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Shug
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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 8th 2012, 8:39 pm

Dear ((((Simple,))))
I'm so sorry I've been away and just read about the loss of your precious son. I lost my daughter, so I know exactly how you are feeling. Everything you're thinking and feeling is normal and OK. Don't hold in your emotions. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like screaming, scream. If you're angry, let the anger out.

I learned many things after the murder of my daughter that I share with other parents who have lost children and I'd like to share with you.

1. Nobody understands your pain and heartbreak except another mother who has lost a child. Ask any psychiatrist or psychologist and they will tell you that losing a child is the very worst thing that can ever happen to anyone. Nothing else even comes close to the horror and despair you feel because it's not the natural order of life. Losing a parent or aunt etc. is bad, but not the same. I felt like someone had reached into my body and ripped my heart out. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't function. I couldn't think. I couldn't understand. Does this sound familiar?

2. People mean well but often say very stupid and hurtful things such as "God had a reason for this." Ignore these people. They have no clue about the nightmare you are living. Try to find another mother who has lost a child to talk to. Only those who have walked in your shoes truly understand what you feel. I will pm you my phone number and address and email if you want to talk to me. I'm here 24/7 and have counseled with many parents who have lost children. Just let me know by pm if you'd like to talk. For some parents, it's easier to email/write their feelings which is how I am.
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3. Whatever you are feeling is OK. There is no timeline to feel grief for the loss of a child. The stages of grief that you will be told about can be thrown out the window. When you lose a child, these stages may happen hundreds of times and in no certain order. That's because each morning when you wake up your child is still dead and you have to realize it again and again and again. It never ends but it does become easier to live with.

4. Many people will tell you to stop talking about your son, put his photos away and to move on because it's depressing. NEVER do this! Look at his photos, read things he wrote, be around his friends, make scrapbooks of him, keep his photos out for all to see. If people have a problem with that it is their problem, not yours. Never let his memory die. We set up a scholarship in our daughter's memory at her university and donate books to the library in her name, which keeps her memory alive. There are many ways you can keep your son's memory alive.

5. Celebrate his life! Think of all the wonderful and amazing things he did to bless your life and the lives of those who knew him. Don't dwell on his death more than you celebrate his life. One of my daughter's friends wrote to me and said, "I grieve for all the people who didn't know her. I don't grieve for myself but for those who never had the opportunity to know her and love her." This put it into perspective for me.

6. Forget the word "closure". It's a psychobabble word that means nothing! There is no closure when you lose a child. It's a stupid word that will be thrown at you and it will just make you feel like you're doing something wrong. You're not. I don't want closure for my child and neither do you. We want to always remember them and cherish them. We want to celebrate their lives, not close them.

7. Baby steps. Healing happens in baby steps. It takes a long time to be able to function somewhat normally again. Don't rush it. Let your emotions guide you and allow yourself to feel those emotions. By taking baby steps and not expecting too much of yourself you will survive this and you will be a stronger person for surviving it. You will have good days and bad days. That's normal and OK.

8. Anniversary dates are very hard for parents who have lost children. Birthdays, the day they died, holidays, Mother's Day, are all difficult and always will be. We try to honor and celebrate my daughter on those days as do her friends and family members. It helps you to cope by honoring them. Tell other people how hard these anniversary dates are for you so they can understand that you may be sad or upset on these days. This is very important. Allow other people who loved your son to be a part of what you're doing or feeling on these anniversary dates. It helps to know so many others love your child as you do.

9. Try to stay busy. Many parents keep a journal to document their feelings. Some parents become involved with other parents who have lost children, which I did and it helped me so much. Feeling like you can help another parent who is suffering like you are makes you feel better. I volunteer through our DA's office to counsel with parents who have lost children. I also help with the Angel Tree in our county at Christmas to honor children who have died and offer support to their families. My daughter's sorority has taken the Angel Tree as one of their philanthropies which means the world to me because it keeps her memory alive. If your son was involved in things where you can honor him, do it. His friends are hurting too and it would help them to be involved in something to honor his memory such as a band scholarship etc.

