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Dealing With The Death Of Someone You Know  
User currently offlineSFOintern From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 770 posts, RR: 4
Posted (14 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2681 times:

About an hour ago I was prepared to go out. There were plans for us tonight. And I got a call from my friend Robert. But it wasn't the information I had expected. He wasn't calling to tell me where everyone was meeting. He was crying.

Nothing's going on, he said. He had just gotten off the phone with his girlfriend, and my great friend, Julie. Her grandmother had just died.

She was 75. The last I saw her was this last Tuesday. Julie had invited friends to her cabin in Vermont, and I was one of them. It was not my first time meeting her grandma though. Her grandma, though 75, acted and looked much younger than her age.

Her hair was still a beautiful red and she still had the strong hand, face, and body gestures of someone much younger. She was a riot to be around too: always the chatty cathy, she had wonderful stories to tell us, and was a witty lady to boot. She had married a Harvard PHd, after all.

But now--she's gone. I will never get to see her again; I will never get to appreciate the youthful vibrance of this extraordinary elder. Julie, my god, has lost her closest family member other than her parents.

This is only the second time I've experienced the death of someone I've known. The first was of a classmate in high school who I had actually been friends with all the way back when I first met him in elementary school. In high school, althought we were far from friends, he was in my french classes. He died the summer of my sophomore year in a car accident which killed him and burned and took the leg of another classmate.

When I first heard his death, I was both shocked (it was my first experience with human death) and felt a loss. Though I did not really know him anymore, I knew him pretty well when I was a little kid, I played with him. What disturbed me was that the loss I felt was very short-lived. It felt almost wrong.

As Robert sat on the phone expressing his sadness and sobbing, I felt an even deeper sadness. And you know what? That sadness ended after 5 minutes that I got off the phone. To try and keep my mind on something else, I had gone to the forums, posting and reading. When I laughed at something someone wrote on here, I stopped. I felt disturbed again. Talking, hearing the voice of, others helped me bring some perspective. I shouldn't have taken my mind off it. I had a duty to mourn. I was glad to know this woman, although for only briefly.

I supposed the reason why Robert was so dejected, and I was at first merely chagrined after beibg shocked, was because Julie is his girlfriend. They have intentions on marriage. They are very close, and I would expect his sorrow to go hand in hand with hers. And he explained that her grandma was like his only grandma, because he had not gotten to know any of his grandparents due to their deaths before his birth.

My god, how Julie must feel. Her best friend Lindsey is coming over to spend the night tonight. I can't call her tonight though, it is not appropriate. Tomorrow I will be giving a call to express my condolences and grief.

Her mom was there when she died. Just picturing myself in the family's position, I feel a great loss now. I must say, it did disturb me very much that I was laughing at something less than 30 minutes after I heard the news. I'm still not at the point of crying, though I feel I should be tearing up. Instead, I'm sitting here, typing this, now feeling a pain in my heart similar to loneliness, thwarted love, or extreme anxiety.

I felt compelled to write this. And I am glad I did. Unlike talking with other people, I was not able to fully asses my emotional standing, rather than try to rush out an explanation when talking to someone.

I've never been to a funeral. I've been to the service of a teacher (who I did not know), but I've never seen a full casket. Soon I will probably be attending my first one.

Though I'm still disturbed. Why am I not crying. I think it would be better to cry than feel this great sag of my heart. I wonder how I will sleep tonight.


13 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSSTjumbo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (14 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2657 times:

You obviously aren't shaken as much as some people over the death. The best thing you can do is comfort those in grief (eg: hugs, cheerful words, etc.) Tell them not to grieve over her death but to remember all the good times with her, and remind them that she has gone to the better place (coming from a religious chap like me  Big grin )

User currently offlineWe're Nuts From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5722 posts, RR: 17
Reply 2, posted (14 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2652 times:

No matter what, life will go on... and on, and on....

Dear moderators: No.
User currently offlineCYKA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2639 times:

When I got the news that my grandpa had passed away I did not feel like I wanted to cry, even though I had just spend two months around him and lived around him for the first 10 years of my life. Even though he was everything anyone might want in a grandpa somehow I did feel like I needed to cry. I only shed a few tears when I first saw him in the casket but my eyes remained dry through the whole funeral until I had laid down to bed that I cried a little remembering all the things we did together and so on.

The worst part of the whole ordeal was my moms reaction when she heard the news(I got a family friend brake it too her, I could not do it) and her crying at the funeral.

