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The Last Farewell...


railfancwb
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Thus far, I have been fortunate to have lost only my parents, one to cancer in his 70s and her to old age at 89. I am the eldest of four siblings, all of us in our 50s and 60s.  One of them is seriously ill with MS, but overall, we've been very lucky.

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4 hours ago, railfancwb said:

We all have lost loved ones to death. Friends. Relatives. Pets.

What is your hierarchy of missing those lost? And it is totally reasonable that your hierarchy bounce among the categories.

 

 

One of my favorite songs!

 I don't really have a hierocracy.  I miss my mother the most I only had her for 12 short years but she molded my career all by herself. 

I miss my father, It always hurt me that he never once said he loved me.  But (the old cliche')  I know he did in his own way.  He taught me character!

All the rest are falling way behind these two.

Edited by janice6
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ms gamboolgal and I have lost both set of parents.

In a eleven month period from late 2018, ms gamboolgals Sister was hit and killed by  car with no lights that the other driver was under the influence of drugs as ms gamboolgals Sister was coming home from the store with party favors for her first grandchild the next morning.  Her sister was 55 years old.

Then her mother died and was the last of our parents.  It was a hard time and took months.  It was very hard on ms gamboolgal.

But the most devastating death was the passing of our 34 year old son last year.  He went to sleep and did not wake up.  Autopsy revealed he had heart disease but we did not know about it.

For ms gamboolgal and I nothing compares to the loss of a child - even a adult child.  It is not right nor natural for a parent to bury a child.

I would not wish it on anyone.

Edited by gamboolman
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3 hours ago, gamboolman said:

ms gamboolgal and I have lost both set of parents.

In a eleven month period from late 2018, ms gamboolgals Sister was hit and killed by  car with no lights and under the influence of drugs as she was coming home from the store with party favors for her first grandchild the next morning.  Her sister was 55 years old.

Then her mother died and was the last of our parents.  It was a hard time and took months.  It was very hard on ms gamboolgal.

But the most devastating death was the passing of our 34 year old son last year.  He went to sleep and did not wake up.  Autopsy revealed he had heart disease but we did not know about it.

For ms gamboolgal and I nothing compares to the loss of a child - even a adult child.  It is not right nor natural for a parent to bury a child.

I would not wish it on anyone.

I agree, losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a parent!

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My 2nd oldest nephew dying back in 2004 was the worst yet. He was 20 and fell asleep at the wheel coming back home from the Moab Jeep Jamboree. My brother and sil were devastated as were his older brother and sisters.

That's a good song Railfan. I remeber it but didn't know the title or singer.

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I've lost both parents in 2010-2011 but that was inevitable and both died peacefully in their sleep at the ages of 88 and 90 and had a good life together. I lost two women who I loved to divorce but it couldn't have ended any other way. I lost one long time friend to complications from agent orange and another friend from a lifetime of drug abuse and another who's wife left him and turned his kids against him and he became destitute and died of unknown causes . I learned of his death from his sister who I got back in touch with after he died. He was like a brother to me and she is like a sister. I lost another life long friend to state-assisted suicide, (legal in Canada) and heard about it only one day before she died from her daughter and had no chance to say good bye.

Her husband was a good friend, too, but he has Alzheimer now and is institutionalized. All these deaths effected me including the death of my dog that I raised from a puppy and had to put down when she stopped eating and couldn't walk anymore. I had that dog from the time I was 21 until I was in my early 30's, some of the best years of my life.

I'm thankful to have had close friends and family and I'm thankful to have loved and lost rather than never having loved at all. There wer othe women along teh way,including one I should have married but did't. And I'm grateful for those who still remain. I got a call from my uncle yesterday who is 90 years old and doing well and still has his wife and all their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. I never had kids but now my nephew has a boy and a girl and it's wonderful to be around children who are your own flesh and blood. Both my brothers married good women and so did my one nephew and they are part of the family too.

 

Edited by Borg warner
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Each death affected me differently.   My father was 83 when he died of cancer.  His death was expected, either by cancer or by old age, but I miss him terribly.  We both loved NASCAR, baseball and college football. We spent many hours together watching and discussing them.  Even when I was deployed overseas in the navy, we would write letters discussing them and he would send me tapes of the races and games.  Even now I find myself wanting to call him and discuss the game I just watched. 

My sister was 44 when she died suddenly of heart failure. We were very close and her death was devastating.  That's all I'm going to say.

Putting my dog to sleep was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  He was old and couldn't walk anymore.  Still I worry that I did it to soon, that he still had some good time left.  The vet said I made the right decision but I don't know. 

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The worst for me was my wife of 45 years. Came home early from work to take her to lunch and go with her to a routine doctor appointment. Found her dead. 

Second worse may have been my dad, at least partly because I was not fully aware of his condition. 

Mother and younger brother both passed after long lingering illnesses and declines. So their deaths were anticipated and mourned largely in advance  

 

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Your grief takes what shape it takes. When my aunt died on 6/29 and then about 6 weeks later I lost my sister to cancer I was really messed up.  I was in a sort of fog for months and about 3 months later I was diagnosed as diabetic on the same day I got another major disappointment. It was made rougher by the grief.  I was suicidal for a while. But I made it through.

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3 minutes ago, Silentpoet said:

Your grief takes what shape it takes. When my aunt died on 6/29 and then about 6 weeks later I lost my sister to cancer I was really messed up.  I was in a sort of fog for months and about 3 months later I was diagnosed as diabetic on the same day I got another major disappointment. It was made rougher by the grief.  I was suicidal for a while. But I made it through.

I'm glad you made it through, my friend.

