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sewluv2

Loss of Adult Son

sewluv2
18 years ago

Lost adult son one day into his thirtieth year this May. I still feel like I'm in this bad dream and when I awaken things will be okay. Never, in a million years did I believe I'd be walking in these shoes. Our lives are devastated, dreams shattered. Never again to hear his voice, see his face or touch him. Life is so brief. How do you carry on??

Comments (166)

  • mcpaul311
    6 years ago

    Karen,please no need to ask you are in my prayers&heart it is so understandable &i know i certainly go thru the same thing. Just know i am here to listen &of course we both know that Jo is too. I am glad John is having better days &take the time you need post when you can our hearts are joined by the bonds of caring & friendship&support that happened when God brought us together. Take care of yourself thinking of u love& prayers going your way. Marie

  • jfalcone2003
    6 years ago

    Karen. So glad that john is having better days. It's the best news we could hear Don't worry about getting back to us right away. Whenever you find the time and energy. Just know that Marie and I are always thinking about you and keeping you in our prayers.

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  • mcpaul311
    6 years ago

    Dear Jo, as always happy to hear from you if you want to call it rambling on i love it you openess&support &i can be a rambler myself;). Its so cute believe it or not i had 2spidermans this year too i have 9 grandchildren & 3 step grandchildren but as ive told you i had 5sons no daughters now the situation is reversed out of all the grandchildren only have 2grandsons one who is 5 &the other 2 both were spider man this yr. Im glad u played hookey you deserve it &i know the kids were happy &excited you were there. I bet you are looking forward to retiring gosh i don't know how you did it when your son was ill and passed as we both know the pain the grief is overwhelming &just getting out of bed &putting one foot in front of other is so difficult. Again thank u for your support the first anv day was terrible i watched the clock all day reliving the hospital at 802 his time of death i cried like i was there all over again& i felt like the next day was a bright spot in a very difficult week. I also since you opened my eyes to look for signs wanted to tell u abt another experience we have a tree in back yard with low branches u can sit it Jordans oldest daughter has decorated it its her tree one day i went to open door to check on her she was in the tree begging Jesus to please send her daddy back for just a little while so she could see him it broke my heart i stepped back inside to get myself together &then when she came in she likes to help around the house so she was doing a few dishes with me when all of a sudden a hummingbird appeared at the flower box in the window in front of sink it hovered there for quite awhile i told thats your daddy coming to say hi she was thrilled &to be honest ive never seen a humming bird that close up before. I think your right birds butterflies are signs my mom loved butterflies &they have appeared when we have visited her grave. It gives me hope for so long id lost it& now i am open to these things. I believe that your experiences have verified for me that its not just by happenstance. Your daughter seems like a wonderful person&mom i always wanted a daughter but how difficult for you to lose your only son i admire you so much for not allowing yourself to be bitter and still having such a giving heart to others its still hard for me in my darker moments to understand why such a good person has to have the worst things happen to them but i guess that is the question for the ages i have more to talk about but i think ive been rambling myself for long enough looking forward to hearing from u much love Marie

  • mcpaul311
    6 years ago

    Jo,so sorry aways forget something my son was 3rd infantry out of ft benning GA u are so right a friend on leave spoke to me a bit about the things they experienced. The dead civilians along the rd the times they stopped and buried some around were they set up camp the woman& child used to surround houses they had to clear even sucicides that happened in barracks when they came home. I have found thru my son and my uncle who was a resident in va home that the people who work there do a wonderful job despite the difficulties with funding issues &overwhelming need since 9 11 the people who work with vets are dedicated and caring. As we speak we have military in harms way we can't forget them although its not in the news everyday &the pple who care for them families &staff at hospitals&va. Marie

  • jfalcone2003
    6 years ago

    Dear Marie,


    It's the weekend so it is much easier to find the time to sit down at the computer and write you back. Like you said, the week is always hectic with work and the family. I totally understand what it is like getting through the first anniversary of our son's death. I went through the same feelings thinking about how he had suffered so much the year before. I think it is a normal tendency to think back to those days in your mind. I guess you could call it a form of PTSD where things come back to haunt you because you can never really forget what you (and others) have been through. When I would get those thoughts I tried very hard to push them out of my mind and I had to keep reminding myself that Michael was not suffering any more. The whole year was hard-the first Christmas without him, his birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day--the list goes on. Somehow, just like you, we all managed to get through it.


    I think I had told you (I'm not sure) about the dinner in Michael's honor this past September that was a fundraiser by a family who had lost their daughter to cancer. They established a fund in her name and every year they select a family in need and they hold a fundraiser to raise money for them. The money raised this year will go to my daughter in law to help her in raising little Michael. As a thank you, I sent a gift basket to the family to tell them how touched we were that they selected Michael this year as the recipient. The dinner was unbelievable and we met such wonderful people. I just got a thank you card yesterday from the mom of the family. How beautiful it was! She said that we were now part of her family and she gave me her phone number and told me to call her any time. She told me that this coming week would be the 16th anniversary of her daughter DIna's death. She told me that she can still hear her voice and remember her beautiful face. And so, even though 16 years has gone by, she said she is still able to smile and remember the good times. By helping other families, she is able to continue her daughter's legacy. I saw her two children and husband at the dinner. They have grown up into wonderful young people with the help of their dad and the rest of the family. So this is what we both need to do-go on living the best we can for the sake of our sons and their children.

    It is funny, and I don't think it's by coincidence, that our circle keeps expanding and we meet others who have lived through similar experiences. First there was Karen and I, and then we met you, and then I met "Rene" who had also lost her child so many years ago. It is like God's message to us to show us that we are never alone in our troubles. Besides meeting people whose children's lives were touched by cancer or some other form of illness, I have met people whose children have committed suicide. A loss is a loss-the circumstances do not matter. That is why I think it is important that we all try to be kind to each other and help each other out. It would make the world a better place. I see too many people that get caught up in day to day nonsense, none of which is important. Anyway, I ramble on again.