10. Many parents or couples who have lost children have marital problems and get divorced. It did the opposite with my husband and I. It brought us closer together, which goes against statistics. Just be aware of this.

11. If you have other children, they need help as much as you do. My other daughter was traumatized and refused counseling from anyone who had not lost a sibling. She's done amazingly well but it's taken years for her to begin to heal. It changed her and she will never be the same but she has gone on with her life. It was a long, hard road getting her to where she is today. Don't punish your other children for what happened to the one you lost. By this I mean being over-protective, holding them too close and not allowing them to live their lives. I was cautioned about this by an expert due to the circumstances of my daughter's murder. It was so hard to let my younger daughter out of my sight for years and I was punishing her for what happened to her sister which was so unfair for her.

12. Take gentle care of yourself. The greatest gift you can give to your son is to live a happy life and help others. He would not want you to die just to be with him which I know you've thought of...all of us do. He wants you to go on with your life and be as happy as you possibly can be. He will be so proud of you. People may think I'm crazy but I "feel" my daughter's love and pride often.

13. Don't be afraid to ask for help. We often have so much pride that we don't like to ask for help. Just be sure you talk to people who have lost children. Counselors who have not experienced what you are feeling are not as likely to be able to understand you as one who knows from experience what you're going through.

14. Stay in touch with your son's friends. They are grieving just like you are. They will give you so much comfort and strength. My daughter's friends have become like adopted children to me and are now a part of our family. They helped me survive her death and I hope I helped them too. These are people you can share memories of your son with, tell funny stories about him to, and listen to them them tell stories about him. I can't tell you how much this will mean to you. It's so comforting to know that you have these kids in your life and they will bless your life. Keep in touch and keep them close. You may be saving a life and not know it. Kids have a very hard time dealing with death and they need help. You can provide them with a soft place to fall.

We have many mothers here who have lost children who will be thinking of you and praying for you. All of us are here for you 24/7 if you need us. Unfortunately, we all belong to an exclusive club that we didn't choose to belong to. . . parents who have lost children. Please let us help you.

((((Simple,)))) you are in my thoughts and prayers,
I wish I could give you a real hug instead of a cyber hug.
shug

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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 8th 2012, 9:39 pm

Excellent post Shug. You said it all so well. This should be the guideline for every parent who loses a child.

I remember all too well, feeling the frustration because I wasn't "moving on" or getting "over it". I actually had a supervisor tell me to suck it up. I know she meant well, but it was rude and uncaring. That's the last thing we need.

For me, it's like starting over after 19 years of my son being the center of my world. I'm still trying to figure out how to live again. I know it will take time and a lot of energy on my part. And I also know, Brian wants me to live life as he would be living it, if he were here. He wouldn't want me to give up.

Talking to other Mom's was such a relief for me. It was validation for alot of the feelings that I was having. After speaking with them and attending some chats, I didn't feel so incompetent in overcoming my grief. I've learned everyone has their own path to go down and there is no right or wrong.

Surround yourself with positive people and people who truly care about your well being. Also, people that won't shy away at the mention of your child. You need to be able to relive memories and special moments you had. You do not need judgement or people being uncomfortable around you. As we have found out, life is too short.

Another thing that has helped me tremendously is planning vacations. I usually try to take a cruise around Christmas every year. It gives me something to look forward to when others are talking about spending the holidays with their loved ones. Winters can be so tough.

Take care of yourself simple. We are here for you and we care. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.
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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 8th 2012, 10:07 pm

KelliM wrote:
Excellent post Shug. You said it all so well. This should be the guideline for every parent who loses a child.

I remember all too well, feeling the frustration because I wasn't "moving on" or getting "over it". I actually had a supervisor tell me to suck it up. I know she meant well, but it was rude and uncaring. That's the last thing we need.

For me, it's like starting over after 19 years of my son being the center of my world. I'm still trying to figure out how to live again. I know it will take time and a lot of energy on my part. And I also know, Brian wants me to live life as he would be living it, if he were here. He wouldn't want me to give up.

Talking to other Mom's was such a relief for me. It was validation for alot of the feelings that I was having. After speaking with them and attending some chats, I didn't feel so incompetent in overcoming my grief. I've learned everyone has their own path to go down and there is no right or wrong.

