How many of you have had a relative or close family member pass away?

ZenaidaMacroura ZenaidaMacroura
So, I was thinking about my grandpa tonight. He died of lung cancer when I was 12. It's been 10 years since then, and for some reason (I'm sure the alcohol I drank tonight had something to do with it), I started thinking about him. What he was like, how my family depended on him, how much I miss him, etc. I kind of started bawling, much to my boyfriend's helpless confusion. But he's also had a grandparent pass away, so he understands in a way. So, my question is: how many of you have had a relative or close friend pass away? Who was it? How did you cope with the situation? How has it affected your life?

This poll is anonymous, so answer honestly, but comments are completely welcome and appreciated.
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
I have had a relative pass away...
87
I have had a close friend pass away...
30
Other...
6
Total votes: 123 (92 voters)
Poll is closed
01/21/2011
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Chilipepper Chilipepper
I know about the sudden memory attacks. *hug*

My grandmother passed away two weeks after I visited her in 2005. I was grateful to have spent time with her beforehand, but it was still devastating. She was the sweetest, most loving woman who worked hard and adored her dozen grandchildren. She survived two husbands, being alone, put herself through college, and always had time to teach us her skills. She was also the one who introduced me to the pleasures of tea.

She finally came to me in my dreams about a week after her death - I was at her house in the country and she was snapping green beans in the breakfast nook just inside the back door. I ran up to her from the backyard and hugged her and told her how much I loved her. She said that she loved me, too, and would always be around.

It's all right to remember. That's how we still keep them with us.
01/21/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
I spent my grandfather's last Christmas with him in 2008, in May of 2009 I was driving halfway across the country for his funeral. He and I were pretty close, although things had dwindled off some because after a series of strokes he was having problems talking. Watching him was painful almost, because you could see he knew what he was trying to say, but he couldn't make it come out at all.

I think about him all the time.
01/21/2011
Taylor Taylor
My mom died in a car crash when I was a kid. I think about her all the time. I think because I was so young and they didn't let me see her body (it was really beat up) that it didn't quite register to me that she died. Even now 15 years later I still have recurring dreams several times a month that she didn't actually die and that she was looking for me. I think had they let me see her it would have made it register to me a little bit better.

My boyfriend at the time when I was 20 died in a motorcycle accident. It totally shook my world because I thought we were going to get married and I just felt like I had the rug pulled out from under me.

There have been a few of other sudden deaths in my life. It makes me think about death a lot. I plan a lot about what I will do if someone in my life dies. I think I feel the need to prepare myself for it more than most people do.
01/21/2011
PussyGalore PussyGalore
To date, no one I have been close to has died though all of my grandparents are dead. It's a long soap opera like story, but the short of it is they were all generally pretty evil people. I do not look forward to the day when my mother, sister and partner pass. That will be the end of my world.
01/21/2011
Alys Alys
When I was 12 my grandmother passed away from cancer. This crushed me, as she was a better mother-figure to me than my own mother was at the time. I went through some serious depression, which the rest of my family disregarded, or told me to stop being so dramatic. I hit rock bottom as a middle-school student contemplating suicide, but could never go through with it (fortunately). She is the inspiration for the tattoo that I've designed: a bird, in white ink, on my shoulder.

At the beginning of this winter, one of my uncles lost his battle with cancer the day after his birthday, leaving behind my aunt and two young cousins. Just last month we found out that my younger sister has a brain tumor, which might be cancerous, and we will have to wait to see if it seems to be growing, as it is in a location that cannot be easily biopsied. I've found some suspicious freckles, and I don't have a doctor right now, but I'm afraid to get them looked at because my father nearly died of skin cancer at my age. I don't think that I am as strong a person as he is. I am good at taking care of others, but it all falls apart when I need to take care of myself.
01/21/2011
Lucidity Lucidity
Grandparents and more young friends than I care to count. There has been a rash of sad, young deaths for some reason.
01/21/2011
liilii080 liilii080
My Grandma and an uncle. No one I've been super close to and I hope it doesn't happen any time soon (for me or anyone else).
01/21/2011
Envy Envy
My grandpa, my great uncle, my great aunt, my first aunt-in-law (though no one liked her much, she was a mean person), some people who were close and like a 2nd and 3rd grandma to me, etc....

Lots of people have passed away in my life, and it's one reason why my family is so small now, divorces and deaths. Had a lot of people not family die as well.
01/21/2011
BadassFatass BadassFatass
I have had quite a few people in my life die but the deaths that affected me the most were those of my Aunt and Grandfather. I was very close with both of them. Everyone jokes that I was their favorite niece/grandchild.

