Author Topic: Wed six years ago  (Read 3234 times)

Rebecca

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Wed six years ago
« on: February 16, 2011, 04:48:02 AM »
I could recite almost line for line and verse for verse everything that happened from the day we found Jason to 6 years ago today when we buried him.  Did I ever tell you that on that day my sister said she was going to buy flowers to throw in the grave and did I want one.  She never asked if it was ok.  She just did what she did as she always does. I said no and I was pissed.  She was pissed I believe that I did not ask her to speak. To tell u the truth, it never dawned on me.  His friends were the ones he would have wanted and they wanted to do it for him and us.  well, it is 6 years and I have not heard word one from her for about 5.5.  One would think that since we knew what our mother went through losing our brother she would have some empathy. Nothing.  Our daughter had her baby and they have not heard a word.  If someone on here could explain heartlessness and coldness, lack of compassion and pure selfishness so I could understand it. Many people have said I should call her and find out what "I" did to make her stop talking to us.  Hell will freeze over before I ever pick up the phone.  Am I cynical u bet your booty.  Any thoughts and have any of you had the same experiences.

Rebecca Jason's Mom

Terry

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Re: Wed six years ago
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 11:37:10 AM »
Rebecca,

Although  I love my sister very much, there was a time when I was considering breaking all ties with her. This thought broke my heart but she caused so much dissent around all dates and was a pro at throwing the guilt trip on me whenever the situation arose.

It got to the point that I had to draw a line and stand firm in regards to just how much more I was willing to live with. It was at that point in time that our relationship 'did' change and she has changed, very much and her reason was fear; fear of losing her sister. She explained that she lost the sister she once knew and was angry with me, angry that we could never enjoy the same relationship.

Her husband did the unthinkable when Jeff died and took it upon himself to call Jeff's father, who was never there for Jeff his entire life and I felt did not earn the right to attend his memorial. They have both interfered and many times and it's taken a long time and a whole lot of forgiveness to bring me to where I am today. Tolerant of the past, as we all make mistakes and biting my 'own' tongue when she flies off the handle. It's very difficult sometimes but I do love my sister and I need her in my life. I chose not to live without her.

We still have our up's and down's, don't get me wrong but she holds her tongue now and thinks before spouting hateful, hurtful words.

Guidelines; I had to set them. If I hadn't, we would not still be speaking today.

I understand what you're going through and I'm sorry for your pain. I felt the same. Betrayed, etc., So, I guess the bottom line is; if you want and need her in your life, there will have to be some changes all the way around. And, ask yourself if you're willing to forgive her past transgressions. And, is 'she' willing to ask forgiveness for the hurt she's caused you through her hurtful acts.

It won't happen overnight and may never happen....you both have to want it, badly.

Keep us updated.

Love you,
Terry


SarahW

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Re: Wed six years ago
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2011, 07:16:18 PM »
I could recite almost line for line and verse for verse everything that happened from the day we found Jason to 6 years ago today when we buried him.  Did I ever tell you that on that day my sister said she was going to buy flowers to throw in the grave and did I want one.  She never asked if it was ok.  She just did what she did as she always does. I said no and I was pissed.  She was pissed I believe that I did not ask her to speak. To tell u the truth, it never dawned on me.  His friends were the ones he would have wanted and they wanted to do it for him and us.  well, it is 6 years and I have not heard word one from her for about 5.5.  One would think that since we knew what our mother went through losing our brother she would have some empathy. Nothing.  Our daughter had her baby and they have not heard a word.  If someone on here could explain heartlessness and coldness, lack of compassion and pure selfishness so I could understand it. Many people have said I should call her and find out what "I" did to make her stop talking to us.  Hell will freeze over before I ever pick up the phone.  Am I cynical u bet your booty.  Any thoughts and have any of you had the same experiences.

Rebecca Jason's Mom

Interesting that we (you and Terry and I) have had some similar experiences.  I'll bet everyone has some experiences like this . . . who doesn't have a dysfunctional family?

Let me say this:  I don't think you are being cynical, Rebecca.  I think you are being realistic and protecting yourself from hurt and harm.

Yes, there are people who think we should be thinking of them and their feelings after we suffer the most brutal blow imaginable.