    I was glad to hear that Karen's son was having better days and I know we will hear from her when she has time. I hope things continue to improve for you also. Both of you are in my prayers.


    Love, Jo






  • jfalcone2003
    6 years ago

    Dear Karen and Marie,

    Just wanted to wish both of you a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope that you are both well and I hope your families are well also. Please know that you are both in my thoughts and prayers every day. It's one of the things that I am so thankful for on this particular holiday--that I can call the both of you my friends.

    Love,

    Jo



  • mcpaul311
    6 years ago

    Jo&karin,sorry i haven't been in touch alot of stuff going on bit of a set back in grief process i will answer your post in more detail Jo hope everything is ok with both of you miss our conversations just been sad to be honest. The medical board has begun investigation into drs handling of the things that went wrong in hospital the imvestigator listened seemed compassionate&caring don't expect much but im glad its being looked into even tho it brought up alot of memories. Everything else that has gone on has upset me i have a great deal of anxiety right now. Ill be in touch soon. Much love, Marie

  • mcpaul311
    6 years ago

    Jo, im sory i haven't gotten back with you trying to work through some anxiety and alot of emotions i know you understand. I will be in touch soon you have been such a light in my life trying to get it together hope all is ok with you even when im not in touch i think of you and your strength everyday love marie

  • jfalcone2003
    6 years ago

    Marie. I am so sorry to hear about everything you are going through right now. Please take care of yourself. If you need someone to talk anytime please know I am here for you to help you in any way I can.

  • jfalcone2003
    6 years ago

    Please don't worry about getting back to me. Whenever you feel up to it I will be here.

    Love Jo

  • mcpaul311
    6 years ago

    Thanks jo,i will post in more detail soon going through step by step with nys medical board investigator was hard brought back alot of emotions. Ill be in touch soon. Thank you u have been a good friend and even tho we have nvr talked personally i consider you a person who i can trust and count on im working through it all. Thank you for ur support. God bless u and your family. Marie

  • mcpaul311
    6 years ago

    Hi Jo, Sorry its been awhile &i do miss our back&forth how your family is doing well. Things have been just depressing here if i want to be honest its hard for me to express myself as i get worried that I will upset other people I've been upset my grandson goes to school in PA i think i mentioned before that the part of NY i live in is abt 20minutes from PA border&after election he had a few things sd to him which is so sad because he is only in kindergarten. He was here with his dad &us over thanksgiving&hes such a bright bou very smart for his age hard to explain to him why classmates just 2 thankfully would tell him to go back to were he came from its hard for me being in ny abt 45min away not to worry about him. The other issue ive been dealing with is the medical board, i filed a complaint with them about Jordans care they assigned a investigator to his case&i was on the phone with her for quite a bit of time don't get me wrong, she was very compassionate&kind but it was difficult to go over those last days in the hospital. Im a realist i know that the odds are against anything going on drs record so i do not get my hopes up but at the same time she seems to be taking the case seriously &at this point thats enough for me. She was very concerned that he was suffering from mental issues under psychiatric care&they didn't keep me informed as they had permission to do so. Also some violations of hippa &other things. Jordans gf is working with another woman on awareness abt Addison disease & i will join in with that i didn't know she had found someone so that makes me feel good. I hope karen&her son are doing ok ive been out of touch with alot of people. How was your thanksgiving? I know holidays are a stark reminder of a person missing at the table&i did think about you ur daughter husband& grandkids plz let me know how YOU are doing so sorry its been awhile i miss our conversations&appreciate your friendship. Much love Marie

  • karenjoe1967
    6 years ago

    Marie, I am so sorry to hear that you are having a difficult time. I do believe that you and Jo are having a much more difficult time than I am right now. I will be walking on the same path with you when that time comes. I am so humbled by the fact that you are supporting me in the midst of your grief … especially during the holidays. I want to tell you, Marie, that as much as your are going through and with all the sadness you feel, I admire your monumental strength. You choose to continue to advocate for your son and fight for the rights of others who are the patients and caregivers in spite of the emotional pain it creates. Choosing to open a wound takes courage, but you have a heart for justice and advocacy. This Christmas I believe that you and Jo will receive gifts of love from God in hidden ways. He loves to use the hidden, unrecognizable, unpredictable ways to share His love. Much like the miracle of the Saviour of the world hiding within a vulnerable baby, born in a manger. Only those with eyes to see and hearts of love beyond this world recognized Him. So, I encourage you to look with your loving heart and eyes from above for hidden gifts that are priceless. Your son and Jo’s son whisper in God’s ear. I will write more later. You and Jo give me such comfort and strength. Bless you for that. Don’t give up the fight, Marie. You have a mission! Love, Karen

  • mcpaul311
    6 years ago

    Hi karen, just wanted to let you know ive been thinking about you &your son and thank you for your kind words and prayers. Praying for you & your son hoping that things are ok. It is so hard to watch our sons suffering i can't help but think about what you are going through sometimes holidays make things harder as we see others excited about celebrating &don't have the pain that we have to deal with on daily basis. I know everyone has their cross to bear but to watch your children suffer is a especially difficult road. Let me know how you are been thinking about you and jo. Love Marie

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    Dear Marie. It is good to hear from you. I hope things are better since we were in contact last. I can't even imagine how hard in must have been going back over the past when your son suffered so greatly when you were talking to the woman investigating his care. I know your son is so proud of you for advocating for him. If these doctors were at fault then hopefully you can prevent another family from going through what you did with their own loved one. And if it doesn't go anywhere then at least you know you tried. It took great strength to do that and I am so proud of you. I also know that it is a difficult time of year for both of us. I pray that the Lord will continue to give us the strength to get through the holidays. I miss Michael every single day but during Christmas and the other holidays it magnifies the loss even more. But we do it for our remaining children and grandchildren because that is what Christmas is about. Family.

    I know that Karen is going through a very difficult time right now. John is not doing well. Please keep her in your prayers. She needs us both now more than ever.

