Centre
    www.bereavementcare.com.au
    The Bereavement Care Centre offers complete bereavement care services including bereavement counselling, educational courses, educational books and DVDs and information for bereaved adults and children.

    Good Grief
    www.goodgrief.org.au
    Good Grief Ltd is committed to relieving suffering and bringing hope to people affected by change, loss and grief. Good Grief Ltd. builds resilience in and brings hope to children, young people and adults who have experienced significant change, loss and grief with the program Seasons for Growth.

    LifeLine
    www.lifeline.org.au
    Lifeline is a not-for-profit organisation offering a number of services, including telephone and online counselling, training, and community events, at both the national and local level.

    The White Wreath Association

    www.whitewreath.com
    The White Wreath Association is a national organisation which offers support for those bereaved by suicide as well as advocating for changes to provide greater support for those at risk of suicide and their carers.

    KIDS AND YOUNG PEOPLE'S SERVICES

    National Centre for Childhood Grief
    www.childhoodgrief.org.au
    The National Centre for Childhood Grief was established as a charitable organisation in 1994 by Dianne & Mal McKissock to address the needs of bereaved children and young people (3-18 years). The Centre is called, 'A Friend's Place' to minimise the likelihood of embarrassment or stigmatisation.

    Kids Help Line

    www.kidshelp.com.au
    Kids Help Line is Australia's only free, confidential and anonymous, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.

    New Zealand:

    New Zealand Ministry of Health
    After a suicide a resource for people bereaved by suicide can be downloaded as a pdf or word file. There is also a guide for communities wishing to set up support.

    Auckland

    Solace Support Group, updated Aug 2011
    Mark (09) 360 6410
    Kay & Allan (09) 832 4571
    Kassy (09) 479 9407
    [email protected]
    view their brochure

    Hamilton

    Solace Support, updated March 2010
    Aynsley and Dennis Parker
    (07) 846 3550
    [email protected]

    South Waikato Taumaranui


    Family and Caregiver Support, updated March 2010
    Ph (07) 883 3976
    Tokoroa
    [email protected]

    Ron & Marie Summer
    Compassionate Friends
    Ph (07) 895 4879
    Taumaranui

    Bay of Plenty

    Bereaved by Suicide Support Group / Grief Support Services, updated April 2010
    Our support group meets at 147 Chadwick Road, Greerton Tauranga You are most welcome to come along and be part of this supportive group and / or receive our bi-monthly newsletter. Free counselling is also offered.
    For more information please contact Janet Baird, Ph (07) 578 4480,
    email [email protected], website: www.griefsupport.org.nz

    Wainuiomata

    Grief Support Network

    This network has been set up within the Wainuiomata community to provide support for those who are experiencing grief through suicide or other death, particularly in the weeks/months after the event when initial support has often ceased. The WGSN is a link and resource service only, and can advise of local professional support services. They do not provide grief counselling or crisis services.Ph (04) 564 1338

    Taranaki

    Touched by Suicide Support Group, ph 06 759 5519 / 021 733 816, email [email protected]

    Palmerston North


    Levin and Otaki
    Bereaved by Suicide Support Group, updated April 2010
    ACROSS: Te Kotahitanga o te Wairua www.across.org.nz
    Groups run by Rose Allan, Ph (06) 356 7486
    Email [email protected] or [email protected]

    Wanganui

    Support Group for Those Bereaved by Suicide www.beeaved-by-suicide.co.nz
    "The support group welcomes in confidence immediate family, relatives, friends and others. We are here to support others by understanding their pain as we still walk our lives." Phone or text 027 684 3386 or ph (06) 3446573.

    Wellington

    "The Wave" - Bereaved by Suicide Support Group, updated Aug 2011
    For adults and young people, 17 years plus, who have been affected by the suicide of someone they know. The group allows members to share their thoughts and feelings around what's happened; discuss the nature of suicide; gain information and ideas about how to care for themselves and others, including children, after a suicide.