Surround yourself with positive people and people who truly care about your well being. Also, people that won't shy away at the mention of your child. You need to be able to relive memories and special moments you had. You do not need judgement or people being uncomfortable around you. As we have found out, life is too short.

Another thing that has helped me tremendously is planning vacations. I usually try to take a cruise around Christmas every year. It gives me something to look forward to when others are talking about spending the holidays with their loved ones. Winters can be so tough.

Take care of yourself simple. We are here for you and we care. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

Thank you Kelli. Did I forget anything? Each time I help another mother, I learn something new and add it to my list.

As you said, each mother grieves and heals differently. I know what you mean by the "suck it up" comments. One of my own brothers told me I needed to "put it behind me and move on because it's depressing." That comment broke my heart all over again. From talking to others, I've found that many parents hear comments like this, which is so horrible! I just pray that people who say stupid things like that never have to live through what we're living through.

Kelli, I love your idea of planning vacations. Christmas is so hard for us and doing that would give us something to look forward to. Thanks my friend!

I've thought of you Kelli these past few months. I'm working with parents who lost a son in a horrible, tragic motorcycle accident. Their pain is so raw and I feel it right along with them. I want to do anything possible to help them. He was their only child. They're both law enforcement officers who are used to helping others, not having people help them. I think this is the most emotionally difficult time I've had helping parents. It just breaks my heart. If you have any suggestions please let me know.

((((Kelli))))

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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 9th 2012, 9:14 am

Aww thanks Shug and hugs right back at you. I don't think you forgot anything!! I would like to borrow this and post it to my facebook page. True friends will welcome the guidelines. They never know what to say or do, and they are always afraid of saying something hurtful. It's hard for others to know what we feel in our heart and I think you explained very well, my friend.

This past January, I took a 14 day cruise to the Caribbean. There is nothing like sunshine, blue skies, and the ocean to help you through the darkness of winter. I never understood people that would have a difficult time during the winter months, but I sure do now.

Every time I saw another commercial about families getting together for the holidays, i would remind myself how many days I had left til vacation.

The compassionate friends has a chat group for parents who lost their only child, that was helpful to me at the beginning.

I went to counseling right after I lost Brian and my counselor specialized in helping people cope with grief. During the first visit, I was passing her the tissues. That's when I knew this wasn't gonna be easy, especially since it was just me and Brian for 19 yrs.

As parents of lost children, we feel alot of the same things but when you have no surviving children, there are additional burdens to bear. There is no one left to carry on traditions. I will also never be a Grandmother, which is a huge letdown for me. I'm lucky that I have my parents still with me and i have a sister that has 3 children and now, 4 grandchildren. Thank goodness we are a close family, but it's just not the same.

I also worry about who will take care of me when I'm older. I mean, with my luck, I'll probably live to see 90. LOL I don't wanna be a burden on someone else's children, if that makes sense. Not that I would have wanted to be a burden on Brian but if it came down to it, I know he would have taken care of me.

I have a big house full of "stuff". I've given some of Brian's things to his friends and family, but what happens to everything I've accumulated over the years? Some things were purchased during vacations that Brian and I took. I mean, it probably sounds very silly to worry about these things, but it's things we think about.

There is a book I read called, "First You Die". It's written by a mother who lost her only child in a car accident. She touches on alot of the things I mentioned. It helped me alot. I'm sure it will be emotional for them to read but it will let them know they are not alone and what they are feeling is justified. You can also have them contact me at any time, Shug. I at least have almost 4 years under my belt. I'm not sure if I can help them but I would be willing to try.

Take care of yourself!!! Hugs!!!



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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 9th 2012, 1:24 pm

thank you for the support and love, I am very sorry for the loss of your children and the void that will never be filled.

I know you are there for me but I just can't talk. I'm sorry.
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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 9th 2012, 2:05 pm

Kelli, I have seen the love Brian's friends have for you on your facebook page. I doubt you will ever be alone.

I wish I could do something for you wonderful ladies, but I offer my prayers and an ear anytime needed.

