Any soul survivors due to recent loss??

marksfJanuary 1, 2009

Is anybody else on this forum the last remaining family member due to a recent loss ????? If so I could really use some advice on getting back on track!!!!

It's especially hard for me now, I had a small family to begin with consisting of my mother, older brother and me. We all had health problems but moms and brothers were the worst and I was caregiver but lookin back I feel I could've done better. We lived in a condo together and turned the downstairs into a hospital bedroom for mom until she started having frequent mini-strokes and had to have 24hr. care, then her cancer returned and took her in 2004. While it was tough I had my older brother Mike 58 to console me Mark 54 but we both grieved constantly, after all we were all we had left except for our kids and Mike's were kind of far away and didn't care to visit because of his cirohsis and they didn't like seeing him that way (geee)

Mike's cirohsis got much worse and we fought to get him on Johns Hopkins Liver transplant list,but after taking all tests we didn't hear anything back from them after making many attempts. My brothers ability to walk with his walker now was seriously in jeopardy now and I was in a constant state of denial and when I got flashes of his passing I got mentally upset and lost my ability to deal with the my caregiving duties until I gathered myself. I couldn't face the possibility of my brothers death and me being completely alone so I blocked it out totally.

That weekend I was helping him back from the bathroom and he stsrted talking and not making any sense and after several attempts he managed to tell me to call rescue, but I remembered the last time this happened he responded to me when raising my voice and kinda snapped back but it didn't work this time, my brother fell into coma and passed 2 weeks later. He was so much to me because we lost our dad when I was 11 and he was 15 and I looked to him as father figure and then we became work partners and later to become growing old together until now. He was always there for me and we both realized we were all that remained from our deceased parents and tried to console each other but he always seemed to keep calm where I had anxiety and he calmed me down.

I am totally by myself now and feel like I am loosing it because I feel I should've paid more attention to those feelings I had that Mike was nearing death instead of blocking them out, I should've had him re admitted back to the hospital even though I had just brought him home a week ago. Then He had a few good days to make me think he wasn't getting worse and the back and forthness of this disease drove me to the brink and I would find my ability to deal with his next downturn almost impossible because that sinking feeling of the worst reality that my brothers death returned made me want to knock it away and made me lose my temper knowing I was loosing the battle.

Since his passing on October 18 I constantly have feelings of guilt like something I did or didn't could've prevented his coma and I keep replaying it over in my mind constantly, and the constant solitude is neverending, but when I try to go outside I feel like the "Stranger in a Strange Land" and hurry to get back home where no-one is.

I agree with the other poster that this is the worst year of my life and after 2 1/2 months since my brothers passing I can't tell if I am making any progress in my grieving because being totally alone it's so hard to tell. I saw my kids for a few hours for a late Christmas visit because they always visit their mom and her most recently divorced husband for the holidays first, and I could tell they were slowly getting bummed out by me and my problems but I guess I have to try and pretend I feel alright.

I am sorry for everyones losses and I hope the New Year is a better one and I thank you for listening and welcome any and all responses.

Sorry for the long read


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Mark -

I'm sorry for your losses, but I don't think that it is healthy for you to blame yourself nor riddle yourself in guilt over your brother's death. It was just his time.

My mom is currently in hospice and I am sure she doesn't have too much time left. It's very sad to watch her deteriorate. My father and my only sibling have already passed and I don't have any children, so I do know the emptiness of not having any family. It's a very sad and lonely feeling being the only one left, but it just is what it is. I know that it's not always easy, but I try to occupy my time by learning new things. I'm not avoiding my feelings, but at the same time I am not letting them consume me. Perhaps there is something you've always wanted to do, but never had the time for it. Now's your chance. You may also want to think about getting a pet. Also, you still have your kids and maybe when you are feeling less sad you can spend more time with them. It sounds like you didn't have much time for them with all of the care giving you were doing.

Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 3:05PM
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Hope your mom is comfortable and thanks for the pep talk. Believe me, I don't like blaming myself because it's not christian-like for one but being a good caregiver for a loved one involves alot of research and not just listening to the patient. My mother had a few mini-strokes at home while careing for her and I guess since my brothers coma was similar in the beginning I flashed back to the same loosing feelings.