    The group is faciliated by professional counsellors and educators and runs over 8 weeks, more information at the skylight website under Support Groups
    Contact skylight Ph (04) 920 9967 or email [email protected]

    Marlborough


    Bereaved by Suicide Support GroupContact Alana Wilson Ph (03) 572 7445, updated April 2010
    or c/- P O Box 110
    Renwick, Blenheim 7243
    Last edited by effie; 07-11-2011 at 07:45.
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    #4
    Bluelight Crew effie's Avatar
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    I will start, although right now I don't have that many words...

    I lost my boyfriend Dave just over 2 months ago, suddenly and unexpectedly, aged 25... It wasn't a drugs overdose, it looks like it was an undetected heart condition, although the inquest is currently ongoing.. not knowing is so hard. My world fell apart the day I heard, and 2 months down the line everything is still so horribly unbalanced - it feels like I am living in a dream somehow, and any day now I will wake up and realise it isn't true..

    I have been through so many emotions since it happened, it would be impossible to document them all. Right now I am very firmly in denial - my mind just cannot grasp the enormoty of it, although I feel incredibly sad and absolutely devastated. At various times I have felt guilt, anger, intense pain, depression.. and also somehow moments when I have been able to enjoy time with my friends, or doing other things, although these are fleeting currently. For the first few weeks I was in total shock and actually managed to function pretty normally, but everything has fallen apart a little since then.. I am going to counselling which helps hugely, and I am really trying to stop hibernating and start seeing friends etc, but I find even basic things (eating, sleeping, going to the corner shop) very difficult. It's like being a child again..

    I have to dash off now (GP appointment) but I will write more later. If anyone would like to know about Dave, he was a moderator in EADD for 8 years (we met on the site over a year and a half ago, and lived together for the last year) - his shrine thread is here...

    So much to anyone who is going through this, however recent or not-so-recent it is. It is truly the most earth-shattering, bewildering and painful thing anyone can experience, and it can be so isolating - so I really hope that being able to talk to others here will help, even if just a little
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    #5
    Bluelighter godlovesugly's Avatar
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    cool. thanks for starting this thread, as i am going through grief and mourning right now too....

    im sorry for your loss. wow, i cant imagine the pain you feel....i almost lost my boyfriend in september. he tried to commit suicide, actually came very close to succeeding this time. he overdosed on ativan and ambien. went to the hospital, he doesnt remember much, but they did have a breathing tube down his throat. it scared the fuck outta me.

    but the loss im dealin with is my stepdad. he passed at our home on may 26th. he was 47 years old. im still trying to deal with it. ive never lost anyone close to me before, this is the first time. and i didnt know how to deal with it. im ashamed because i relapsed and used klonopin when he died....i ended up missing his funeral cause i was so messed up. i hate myself for it. THAT is not easy to get over....i fucked up. but i cant go back in time. i am currently sober now. but dealing with the loss of someone you loved is the hardest thing ive ever done...im looking into goging to some grief/loss support meetings here.
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    #6
    Bluelight Crew effie's Avatar
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    ^ I am so sorry to hear about your stepdad, godlovesugly

    Losing anyone you love is by far the most painful thing you can experience in my opinion, I agree.. I'm so sorry you are having to go through this, especially after nearly losing your boyfriend so recently too.. I'm so glad he pulled through!

    I know it's hard, but please try not to beat yourself up about relapsing and missing the funeral. I spent the weeks after Dave's death in a complete benzo haze - I very nearly didn't go to the funeral either, I had to be almost dragged/carried there.. it is such a shock and trauma, and so painful - no one should feel bad about how they react, you have no control over it and there are some things you simply aren't capable of. I entirely understand, as would anyone else who has been through this

    Have you thought about doing something yourself, to say goodbye? Light a candle, plant something, write a letter.. it might really help you to feel a bit of release and like you have said goodbye and made your peace. Funerals aren't for everyone and you absolutely should not feel guilty for not going.. but it can be good to do something to say goodbye... if you feel it might help. You're right, you can't go back in time, all you can do is the best you can with the present and it sounds like you are doing fantastically well being sober currently - I know how hard that must be, you should be so proud of that, even if inside you feel like you are falling apart..

