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Old 05-28-2016, 03:34 AM
Status: "Snow in the high country and I'm missing it!" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: 900 miles from my home in 80814
4,677 posts, read 6,771,657 times
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My mom died suddenly of a heart attack, as did my husband. The guilt mentioned above is real. I had so much remorse and survivor's guilt at not being able to say good-bye, or tell them how much I loved them. It stunned me and I was frozen for a long time. It did delay my grief, and was on auto-pilot for several months with my mom, and over a year with my husband. It was hard to cry and grieve, but eventually I did.

My father was diagnosed with liver cancer and lingered for a long time. He got weak from chemo, and he developed dementia. He stopped recognizing us, and often just sat and stared into space. We couldn't really talk to him and he often didn't make sense. He lingered in a coma for almost two weeks, and every time the phone rang, I jumped, even though I visited him in the hospital every day often staying for hours, with no response from him. I knew what the outcome would be, but when I did get that phone call, at 1:00 a.m., it hit me as if he'd died suddenly and unexpectedly. I cried and wailed with grief, which was immediate. I didn't go on auto-pilot. It was almost as if all the fear of his dying was finally released and I could mourn immediately, as opposed to going into a daze and wandering through months of after-death in a total fog.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:40 PM
 
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Thank you, Marcy, for your insight into different kinds of death. The experience you had with you father sounds in some ways like that with my husband, but few people seem to understand. Because we knew he would die, there was not a shock like an unexpected death. Even so, on the morning of his death, it felt like such a shock. I was totally confused for a couple of days. I felt like I didn't know anything about the world or myself any more. Then the grief really set in. I have had so many people suggest that because we knew for almost 4 years that this would end in death, that it was "expected" and that this would make it easier. I always think that is makes it DIFFERENT from an unexpected death, but there is no way that this experience can be labeled as easy or easier than anything.
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