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BS: Shaking Death

22 May 00 - 08:01 AM (#231717)
Subject: Shaking Death (OT)
From: GUEST,Rob O

Okay, this is really off topic, but:

Anyone else here still trying to shake off the death of a friend, even years after the fact?

I lost a good friend back when I was in college. Her car crashed in an ice storm, in I guess it would be Jan of 94. I read the Funeral Song Thread and someone posted the words to "Eagles' Wings" and I immediately thought of her and how much I missed her... and I find that there are alot of things still, 6+ years later that make me stop and almost cry.

Guess I'm just making sure I shouldn't be seeing a shrink over this...

Rob O. (who really should get back to teaching today before the principal comes in to see him on the internet.)

22 May 00 - 09:12 AM (#231736)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: TerriM

Rob, I really don't think you should worry.Everyone takes their own time over grieving and there is no set time limit.We have an organisation called CRUSE in the U.K who can be helpful.If you are Stateside, I'm sure there must be an equivalent. I have lost some very dear friends along the road and no matter how long ago, I still miss them and certain songs bring them back in a flash with a resugence of that sadness you describe but I try to remember how much fun we had, and how much I cared for them and feel grateful that they were in my life at all.

22 May 00 - 10:05 AM (#231761)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: GUEST,Mrr

If your grief, 6 years later, is PREVENTING you from living your normal life, see a shrink. If your normal life, while you live it, reminds you of your lost loved one, that is a part of normal life. The times you actually weep, are they getting fewer and farther between, even if not very quickly? Do some things that used to break you up completely now just make you tear up? All those are signs of a (psychologically) healthy grieving process.
And if you didn't write the parents at the time, my advice is write them now. It will make feel they are not the only ones still cherishing their lost loved one.

22 May 00 - 11:14 AM (#231786)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: catspaw49

I have lost two of the best friends anyone could have in the past ten years and I miss them both everyday.

Alan was only 42 when he died of a massive heart attack. We had not seen each other in awhile but kept in touch regularly. His first wife, Kay, and Alan and I had bought two homes together in Chattanooga and Nashville. Nothing kinky, we were all very inseparable trio. After I married we remained the best of friends until Alan had a mid-life crisis about a year before he died. With no warning at all, he tols Kay he wanted a divorce and moved out. He soon married another woman and became very removed from both Kay and myself. About 6 months later he died and his new wife didn't tell anyone from his "past life" (including his mother) until about a month later. He had started to open up to me a bit just before this and I was hoping things could go on. I will never know. Kay and I were both devastated. I have no closure with Alan and I never will. The closest I came was one morning sitting in the kitchen drinking morning coffee, something he and I used to do everyday. I had a long "talk" with Alan and told him both how pissed I was and also how much I loved him and missed him.

Denny Smith was a "true friend." He fought off cancer for a number of years but we knew it would eventually take him. We had worked together for many years in the past and had remained best friends through the ensuing years. He was the most responsible man I ever knew. He asked me to speak a few words at his funeral about 6 months before he died. His wife, also a good friend, was in a lot of denial and Denny also asked that when the time came, to help her as best I could to make the "right decisions." On his last day he was comatose and in great pain, even with the morphine. The nurses had been explaining the dying process well to Sue and she was understanding, but still held on to that glimmer of hope. She came to me in the hallway and asked if she was doing the right thing. I paid back some of my many debts to Denny when I told her it was time to let him go. We walked into the room and she laid next to him and talked to him quietly as I left and shut the door. I kept the rest of the crowd out of the room and Sue came out about 30 minutes later....Denny was gone.

I spoke for about 20 minutes to the very large crowd at his funeral and had the group laughing for most of the time as I told stories on us. We all left feeling good....we had celebrated a great life. I hadn't really prepared anything specific, so it was easy to work in a story about how responsible he was. About an hour before the funeral, his daughter Jody gave me an envelope. In it was a good-bye from Den, and also a "Thank You" for the funeral service. Once again, he'd thought of everything......SOB even left me a thank you note fer chrissakes!!!!!!