    Grief support meetings sounds like an excellent idea. I'm not quite ready for that, but I've found one in my local area that I am going to go to at some point. I've started bereavement counselling too (thankfully managed to find something cheap!) which is helping a lot. Do you have much of a support network - friends and family? I find it incredibly difficult to ask others for help, but I am really trying to push myself to at the moment as I know I can't manage in my own. I live on my own now, in the flat I shared with Dave, and I just keep hiding away and not seeing anyone.. which is the worst thing I can do right now..

    Thank you for being the first person apart from me to post! I am so sorry your circumstances mean you have to, but knowing there are other people out there who understand helps so much. I completely understand about not knowing how to deal with this - I have absolutely no idea either, especially now it is a few months down the line and some people seem to expect me to be getting back on my feet now.. but I just can't. All I can say is take it one day at a time (or even one hour/minute/second at a time) and reach out for as much help and support as you can, from anyone you can, including us!
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    #7
    Bluelighter swmo's Avatar
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    very good stuff!
    i met a woman on this site in January of this year. I'd been sharing a lot about losing my hand to Demerol & she was of great help. She was the crisis hotline for an organization that catered to the needs of people with her affliction. We spent HOURS @ a time on the phone and net chats. We had some of the same problems & neither of us was in denial about them. We both had chronic pain issues & unfortunately were dependent on opioids. We shared a lot! We were close to the same age, we'd had many of the same experiences, we liked the same kind of music. We both enjoyed cannabis as an adjunct therapy for our pain. The word "soulmates" came up often. I know I felt as a kindred spirit to her. We made some vacation plans together. She lived in Arizona & I in Missouri. Quite a distance between us. At first, I wondered how we'd make it together if we hit it off because I was taking homehealthcare of my grandma, who has dementia, among other problems. I was committed to staying with her until the end of her life. I am the only one in our family who could actually handle her, she had quite a strong will, a strong personality. It so happens that I do too. Anyway, we made vacation plans to meet in mid-Feb and spend a few days together, including Valentine's day, in Albuquerque. I was very excited to have found a woman who I felt was the perfect match in every way. I can't remember looking forward to a vacation more than this 1. We talked on the phone for hours nearly every night for what was a short time, but quality time, it was. No subject was off limits. We'd both be laughing so hard that we'd both be having tears rolling down our faces. Damn, this is special, I thought.
    On January 18th of this year, I didn't hear from her on the net, as we usually did during the day. I was a little worried about her because I knew what she'd been up to & trouble could've ensued. She had a not-so-nice woman constantly using her and she knew she was being used, but refused to cut the woman loose. I urged her to, after she told me some of the things this woman had done to her.
    But anyway, on the afternoon of 1/18, I received a phone call from her son. He told me she died. What?! No! Yes, he said, he watched them carry her out on a stretcher with a toe tag already on. I was in such denial that I called her county police to ask if she was really dead. They confirmed it. Man, that hit me hard. I've never been married, but been through a slew of dysfunctional relationships. Here, I thought that we'd make a good dysfunctional pair & now she's gone. I've had a few relatives pass away & I was always glad for them that they were no longer suffering....they were senior citizens & life's end was easily foreseeable. This woman was full of vitality & joie de vivre. She wasn't supposed to die yet! Dammit, how dare she, when we had plans! I only had a $600+ phone bill & a few voicemails and email chats to remember her by plus a couple of pics.. Man, depression hit hard & stayed.
    Then, on 5/22/11, an ef-5 tornado ripped through my hometown and nearly wiped us off the map. Our home was destroyed, but all in the house were physically OK, including my grandma, who I shielded from flying debris. My grandmother ended up in a nursing facility & I was freed! I was freed from soooooooo much, but that's another story. This was the opportunity that we had both spoken about! Jeez, I found myself crying daily over losing her again & what could've been. I'm just now finally healing again. It sucks soooooo bad to lose anyone you feel a connection with. Spirituality can do wonders for grief...it sure has for me!
    If you've lost someone recently, to anything, I sure feel for u.
    Try to have a great day!
    Last edited by swmo; 21-05-2013 at 20:30.
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    #8
    Bluelight Crew effie's Avatar
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    ^ swmo, thank you so much for sharing that. I am so sorry for your loss

    Dave felt like my soulmate too - we moved in together after meeting on BL and only meeting up twice beforehand, after we'd only been together for 3 months. Everyone thought we were crazy.. but he was my perfect fit, and we lived together for over a year until he died, weathering some pretty difficult times but getting through it because we loved each other and just worked so well.. I was so happy to have found him. What you said about "Dammit, how dare she, when we had plans!" resonates with me so much today! It might seem irrational to others but it is so common - some days I am so mad at him for leaving me, leaving all our plans and our future, leaving me to pick up this mess on my own somehow.. even though of course I know it wasn't his fault. It is a completely natural way to feel sometimes..