    Love

    Your friend Jo

  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Jo, its good to hear from you &u are so right holidays are difficult i try &on some days i do ok but for some reason i have the most difficulty when im out shopping first of all i have so many grandkids its difficult to concentrate &keep everything straight lol&then to be honest i see others shopping &seemingly so happy& excited &i get sad part of me knows that all people have their own private troubles but as selfish as it sounds it sometimes makes me sad logically its crazy because for alot of people holidays are stressful so no one really is not without their own problems. I think of you alot knowing how much you miss Michael &how hard it is your strength encourages me. Im sorry that things are not going well for karen i wish i could just give her a hug&just say we're here we care&we feel your pain just wish i could do more shes such a sweet person with a loving heart. It was hard to go thru it all with the lady from the medical board but she was kind &compassionate seemed like she was genuinely moved by what happened so im ok with what ever happens because in my heart i think she will try her best to make a effort on my sons behalf&is going to look&see if there have been other issues with specific dr&if there is none now they will keep Jordans case on file if someone else has issue. I told her the specialist was wonderful but called in too late im not a spiteful person if i thought for a minute that the dr fought for my son i wouldn't of done it but everyone with me saw what i saw so it doesn't have anything to do with the fact he died i hope it does prevent another tragedy. Please know i think of u&your family everyday altho sometimes i don't post your very special person&im grateful that you have come into my life. Love Marie

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    I am also grateful that you and Karen are in my life. A few other people made comments to me on this site. I responded to them but never heard from them again. Only the relationship between you and Karen and I has endured. Some people just aren't ready. God did bring the three of us together for a reason. To help us support each other. You have both helped me to heal and I hope I have helped you both too. I know our husbands suffer also and love and miss their sons. I just feel that a mother's love and suffering is different. I know my husband is still suffering greatly but he keeps everything inside and sometimes he won't even open up to me. He's better than he was a year ago. I think it is because I still work and he's retired and he has too much time to dwell on things. Hopefully when I retire in June things will be better. Anyway dear friend please keep in touch.

    Love Jo

  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Dear Jo, been thinking about you&jo alot this week,i think about the holidays and i know its a bitter sweet time. My husband is the same way if i didn't have you to understand i would of lost it. I guess men are different in how they deal but my husband he doesn't share his feelings&becsuse i knew no other person on this journey i think i was in a bad space missed him so much&felt alone so i agree noone else has stayed in touch with me either so God did plan this. I'm trying to finish up my shopping& get organized so many grandkids! Hope you are doing better than me im a doggone unorganized mess lol. I hope karen is doing ok so much to deal with i think about her a lot wish there was more i could do to support her. I know this time of yr is difficult if you have a need to unwind i don't mind listening please know that. Hope your family is well i know my grandkids are all wound up in excitement for santa. Remember what you told me take care of yourself es during this time of yr and i hope to hear from you soon. Some days are not ok ill be honest i don't think for any of us but i just let myself feel whatever smile &cry &do the best that i can. Love Marie

  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Jo,im sorry i didn't get back to you sooner i didn't hear or missed the notification get so many emails i cant say which es this time of yr. So sorry i always look forward to hearing from you! Marie

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    Marie. No need to apologize. I think we are all so busy especially around the holidays. When I hear from you or Karen I tell myself I'll sit down later and answer you both but sometimes the time slips away. Like you i am getting things together for the grandkids. They are so innocent and funny and filled with the fascination of Christmas. I don't know if your grandkids have their elf on a shelf. Every day I get reports where their elf has moved. If they misbehave sometimes I tell them I'm telling the elf to tell Santa they are being naughty and they better be good or else. Works every time.

    I wont lie to you when I say there aren't days that I feel Michael's loss more profoundly. Christmas was always his favorite holiday and it breaks my heart when he's not there when his little boy gets up Christmas morning. Last year my husband and I were there when he woke up and saw his presents. If my daughter in law wants us to we will do the same thing this year. I hope me telling you this doesn't upset you. I know you are going through the same thing. Hopefully we can give each other strength. I worry about Karen too. When I heard from her last John was not doing well and she was very down which is to be expected. She needs us both more than ever now. We have both walked down the same road and know what she is going through. Hopefully when she is up to it we will hear from her. I hope that her son is doing better. I keep you and Karen in my prayers and my heart every day. Please keep in touch dear friend

    Love. Jo

  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Hi jo, every time I think i have a minute to touch base with you something comes up. The grandkids Jordan's daughter are here alot i too have elf on the shelf altho i do not know how well he works lately they are so hyped up abt xmas& their mom and the girls been staying here alot shes pretty depressed with Jordan gone& first Christmas without her mom, i don't mind since it keeps me from thinking too much. I hope your daughter in law lets you share in xmas morning with your grandson i know it means so much to you&even tho its bitter sweet it helps ease the pain of michael not being there physically i know because you have convinced me they are still with us. Christmas is difficult i really used to just love it, my mom was the same way&it allowed for a excess of decor &just fun now i try & i either think of Jordan &it steals the joy&i still have a little guilt about allowing myself to get in the spirit when hes not here. I know its craxy and im working on it but its still there. My oldest son is still drinking way too much i worry about him his behavior is self destructive&his ex has legitimate complaints but as much as i try to stay neutral i know she does things to set him off. My husband & i been to his apartment several times trying to talk to him but its hard when your dealing with adult. I think of how much karen has to go through right now God bless her i wish there was something I could do. I don't want to rattle on i hope you feel comfortable enough to know if you are having a bad day or just want to tell me anything about Michael id love to listen, it is not a problem for me from my own experience i know people don't always want to hear our stories& are not comfortable es at Christmas so please i know you are strong you have given me strength but we all need to share with those who get it& its helped me so i don't want it to be one way street. Thinking of you & karen everyday even when i don't post. Merry Christmas they are with us in our hearts and in spirit. Love ur friend, Marie

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    Marie,

    So sorry it took me a while to get back to you. Busy with all the final preparations for Christmas. This is the holiday that was always "ours" that we got to spend with Michael and his family, as well as with my two sisters. All the other holidays were spent with my daughter in laws side when Mike was alive, but we learned to accept it to keep peace in the family for our son's sake. He was very easy going and he usually gave Carol Ann her way rather than fight with her. I was actually surprised that she and little Michael had Christmas dinner with us again this year.