The difference between the two here is one of closure. Not a day goes by that I don't think of them both. But at Denny's funeral, I told the crowd something I had just learned and I think has helped me a lot. My nephew Ricky told his Mom, "Uncle Pat must have a big hole in his heart now." But he was wrong.......and I realized I didn't.

Great friends can NEVER leave a hole in your heart. They can only fill it with wonderful memories and experiences. Perhaps our heart is filled, not emptied, by the thoughts and memories and experiences of our friends. Maybe that's all that holds it together.


22 May 00 - 11:23 AM (#231794)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: MMario

Pat - anyone told you lately how wise you are?

Thank you. Thank you for being you, and for being here among us.

22 May 00 - 11:30 AM (#231803)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: wysiwyg

The best healing tears come when good news is used as a lever to shift the pent-up grief. For example, if you can find something your friend would have truly loved, and spend some time doing or refelcting upon that thing while thinking how much you loved this friend, you might fid a torrent of cleansing that would not hurt at all as it flows out of you.

We have natrual healing porocesses like this for every bad thing that ever happens. They work better with the loving attention of someone close to us. When we allows these natural processes to occur, we powerfully reclaim our fully flexible, loving, and intelligent humanness. Unfortunately, we live in societies who interpret these processes as hurts, themselves, or as inappropriate. (See And so we internalize a shut-off switch that turns these processes more inwardly, and it can take awhile before the feelings surface through the layers of inhibition.

I don't give advice often, but here I have a wealth of deep personal expereince and a sure sense that this is important to you. So-- Listen to your grief and honor it. A good friend is worth grieving well.


22 May 00 - 11:33 AM (#231808)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: wysiwyg

OK, sorry for the typos. You'll figure it out.

22 May 00 - 12:04 PM (#231818)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: KT

Lovely thoughts, everyone....I have found great comfort in the words of Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet. Read what he has to say on Joy and Sorrow and the very last chapter. I'd quote for you but I've loaned my copy to a friend.....

22 May 00 - 12:14 PM (#231826)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: catspaw49

Thank you Mario......I send back the same to you.


22 May 00 - 12:34 PM (#231836)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: GUEST,Rob O

Thanks for some of the support!

I guess part of what makes it linger for me like it does is that there so many things I would have said to her, if I had known what was coming. That and the fact that I begged her not to drive becuase I had heard the weather predictions for that night. The cops said she didn't feel anything though, from the accident. It was a head-on at 120 mph total (both cars going 60).

Perhaps its the lack of closure that still keeps it painful. Or that I was really in love with her and never admitted it to anyone. *shrug*

I just read that this morning and started getting misty-eyed and had to do something to focus that energy. Usually a good talk with a friend, but when you're at work, and there's a class of teen-agers swarming you with questions on their projects... its not so easy

Thanks All around,

Rob O

22 May 00 - 01:07 PM (#231874)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: wysiwyg

Rob O, may your love for her wash through you, wash you clean, wash you clean.


22 May 00 - 01:34 PM (#231888)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: Rick Fielding

Yeah Rob, it can be devastating. I've dealt with the suicides of four very worthwile people in my life. When I reflect back and banish those "what could I have done" thoughts from my mind, I'm left with a similarity they all shared. They were very sensitive people who cared about others greatly and hence were susceptible to being hurt badly at times. They often took reckless chances in choosing partners..throwing caution to the wind in the belief that they could "change" others' behaviours. When they found themselves alone, they had few resources left to help themselves. I miss each one greatly.