    It sounds like you've had such a hard time - losing your soulmate, then all the extra difficulties with your grandma then the hurricaine - comgratulations for making it through it all and I am so glad things are starting to look up for you, it gives me so much hope that you are starting to heal, and I am so happy for you too

    Was there anything you found particularly helped you to start to heal? Or was it really just a matter of time, and finding your freedom too?
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    #9
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    My hopes are blighted, my heart is broken, my life a burden, everything around me is sad and mournful; earth has become distasteful to me, and human voices distract me. It is mercy to let me die, for if I live I shall lose my reason and become mad.
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    Peace
    I wanted to point out that certain substances can interrupt the bereavement process if taken for a prolonged period of time. There is a specific warning in the prescription drug pamphlet that comes with my temazepam prescription. I imagine this would be the case for most benzodiazepines, barbiturates, sedatives, and so on.

    It can be hard not to rely on medication to get over a grieving process, but it really is best to save it for one a week/month, and not having to rely on it every day.

    Much to everyone grieving out there.
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    #10
    Bluelight Crew effie's Avatar
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    ^ As a general rule this is very true - when someone close to you dies, grief is something that needs to be experienced fully at some point, however painful it is.. Having said that, it is completely natural to want some relief and I needed a script around the time of Dave's funeral. Anyone who has used benzos while grieving shouldn't feel guilty at all - it can be so intensely painful, and especially if you are already a benzo user, I think it would be incredibly hard not to so I don't want anyone feeling guilty if they did rely on benzos or any other drug

    However CH is quite right - if you delay the grief reaction by numbing it with drugs, from everything I have read you are really just storing it up for later, and unfortunately it can sometimes be ever worse when it does finally surface.. it is so hard, but the more you can manage without drugs (prescription or otherwise) the better, although sometimes a prescribed script from a doctor can be necessary to get through the hardest times and allow yourself some respite.

    I was so anxious around the funeral that I made myself really physically unwell - upset stomach, vomiting, not eating for days, not sleeping - so for me, a diazepam prescription was something I really needed at that point in time.. really trying not to rely on them now though..
    Last edited by effie; 04-11-2011 at 04:09.
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    #11
    Bluelight Crew n3ophy7e's Avatar
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    effie thank you so much for starting this thread For such a difficult and traumatic thing for someone to go through, it is especially important to have as much support as possible so I am sure this thread will be valuable to many people.

    I for one have not lost a loved one yet (although quite a few friends who I've known through BL have passed). It is one of my biggest fears because I don't know how I will cope, and as each year passes I become more concerned and scared that I won't be able to cope when someone close to me passes away. So reading other people's experiences and knowing that people DO heal after they lose someone they love, that people do keep going on with their lives, is helpful for me. And I'm sure it is helpful for many other people as well.

    effie, you are an inspiration to me. Dave would be so proud of what you're doing here in TDS, and of everything else you're doing, and of how you're coping. I know you have okay days and bad days and terrible days, but with each day that passes I hope it is getting a little bit easier for you

    Oh, and I will be adding in some Australia/NZ links soon!


    Much love and strength to all those who need it right now
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    First, inexpressible thanks to Effie, not only for starting this thread for everyone but for doing that and so much more in the midst of your own intense grief. I truly cannot fathom how you are doing everything that you are doing.