I cannot imagine doing this to someone else.  I cannot imagine "being mad" at a mother who had just lost her child, because she didn't think to ask me to speak, or . . . whatever.  

A mother who has just lost her child is not thinking OF YOU!!  She isn't worrying about you or your feelings.  How can you expect her to be thinking OF YOU??

What kind of people get angry because a newly bereaved mother is not thinking of them or their feelings?  

Unfortunately, it no longer surprises me to hear this kind of thing.  I have tried to understand it, and here's my theory:  

Tragedy brings out the best and the worst in people - sometimes at the same time in the same person.  The Big Moments starkly reveal strengths, and flaws.

Some people are very immature and self-centered, and they need to make everything about them.  This will show up most obviously in times of great stress - you stress something?  The cracks show.

With people like this, the important thing isn't how to properly honor the person who passed away, or how best to support the bereaved.  Instead, in their heads, the most important thing is whether they themselves are being properly honored.

Unbelievable, but true.

Maybe it's a way to keep from facing the true tragedy?  Maybe they feel inadequate to deal with the actual, central tragedy . . . much easier to make this one more occasion that should be "all about me?"

Don't know.

I had experiences like this from siblings and close family members when my parents died, when my husband died, and when my son died.

Do not waste your time or energy being resentful or vengeful . . . that just hurts you.  But don't waste your time trying to make amends either.  You need to take care of yourself and surround yourself with those who know how to love.

You aren't being cynical.  You're being smart and you are taking care of you - which you absolutely have to do.

Some people just plain don't know how to love.  It is sad for those of us who are family members or friends; it is sad for those of us who have loved them.  But it is most sad for them.

Sorry you have to deal with this, but know you are not alone - and you are doing the right thing in not reaching out.

Why reach out when you know you are going to get your hand bitten?  You don't need that.

Well, you really got me going!  Best wishes, Rebecca.  Know that there are people here who understand.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 07:18:25 PM by SarahW »
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WendyRN

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Re: Wed six years ago
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2011, 12:34:02 AM »
Dear Rebecca,

You and your son are in my thoughts during such a sad and stressful period.  Six years is such a long, long time and yet you remember it all like yesterday.  I'm so sorry that you are again forced to live through this raw, unbelievable time.  A parent's love never lets go, just tries to put one foot in front of the other, carrying all the memories, all the sadness and regret, all the smiles and good times along on our own journey.

It sounds like you have every right to be cynical, Rebecca.  But I'm sure there is a sadness in you that misses the relationship that was.  Although you are not ready now, maybe one day the foundation for a bridge may be laid.  Maybe it won't.  But at least it will be your own decision.  I want to comment on SarahW's posting, "tragedy brings out the best and the worst in people..." as that was what I had been thinking too.  Some people seem to have an innate sense of how to behave in impossible situations.  Others, absolutely not.  Perhaps it was selfishness on your sister's part that allowed your relationship to disintegrate in such a way, at such a time in your life, with such a history between you.  I'm so sorry for that.

My sister has been wonderful.  And I am so grateful for everything she has done and continues to do for me and my family.  My friends, however, are another story.  I had read that many friendships would be either very strained or completely lost.  I was not prepared.  Although I pulled myself out of the world, that somehow kept spinning, for a long time, I thought they would be waiting in the wings.  Ready to  hold my hand when I was able to venture out.  That has not exactly been the case.  But I continue to work on who I have become, in such tiny, baby steps - hoping that while the old me that was is gone, and gone forever, I hope they will learn to appreciate who I am becoming (when I am not a bitter, tired,  and angry woman.)  I have learned that I can still be funny, have more appreciation for the small things, have a desire to learn about LIFE, and seek joy (still elusive).  Anyway, I hope in time, the friendships that were so very important to me, will become again......and those that cannot accept me with all my flaws and new intensity will at least remember me with fondness.  But I have no desire to pursue those relationships.

It seems the VERY LEAST your sister could do was send a note to your daughter, congratulating her.  Whatever she feels keeps her from maintaining a sister relationship with you, should not prevent her from acknowledging her niece's new daughter.  I'm not sure I know a polite word for that behavior.  How does your daughter feel?

I hope the coming days will bring a little more peace upon you.