22 May 00 - 01:36 PM (#231889)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: Mooh

A friend who had been diagnosed with cancer and given but weeks to live, called me to ask if I would be a pallbearer. Two weeks later I was. I didn't enjoy it, but I enjoy knowing that when there was nothing else I could do for him, I could at least honour him. I have a great picture of him standing in my run down old aluminum boat, holding a smallmouth bass, with the grin that I came to know always accompanied some wisecrack or another. He was the funniest guy I ever knew and the kindest friend. Before he died he told me that if he found out how to outfish me from Jesus, he'd think about sending me a sign. I told him I would see him soon enough, he could tell me then. I know he's with me somehow, and that can't be taken from me. I don't have to grieve anymore, I can still remember.

Peace, Mooh.

22 May 00 - 02:37 PM (#232039)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: catspaw49

Mooh.......a friend of mine describes that feeling (and if you act on it and tell others) as immortality. I think he's right.


22 May 00 - 04:01 PM (#232079)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

I lost my good friend Tim to cancer last fall. I ache every time I see his picture on my bureau. I lost my granny in 1972. I have the same ache whenever I think of her- which is almost every day. Love hurts, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Love also endures- so in a way I've never lost them.

22 May 00 - 05:07 PM (#232104)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: GUEST,moonchild@work

I've always thought the Jewish custom of sitting Shiva is just the most humane. It allows people to mourn and to grieve ... and this is part of the healing process. Unfortunately, most people put on a stoic front and it stays inside as a hard lump.

When my grandmother died in 1998, I thought the pain would never cease. She was the only person in my life who loved me unconditionally ... and I think of her every single day. Not in an obsessive way ... but there are so many things that remind me of her. And I still seek her counsel.


22 May 00 - 05:43 PM (#232119)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: Sailor Dan

Many years ago my Father used to sit me on his lap and sing to me. Being Irish, he would sing Danny Boy. It was both of our names. I lost him a few years later due to a massive heart attack at the age of 42.

When he was alive, Dad taught me all the "old school" ways of courtesy and respect to and for women. Of course Mom was the apple of his eye and always had his love and deepest respect and he made sure that I learned these lessons in my young years.

It has been 54 years since Dad passed on, But I never fail to think of him and smile, never fail to provide respect and courtesy for most women and remember his lessons and never fail to cry when I hear Danny Boy being played or sung. But the smile, memories and tears are those of joy and love for someone I only had for a short time.

23 May 00 - 04:03 PM (#232635)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: Megan L

Dan your Dad would be proud of his Son, the greatest respect we can show someone is to learn from them.

Many cultures allow grief as a natural part of saying so long for now to a loved one. Indeed it is only realy in the last century that we have dropped the habit of mourning, OK I suppose a year in black, so many months in Dark colours and so many months in lilac are a bit excessive but it did allow us to acknowledge that we felt the pain of seperation.

To Robs original posting, it is the not being able to say good bye that is the hard bit. I visit the war cemetery where the boys who lost their lives in the Royal Oak are buried, in the same graveyard are the graves of German airmen who were shot down and crashed near the Pegal Burn.

As I stand beside their graves I often wonder how many of them left home for the last time with warmth and love surrounding them and how many left with words of anger or harshness. Here they are, many not even with the dignity of a name.

Do not regret my passing For I was one bright light Shone a moment in your darkness Before returning to the night.

23 May 00 - 09:00 PM (#232801)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: JamesJim

Certainly everyone experiences death at some point. For some, it comes way too soon. I remember my father talking about losing his mother when he was only 3 years old. He said he still remembered her face and sweet smile, even after 80 years. Dad died at age 89. I lost my mother when she was only 57. She died a horrible death from stomach cancer back in 1963. I lost a grandson almost 10 years ago. He was only 7 years old and he and his mother died in a horrible auto accident. I think of them both often and especially remember his seet smile and laughter. A dear friend and the leader of our band committed suicide in 1997. No one saw it coming. He was only 57.