    @Godlovesugly, I have to strongly second what Effie said about missing the funeral. You have nothing to feel ashamed about. You were not only hurting but most likely in shock. You will be feeling so many emotions about the loss of your stepfather in the coming months and years, try not to let guilt at not going to the funeral overshadow your other feelings. You loved him. You will find many ways to say goodbye and to honor that love.
    Also, I know our local hospice has grief groups specifically for young people that have lost someone, as well as very low cost individual counseling. Keep us posted. So much love to you (I'm glad you have your new little pug)

    @swmo---that is a tragic story. I cannot imagine.You had a profound connection. When the tornado hit you must have felt like that was the second time your world had been totally flattened. I am so, so sorry. So much love to you,too. (and you are right about spirituality---when something like this tears your life to shreds you can see a bigger picture.)

    I will post something about losing my son, Caleb, on a different night. Tonight I'm afraid to start. You know how sometimes it is just too damn big and all you really can do is say their name over and over? See, Effie, how good this thread is going to be for all of us? Because I know that the four of us who are grieving here now know exactly what I am talking about. So much love to everyone. Care deeply for each other and for yourself.
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    #13
    Bluelighter Rabidrabbit's Avatar
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    Hi, guys. Much love and strength goes out to all of you. May the people we've loved and lost rest in peace.

    You're all very strong and although it never gets easier, the pain can be replaced with happier thoughts and memories.

    This is why I am posting: Today is the 5 year anniversary of my mother's death. After 5 years, I am still having trouble coping with her death. I thought I'd mourned her loss but really all I've done was run away from it. She died when I was 20 and in my first year of college. I'm now 25 years old and still am only a freshman in college credits-wise. My mother died suddenly, in the middle of the night. I found her dead in her room, face down in a pool of blood. There was no foul-play. I can only assume she was having chest pains and trying to call an ambulance and fell down face first. The official cause of death was Heart Failure but she wasn't the healthiest person: she was on medication for cholesterol, blood pressure, edema, was obese and drank a lot. She was also involved with a homeless man who took advantage of her kindness and generosity to the point where I began to hate my mother for abandoning me, my brother and my father for this con-man who did nothing but bring her down. I also blame him for my mother drinking so much but as an addict myself I know that you do the drugs, the drugs don't do you. But if she was in her right mind, she wouldn't have been with him, drinking every day and sleeping on the streets.

    There's an entry in my blog that describes the day that she died. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was such a shock. There was no sign that my mom was sick -- if anything, my dad who has Parkinson's Disease was expected to be the one who died first (people even expressed that to me when I called them to give them the news; they thought I was calling to tell them about my dad).

    In a way, I wish it had been my dad. It's not that I want him dead, it's just that he has been suffering with Parkinson's Disease for over 15 years now. Each year has been steady decline. The medications he's on to control his PD symptoms are making him forget who I am, who my brother is, where my mother is. When I visit him (which is rare nowadays because of his dementia and my poor mental state; when he first moved into the nursing home, I visited him everyday) he asks where my mom is. Each and every time. He thinks my brother is his nephew. He thinks there's a microchip implanted in his wrist. But these are just details. They are painful details though. I don't know whether to go along with his dementia fantasies or to keep telling him what is real. Maybe the world his sick mind has created for him is better than the real world and I should just shut up and let him enjoy it. I don't know. But the point of it is that I've already mourned my dad. I know he has an incurable disease. It's not necessarily a fatal disease but it's one that robs you of your body and eventually your mind. He's suffered so long. He's asked me to help him kill himself but I could never do it. But what I am trying to say is that I was ready for my dad to die. It would finally give him some peace. I was not ready for my mom to die.

    My mother was 51 years old and had the potential to clean up her life and get healthy. She just chose not to. She chose to give up on life and embrace death. I am trying to forgive her for that because I know she loved me, but it's hard. My younger brother is disabled (borderline mentally retarded and bipolar) so I ended up having to take care of him when my mom died. I also had to find a job and a way to pay for food and rent. I was in crisis mode, I suppose. I was able to suppress my grief through focusing on school, work and caring for my brother. I never had the time to just sit down and mourn. Believe me, I've cried my eyes out when the pain was too much but I've never dealt with the pain. I am afraid of dealing with the pain. I don't know what I will find.

