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How do you deal with a death in your family

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by John B. Foster, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    Second. If you're going through a period of acute stress, and you just need to get some sleep and get through it, Lorazepam can be a miracle drug.
  2. swingline

    swingline Well-Known Member

    When my dad died — fuck — 18 years ago, I drank heavily for days and held court in the shop behind his house, hot in the early September heat, fans blowing to keep the flies away, drunker and drunker as the day wore into evening into night, sparked to tears by the most mundane things, dealing with things I was in no way prepared to handle.
  3. BrownScribe

    BrownScribe Member

    When my sister died unexpectedly 11 years ago, I dealt with it in the worst way, drinking — and lots of it. When my Dad passed away a few years ago, and he had been sick awhile, it was easier to cope with. I actually got through it by writing short stories about my favorite memories of him, good and bad. I eventually want to turn it into some kind of picture book.

    Needless to say, I wish I would've handled my sister's death better. My memories are of her are fading. If only I had had the clarity and maturity to write some of them down. That said, this past Christmas was the best my family had since she passed. My Mom was so happy, and that was wonderful to see.
  4. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Excessive drinking is my coping mechanism.
    Vombatus likes this.
  5. Bud_Bundy

    Bud_Bundy Active Member

    My dad died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. I was there at the end and was feeling pretty lousy when my mom said something that has stuck with me ever since. "We're not the first people to go through this and we won't be the last. It's just our turn and we have to keep each other going," she said. "We will be said, , but we will get through it."

    A friend of mine was going home to see his mother for Christmas this year and was going a day early to surprise her. The morning before left, he got a call that she had died in her sleep. He is having a horribly difficult time dealing with it because he wasn't there and because it happened over Christmas.
  6. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    The guilt over not being there can be difficult, but if you don't live in the same city as your parents, it can be tough to avoid. I wasn't present when either of my parents died. I wasn't living in the same state when those deaths happened. With my father, I had just spent a long weekend with him. I flew back home on a Monday and got a call that Tuesday at work. I had to find an empty office and call my brother, who put me on the phone with our father. He at least knew it was me, but he was struggling to breathe and making very little sense.

    We had known for over six months that his death was only a matter of time due to cancer. My mother's death was more sudden. She collapsed at home and had to be hospitalized. I spent about a week with her in intensive care, but the doctors said she was improving and they planned to move her to a step-down unit. About halfway through my drive home, I found out that the plan had changed. The following morning, she was not responsive. She never really regained consciousness. My brother called as I was about to leave for the airport and put me on the phone with her. I have no idea if she heard a word I said. For a long time, I felt guilty about not staying one more day, but you do the best you can with the information you have at the time. I spent 44 years showing her how I felt. I eventually realized that was a lot more important than being there the moment she stopped breathing.
  7. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    I'm Irish, so we drink. I make no apologies, I was pretty tipsy at my mother's wake. And I needed a couple pulls of vodka before I gave my father's eulogy. I've heard it said that you're not truly an adult until one of your parents dies. I don't find much to disagree with there. I lost both of my parents within 11 months of each other, and I had to essentially euthanize my dad. I can't think about that without welling up, even now seven years later.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I generally try to be left alone, even when I'm around family. Especially when I'm around family.

    The family bonds get too intense at times in my family. It's such a small group, though.
  9. Hermes

    Hermes Well-Known Member

    I know drinking too much to cope isn't good, but when you grow up in a family where nobody drinks you realize some alcohol is needed to cope with death.

    Those after-funeral evenings where everybody started sniping at each other and went for the emotional kill could've been resolved with one cheap bottle of Evan Williams, I'm convinced.
  10. doctorx

    doctorx Member

    My faith sustained me, confident that my parents' suffering was over. I grew up in a big family and my parents had many (deserved) friends. Their support was important as well.
  11. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Not to threat jack but why do people of Irish descent take pride in the fact that they can drink anyone under the table? A. It's not true. B. Why is that somehow a badge of honor? And that's coming from someone who still enjoys red wine or Bacardi.
  12. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Absolutely this.

    A week before Christmas this year, my sister-in-law's father, whom I have known for my entire life, died at 83. Cancer. It had been coming the past year, but he's not suffering anymore and all of the family was together for Thanksgiving with him. A great life well lived.

    The 180-degree flip to that is what happened with my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew in September 2017 that almost everyone on here knows about.

    The sudden, unexpected, devastation of a nuclear bomb like that is just brutal. There is no playbook. Throw in the fact we have a big family, then add in the stress they had huge estates with many tangled webs that they conveniently didn't tell me I would be in charge of if such a tragedy happened, and it added up to tremendous stress that I'm still feeling on a daily basis even 16 months later.

    So the holidays suck, of course, because they're not here. I worry about my parents on a constant basis as well as my brothers and sister along with trying to take care of five beneficiaries to the estates and four grandparents to the kids' estates.

    Some days are better than others, but in my instance, I try every day to be the strong one, representing my sister's family and doing things right on their behalf while also being there in support of everyone else.

    It's hard. Some days are better than others. I try my hardest to remember the positive and good times of them to get through the days/weeks/months and to celebrate what we had, not what is missing.
    maumann likes this.
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