For some, going to the cemetary seems to give comfort. Not so for me. There's nothing there. Grief over the loss of someone close will last for a lifetime. It's natural to be melancholy or occasionally weep for someone you miss so much. I never try to block it out. Instead, I focus on remembering the joy they gave me while they were here. And it's funny, I can think of a particular song that reminds me of each of them. With my friend, it was "Oklahoma Hills." It was his favorite song. With my mother, it was, "As long as she needs me." I remember singing it to myself as I cut her lawn. With my grandson, it was Julie Golds, "From a Distance." It had just come out at his death and I was learning it. My father loved "Scarlet Ribbon." He would request it almost every time I took my guitar to visit with him. I'd bet that most of you associate music with the remembrance of a loved one as well. Music is the healing tool of life and I thank God for it. Blessings to all!


24 May 00 - 12:34 AM (#232894)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: katlaughing

Thanks to you all....I am remembering my mother as I read your postings.

Patspaw...have I told you lately what a gem you really are? What an honour to be your friend.


24 May 00 - 02:08 AM (#232930)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: Sorcha

I don't even know what I want/can say here. So many people, so many memories.........Rob-O, nobody can ever say all that needs to be said. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer in May of 1998; she refused any treatment except for pain, and died in September of 1998. We talked and talked and talked, and it still hurts. Although I guess some "ending" is better than none at all.
Then there are the children: the 2 friends of my daughter who died at 11 and 12, waiting beside the highway until it was safe to cross-----they were hit sideways by a van which was hit sideways by a boy who was late to work and ran a stop sign;there was Wayne and Duane who fell of a No shoulder road and rolled the car due to driver inexperience because Wyoming has no driver ed program; there was Lt. Mark, who was hit sideways by another police officer while they were both chasing an escaped many, so many.

But we get by with a little help from our friends..........

24 May 00 - 04:27 AM (#232951)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: Amergin

Oh god, where to start. All my grandpa's brothers and sisters (except for one) who are now all gone. Wonderful people they were, gone from various ailments. My Gramma's brother Jim who was a pilot (flew for Air America). Great guy he was, always joking, never seemed to be serious... Died of cancer a few years ago. One thing that I do know though is that I'll meet them all again in the next life, one way or another. Blessed be.


07 Oct 01 - 01:21 AM (#566604)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: Amergin

and yesterday the death of my cousin, sue..who had several grandchildren that she adored....who's voice was booming at every family function...who's second daughter is getting married again...this time to a good guy.....who's voice has gone silent...except for in my memories...and who's chair will always be empty....whos husband with whom she was perfect now alone....

07 Oct 01 - 01:26 AM (#566606)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: wysiwyg

} : ~ *> )

07 Oct 01 - 02:56 AM (#566632)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: katlaughing

Oh, Nathan, I am sorry for your losing Cousin Sue. Have a [[[[[HUG]]]]] darlin' and take a few deep breaths and let them out.


07 Oct 01 - 02:57 AM (#566633)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: Mudlark

My husband died in his sleep 6 months ago and the last thing he said to me was, "See you in the morning..." Every memory I have, of 40 years of living and working together, is like an icepick in my heart. Yet I would not give up even one. He was a unique and extraordinary man who seemed equally at home in both sides of his brain. He was an artist, a philosopher and a poet, yet could fix the car, doctor the dog, shore up this old shack in a hundred ways with eqaul skill. He looked life right in the eye, but dealt with it straight from the heart.

Next week I will take his ashes down to our river, now low and slow after a long, hot summer, and scatter them on the bank, so the first big rain of the season can carry them down and eventually out to the sea. Moving through this sometimes seemingly unendurable grief process I am more and more convinced that accepting death, rather than shaking it, should be my goal.

Although it is as self-evident as the earth under my feet, I sense that I am still fighting this acceptance at some deeper level. As a gardener I know full well the place death has in the cycle of life, but it is hard to bring the general down to the particular when it comes to losing someone you love. Maybe mourning is a work in progress that is never finished, the shape and ache of it changing over time.


07 Oct 01 - 03:21 AM (#566634)
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
From: Liz the Squeak

It doesn't work. You never can. You just deal with the memories in a different way. The friend I lost 6 months ago hurts just as much as the one I lost 19 years ago.