    I saw my doctor on the day my mom died and she gave me Xanax. That first 0.25mg dose knocked me the fuck out and all there was was a blanket of warm darkness. I finished the 30 day script in a week and went back asking for more Xanax because I wasn't coping. I developed extreme anxiety and had multiple panic attacks. I saw a psychiatrist and was put on Clonazepam and every antidepressant in the book. None of them worked. Most of the antidepressants just made me feel cloudy and stupid and gave me all sorts of weird bodily side effects.

    Except the clonazepam. That numbed my feelings. I've been on it for at least 4 years now. I've also started taking illicit prescription painkillers, mostly oxycodone, in order to deal with this pain that is eating me from the inside out. Before my mom died, I was a recreational drug user. I tried Xanax and Vicodin and Clonazepam and did them for fun, but I wasn't addicted to them. I was addicted to cocaine at the age of o17, but I'd also managed to stop doing cocaine. The benzos and opiates? Not so much. I know I can't truly deal with my feelings while I am on these pills but that seems to be what I want. It's what's worked "best" for me. Taking the pills and not dealing with life. But this addiction has just been fucking up my life. My relationships, my finances, my happiness, my ability to do well in school, my ability to find a job, my ability to function in society. I don't have any of that. But if I have the pills I don't need that. That's where the endless, hopeless cycle lies.

    I feel like I'm still that 20 year old girl staring at my mom's body, praying for her to be okay, praying for the paramedics to come faster and save her and I don't know how to get past that. I know I need to find a therapist. I've been to 3 different therapists but none have clicked with me. I guess I should keep trying, but it's discouraging. I wanted to share my story. Some of you are just at the beginning of the bereavement process and the wounds are still fresh. I feel like my wound is one that is superficially healed but has to be opened again and fixed correctly. I just wanted to share that with you and wish you all well on your journeys through your pain and loss.

    Thank you for this thread. It couldn't have come at a better time. Count your blessings and cherish the people you love everyday.
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    #14
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    I'm so glad you posted here,Rabid. I read your blog not long after I joined BL and it hit me in the gut. Having just been through this experience from the other side (mom finding son) I knew what finding the body does. I tried to imagine being 20 years old and going through that. My heart just broke for you.

    It seems like you are getting to a place where you are ready to start tackling your addiction and I can imagine that the normal fear that entails is exponentially compounded with knowing that you will be dealing with reopening your mom's death.
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    #15
    Effie,

    I concur I am very happy you have started this thread, and my heart goes out to everyone here, and everywhere really, that has lost someone dear to them. It is never easy, and it never get's easier, but as we lose someone close a part of that person stays with us, and becomes a part of us, their passing can bring us to new insights of ourselves. This post made me realize how much a dear friend of mine meant to me and what he has left behind in me. Although sadly in this case it has made me feel guiltily that I did not attend his funeral, however I was really sick which for what he had done for me should have been no excuse for missing his funeral. My friend Gary had become extremely ill right around the time that I was in the hospital 2.5 years ago dying from my alcoholism and my kidney infection. This was the time as many of you know from my life story 2.5 years ago I was not expected to make it out of the hospital due to liver and kidney failure, and my buddy Gary was in the same hospital having surgery because he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor later found out to be brain cancer. Even though he was fighting his terminal illness, he had a close friend of his come to see me on his behalf to wish me well and ask me if there was anything I needed, and to let me know that Gary was praying for me. I was in tears of joy that my good friend was fighting his own battle barely able to function due to the tumor, yet he made sure his friend came to see me on his behalf. It was the most wonderful thing anyone has ever done for me. Both of us eventually made it out of the hospital with our lives, and both of us had many trips back to the hospital due to complication. He was so excited because his Dr had told him that in 1 year from when he was diagnosed with the cancer (when him and I were both in the hospital), he would be cancer free! We made sure we stayed in contact and my Ex-Wife and I went to visit him at home just shy of that 1 year mark and he just didn't look goo, he looked sick and I had never seen him look so sick, yet his spirit was so high, he kept hugging ny Ex and Myself saying It's almost been that year, I should be cancer free soon!! We were so delighted. About 1 month later he passed away in the hospital, the cancer had won. Gary was only in his early 40's, 2 beautiful kids and a wonderful wife. I was devastated, infact I thought he was going to out live me since he was given a positive prognosis, and I was not. But I can tell you that Gary left a huge part of him with me when he left this earth. He left me with a positive attitude that no matter how bad things are, you just need to fight back, he left me with a true unadulterated understanding of what a true friend is, he left me knowing that no matter how bad things get for me, or how much closer to my own mortality I get, I know that he is right there next to me and will guide me on my journey to where ever we go when we pass (sorry I don't mean to offend anyone by not saying heaven, I am agnostic so I don't yet know where we go when we die) but I know that Gary will be there waiting with his arms out to give me a hug and lead me on my way. I do feel guilty not having gone to his funeral, but I know he knows if I was feeling better I would have been there and I know he forgives me for not being there. He knows that even though he is no longer here with us physically he is with us here in my heart and in fact his Birthday was October 27th and I wrote him a happy birthday note on his FaceBook page.