Wendy, Keith's mom

Terry

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Re: Wed six years ago
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2011, 10:53:15 AM »

As I read these messages again today, I felt such sadness. I think we could all tell the same story. I remember when I was young, even before I lost Sal my girlfriend, all through grade and high school called me, hysterical. I ran across the street to her house and found her baby dead in the bathtub. She changed. Everyone around her changed. She was never the same. And, although I did not know what it felt like to lose a child, I surrounded her with all of the love in my heart. I never questioned her when she was refusing to leave the house and not wanting to go anywhere for such a long time. Her family was very unkind to her. Telling her she had to 'get over' it and move on. I thought that was so cruel at the time but never knew the extent of the lack of humanness until I lost my own child.

So, though I try to understand where the other person is coming from, and sometimes it's complicated, others it is not, there is still something very important missing from a heart that cannot see the awful pain that someone is in and simply 'be there' for them without conditions. For so long, when again, I was much younger I didn't understand the meaning of unconditional love. It is so simple; It is loving without conditions. Without, "I'll love you if" and "I love you BUT" as but negates anything you say before it. And, it saddens me that family, the ones who are programmed to love us unconditionally....turn their backs on us when we need them the most.

My sister is coming down tonight and will be spending the weekend as it is Jeff's Birthday Saturday and I'm grateful that we were able to work through the many obstacles to get to where we are today. Whenever I see a nightmare coming, I try and remember how very much she loved my children and how she was always there for them and for me, through everything. We are just very different people and try that I may, I will never change that. In the past few years, I have gotten to know my sister in ways that I never did before. I see her vulnerability, and so clearly now and how she uses anger and avoidance to hide it. I see how broken her heart is and how she tries to make light of things in fear that I will become upset and hurt. It took a long time but I never really saw my sister until I opened my eyes, my mind and my heart.

Relationships are work. Hard work. For them to grow and stay healthy and for them to stay intact. I continue to work hard to recognize my own character defects and to know, beyond a doubt that love is the only reason I am here on this earth and if I'm ever going to be free of those chains that stubbornness and pride so easily weigh me down, then I will never know the pure, unconditional love that I can possess, and that I deserve to feel and from all those around me that I cherish, regardless of their lack of understanding. Because love is the foundation by which all things grow and continue to bloom. And, I couldn't (and wouldn't want to) live a day without it.

My Granddaughter asked me how I can always be so happy and loving toward her when her immediate family cannot and I replied, because I love you and one day I'm not going to be here and I want your memories of me to be that of love and happy memories, not those of bitterness, anger and self-pity. So, I rise above all of those feelings that can take over me too easily and remember how deeply I love and care for you. She is surrounded by the opposite where she is and it confuses her. She doesn't understand why, after me losing Jeff, her father that I can continue to love so openly and so unconditionally. She thanked me for 'showing her what love means.'

I don't dwell on what I lost rather continue to feel very blessed for what I still have which is my Granddaughter, my Father and my Sister. I am so grateful to have this love in my life.

Love to all and your beautiful children.

Donnys Dad

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Re: Wed six years ago
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2011, 09:59:20 AM »
Rebecca, like everyone else when they lose a child they are surrounded by friends, family etc.  Every one is so into trying to make you feel better.  For us that lasted about 4 months.  Our so called friends drifted away because we were different people, damn right we are and not by our choice.

The thing that hurt the most was my immediate family.  We have 3 daughters and Donny was the only boy, the baby boy.  One daughter who I have done so much for asked my wife a question I will never forget.  "Does Dad still sit and cry in the workshop every day?  Yes at the time I did, I still do but not as often.  Suddenly this sweet daughter stopped coming around although she lives close by and passes the house every day to work.  My wife called her and asked where she has been.  She told my wife quite bluntly "I can't stand to see the sadness in yours and Dad's eyes,  I am still young and have my own life to live."  That was the last time we heard from her.  My wife is so hurt as her and this daughter were so close, almost as close as Donny and I.  I thought this would be the time when our "close" family would really come together.  Tried so hard to make the perfect caring family.  What a failure.  In addition our oldest daughter no longer comes by but does call my wife.

So Rebecca, yes I know quite well what your talking abut.  Pardon me girls but I am very sad and will be until I'm gone.  Please don't come around then either.