    Everything went very well and the kids had a blast with all their toys. My sister's grandson came also so we had 5 little ones aged 2-6. As usual, MIchael's presence was felt deeply and we all remembered him, as well as his grandparents, who are all up with him in heaven. We did go over to Carol Ann's house Christmas morning so that we were there when he got up to open Santa's (and our) presents. I was glad we were there (as well as sad) since Michael wasn't there but we did it for both Michael and little Michael because I know that it where he would want us to be. It irritates me sometimes that he has another set of grandparents who should be there also but they don't even bother. All their other children still have spouses so I don't see why a light doesn't come on in their heads that maybe their grandson would love having all his grandparents there. It is so sad---they take all these family pictures like they are such a loving family but the opposite is true. They are a family of selfish, uncaring people. Michael accepted them for what they where and he was the bright light in that family. He even was friends with his alcoholic father in law who isn't even speaking to most of his own children. I try not to be bitter. Guess I just have to learn to let things go. Anyway, since Mike passed her family doesn't consider us family anymore anyway which is fine with me. All we care about is little Michael.


    We had all the kids send up their balloons to heaven on Christmas and they always get excited when we do that. Our Vicky found a feather right after they let go of the balloons and she got so excited--Uncle Mikey always sends us feathers so we know he is around.


    I'm so sorry that your older son is still having problems but you are doing the best that you can do, Like you told me before, you are dealing with an adult. I know how difficult it is deal with your son not being here, especially during the holidays, so we both try to do the best that we can do. This is a grief that will never go away--you just learn how to cope and go on the best you can. I won't lie to you--there were days leading up to the holidays that I would look at his pictures and start crying because he isn't here. I love the holidays, but I am also relieved somewhat when they are over. I don't think that will ever change. We do this mostly for our grandchildren. That is what is important. My older sister is going through a hard time right now with her oldest daughter being separated from her husband. It's a very difficult situation, with my niece leaving the house and getting an apartment and her two children staying in their house with the father. The children are experiencing many problems which the two parents are not addressing. My sister is devastated and I was glad she came here for Christmas (she lives in another state) and I was able to listen to her and offer some comfort. These are her only two grandchildren and she is hurting watching what everyone is going through. She herself has health issues. She has muscular dystrophy and is having so much difficultly walking now. All I can do is be there for her as she was for me when Michael was ill and then later when he passed.


    Sorry to lay all this on you. You have your own problems to deal with. I guess talking about things with a friend helps to make you feel better. Let's hope that the new year brings more joy and healing to both our families. I pray for Karen also that God looks out for and protects her family as well. I keep all of you in my prayers and I hope to hear from you soon.

    Love, Jo



  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Jo, i just wanted to drop you a brief post to say that please never apologize i don't mind at all to listen feel honored that you share the good &bad with me! Im so happy that you were there Christmas morning when you have sons it can be a little bit of wondering what they want to do with children &they have more control than if they where our daughters children. I'm glad your sister was with you it helps just to be together. Jordans girls spent Christmas eve here so that was really special to have them here Christmas morning since her mom passed i was more than happy to say yes when she asked so im grateful. I will write again soon, i just wanted to make sure that i got back to you to tell you that i love hearing from you &im grateful for our friendship. The holidays are definitely different but we carry on& find joy even in our sons heartfelt absence. Peace&love, marie

  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Jo, as i sd my post was short i just wanted to respond quickly to your post&let you know that im happy to share with you. Im sorry about your sister i took care of many people who had md its a terrible disease that has so many effects& even the meds can have difficult side effects to deal with. It can also cause depression its hard because you can be doing ok then out of nowhere get symptoms im sure she appreciates having you as a sister. I have a sister who had a stroke a few yrs ago, it left her with alot of difficulty in walking but since im always honest with you i will tell you that she can be difficult to deal with even before her stroke she has had a difficult life her husband died very young in his early twenties so i try to be patient &caring but she doesn't make it easy. Then when she upsets me i get upset with myself because she makes me feel a certain way towards her&i love her shes my sister but there is a long history of pretty narcissistic behavior. Its not just a problem with me im not the only one she upsets&i don't say these things lightly i wish it was different. Christmas i guess every day can be difficult when you have lost a child its always hard for me to find the balance, im sure you understand when i say the struggle with happiness still deal with the guilt of outliving my son when i find myself happy because of a small thing like finding the perfect gift or christmas decoration es on sale i think of him& i get sad &feel bad because hes not here i tell myself that is not what he would want but i struggle with it. Your son sounds like he was so unselfish& giving putting other people's happiness over his own a rare person in todays world. Im glad that it worked out &you were with his son on Christmas it would be so hard for me if not for grandkids to get thru the holidays. Not to rattle on i do it too, lll but my sister always manages to upset me es during the holidays its sad because of all she's gone through you would think shes be the most understanding but unfortunately shes not sometimes its the little things that get to me i guess. She never acknowledges anyones pain but her own&i want to emphasize i don't say these things lightly she lost her husband in 1978 we all helped raise her children i know i was there for her the only thing i feel bad about is being young at 18 & altho i was not close with his mother i didn't think about her pain as much as my sisters. This Christmas was good with my kids& grandkids but i think others don't realize how difficult it still is for me i hate even saying that i don't want anyone's pity i guess just acknowledgement he is gone&it still hurts es during the "happy" holidays. Just had to vent a little i know you understand. Think about you& karin everyday so glad i have you to listen& understand. Love&friendship,Marie

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    Dear Marie,

    I am so sorry to hear about your troubles with your sister. I think that there are many people like her. They see what they want to see and drown themselves in self pity and as you know that can be very self-destructive. My daughter in law can be like that sometimes (although she has gotten a little better over the past year) I know that she has lost her husband, but sometimes she forgets that we have lost our son and my daughter has lost her only sibling. I blame a lot of how she is on her own upbringing. She was raised in a family with an alcoholic father and her two parents hate each other but continue to live under the same roof. Two of her sisters don't talk to each other and one sister and her brother don't talk to their father. How can you grow up normal in a house like that? I doubt that your sister will ever change no matter what you do for her. If she continues to attack and upset you, then I don't think you should feel guilty about backing off from her a little. Like I always tell you, you need to take care of yourself first.