    Effie, thank you for giving me a place to share this both for myself and for Gary. When he was at one of his lowest points in his life, which was the week we were in the hospital together and he had just learned that he had terminal brain cancer, he still thought of me and had his friend come and wish me well for him, a guy who I did not know who just came to my room and reach his hand out to mine and shook my hand and said he was there on behalf of Gary. It was one of the only times in my life that I was so touched by someone, someone who so unselfishly thought of me while he was in the midst of hearing the worst news of his life. I really needed to share this story, but I never found the opportune time. So thank you Effie for giving me a place to share this as this is a story that needed to be shared. And Effie, I want you to know that whether you ever had the chance to read what I was sending you or not, but please know that even though that whole issue is water under the bridge so to speak, I was just trying to reach out to you to let you know that if you had needed anything, I was here for you even if it was just to listen and that offer still stand although you have now opened it all up with this thread and this thread to me feels like a gift because telling the story of my friend Gary reminds me of how much of a gift he was to me as a friend. So I sure hope I have used it appropriately.

    For everyone here who has lost someone dear to them please make sure you reread the beginning of my post again, because once you realize how much your loved one has left in you, the lesser the pain becomes each day, each hour, each minute that passes the pain lessens, and your heart will grow stronger. And never be afraid to cry, yes thats for the guys too, we are allou to cry and like me, it can be hard sometimes to cry, but sometimes you need that release as I got to do a little bit tinight thanks to Effie!

    Thanks
    -Pain
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    #16
    Bluelighter aveoturbo's Avatar
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    Wow, great thread Effie! You put alot of work into this. I hope this becomes a great and invaluable resource for Bl'ers. I will probably be back here later as I have issues of my own that I wouldn't mind venting randomly on the internet. I might feel better, who knows?
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    #17
    Bluelight Crew effie's Avatar
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    n30 - thank you

    Herbavore - of course we understand

    Rabidrabbit - I am so sorry to hear about your mum I really want to write more but I have to shoot off.. so all I will say is

    Painenduser - ofc water under the bridge, and I am so sorry to hear about your friend Gary, he sounds like he was an amazing person

    aveo - give it a try!

    Sorry it's so brief, short of time this morning! You are all incredible, coming here and telling us your stories in such an honest and eloquent way.. This thread is helping me to heal a little already - I hope it helps you all too...
    Last edited by effie; 04-11-2011 at 15:11.
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    #18
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    My son Caleb died of an accidental drug overdose 3 weeks after he turned 20 on May 30th of this year. He was a Bluelighter and had just become a mod, though I knew nothing of that at the time. I came to know about Bluelight because it was on his computer after I discovered his body. (I have a thread about that in NMI). Each time I have tried to write something in this thread I get seized up inside. It is as if I cannot possibly condense either the complex totality of my son, Caleb, or the hugeness of losing him. It's like my other son said when faced with talking at Caleb's memorial,"I can't possibly say everything so how can I say anything?"

    So, I have decided to just post a little bit at a time about our journey, his and mine. I hope you will all indulge me in that. I think it would help me immensely and I will try to keep them short! It is still so hard for me to accept that my journey is going on while his has ended. As a mother I cannot comprehend that my child will not continue on beyond me.

