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I lost my friend a month ago  
Started by beanie722
26 Apr 2014, 8:29 PM
Hi, I am new here and to all of this. late dec/early jan my friend found her armpit to be swollen ( no visual lumps). I had told her to go see a doctor that it may just be a lymph node that is infected or blocked. Many doctor app and scans later On Jan 31 2013 I was with my friend at the doctors when he dropped the C bomb on us. More testing showed it was melanoma that was in her lymph node. 2 Chemo cycles and 1 extreme raditaion cycle. She passed away on March 8 2014. It was a crazy road. Full of fears and questions. Trying to find things that will help or even just comfort. What foods to eat what not to eat. Different messages to relax and relieve. being by her side every minute that I wasn't working. Do I push or do I support. Through out the whole thing people would ask me how I was and what I needed but my only responds was I come later. But when later came people just said get over it and move on. She wouldnt want you to do this or be sad. I dont think I have question ( I do but I am not sure what they are right now) more so than just wanting to find people to relate to......
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Reply by KathCull_admin
26 Apr 2014, 9:06 PM
Hi Beanie722,
Welcome to our community. You have come to the right place to find support and caring people.

My sympathy to you in the loss of your friend. You were with her through so much and I am sure you miss her even more because you spent so much time together.  There is never enough time is there? What a gift your being there for her must have been. But what a loss for you.

I know others in this virtual community will be able to understand what you are feeling - and when you said, "I do but I am not sure what they are right now" - it makes complete sense to me. 

Are there family or friends who live close to you?  
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Reply by marstin
26 Apr 2014, 11:40 PM
Hi Beanie722,

My heart goes out to you. When we are faced with hearing that dreaded diagnosis and have to witness someone we love go through so much when fighting it, our lives are put on hold and we are never the same again.  My partner Len was diagnosed with bladder cancer in January 2012 and we lost him on July 15, 2012. You become so focused on caring for this person that everything else takes a back seat to it.

When the fight is over you are left trying to pull your life back together. I think that unless people have travelled down this road they truly have difficulty understanding how difficult the aftermath is. You have put so much into trying to save this person and still you end up losing them. You witnessed many things that your mind is still trying to make sense of. It is a very long, difficult journey. Talking it out with others who understand what it is like is a step in the right direction. I think you will find it echoed so often on this forum, how deserted people feel when the people they hope will support them through it seem to turn their backs on you. I don't think any of us can understand why. Each of us grieves differently but we all have to grieve to be able to heal. People telling you that she wouldn't want you to be sad, doesn't help a thing. You ARE sad and there is nothing wrong with it. Tonight I am going to an anniversary party for the parents of a boyfriend of mine who passed away 30 years ago. I know the painful subject will come up and there will be tears. Feelings of grief never really go away, they just become a little easier to deal with.

What I want you to know is that there is nothing wrong with how you are feeling. You just need somewhere to turn and people who can bring you support. We are here for you.

Hugs,
Tracie
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Reply by Digger
27 Apr 2014, 3:09 PM
Welcome to this discussion forum Beanie722. You have landed in a good place to maybe begin to explore / unpack some of what has happened to you as a care-giver and companion. You are not alone.

I like your words, 'do I push or do I support'. I can relate to them, i think we all can. When should we do or not do something? When should we go all out or stop the interventions? And so on.  There is no real guide to dying and sometimes all we can do is show up and be present. You did that.

Now comes the integration and self-care. You have gained valuable experience and you will not 'get over it' but you will move on. 'Later' can seem tentative and scary at times - giving it a voice helps.

Dale
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Reply by beanie722
28 Apr 2014, 1:44 AM
Thanks for all your kind words. There are friends and family here but we are all dealing so differently with it that it is hard to be there for one another right now. I have friends I can talk to and be with but no one really who " gets it". I am regrouping and trying to find myself again. How I feel is not what I thought I would. We knew this was gonna happen. So I did what I had to do so I dont have regrets and I dont. But what kinda worries me and makes me think i am not dealing well is I dont miss her. I think of her alot and there has been many times i find myself waiting for her text or I go to call her to ask her to go out. But I dont phyiscally miss her. 

She gave me such a gift to be there and support her. I have grown so much and found out so much about her and myself and life. The book tibetian book of living and dying helped me so much. But still have so many questions and I find myself going over things to make sure I did things properly and that I listened when I was suppose to and things.  
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Reply by KathCull_admin
28 Apr 2014, 8:35 PM

Hi Beanie,
I was once told me that after the death of someone we care about it’s like we are wrapped in cotton balls. We don’t feel very much inside or outside.  Gradually, as time goes by, the cotton falls away bit by bit and we can begin to feel the grief. You might find the article Grief Work  helpful.


You were working and providing support plus caring for your friend – I would imagine you might be quite tired both physically and emotionally. It’s a tired that doesn’t go away with a few sleeps – it takes time.


I think it is only natural to wonder if you could have done something differently or said something more. But I firmly believe that we do the best we can at the time, with the information and resources we have – it’s good to remind ourselves of that.  


Marstin said in Lindsaymarie’s thread Failing Friendships the process of sickness and death changes us – perhaps that is part of what you are finding now – you are not the same person you were – your friend and your connection to her have changed you – and that is not necessarily bad.


Please keep asking the questions, we’re here to listen and support you.


Katherine

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Reply by KathCull_admin
14 May 2014, 3:15 AM
Hi Beanie
I have been thinking about you over the weekend and wondering how things were for you. 
Katherine 
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Reply by KathCull_admin
18 Jun 2014, 3:25 AM
Hi Beanie722, 
I was reading through the thread and realized it has been 3 months since your friend passed away. I imagine sometimes it seems like yesterday. I hope you have been able to get the support you need.

The article Grief Work - especially the page that talks about The Many Faces of Grief  was something that came to mind as I was thinking of you. 

Take care Beanie.
Katherine
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Reply by beanie722
03 Mar 2015, 11:01 PM
Hello all,


It is now almost a year to the day. I am still dealing and missing and find myself at times lost in it all again. Thank you again for the support I wasn't on here for a while when it was really bad. I am having a difficult time with anger and isolation coming up to the 1 year  thanks for the links. they were helpful. Her son is sooo full of anger and hate and negativity . I am trying my best to help him . This is one anniversary I dont like having
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Reply by KathCull_admin
04 Mar 2015, 4:21 AM

Welcome back Beanie722. An anniversary can be a very tough time. Would your friend’s son benefit from some professional help as well? It must be hard when you are both grieving her loss. You can find a variety of Programs and Services on this Virtual Hospice link – that gives information on resources across Canada  - just by clicking on the map.


You might also find it helpful to check out Mark99's post to Surviving Grief: One Step at a Time.


Have you thought about what you will do to perhaps make that first anniversary less difficult? Will you spend it alone or with friends, your friend's son? Some people have said that making a definite plan for that day can help to ease some of the pain. 


Take care Beanie


Katherine


 

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