    We are both still grieving for our children and like you said we are not expecting anyone's pity. Like you, there are days that I struggle because my son is no longer here with me. There is a hole in our family that will remain there until we are all together again in Heaven. My grandchildren are the main reason I keep going and they make me smile and laugh and they have helped me so much in recovering from my loss. I know you feel the same way.

    I looked at what happened over the past week when Carrie Fisher died and the next day her mom Debbie Reynolds died. I know that the mom was having serious health problems, but I seriously felt that after her daughter died, her grief was so great that she probably asked God to allow her to go and be there with her. I'm not saying that our sons would have wanted us to follow them--they still know that we have work to do down here. But it is an example of how strong a mother's love is. I read that her son said that when they were at the cemetery the family was looking at the right site that they wanted to bury Carrie and Debbie. He said that his mother loved hummingbirds and she used to see hummingbirds in her yard every morning. When they came to a particular site in the cemetery, he saw a flock of hummingbirds land on one of the sites he was considering and they just stayed there. He knew that this was a sign from his mother and sister that this is where they should be buried. Remember what I always told you about signs? Guess it happens to the rich and famous too. A friend of mine told me recently that the day her grandmother died she had come home and she saw a dove sitting on her front porch. It stayed there for a while with her and then flew off. She always told me that she felt it was a sign from her grandma. So please keep looking for signs from your son--he is still with you even though you can't see him.

    Please continue to take care of yourself too and try to not let negative people get to you. We all experience them every day. They are not worth our time and trouble. My brother in law, who is quite well off, always goes on about how to make more and more money. It is a sickness for him. I get so tired of listening to him that I try to avoid him as much as I can. What good is money? I am not saying I want to struggle--I just want to be able to pay my bills and keep a roof over my head. Would being a millionaire have helped me save my son? He just doesn't get it. So what I'm saying is to try to live your live the best you can and try to be happy. Enjoy your loved ones and try the best to help them as best as you can, but not at the expense of your own physical and mental health. And not need to apologize about venting your frustration--I do the same thing to you. That is what friendship is all about.

    Anyway, I just want to wish you a Happy New Year and I hope that 2017 is better for us all. Please keep in touch and as always, I keep you and Karen in my prayers every day.

    Love, Jo



  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Jo, you always have such inspirational stories they do give me hope i think i told you about how my granddaughters special tree so forgive me if I have it a tree you can sit in & has low branches she hang things for her daddy in the tree one day i stepped out on the deck to hear you begging jesus to just let her daddy come see her for a little while, needeless to say i had to step back in house before i called her in when I did have her come in we were washing dishes&there the hummingbird appeared at kitchen window i told her it was her daddy coming to stay hello it was her answer the only way he could come so i too look for these signs i noticed a few times over the summer when the rest of my sons would come for cookout a hawk would swoop around &around the yard flying lower &lower before taking off. So i find the winter a bit depressing with the darkness coming early&not much outside but like you i have the rest of my family. I also found the story about debbie Reynolds so touching we both know the feeling but i also know im still needed badly my sons childrens mother is a sweet girl but alone didn't have much of a childhood& is struggling so i know she needs me just as whether she wants to admit or not your daughter in law no that Michael needs you. I dont know if you ever read website refuge in grief i read something yesterday that touched me i want to pass it on it read Small thing such as this have saved me:how much i loved my mother..even after all these years. How powerfully i carry her within me. My grief is tremendous but my love is bigger. So is yours,you are not giving your son's death because it is ugly& unfair. You are greiving it because you loved him truly. The beauty of that is greater than the bitterness of his death. Its a excerpt from the obliterated place by cheryl strayed it was a good day for me to read this because the holidays are hard & i don't want to be bitter but when people who are close to me call to say merry Christmas or happy new year without bringing up my son it makes me feel like they act like he never was so i do have to fight being bitter on occasion its a process& your a help. Ive gone on enough but nxt time i will explain the situation that occurred with my sister i don't ever not want to be a compassionate& caring person because of what happened. Ive kept you long enough thank you as always. Love ,Marie

  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Jo, i just wanted to say thank you last year as it was probably the same way with you xmas came so quickly after our sons death i was still numb...this year as im trying to be more engaged i feel myself fighting a little bit of bitterness some because of actions of others,some because tragedy can do that regardless i don't ever want to be a bitter &angry person who lacks empathy for other so i kind of hash it over with you,& you have your own pain please don't think that I don't think about you and your loss. I know noone in same position so if i rattle on please forgive me&always know im aware of the pain &the never ending longer you have to be able to see Michael. Thanks for being there& God bless you &your family this new year. Love,Marie

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    Dear Marie,

    Sorry it took a while to get back to you. It's been snowing here all day. Not a monster storm, but enough to have to shovel--maybe 5 or 6 inches. Did you get any snow by you? I agree that winter is a depressing time for me also. I prefer the spring and summer and hate the cold. I have asthma, so when it is very cold I stay inside. Like you, I did enjoy the holidays but I am glad they are over. I agree with you that there are some are people who avoid bringing up Michael's name during the holidays, but I am fortunate to have some family and friends that talk about Michael all the time. I talk about my son endlessly, especially with the children. I want him to still be a part of our lives even though he is not here physically. My grandchildren love to talk about their Uncle Mikey--when the weather was nice I would usually take the kids for a "nature walk" and many times we would find our feathers. Vicky would always tell me that she would ask her uncle to send her a feather and she would always bring it home to put in her "special box".