My Aunt's death was very sudden and I was supposed to spend the night at her place that night but ended up making plans with friends instead. I had a lot of guilt about that for a long time. I still do, to some degree even though it's been 9 years.

My Grandfather's death was also very hard for me because I was living out of state for the last year of his life and didn't get to spend time with him. I was home for my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary, which we ended up celebrating in his hospital room. Then, three weeks later I had to quit my job to come home and say goodbye to him. The guy I was living with at the time was PISSED that I quit my job but they wouldn't let me have any more time off. I definitely don't regret coming home to say goodbye. I got off the bus, went right to the hospice facility where he was staying and stayed with him for a bit, even after 11 hours of traveling. He was gone 6 hours later.

As far as coping goes...I don't really have any special way of doing so. I just kind of let the time pass. I still miss them and think of them often but I've gotten more used to the idea that they're gone. It doesn't feel like my chest is being crushed anymore, which is an improvement.
01/21/2011
Kim! Kim!
My dad passed away in April of 2005 when I was 22. He died of cancer and I miss him terribly still. His mother, whom I was very close to and who helped raised my brother and I for a few years, passed away in October of 2005 after a heart attack. His father then passed away in February of 2006. He had Parkinson's, his Alzheimer's had gotten really bad, he broke his hip, and then caught pneumonia. Fortunately, my son was born in December of 2005, letting some light into our lives.

My grandpa on my mom's side passed away nearly 3 years ago. My son, who was 2 at the time. Patted his shoulder and said "bye bye Papa Nor, bye bye" at the funeral home. We took him to say good bye.
01/21/2011
Naughty Student Naughty Student
My great aunt died of cancer and a friend in high school died after a week in intensive care bcs of a stroke.

My fathers mother has told me she is ready to die, although she is young andquite healthy. She has told me that sometimes she gets the feeling that her time is close. I am glad she has told me she was ready to die, it is good to know that she is feeling good about it and wants me to prepare myself mentally for it.

I will be very hurt once she passes but I think I am ready for it as much as she. She is preparing herself to die, and she talks to me a lot about her death and what she wants me to do. I am so happy and honored that she felt that she could talk to me about it.

I have a friend who is battling cancer right now, she is very strong minded and I wish her the best. I haven't seen her in many months as she lives on the other side of the continent but I don't think her time is now. If it is I will be able to talk to her more often.

My boyfriends grandmother who is in her mid 80's is very ill and she knows that she will die soon also. She seems to be preparing herself for it too. Her family don't want to talk about death infront of her which makes her angry. I am not part of her family but I love her very much. She's one of those people that you meet that have something special about them that you can't quite put your finger on. She's a lovely women, I hope to see her again before she passes, we live hours away from her.
01/21/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
My brother died when I was 24. That was horrible. He had an extremely rare disease, and he went through seven years of debilitating treatments, including a couple bone marrow transplants. He finally was making progress when he had a seizure in the bathtub and drowned. It was so unfair.

Three of my four grandparents have passed away-- two within the past two years. Those deaths were a lot less sad. They each lived full lives and when they died, they were in a lot of pain. It was sad to lose them, but I was glad that they were no longer in any pain.
01/21/2011
Jobthingy Jobthingy
All 4 of my grandparents are gone. 1 before I was born and the other 3 after. And I lost my dad a year back in December. I think about them all the time. about how much fun they would have with my daughter and stuff. Its tough
01/21/2011
gone77 gone77
I have had many relatives pass on (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins), but the only one I was close to and whose death I was bothered by was my father's back in 2000. He had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He lasted longer than the doctors told him he would, and he spent his dying days on a hospital bed that was in our living room. He died there as well, and I have very vivid memories of that day. Crap, I'm getting teary-eyed. Best to stop here.
01/21/2011
ZenaidaMacroura ZenaidaMacroura
Thanks for sharing, everybody. *hugs* I felt so silly bawling my eyes out when I had barely thought about it in years.

My grandpa was a big hillbilly and was proud of it. I use that term because, well, that's what we all called him. He was very uneducated and had some crazy ideas about the world. But he was also an amazing person like no one else I've ever met. He loved his family. He worked hard his whole life. He could be a jerk, but he could be the most caring and giving person in the world. He's hard to explain in a nutshell.

Anyway, he smoked his whole life and ate way too much, too. He got sick several times, first because of his weight and eating habits (he also ended up with diabetes), but he got over it eventually. He didn't exactly slim down, but he got better. Then he got lung cancer. He recovered maybe a year later after chemo and whatnot. But he got it again later. He was in intense pain all the time and was on morphine constantly. It was painful to watch. He was stuck in a hospital bed for months off and on before he died.

