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Death of my Son, I need some help

Discussion in 'Passings' started by Superlyte27, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. pauldw

    pauldw Solo Diver

    So sorry! About the church issue, you're not supposed to be setting some kind of example for your congregants, all you can do is gut it out through the suffering, and help your wife as she does that also. Hopefully your friends be willing to hug you quietly if you need it. And maybe mow your lawn. Being angry with God isn't a sin, and by now God is pretty much used to people getting pissed with Him.
    cindysoo and Gdog like this.
  2. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    It's a "new normal". It's as ironic a name as has ever been coined.
    Blueringocto_73 and cerich like this.
  3. cerich

    cerich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Georgia
    i hate that term, it's used often with PTSD. I feel that when someone is told that "this is the new normal" when at the worst damn point of their lives.. it often ends very poorly and takes away hope.
    RayfromTX and Jim Lapenta like this.
  4. Stoo

    Stoo NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Freelton & Tobermory, Ontario, Canada
    I'm so sorry... I can't imagine and I have nothing directly to offer. I do have a diving friend up here who lost his 12 year old son to an unusual illness back in November. I believe that both he and his wife, and their other child are speaking with a therapist who specializes in grief counseling. Perhaps your family doctor could refer you to someone.

    I'll echo what Dr. Mike mentioned as well.... we're your extended family here, and I think any of us would be happy to talk should you feel the need.

    And again, my very sincere condolences.
    chillyinCanada and The Chairman like this.
  5. Compressor

    Compressor ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: NYS
    @Superlyte27 and @The Chairman : I am sorry for the loss of your loved ones. No words can make it easier. But I'll grieve with you and send you both my deepest condolences. Sometimes, it helps to talk with others. I can listen to both of you and can call at anytime day/night. Please don't hesitate.
    The Chairman likes this.
  6. guruboy

    guruboy Divemaster ScubaBoard Supporter

    Your health insurance might cover professional therapy.
  7. Bobby

    Bobby Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Charleston, SC
    I don't have children and simply can't understand what you are going through, however I do believe I can relate. Over 20 years ago I lost both my parents and a sister, all to cancer, in the span of 18 months. They fought for different lengths of time and went through different lengths and levels of misery. I helped care for all three throughout the process while dealing with a toxic marriage. After all three had passed I spent all of my time trying to keep my marriage together. I left a very lucrative career and bought a business in order to be home instead of the intense travel my job required. I built that business to in large part to make the marriage work. I took no time to grieve or deal with my own emotions. I did a lot of things that I'm not proud of and sabotaged my own happiness and well being.
    When I finally left the marriage I sold the business and left professional life spending the next few years teaching diving and being a dive bum. I blew thru money and continued to make bad self destructive decisions. I was functional however I carried a lot of baggage. I went back into the corporate world and went right back to high stress and demanding work. All the while carrying baggage that I hadn't dealt with. I had toxic relationships and sabotaged good ones.
    Finally a person that was not a close friend that I hung out with stepped in. He happened to be a therapist and offered to talk. He worked with me over a long period, as a friend, and got me to see the pattern of what I was doing to myself. He helped me deal with the loss and grief which I never took the time to deal with.
    I wish I could say that it set me straight and life has been bliss since then. It helped me recognize some of what drives me, including the darker stuff that I still carry to this day. I still sabotage myself from time to time and I'll likely do stupid stuff until the day I die. The big difference is that I recognize and stop it sooner now and I accept that I make mistakes. I have been able to let most of the grief, regret, and anger go.
    Find someone that can help you talk through things. A therapist, pastor, whoever. We all need someone to help us with our own minds. Today I have my best friend and wife. I would never have this relationship without that drinking buddy that turned out to be exactly what I needed at the time. I don't know your path other than it is incredibly difficult and you will likely carry some part of it forever. It does get easier to carry while others can help us let go of the excess that we don't need to carry.
  8. Rilelen

    Rilelen Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Ohio
    I've never lost a child; I cannot imagine that grief and my heart aches for all of you here that have. But I have lost family, and people I was very very close to....and I don't think there's anything harder than living with the loss of the ones we love. I don't know if these words will bring you any comfort, but they have brought some to me, and been a lifeline to me when it was hard to hold on...

    Alright, here goes. I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents.

    I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to "not matter". I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.

    As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

    In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

    Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out. Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too. If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.
    Gdog, chillyinCanada and lv2dive like this.
  9. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    Pete, I cannot relate to the loss of a child, which must be horrible beyond belief. I did have an experience that may help you, mostly in what not to do.