    I know that you said that you don't know people in the same position as us who have lost their child, but I know some other people who have also lost their children. One is a friend who retired a few years back who lost a son in his 40's from a heart attack. Another is the wonderful woman whose family set up a fund in their daughter's name that helps families from the community. This is the group that honored my son last year and they gave my daughter in law a check for $30,000 from the fundraiser to help towards raising little Michael. I have become friends with her since then. She told me that daughter Dina was pregnant with her second child and they found out that she had cancer. She passed away a short time after her little girl was born and died before her daughter's first birthday. It's been 16 years and she told me that it still feels like it happened yesterday and she still misses her deeply. She said that she has learned to go on for the sake of her family, but she said that the grief you feel never goes away and you just learn to live with it. By helping others in need every year, through her daughter's fund, she said she feels that this is a way she can celebrate her daughter's life.

    And so all I can say is that we need to be there for each other to help us get through the pain. We will never forget our sons--but we should continue to celebrate their lives. There will be some days that will be harder than others but we will manage to get through them. I think of Karen every day because you and I both know what she is going through right now. Hopefully we can help her in some way just by being there for her.

    I want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year and I hope that 2017 is a better year for us all.


    Love, Jo

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    Dear Marie

    I know you must be busy with all the little ones. I just want to keep you updated on Karen. In addition to the houzz site we also correspond with each other by email. I heard from her the other day. She is very down. Her son john is not doing well and they had to take him to emergency room over a week ago for severe pain. She said he has lost more weight, has no appetite and basically sleeps most of the time. I feel so bad for her and I know that there

    isn't much I can do other than listen. I know that you, like me, can understand what she is going through. She said that she cannot even get herself to go on the houzz site. I just wanted you to keep her in your prayers as I'm sure you always do. I will keep you updated when I hear from her again

    Love

    Jo


  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Jo, thank you for that and i will keep her in my prayers its overwhelming for her im sure & i wish there was something more we could do. You are right had a grandchild here everyday for the last couple of weeks & its been little stressful to be honest. I will talk to you more when i have a little more time i always look forward to hearing from you&i will get back to you soon please tell karen i am thinking & praying for her. I will post more soon love, Marie

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    I'll definitely let her know that you are in her thoughts and prayers. Talk to you soon

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    Dear Marie

    i know you are very busy taking care of the grandchildren. I just wanted to let you know that I heard from Karen. She is doing a little better. John had a problem with his pain medication. That is why he was feeling so "out of it". The doctors adjusted his meds and he is doing better now.

    i just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers as always. Keep in touch when you have a free minute

  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Dear Jo, sorry I haven't been in touch i have been crazy busy &honestly bit depressed lately but I'll be ok. Im so glad karens son is doing better & thx u for letting me know i do think about you&her every day even when im not touch. I went to a restaurant while back when my cousin was in town the people at the table next to us were very happy that the pipeline was going to be started again my cousin & i were talking about drug addiction & how in my opinion this country has to decide whether if its a disease should we throw people who are just users not dealers in jail as opposed to treatment they must of picked up on our conversation because one of them stated loudly that his emt friends were sick of saving the same addicts over&over from overdose & mused about driving very slow hoping that repeat calls are dead so they don't have to keep wasting their time on them i was so upset to be honest& i guess lately I've been very upset by such a attitude & lack of compassion in country its not like i don't have some conservative beliefs myself i pretty down the middle but i just lately see so much anger it scares me if we can't agree to disagree& believe that we all want the same things for our country maybe just have different ideas of how to get there upsets me but when i think of the parents from every background that have lost their children to addiction it just makes me sad. Im fearful of my grandchildrens future so yes ive been depressed. My sons children are having hard time financially also so im trying to help get her&them out of housing project because its not safe unfortunately my son never worked so they get no ss when he died& that was were she had to move the city sd that they had increased security by there have been break ins so in the process of trying to find her new place. I hope you and your family are ok i can give u my email although im not good at computer stuff im a much better texter so if you would like to communicate that way i can give you my email or ph one reason i dont post as much as i like is because its on my phone & my eyes go buggy. But like I sd you are always in my thoughts. Love ur friend, marie

  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Jo, i also have facebook pg but i have no friends lol cuz i haven't taught myself how to use it i think i was born in wrong era im a mess with technology. Love u

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    Dear Marie,

    It is so good to hear from you. I know that you have been so busy helping out your family. I hope that you are able to find a safer place for your son's children soon. I agree with you that while there are many good people out there (look at the peaceful protests around the country and the world who are fighting for rights for refugees , women, LGBT) there are many people who don't know the meaning of the word compassion. I have friends who have lost a child from drug overdoses, and I have others whose children have become addicts but who have recovered and are drug free. These are not people who are "white trash" but who come from loving, close families. For someone to say that they are a waste of their time and they should be allowed to die--that person is in the wrong line of business. And this person was talking about his friends who were EMTs. Maybe he shouldn't express the opinions of other people who aren't even there.

    I do not get involved in political discussions with anyone, although I will admit that I did not vote for our current President. I am willing to give him a chance like we give all our Presidents. I just feel that he has tapped into all the anger that many people in this country feel. Many people feel anger over just about anything, but I feel that these people were always angry but now they feel entitled to spread that anger. I can imagine how you felt when that person made his remark but remember that for this person to react to a private conversation that was none of his business--it just shows you how bigoted and arrogant this person always was.

    I think your suggestion to exchange cell phone numbers/email addresses is a good idea. My email address is jfalcone2003@yahoo.com and my cell number is 516-650-9729. Karen has my email address and I just gave her my cell phone number also You are right--it is so much easier that typing on these little phones and it saves the time of logging on to Houzz sight. I'm not on Facebook although my daughter keeps pushing me to do it. I'm not good at this social networking stuff.