The good thing about it was that he and my mom repaired their relationship before he was gone. They never got along and argued frequently. He always acted like he hated her. Man, I could write a book about his life...aaaanyway, toward the end, they got to where they talked all the time and really loved each other.

I still hold a bit of a grudge toward my dad, though. He wouldn't let me stay at my grandpa's the week before he died. He said "You can stay next weekend." I had barely seen him in months, but my dad didn't like or trust him (my dad's paranoid and an all around weirdo). And that weekend, my grandpa was gone. Never quite got over that. I felt bad for my cousin, too, because her wedding was two days later and there was sort of a cloud hanging over the whole occasion.

Okay, sorry, EXTREME TEXT WALL. I can't stop once I get on something I need to talk about. Haha.
01/21/2011
Fun Lover Fun Lover
Losing a loved one or close friend is very hard. I recently lost a very close friend to throat cancer he was only 40 years old, he left behind a wife and 3 children 2 are under 10 years old, the only good thing was he knew he had cancer for a while so he had time to prepare for his family, before he passed on but it was still very sad. I lost my sister-in-law when she was 26 with 2 children one was 5 the other 5 months old, my brother-in-law is now remarried and both children are in college.
01/21/2011
Darling Jen Darling Jen
1. A neighbor who was my surrogate grandmother when I was little passed away while I was at elementary school. I was traumatized by losing her and wasn't allowed to go to her funeral. I held that against my mother for years.

2. My great-grandmother passed away when I was in middle school. I carried guilt for a while for not visiting her in the hospital before it happened. But my mother told me at the time that her dementia was so far gone that she would not have remembered me at all and I was a very sensitive child who would not have been able to handle that. She didn't recognize my mother either though she would tell her about how similar she was to her grand-daughter.

3. My last living great-grandparent passed away around the same time but I never got to meet her (a great-grandmother) past the age of 2 or so. I was never fully explained why but I figure she wasn't a great person from what I hear. This one had little affect on me emotionally but I was damn curious on why I never knew her.

4. My freshman year of college a hallmate and friend of mine was killed in a car accident. I was devasted, again. I held such rage for the person who was driving her because I had ridden with her once and knew I would never again sit in a car when she was in the driver's seat because she's a maniac. I wish I had told her not to skip class to shop that day. I still remember her name and think of her from time to time.

5. Just a few years ago, a friend I had made at a really crappy part-time job disappeared from work one day and the next I heard about him was after I had quit to go back to school. I heard he had committed suicide. I was so conflicted and distraught that I bounced between grief and anger (at those I considered responsible).

Ummm... so yeah, I have. It's never easy, even years later, to come to terms with losing someone.
01/21/2011
Tuesday Tuesday
When I was 14, one of my brothers was hit by a car and died. Eighteen years ago my father died from a heart attack. The former was far more traumatic.
01/21/2011
imp imp
Yep, my poppa died of terminal cancer. It was long, drawn out and hard on all of us. My grandfather died of a massive stroke. And I have lost two close friends to suicide.

It never goes away but you gradually accept and cherish the memories and love shared. Every year at Samhain I light candles for those I have loved and lost. It helps to have a special time put aside to do something in rememberance.
01/21/2011
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Family:

My two great grandmothers was the first deaths I experienced around the age of 5. I don't remember much from them.

Then my grandpa died when I was 11. I took that pretty hard. It's actually the reason I started writing poetry. I think of him often. He was a true cowboy

My Cousin Ricky dies after a long battle with obesity. He weighed over 800 pounds and then got gastric. He got down to 250 and it was the rapid weight loss that actually killed him. I wasn't all that close with him but he was always nice to me, so I took it to heart. I was 19.

My Great Uncle Bill died when I was around the same age, 19. I was fairly close to him too.

I believe he is the last family member to have passed away. My Oma is the most important family member to me. I don't know what I'll do when she passes. She is my heart, sole, and reason for getting through every tough day. I love her more than anyone and always will.

Friends:

I had a very close friend of mine die unexpectedly when I was 17. Jaymes was one of my first friends when I moved to the suburbs. I was in class with him since 2nd grade all the way through our senior year. He was seriously perfect. The worst thing he ever did would be to go to a friend's house before asking him parents for permission. He was brilliant. (I'm welling up just writing this). He was an all star athlete and had gotten into Yale. He was so humble that even his closest friends didn't know that. I think of Jaymes almost everyday. He was taken far too soon, but even at the age of 17 he had accomplished more than most people I know who are 40. His death was the hardest of anyone for me.

I have had other friends die as well.

Another friend died a year after in a motorcycle accident on his leave from the military.

A year after that, a friend was hit by a car while he was in a car. He was thrown from the car. Dazed and confused, he stood up in the middle of a highway. He was run over by a car in an opposite lane. His death was also hard to take.