    I was pulled from my desk at work in the administration of the Jefferson County School District by the news that an unknown number of shooters had entered Columbine High School and were shooting students. We soon went to work. I was part of a team that immediately called the homes of families to see if they knew their children were OK and if they had any others with them they could identify. We used this to create and update a list of students known to be alive. Every name on my section of the alphabet whose children were not accounted for when I called them was a victim, and the anguish in their voices as they told me they couldn't find their children still haunts me so many years later. I later learned that my friend Dave Sanders, a teacher, was also one of the victims.

    From then on, everyone in my work division abandoned everything else we were doing and worked on the Columbine aftermath for 16-18 hours per day for more than a month. Immersed in it as I was, the deaths weighed more on more on my soul every day. My particular work kept me very close to the situation nearly every waking minute. One evening I went to a nearby restaurant for dinner before going back to work. As I walked out, the President of the School Board was walking in. When he saw me, he came over, gave me a hug, and said, "John, we have grief counseling available." When those were the first words to me, I knew I had to look like I was in pretty bad shape. That was my first mistake--keeping it all inside of me for so long made every day worse and worse and worse. I went in for the grief counseling.

    So that became my second mistake--I had the wrong counselors. The grief counselors were a service of the police department, and it was essentially a policeman who did my counseling. He did the best he could, probably a good job by grief counseling standards. But by then I knew damn well what subsequent analysis confirmed--if the police had gone into the building to confront the shooters rather than cower behind their shields in the parking lot for hours, my friend Dave would still be alive. I could not stop thinking about that while I was in that session. So while you should get counseling, choose the counselor carefully. It has to be someone you can trust, someone whose words you will accept without reservation.

    Then came my third mistake--I allowed people I knew well, people who meant well, negate my feelings. I had people very close to me, good friends, basically tell me to suck it up and stop letting it all bother me. Fortunately, I got good advice--stay away from those people. I have some good friends who will never know why I stayed away from them for that period of time.

    For me, there was no way I could ever second guess anything I had done prior to she shooting, but you are already second guessing the things you did before your son's death. Don't do that. Don't do that. Don't do that. Those thoughts will do you no good.

    Finally, one of the most valuable things you can do is something you just did here on ScubaBoard. Tell your story. Tell how you feel. You don't need a response--just a listener. You don't need sage advice. You just need to tell your story. You need to tell it again. And again. And again.

    Feel free to tell me as much as you want--I will be always ready to read or listen.
    shoredivr, cindysoo, ChuckP and 14 others like this.
  10. bowlofpetunias

    bowlofpetunias Oh no, not again! Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    I am so terribly sorry you are going through this. My first answer is that there is no answer to the Why Question you just have to stop asking it or it drives you crazy. Driving yourself crazy with feelings of guilt for something you could not have anticipated or stopped magnifies unjustifiable pain.

    I had a pretty crazy childhood and my older brother and I pretty much tried to protect the younger ones. We were the best "parents" they had. When my kid brother was killed in an accident at 19 it was like losing my brother and son rolled into one. I never knew I could hold so much anger, pain, guilt, and I was so horrified at the hate that filled me for the Impaired driver who killed him. I never thought I would be glad someone was dead, I even hated his family who were victims as well. Then I was angry at myself for feeling the way I did.. not being a better, stronger, kinder person. There is no right or wrong way to grieve as long as you are not hurting others

    It was a relief when I realized that all those emotions were pretty normal in those circumstances. My family was falling apart and I had to pull it together to keep them from hurting each other as they lashed out and struggled with their pain. When you find yourself in Hell the best thing you can do is just keep walking. You are still in Hell ..in the beginning it is just concentrating on taking those steps... later you will be able to see those walking with you. Reach out and hold on to them and give everyone permission to grieve as they need to even if it is different from yours.

    Counseling is a good thing but not everyone can do that. Saying the right words.. that is not possible... words won't heal that kind of pain.. but the love behind the words can help. They can give you an anchor and hope because there is still love...

    One bit of advice if you don't mind. In the beginning the home may trigger painful memories you may want to escape. Don't move or sell for a year because when the wound isn't as raw the home and familiar things will likely trigger memories that ease your pain. Another interesting thing I found (I have dealt with too many deaths) is that initially you can "see and hear" their voices clearly. Then you often face a period where you have trouble doing so. I think it is a way we give ourselves a break when we are nearing exhaustion. That goes away and you will again be able to see and hear your memories clearly again.

    It is a terrible thing to go through and a good Councillor will definitely be a huge help. The pain will ease but I don't think it ever goes away.. we just get better at dealing with it. I find some twisted comfort in thinking that the level of grief says a lot about how much we loved and valued our dear ones. I don't ever want his memory to die.. so when triggers freshen the pain I take comfort that he lives on in us.

    I hope something I have said is of value to you and I have tried to avoid the Platitudes. Message if you want I will not invade your space any further without permission.

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