    My family has been doing well. We've just been dealing with the winter colds and stomach viruses (we just went through round 2 on that one) Nothing serious, thank God. Anyway, I hope to hear from you again when you have a chance.


    Love,

    Jo






  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Dear jo, thank you for understanding i am a bit of political junkie honestly used to enjoy the back&forth love history etc didn't vote for him like u i wanted to give him a chance but hr seems to confirm the reasons why s starting to cause me anxiety i probably should stay off political sites pretty hateful stuff my sister told me stop going on them because its making me nervous wreck lol my phone 607 259 0088 & email mcpaul311@gmail.com. get in touch with anytime i think my facebook pg is public marie christine paul it just has my boys and grandkids maybe one photo of me i haven't gotten as far as accepting friends so glad we exchange numbers it will be easier take care and look forward to hearing from you give my love and prayers to karen . Love&friendship marie

  • Cindy Wyman
    5 years ago

    My son is 36 years old. He just got married in August and by Christmas he was diagnosed with ALS. He is not doing well! My heart is breaking watching my son gradually die. I don't know how I am going to survive it all.

  • karenjoe1967
    5 years ago

    Cgwyman2... It was in the fall of 2015 that I found this thread of communications from others, like myself, who are experiencing the horrible diagnosis of a serious illness of their adult child. It punches you in the gut and causes feelings you never knew you had. I understand that feeling of not knowing how you will survive. It isn't by accident that I found your post. Fast forward to the present. Our son may last one week. He is in his home under hospice care. His birthday is Easter Sunday. He will be 47. I have been given so much support by Jo and Marie who I met on this site. I would love to extend my hand of support to you. It is possible to walk through this difficult time without losing everything. Without losing joy. You will find yourself changed but not in despair. Let me know if you would like to connect. I will get back with you as quickly as I am able considering our son's impending death. Bless you. Have hope and be strong. Karen

  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Hi cgwyman, i am sorry to hear about your son i worked in health care and I know how heartbreaking the diagnosis is i lost my son august 19 2015 from addisons disease which you rarely die from so his loss was very unexpected but it devasted me. Karen is right you will find support here i honestly believe that we share a bond with each other and truly understand each others pain. If you need to talk reach out we are here God bless we are here. Jo & karen have been there for me in my darkest moments. MARIE

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hello cgwyman. Karen and Marie have all spoken of the relationship we now share together that began when we met on this site. As Karen has told you, she is preparing for the passing of her own son. Marie's son passed in the same month as our son, August 2015. Our son, who was 37, found out that he had an extremely rare and aggressive form of lymphoma, called Mantle Cell Lymphoma. His sickness came on quickly on New Year's Day, 2015. and by August 30, 2015 he passed away. He left behind a wife and 3 year old son.

    Although we have yet to meet in person, Karen, Marie and I have developed a strong friendship. We share the same common bond of our sons. As Karen said, you will experience many feelings over time, and it helps to connect with others who have already been down that path. I would like to offer my support as well. Please know that I will be there for you, along with my two other dear friends, to help you in any way we can.

  • Cindy Wyman
    5 years ago
    Dear Jfalcone2003,mcpaul311, karenjoe1967,

    Thank you so much for opening up your hearts and listening to all my tears. I am so happy I can upon your site. I know I need the support from others.

    For those unfamiliar, ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, affects the motor neurons in a person's brain and spinal cord, causing muscles to rapidly waste away. ALS patients don't, however, experience any deterioration of the mind, and instead must endure remaining totally aware as the disease robs them of all bodily functions. Unfortunately, after only a few months after diagnosis, Gary is already experiencing major deterioration in his speech, his ability to walk and even simply buttoning his clothes. While there's hope for treatment and remission for those suffering with cancer, there is no stopping ALS. Once it hits it keeps progressing until the person afflicted is paralyzed and unable to communicate entirely. The life expectancy is 2-5 years.

    For Gary, what should have been the beginning of his life as a husband, has now turned into a terrifying reality. Every day he must overcome a new struggle and adjust his routine accordingly. Gary already needs help doing even the simplest of tasks, whether it's opening a jar, brushing his hair, or getting dressed. And the nightmare only continues. Soon, Gary will be wheelchair bound. In the next couple of weeks he will have a feeding tube inserted because he is having a difficult time swallowing. He will require the care of an in-home nurse to assist his wife in making sure his needs are met. His medical bills will continue to pile up. He'll no longer be able to walk, speak, and even breathe without assistance.

    I am really struggling. I go to a women's bible study every week and get a lot of support. I know we all have struggles in our lives, but watching your child gradually die is so much worst than anything else. I don't want to be a member of this group.

    My son and I have had a few difficult years together. He just recently shared some of his angry feelings and I left his house carrying all of them heavy on my shoulders. I ask God why now. We both need this time to resolve our differences. As a mom I thought I showed Gary how much I loved him, but I must not have done a great job at it. I need this time to show him how important he is to me and how deep my love is for him.

    I have always believed myself to be a strong woman, but never did I think something like this would happen to my child. I now have moments where I find it difficult to breathe. The pain of watching Gary go through this is so intense that it feels as if I have a knife jabbed into my heart and it's being twisted around and around and around. I am able to hold it together and not be overly emotional while around him, but this is not true during other times of my day. I not sure how to feel or what to do. Warmly, Cindy
  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    Dear Cindy,

    I am glad that you decided to return back to this site. I am also glad that you are part of a bible study group that is there for you to provide support. Karen, Marie and I are also part of a "group" that no one wanted to be part of but which eventually turned in to a life saver for the three of us. We all feel that God chose to draw us all together so that we would be there to help each other. As we mentioned before, Marie's son and my son have already passed, and Karen's son will pass in the very near future. Karen will probably share this with you as time goes along, but she also lost a grandson less than a month ago.