So yea...I've had a fair share. I'm not mentioning everyone even. It's a part of life.
01/21/2011
*HisMrs* *HisMrs*
All of my grandparents have passed. My paternal grandparents died before I was born. My maternal grandma died when I was 8, maternal granfather died when I was 16. One of my best friends died in a four wheeler accident when we were 14. Great Aunt & Uncle both died when I was 19. Another friend of mine died in a car accident when I was 19. My aunt died in 2008 only a month before my wedding day. All of whom I was very close to. This doesnt even include the other family members that I wasn't particularly close too.
01/21/2011
SexyTabby SexyTabby
Many, unfortunately.

The man I consider my real father died from complications which arose with his type 1-juvenile diabetes when I was 12.

My brother was murdered when I was seventeen. That was one of the hardest for me because I had to tell my mother and the rest of the family. It went very badly. On top of loosing my favorite brother my mother couldn't stand to look at me the bearer of bad news.

I lost my Aunt BeeBee shortly after that. She was a brightly colored flower in all of our lives.

Jumping forward in the years I lost two of my triplets, my oldest son survived and a twin to my youngest son also didn't live. Today is my youngest son's 11th birthday. These alone were the most painful. I never could come to grips with it but God saw fit to keep me busy with being Momma to my boys and there has been peace in that.

There have been many others throughout the years which have effected me differently. A little over a year ago I lost the one person who carried me my whole life though all the pain. My inspiration and a large part of my heart. I still mourn everyday but Hubby has really stepped up and become my solace.

Everything happens for a reason and some times we don't get to know what the reasons are but we still are required to continue even if it's one day at a time or tender memories shared at a later date.
01/21/2011
Destri Destri
My Mother dies 16 years ago and I still think about her every day.
01/22/2011
buzz buzz
My aunt and grandfather have died, but luckily no one close to me is close either.
01/22/2011
Crash Crash
Never had anyone close to me pass away. I've never been to a funeral. I have known people who have died but I wouldn't call them close.
01/27/2011
VieuxCarre VieuxCarre
My grandpa died almost 5 years ago from cancer and it still haunts me as if it happened yesterday. There are times when I want him back and I pray that I would do anything to have him back for a day before he got sick. That will never happen, though, and I've learned to cope with it and realize that one day I'll see him again...many many years from now.

I also had a friend who was murdered last January and that still haunts me as well. He was a phenomenal person and it just hurts to know that his life was snuffed out so coldly and soon. The worst part was seeing him dead in his casket and knowing that it was real. It still chills me to the bone to think about it, but I know that I'll see him again one day many many years from now, too.

Loss sucks, but it's a fact of life :/
01/27/2011
TheSinDoll TheSinDoll
My Dad, when I was 23.

The hardest thing for me was that it was totally unexpected, nothing was in order, and it was all dropped in my lap to handle. I wasn't able to deal with my grief because I had to deal with all the technical stuff, then my younger brothers came first (as they always seem to do) so I had to be there for them.

My Dad's family are complete blood suckers and they were front and center to sink their teeth in.

It has taken years for me to come to terms with his death and what 'not having him around' really means.
01/29/2011
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by ZenaidaMacroura
So, I was thinking about my grandpa tonight. He died of lung cancer when I was 12. It's been 10 years since then, and for some reason (I'm sure the alcohol I drank tonight had something to do with it), I started thinking about him. What he ... More
I have been so lucky in my life. All of my relatives that have passed on did so at a good age and were very ready to go except my Uncle. He fought to live to see his grandbaby get into college but in the end lost his fight. The worst part was he died due to complications from smoking...a habit forced on him by the military when it was believed that cigarette smoking prevented 'battle fatigue'. He was a total mess by the end but he fought bravely.

Though I miss them all I rarely get sad. Most of them, and I'll admit it's been relatively few compared to some folks, were ready and welcomed death with grace and dignity. It's hard for me to feel sadness in the face of such joy. It hurts to see the raw bewildered pain in the eyes of the rest of my family though.
01/29/2011
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by VieuxCarre
My grandpa died almost 5 years ago from cancer and it still haunts me as if it happened yesterday. There are times when I want him back and I pray that I would do anything to have him back for a day before he got sick. That will never happen, ... More
I think murder, or even careless accidents, are the worst ways to lose loved ones. It is such a sudden event that can't be taken back and it strips something so precious from the lives of those who knew and loved the victim. I knew a lovely young girl who was found sexually assaulted and thrown in a dumpster like garbage and that is the one death that leaves me grasping for any sense of peace. It was so unneccessary, so wrong.
My heart goes out to you VieuxCarre for having to live with something so awful.
01/29/2011
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