Part of the reason I love AABB, we are never alone if we need to "talk" to someone.
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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 9th 2012, 3:19 pm

Thanks Kay. I'm very lucky that I had such a close bond with Brian's friends when he was here that has carried over. They miss him too. And thanks for your ear. You know I love you.

Simple, I understand if you can't talk now. When you can, we will be here for you. Hugs to you sweetie.
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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 9th 2012, 4:21 pm

simple wrote:
thank you for the support and love, I am very sorry for the loss of your children and the void that will never be filled.

I know you are there for me but I just can't talk. I'm sorry.

Simple, don't be sorry. I felt the same way. It takes time before you're ready to talk to others about your feelings. baby steps...everything about this has to be taken in baby steps. Just know we are here if and when you're ready. Please check in and let us know you're OK. You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers each day.

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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 9th 2012, 4:30 pm

KelliM wrote:
Aww thanks Shug and hugs right back at you. I don't think you forgot anything!! I would like to borrow this and post it to my facebook page. True friends will welcome the guidelines. They never know what to say or do, and they are always afraid of saying something hurtful. It's hard for others to know what we feel in our heart and I think you explained very well, my friend.

This past January, I took a 14 day cruise to the Caribbean. There is nothing like sunshine, blue skies, and the ocean to help you through the darkness of winter. I never understood people that would have a difficult time during the winter months, but I sure do now.

Every time I saw another commercial about families getting together for the holidays, i would remind myself how many days I had left til vacation.

The compassionate friends has a chat group for parents who lost their only child, that was helpful to me at the beginning.

I went to counseling right after I lost Brian and my counselor specialized in helping people cope with grief. During the first visit, I was passing her the tissues. That's when I knew this wasn't gonna be easy, especially since it was just me and Brian for 19 yrs.

As parents of lost children, we feel alot of the same things but when you have no surviving children, there are additional burdens to bear. There is no one left to carry on traditions. I will also never be a Grandmother, which is a huge letdown for me. I'm lucky that I have my parents still with me and i have a sister that has 3 children and now, 4 grandchildren. Thank goodness we are a close family, but it's just not the same.

I also worry about who will take care of me when I'm older. I mean, with my luck, I'll probably live to see 90. LOL I don't wanna be a burden on someone else's children, if that makes sense. Not that I would have wanted to be a burden on Brian but if it came down to it, I know he would have taken care of me.

I have a big house full of "stuff". I've given some of Brian's things to his friends and family, but what happens to everything I've accumulated over the years? Some things were purchased during vacations that Brian and I took. I mean, it probably sounds very silly to worry about these things, but it's things we think about.

There is a book I read called, "First You Die". It's written by a mother who lost her only child in a car accident. She touches on alot of the things I mentioned. It helped me alot. I'm sure it will be emotional for them to read but it will let them know they are not alone and what they are feeling is justified. You can also have them contact me at any time, Shug. I at least have almost 4 years under my belt. I'm not sure if I can help them but I would be willing to try.

Take care of yourself!!! Hugs!!!




Kelli thank you for the information. I will share them with the parents I'm talking to. What you said also helps me understand them a little more. My heart just breaks for them. They are wonderful people who have spent their lives helping others. You have the perspective that they need most. I'll also tell them about the book. Have you read "Heaven Is For Real?" It's a wonderful little book.

I worry about my surviving daughter being totally alone when we are gone. It's strange the things you worry about, isn't it? We wanted another baby so our oldest wouldn't be alone and now the baby will be. This is on her mind constantly too. She's become over protective of us. I pray each day she will find a wonderful man to marry and have lots of children so she won't be alone without us.

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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 9th 2012, 7:20 pm

I wish I could hug all you lovely and dear ladies. You move me so much... it's hard to express.
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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 9th 2012, 7:47 pm

Thanks Nancy, that's so sweet. I really wish we all lived closer together so we could hug each other when we needed a hug. Hey, we should plan a winter cruise!!! :-)

Shug, I have read that book. It helped me so much and I do believe our children are with God. That keeps me going as well.