Don
I Miss You So Much Buddy, My Best Friend, My Tiger

Don, Donny's Proud Dad


browneyedgirl

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Re: Wed six years ago
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2011, 02:03:27 PM »
(((Don)))

I had tears in my eyes as a read your post. I am so sorry.  I couldn't imagine not seeing my parents often.  Everyone deals with grief differently, perhaps your daughters are dealing with the death of Donny in their own way, and maybe these actions are a result of that.  I am not defending them, I am just throwing it out to you. 

I pray that things will change in the future with your daughters.
Tony Repola 07/20/66 – 03/29/09
I know you are fishing in the oceans and streams of heaven

Terry

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Re: Wed six years ago
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2011, 02:29:46 PM »
Don,

I, too was very sad reading your post and it brought tears to my eyes, also. There are others on here who had surviving children when their child died and I've heard similar stories from all of them. Their surviving children felt that they were not as important as the child that died and they started to withdraw from family gatherings, Sunday dinner, etc. and what was very hurtful (even more so) was them not recognizing their dates by calling or sending a card or asking what everyone was doing for that day.

As you know, I had no other children when Jeff died. The relationship I had with his daughter before he died, continued after wards. I hope others reading this thread will contribute and share with all here the strained relationships between them and their surviving children and how they worked through that.

Just know how much I care and I'll be holding positive thoughts for you and Bonnie that one day you'll all find some peace. And, thoughts of your precious Donny, always.

Love you, Don,
Terry


WendyRN

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Re: Wed six years ago
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2011, 02:51:16 PM »
Don, your posting is heartbreaking.  The loss of such a close relationship compounded now by distance from your daughters.  I think many parents suffer such horrendous guilt while trying to live with the loss of a child and yet attempting to ensure siblings KNOW they are JUST AS LOVED (in the midst of being completely enveloped by the missing piece of our heart.)  How do we gather what is left of our SELF and find a way to resemble happiness in our life - a reflection to our surviving children that we must go on - not only for ourselves but for them.  I do my best but I know I fall short on many occasions.  After 3 1/2 years I am still so consumed with all things Keith.  However I do make special time for my son and daughter.  The loss of their brother has been so hard for them to bear as well.  We have purposely tried to increase family quality time, not quantity.  Sometimes this has worked well, other times emotions like anger or bitterness seem to lurk beneath the surface, making it hard.  But we have to keep trying.  I take special care to have some alone time with each.  Sometimes we talk a little about Keith, but mostly we talk about life in general, or their own in particular.  

Don, your daughters still love and need you.  I know you feel that the light of your life has gone out but is there any way you could approach each and try to rebuild, starting with a quick dinner, a walk together?  Some time together that is just about them? Is it possible that any or all of your daughters feel a sense of rejection, less important?  This is very hard to word so as not to sound critical and I beg you don't hear it as such.  You are not a failure!  Just a sad, sad father with a crumpled heart.  But relationships with your daughters are so very important - to you and to each of them.  Give them a chance to light your world again.  You will forever feel the loss of your Buddy but your girls can help you through this and bring some happiness back into your life, if you let them.  Have you tried family counselling? It sounds as though your daughters are waiting for you .....

Wendy, Keith's mom

Terry

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Re: Wed six years ago
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2011, 08:53:13 AM »
  I take special care to have some alone time with each.  Sometimes we talk a little about Keith, but mostly we talk about life in general, or their own in particular. 


I have found that what you've shared is true in regards to the time spent with the surviving children. It 'is' hard work. It's difficult to re-open that broken heart and allow it to feel great love again and also allow to be loved yourself.


Don, your daughters still love and need you.  I know you feel that the light of your life has gone out but is there any way you could approach each and try to rebuild, starting with a quick dinner, a walk together?  Some time together that is just about them? Is it possible that any or all of your daughters feel a sense of rejection, less important?  This is very hard to word so as not to sound critical and I beg you don't hear it as such.  You are not a failure!  Just a sad, sad father with a crumpled heart.  But relationships with your daughters are so very important - to you and to each of them.  Give them a chance to light your world again.  You will forever feel the loss of your Buddy but your girls can help you through this and bring some happiness back into your life, if you let them.  Have you tried family counselling? It sounds as though your daughters are waiting for you .....