Just wanted to talk with another who's in a similar situation and I wish the best for you and your mom.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 10:45PM
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Hi Mark,

Thank you for your words too. The loss of your brother is really quite recent, so be easy on yourself. I obviously didn't know him, but I would bet that your brother wouldn't want you to blame yourself for anything either. I'm sure he would probably like you to grieve for as long as you need, but not so much that you let your life pass you by. Hang in there. -Geri

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 11:32PM
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It is human to have the feelings your having. Not having anyone left in the family is a very sad feeling. My dad lost his brother in 2006, dad wasn't doing well himself and it was in the winter when my uncle past, so dad didn't go to the funeral. They lived next door to each other and cared for each other. My uncle past suddenly with no signs of being ill. My dad felt guilty and I'd tell him there was nothing he could have done.
After my uncles passing I have been the only care giver to my dad. The first two years wasn't to bad. I would go over to his home, do all his errands make doctor appointments and sometimes he'd need to go to the ER for one thing or another, but mostly his heart.
Last Sept. he had congestive heart failure and had to have a pace maker put in. I knew he would be able to care for himself alone and I cannot care for him by myself. I knew I would need outside help. Dad was taking his medicines the way he seen fit not how they are suppose to be taken and he would not listen to me no matter how many times I talked to him about it.
I had to place him into a nursing home and it has been the worst thing I've had to go through.
I only have two kids and two grand kids, they are busy living their own life. I don't see them nearly as much as I would like to but it is what it is.
You did everything you could, what your feeling is normal and you would benefit going to meeting for grieving both your mom and brother.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 9:40PM
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I know how hard it is when you realize your dad needs more care than you can provide and you have to place him in a nursing facility. Before neiher of their passing when my brothers cirohsis first accelerated, mom started having mini-strokes and my brother and I had to place her in a nursing facility. That started me on a pretty deep depression because we were very close and it was so hard to say goodbye after a visit plus the constant worrying along with the feelings of guilt. Try and do neat things with your dad when you visit (we use to play cards with mom outside in the garden area) If his health is good enough, take him out to a movie or a meal if possible. (our mom had a feeding tube so we couldn't take her off the premises but she would've liked it)

Your dad will make some new friends after a period of adjustment and you your wife and kids will begin to feel better when visiting him. It's hard to not feel guilty and will take alittle time but at least he's at a place where he can get immediate medical attention if needed.

I pray alot and attend a church grief class weekly, I could never see myself doing that before and wish I had of, but I can only go a day at a time.

God Bless

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 11:49PM
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I am so sorry for your loss. You have been a caregiver for so long that you don't know what to do. You have to start living for yourself. Glad to hear that you are going to grief classes. Try to get out and do things that you always wanted to but didn't have the time.

It is natural to think that you should have done this or that. My mom passed in May and seemed to be fine except at times couldn't breathe. She had COPD. Well the last time she went to the hospital they told my brothers that she shouldn't be alone. My dad passed in July of 07. I live 140 miles away and the caregiver for my husband (MS). She came to stay with me until she got her strength back. She was here a week and 1/2 when she couldn't breathe again even tho her doctor had given her oxygen. She was in the hospital for 2 days and doing fine. They called and said she was in ICU and things went from bad to worse because they didn't do some tests they should have etc. Anyway she ended up dying 6 weeks later and I have been going through that if only but I did the best I could with what I knew and have to believe that it was her time. You have to do the same thing with your brother as you were getting flashes and I believe that God is trying to get you ready.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 12:39PM
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Thanks dd50,

I see you have been a caregiver for your family also and know that losing your mom and dad so close together is a tough one especially while caring for your husband. It just seems like the tasks are hard enough but then with losses on top of them seem to test what faith we have until we work on that too. It just seems like friends want to help but when you start telling them the details of the hurting they get uneasy of course.

Yes the grief classes have a definite role in my mental health and not ashamed to admit it. My brother went into coma without any warning while we were trying to discuss things which I truly believe could have been avoided if the transplant committee had communicated with us instead of loosing his paperwork and not calling. I accept that it was his time but believe we could have made his passing better for him.

Thanks for your kind and helpful words and Gods strength continues to be with you and help you.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 1:15PM
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Just found this site. It's Thanksgiving in Canada. I hate any holiday. My Dad died when I was12 leaving me behind with a terminal sister and a mother with a serious genetic illness that is degenerative and very unpleasant. He was 42. Sister died 6 years ago (I think). I try to forget. I had to make the decision to up the morphine and take out the iv for fluids. She died a week later in front of me. 4 years passed and then my mother had a massive stroke and an agonizing couple months later she died in front of me. I signed for her to leave the hospital, found a home nurse and This time had to go pick up the morphine. I have no siblings and no family in the country. Two aunts in england. I'm 31 now and single. I often wonder what I did to deserve this. I'm thankful for a good job and money to do what I want. Reading some of the stories on here has made me feel better so thank you. I want to be happy so hopefully this helps.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 10:55PM
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