    Memory:
    When I was pregnant with Caleb, I was in my late thirties so I wanted to have testing to make sure everything was okay. He was our second and therefore last child (both my husband and I are big believers in zero population growth). Since we already had a son we were hoping for a daughter. As we were driving up to the city to get the test, I told my husband that I had seen a name in a children's book that I really liked if it was another boy: Caleb. As soon as I said the name, I knew right then and there that was who I was carrying. When I told my husband he said that I couldn't know, but I did. I can still remember everything about that moment. I remember the autumn light and exactly where we were on the coast highway and the way it felt like the world shifted when I said the name, to make room, to open up a space for him. From then on I talked to Caleb by name. I told him that it was true that I wanted a daughter but that I would get over it and not to worry that he was, or could ever be a disappointment to me. I made him that promise before I ever saw him and I did keep that promise. That makes me feel very good.
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    #19
    Bluelighter aveoturbo's Avatar
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    Herbavore: Sorry to hear about your loss It sucks when someone loses the battle of life to drugs. Hope you and your family will remain strong and and pull strength from all this.

    Maybe a blog would be good for you! Still post here but also a blog might be good, help you get everything out and all that business.
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    #20
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    ^You're right--that is a blog isn't it? I think that's a good idea.
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    #21
    Bluelighter aveoturbo's Avatar
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    Dont forget to post in here tho

    Sending positive thoughts your way
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    #22
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    Thank you, aveo. I copy-pasted the above and started a blog.

    To all of my fellow travelers in the surreal landscape of grief, I hope that today brings you everything good; and by that I mean moments of sacred sorrow, moments of deep peace, moments of needed distraction, moments of contemplation, moments of clarity and moments of gratitude for both what was and what still is. So much love to you all((()))
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    #23
    Rabidrabbit, gonna send you a PM message I wrote. Our situation is astoundingly similar, but it's a bit personal to post for general viewing. I lost my old password and registered just to write this.

    I feel for everyone who posted her. I never experienced the death of a close relative, and was unprepared emotionally for my father's death more than two years ago, still working on it.

    To any one who like me who felt no matter how many people said "it slowly will get better," knew they were lying, they weren't. Very little sadness left, mostly loss. I've replaced anything negative with positive memories. It took probably 10 months until I didn't spontaneously cry. I still have dreams with my father in them, and he feels so close. Waking up is always immensely sad. I'm sure if I watched family video footage I would lose it.

    I think this has changed me for the better in some ways, although there were many times it very well could have killed me, I'm glad it didn't. I've faced my mortality. Now just need some motivation to get back up and take on school and work.

    Good luck to all here.

    Thanks for the thread ellie, your thankless work here doesn't just make people feel better, I'm sure every mod in this forum probably has saved a life. Giving hope to the hopeless.
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    #24
    Bluelight Crew badfish45's Avatar
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    Herbavore, that post brought joy to my heart. It's so interesting and heart warming to see this pre-connection you had with your son before he was even born. I can't even tell you how much it breaks my heart at the same time to see something like this have happened to you. I'm so happy you found the strength to post your grief in this thread.
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    #25
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    @Badfish--thank you.

    Here is the poem that I read at Caleb's memorial:

    Kindness

    Before you know what kindness really is
    you must lose things,
    feel the future dissolve in a moment
    like salt in a weakened broth.
    What you held in your hand,
    what you counted and carefully saved,
    all this must go so you know
    how desolate the landscape can be
    between the regions of kindness.
    How you ride and ride
    thinking the bus will never stop,
    the passengers eating maize and chicken
    will stare out the window forever.

    Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
    you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
    lies dead by the side of the road.
    You must see how this could be you,
    how he too was someone
    who journeyed through the night with plans
    and the simple breath that kept him alive.

    Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
    you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
    You must wake up with sorrow.
    You must speak to it till your voice
    catches the thread of all sorrows
    and you see the size of the cloth.

    Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
    only kindness that ties your shoes
    and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
    only kindness that raises its head
    from the crowd of the world to say
    it is I you have been looking for,
    and then goes with you every where
    like a shadow or a friend.

    ~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~

    This poem is for all of us.
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