I don't think this sounds critical, at all rather kind and loving advice from one who is living it and I know Don will also see it as such. We will forever feel the pain, the missing but we have huge hearts, room enough to love others.

All children regardless of their age, want and need to feel that 'they' are special, too. And, when we're with them, they need that alone time with their Mom/Dad to hear those words. They want/need to know that when their spending time together, they don't have to always compete with the child who is no longer here. In fact, one parent here worded it in that exact way. They don't want to constantly 'compete' for the love of their parents.

My heart is with all who are struggling with this issue. Know there is hope.

Terry

jsdaa

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Re: Wed six years ago
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2011, 08:31:05 AM »
I though I'd share some of my experiences though I think I may have in the past.  After reading all of your posts, I've come to realize that mine are not so rare.

I no longer speak to my parents.  Specifically, my mom.  She has always been a cold, critical, negative mother and you would think losing her granddaughter, even though they weren't close, would impact her in some way.  Boy, was I wrong.......she had the nerve to criticize how some of the people who came to Sarah's funeral looked.  Really?  What grandmother who lost her granddaughter would even think about that?  She also said that the reason I was having such a hard time with Sarah's death was because I had always been too close to my children.  That was the final blow and I'm perfectly fine with my decision.

My four other children.....well let me just say, it's not been good.  My oldest daughter does not speak to anyone with the exception of my youngest daughter once in awhile.  My son and other daughter text me once in awhile but I see them maybe once a month or two, if that.  My youngest daughter, I see the most but and she is getting ready to move 12 hours away which makes me very sad.  This is not the family that we were and it has been so painful to now feel like we are non-existent.  I always wondered why some families come together and others fall apart.  I've decided that the closer you were, the harder you fall.  We are all reminders to each other of the loss of our Sarah and the pain is unbearable.  I have come to accept this now, though it has caused me so much additional pain.  We will never be the family that we were and could we become a new family someday....certainly.  I don't think that will happen.....

The devastating loss of our children is not all we lose.  The loss of our life, as we once knew it, ceases to exist, as well.  Relationships are no longer.   I have come to realize that most people will never understand, not only how completely and utterly we are shattered, but that our entire world has changed.  There are so few that I truly trust and my view of the world and mankind has completely changed.  This is my life and you are not alone.

Love,
Jamie

6/25/80-12/25/08

MARTHA(CANDI'S AUNT)

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Re: Wed six years ago
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2011, 12:56:14 PM »
REBECCA,
  i don't have any answers for you. but i will keep you in my prayers. i know that after CANDI was killed almost 6 yrs. ago my sis(lisa-candi's mom) would snap at me & our mom a lot...... it hurt our feelings so bad. this went on for a few yrs. then she started opening up to us.
i think we were the one's lisa knew wouldn't abandon her so she took thing's out on us.
our dad will be gone 1 yr. tomorrow & that's so hard. lisa also lost her father-in-law nov.30,2010.
so lisa & her husband lost both their dads the same yr. they lost their daughter(candi) almost 6 yrs. ago. she called me the other day from our dad's grave crying so hard. she said" i miss daddy & butch(fil) so much. our dad & her father-in-law are buried within feet of each other.

sending you hug's,

martha

LaVonne

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Re: Wed six years ago
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 05:09:29 PM »
Rebecca: I don't know what to say. maybe some day you can work it out but for now I feel you need your space and you sanity. Hope it all comes together in time.  l guess I am the fortunate one because I have my son and we are closer now than ever,even though Shawn and his dad ane inseparable. They are together every day. I sometimes envy the love they share but I am very fortunate and very loved by both. The one thing I have done is to put my surviving son before everything else including my grief. I still grieve for my son and will till the day I die, but it doesn't help me to dwell on him and ignore my other son. I feel our children left here need every ounce of our love and reassurance that they are not forgotten over our child that has left this earth. I do not want anyone to think you are wrong and I am right I am doing what I have to do to continue with my life and be happy. I am happy and I enjoy my time with family. My grandchildren are my life and they know it.  I sometimes feel maybe I am wrong but it works for me. Sending hugs  LaVonne
LaVonne