    The anger that you and Gary are experiencing now is completely normal. After receiving such a terrible diagnosis, any person (as well as their loved ones} have the need to let their feelings out. I am ashamed to admit this, but in the beginning I blamed God for making my son sick, and I questioned my faith at that point. I asked him why he would take my only son and make him suffer with this terrible disease. I felt that my prayers weren't being answered and that God was ignoring me. As time went on my feelings changed. I came to realize that God does not make people sick, and I know that he has been with me every step of the way. You wonder how you will get through this, and I tell you now that your faith in God will help you in this terrible time.

    As I mentioned before, our Michael was only 37 when he became ill. Like Gary, he was just starting out on his new life. He was only married 5 years by the time he passed, and his little boy was only 3. I won't go into the details right now, but his illness and death was not an easy one. He suffered terribly at the end. While not a day goes by that I do not think of my son, I have learned to go on because that is what Michael would have wanted.

    Please never think that you failed in some way in being a good mother. Your son has to pass through this angry stage, and sometimes the one that they lash out at are those they love the most. Give it some time and your son will come around because he needs his mom. I know how medical bills can pile up because our Michael was not able to work. My husband and I helped as best we could, but my daughter (my only other child) set up a GoFundMe page which she posted on Facebook. She was able to raise almost $27,000 that he was able to use for medical bills and home expenses. Perhaps someone in the family could do that for Gary. While you hear so many terrible things going on throughout our country today, you will find that there are still many good people out there with generous hearts who are willing to help someone in need.

    I don't want to ramble on too much right now. Please continue to visit this site anytime you feel the need, even if it's just to tell us how your day is going. I promise you that the three of us will be there for you whenever you need us.

    Josephine










  • mcpaul311
    5 years ago

    Dear cywyman2, i am glad that you have honored us by sharing your story believe me i understand guilt i was consumed by it by the time i reached out here on this site out of pure desperation because i knew no one that had gone through what i had &i never felt so alone in my life, i am so thankful that jo& Karen responded to me because I was really in a bad space. Please don't feel guilty as mothers we all do the best we can & i think all of us would of traded our lives for our sons. My sons life was very complicated he struggled with emotional issues as a result of a brain injury he received in car accident & when he was diagnosed with Addison disease he didn't always listen to drs orders he was in&out of hospital & eventuality developed diabetes from the steroids he had to take for his addisons disease. He checked himself into the hospital walking&talking& 2days later he was dead he died a horrible painful death& the care he received was not up to par so i have tremendous guilt to because by the time i realized that things were going horribly wrong it was too late. As i sd i worked in health care so i am familiar with ALS you are correct it a particularly cruel disease as your mind is not affected but your body is ravaged people are not really aware of how horrible it is for the person as their body becomes their own prison. We are all here for you& your beautiful son i hope you continue to stay in contact there is not one of us who would not try to be there for you i know everything is difficult right now everything from finances to emotions my husband & i have to help his daughters as my son was on disability never could work so they do not get ssi benefits its all difficult somedays still just waking up &realizing hes still gone. You have a difficult road that no mother no one deserves to walk it is so hard to feel helpless as our children suffer. We are here for you and please feel free to reach out to me anytime your not alone. Marie

  • Cindy Wyman
    5 years ago
    Dear Josephine, Karen and Marie
    Thank you so much for letting me vent my feelings.
    Thursday night was a big benefit fundraiser for my son. There was over 1000 people in attendance. This benefit was all put together by his friends. I'm sure the amount of donations they received was a lot and will help with his medical bills.
    It is amazing at the number of people that love and care for him. Many of them approached me to share wonderful things about Gary Lee. I was so happy, but at the same time I was so angry. I don't want this benefit, I want God to make my son healthy. I watch all the people around me laughing and having a good time. I'm angry because life is so bright for them, but for my son and our family it's not that way.
    My son came over to my Inlaw family for Easter. He is not the same man. It is difficult for him to speak. He has to take a deep breath to push the words out of his mouth. My son is normally the life of the party, now he is totally the opposite. I'm watching him listen to everyone and just watching the happenings going on.
    My family and my husband's have no idea of the fear and pain we are living. I am just trying to hold it together and get through this day
  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    Cindy,

    I know how difficult it is to see others going on with there lives, oblivious to the pain that you, your son and your family are going through. I used to be very bitter about it in beginning, asking why was son, who had his whole life ahead of him, stricken with this terrible disease? What made me change is watching how my Michael attacked his cancer with such courage and determination, refusing to give up. He fought until the very end. Along the way, he joined a cancer support group of his own. He told me how he made friends with so many people stricken with different kinds of cancer, most of them young people like him. He told me that it helped him so much because he felt less alone being in contact with people who were fighting the same fight. This is why, after he passed, I joined this site and this is how I found Karen and Marie. Over the nearly two years that Michael has been gone, I have met so many people who have lost a grown child, some from cancer or some other terrible disease, some from suicide, some from drugs. Tragedy strikes so many families, yet we are unaware of it until it hits our own family. I have also met some wonderful people along the way, people who open their hearts to extend a helping hand---people like Karen and Marie. Hopefully, your family and your husband's family will come around and be there to support you. When you are able to, perhaps you can share your feelings with your family members so that they know how you feel. People tend to get wrapped up in their own lives sometimes--I guess it is human nature. The only advice I can give you right now is to take things day by day. That is all you can do. Whenever you need to vent, then do so. You need to get your feelings out and not keep them trapped inside of you. Karen, Marie and I want to be able to help you in any way we can. Please keep in touch.

    Josephine

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    Cindy.

    I was just thinking about you today and I was wondering how you are doing. Just know I am here for you if you need me.

    Josephine

  • Marc RG
    5 years ago

    I am very sorry for your loss.

  • jfalcone2003
    5 years ago

    Thank you very much.

  • Ronnie Prater
    4 years ago

    Is anyone left on here for support? Havent seen any post in a while

  • JoAnn_Fla
    4 years ago

    I still check in