I read everything I could get my hands on about the afterlife along with books on near death experiences. I also read metaphysical books from authors like Sylvia Browne.

I wanted to know where Brian was and what he was going through. Just because he's not here on earth with me, doesn't mean I don't still worry about him or wonder what he's doing. I hope he's staying out of trouble. lol

I had to have some kind of idea and those books did help and offered me some comfort.

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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 9th 2012, 8:14 pm

NancyB (admin) wrote:
I wish I could hug all you lovely and dear ladies. You move me so much... it's hard to express.

Nancy, you hug us each day by giving us a safe, happy place to chat with one another. We never have to feel alone because of this incredible place. We can and do discuss everything from Big Brother, TAR, Survivor to supporting one another when we are survivors. Thank you for that.

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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 9th 2012, 8:35 pm

(((HUGS))) to simple, Kelli and shug.
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PostSubject: Re: my son   June 9th 2012, 8:44 pm

NancyB (admin) wrote:
I wish I could hug all you lovely and dear ladies. You move me so much... it's hard to express.

Me too Nancy. I admire all of you so much, such courage and strength. Even if you don't think you are strong, you really are Hug wrap up in arms
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PostSubject: Re: my son   September 20th 2012, 3:01 am

I just wanted to jump in here and throw a little cyber hug to Simple. You are having to live through a terribly hard time, and I wish there was something that any of us could say to lessen your grief. But, as mothers of children who have died, we know how awful it is, and that grief is an ongoing process.

Shug has some of the best words of wisdom. I've read them often since blueeyed's thread last year, and they have given me comfort many times.

You don't have to talk until you want to. You don't have to take pills, or even get up to shower. You will have bad days and worse days and maybe someday soon you will have a better day. It is ok. I think I spent a year getting up in the morning so I could sleep all day on the sofa.

I hope it brings you some bit of warmth and comfort that many of us understand.

Hugs, and I am so very sorry.
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PostSubject: Re: my son   September 21st 2012, 12:03 pm

simple, ive come across this thread and just wanted to say that although i have not been a member for very long, i feel in this short amount of time have become familiar with you and many others ...

i'm so sorry for your loss, and just wanted to say my heart goes out to you and your family. stay strong &.my thoughts are with you.

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PostSubject: Re: my son   September 21st 2012, 7:30 pm

thank you, today has been hard but I am ok. believe it or not big brother and this board has kept me occupied:) but now it is over and I have way to much time on my hands again, too much time to think. so many questions and no answers.

I will be ok though, I have so much support with you ladies here and my family is also able to talk to me.

again thank you all so much, all posters here are so amazing.
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PostSubject: Re: my son   September 21st 2012, 8:14 pm

simple wrote:
thank you, today has been hard but I am ok. believe it or not big brother and this board has kept me occupied:) but now it is over and I have way to much time on my hands again, too much time to think. so many questions and no answers.

I will be ok though, I have so much support with you ladies here and my family is also able to talk to me.

again thank you all so much, all posters here are so amazing.

Simple, I am going to make you watch DWTS and Survivor with us!!

(((((((((((((((((Simple))))))))))))))
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PostSubject: Re: my son   September 21st 2012, 8:49 pm

simple, and all the others that face such heartache my heart goes out to you all. I don't know the right words to say, but we are all here for you whenever you need to vent. One day at a time...........

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PostSubject: Re: my son   September 21st 2012, 9:02 pm

I can relate to all of you ladies that have lost children; my oldest daughter has been gone for 10 years. I can truthfully say that it does get better; you will always have moments that hit you like a ton of bricks but we women are stronger than we think we are sometimes. Everyone needs to handle their grief in their own way; one size doesn't fit all. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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PostSubject: Re: my son   September 21st 2012, 9:37 pm

you are all unbelievable women!!!!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: my son   September 22nd 2012, 3:41 pm

bergen wrote:
you are all unbelievable women!!!!!!!!

Totally agree, I am in awe of your courage. Hugs!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: my son   September 22nd 2012, 5:15 pm

Thinking of all you ladies today....like everyday. I may not say it often enough but you are ALL in my thoughts and prayers daily!

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