THe concluison I drew from my experience is that some people accept what has happened in a more civilized manner and offer their respects without crying their eyes out. I sort of accepted what had happened and found no reason to insanly cry about it. So dont feel bad about not crying, if you dont feel you need than it simply means that you views on death may be diffrent then those of the majority. Keep in mind that some cultures see death as a happy occasion and celebrate in place of crying and mourning.

User currently offlineDE727UPS From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 814 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (14 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2618 times:

I lost my mom and both my grandparents, which I was very close to, when I was between 18 and 20. Everyone handles dying and grief in a different way....there is no right and wrong. However you handle it...whatever comes out....is okay. Don't feel guilty because you didn't act, or react, in a certain way. Be there for the person who is hurt and be willing to talk about the good times and good things you learned from the person who died. There is some truth to the saying that time heals all wounds....but not completely.

User currently offlineSophiemaltese From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2064 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (14 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2606 times:

Death can be a very hard thing to deal with, and we all do it differently. When my grandmother died I don't think I cried right away. It wasn't a shock because she had been very sick with cancer, but I still felt my heart sink when I heard the news. I had been out all night partying and having a good time only to come home and hear she'd died. I felt a little guilty. Then it hit me one night a while later that she was gone and I started bawling. I felt like I'd had the sweetest grandma and didn't deserve her. She'd lent me money to buy a car and I'd never even gotten to finish paying her back.

This is the most recent death of a family member I've experienced. I know that when it's my parents' time to go I'll be a wreck. This is something that scares the living hell out of me. The same goes for close friends and my brother.

User currently offlineC72 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (14 years 10 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2600 times:

Sorry to hear your sad news!  Smile But the only guarantee in Life, is Death.

User currently offlineSFOintern From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 770 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (14 years 10 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2590 times:

Well thanks for what y'all have had to say. The services are in the upcoming week.


User currently offlineN400QX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (14 years 10 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2589 times:

I kinda know what you mean--

A guy I knew at school that I had some classes with was recently killed in an accident. I wasn't a really good friend, just knew the guy and had talked a bit. But I just couldn't get over it... it was all I could think about for two weeks. I was kind of depressed, lots of people around me were depressed-- a really bad situation. It took me a lot longer than you, but I was finally able to laugh at things and have a good time without thinking of the mangled car flipped over on the side of the road with two bodies in it. Don't feel bad at all for laughing at something or having a good time-- I felt bad at first, too, but it is really good for you to do those things.

That was my first real experience with loosing someone I knew. I have lost both of my grandfathers, but those both happened before I had matured and fully come to understand death.

I'm sorry to hear your news... I know it is a terrible feeling.

User currently offlineAirlinelover From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 5580 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (14 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2575 times:

I grieve with thee...


Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3222 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (14 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2564 times:

I feel I must recall the old Buddhist adage - the dead are many, but the living are few......

The irrevocable fact is that we all die. I don't know if you are religious or not, but I believe that our consciousness continues in some form after our death and this gives me comfort.

It may sound wierd, but I grieved more when my dog died than when my grandfather passed away. I guess it just goes to show how attached we can get to pets, eh.....

I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineTurbolet From Cape Verde, joined Nov 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (14 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2555 times:

My grandmother died not long ago. Since I live in Malta with my family and she lived in the Czech Rep, very far away, I hadn't seen her since September 2000 but we were looking forward to see her this August when we were supposed to come. Then my dad's brother phoned up that she was in hospital because she had had a stroke. She wasn't conscious but since she had gotten over many health problems, I was confident that she would get over this, too. My dad booked a flight and was to see her in hospital there.
Then, on the morning of the day he was supposed to depart, his brother phoned that she had passed away. I heard the conversation but stayed in bed and I couldn't cry, think or do anyhing. But when I got up and talked to my mum about it, I started crying a lot because I realized how much she had done for us all. I didn't attend the funeral but when my dad came back, I was so touched by the poem on the printed announcement of her death that I was almost going to cry again.
It will be hard this August when we reach the house where she lived alone for so many years and when I once again see all the things she used, the garden she loved so much and so on... The worst thing is the thought that the house will have to be sold and I'll never see it again.
But that's how life is, life goes on no matter what.

User currently offlineMikey From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 195 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (14 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2549 times:

My friend that I knew from since 3rd grade died in a small plane crash. I havent seen him since the 8th grade and found that he died in the newspaper. I was very shocked and saddened.


Ex LAX, LGB, SNA aviation photographer
User currently offlineSophieMaltese From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2064 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (14 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2543 times:

I just had to add to this post. I just heard that a young guy who used to live next door to me years ago died on Friday. Apparently he just went to bed and didn't wake up. I don't know what happened exactly yet. He was only about 21. It's so sad, it's gotten me really freaked out. We'd just been talking about him Friday too.

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