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7 hours ago, aomagrat said:

Each death affected me differently.   My father was 83 when he died of cancer.  His death was expected, either by cancer or by old age, but I miss him terribly.  We both loved NASCAR, baseball and college football. We spent many hours together watching and discussing them.  Even when I was deployed overseas in the navy, we would write letters discussing them and he would send me tapes of the races and games.  Even now I find myself wanting to call him and discuss the game I just watched. 

My sister was 44 when she died suddenly of heart failure. We were very close and her death was devastating.  That's all I'm going to say.

Putting my dog to sleep was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  He was old and couldn't walk anymore.  Still I worry that I did it to soon, that he still had some good time left.  The vet said I made the right decision but I don't know. 

Death in the immediate family is bad, so is a pet that lived long enough to damn near be another child.

You know in your heart, you did the right thing.

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8 hours ago, aomagrat said:

Putting my dog to sleep was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  He was old and couldn't walk anymore.  Still I worry that I did it to soon, that he still had some good time left.  The vet said I made the right decision but I don't know. 

We said our last farewell to our Dachshund two weeks ago. She was almost 18 years old. It hit me bad as I realized that we had her for about the same amount of time that I had lived with my parents so yes it was like losing a child

It may sound strange but after losing all 4 parents (wife's also) hers was the hardest on me.   I had to pull the plug on dad but I can rest knowing that it was his living will telling me that was by his wishes / direction.  On the other hand we kept wishing she would go to sleep and not wake up.  Finally the vet said it probably would be best for her.  It still hurts though

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2 hours ago, GT4494 said:

 

We said our last farewell to our Dachshund two weeks ago. She was almost 18 years old. It hit me bad as I realized that we had her for about the same amount of time that I had lived with my parents so yes it was like losing a child

It may sound strange but after losing all 4 parents (wife's also) hers was the hardest on me.   I had to pull the plug on dad but I can rest knowing that it was his living will telling me that was by his wishes / direction.  On the other hand we kept wishing she would go to sleep and not wake up.  Finally the vet said it probably would be best for her.  It still hurts though

I lost Lucky a hair over a year ago.  Cancer got him.  He was maybe 12 years old.  Because he was a found dog I don't know.  He had helped me through some rough times.  I had him about 10 years.I keep his ashes on my computer desk.

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Hard to say. We’re a long lived family.

I’m fortunate enough to have known six of my eight great-grandparents. I miss all six of them, the last one died when I was 20. I miss both my grandfathers (both WWII vets) and my paternal grandmother, two of them died the same year, I was 35. My paternal grandfather died at 84 in 2005.

My maternal grandmother is the oldest of 12 and still kicking at 98.  Only five of the 12 remain. I miss the others (great uncles and aunts). They were a big part of my life growing up. Lots of family get togethers, sometimes with several hundred family members in attendance.

Those days are gone. That circle is broken with too many gone and the cousins all going separate ways.

Now the circle is down to my mother, her two brothers and their children and grandchildren. Maybe forty-fifty of us.

If you live long enough you get to see a lot of people you care about die. In my case I guess I guess 20+ family members I was close to.

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My family was peculiar in that we were never very close.  After my mother left, we just lived together, and each would go our separate ways.  I cared for my father and mother, but my sisters and I were just tenants and casual acquaintances.

So we have no history together.

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On 8/23/2020 at 2:52 PM, janice6 said:

My family was peculiar in that we were never very close.  After my mother left, we just lived together, and each would go our separate ways.  I cared for my father and mother, but my sisters and I were just tenants and casual acquaintances.

So we have no history together.

In some ways this is the saddest loss of all. 

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1 Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm does bind the restless wave,
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee 
For those in peril on the sea.

2 O Savior, whose almighty word
The winds and waves submissive heard,
Who walked upon the foaming deep,
And calm amid the rage did sleep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee 
For those in peril on the sea.

3 O Holy Spirit, who did brood
Upon the waters dark and rude,
And bid their angry tumult cease,
And give for wild confusion peace;
O hear us when we cry to Thee 
For those in peril on the sea.

4 O Trinity of love and pow'r,
Your children shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire, and foe,
Protect them where-so-e'er they go;
Thus, evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

 
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The Sandbar - Travis McGee (John D McDonald)
 

Picture a very swift torrent, a river rushing down between rocky walls. There is a long, shallow bar of sand and gravel that runs right down the middle of the river. It is under water. You are born and you have to sand on that narrow, submerged bar, where everyone stands. The ones born before you, the ones older than you, are upriver from you. The younger ones stand braced on the bar downriver. And the whole long bar is slowly moving down that river of time, washing away at the upstream end and building up downstream.

Your time, the time of all your contemporaries, schoolmates, your loves and your adversaries, is that part of the shifting bar on which you stand. And it is crowded at first. You can see the way it thins out, upstream from you. The old ones are washed away and their bodies go swiftly by, like logs in the current. Downstream where the younger ones stand thick, you can see them flounder, lose footing, wash away. Always there is more room where you stand, but always the swift water grows deeper, and you feel the shift of the sand and the gravel under your feet as the river wears it away. Someone looking for a safer place can nudge you off balance, and you are gone. Someone who has stood beside you for a long time gives a forlorn cry and you reach to catch their hand, but the fingertips slide away and they are gone.


There are the sounds in the rocky gorge, the roar of the water, the shifting, gritty sound of sand and gravel underfoot, the forlorn cries of despair as the nearby ones, and the ones upstream, are taken by the current. Some old ones who stand on a good place, well braced, understanding currents and balance, last a long time. A Churchill, fat cigar atilt, sourly amused at his own endurance and, in the end, indifferent to rivers and the rage of waters. Far downstream from you
are the thin, startled cries of the ones who never got planted, never got set, never quite understood the message of the torrent.
*****

This metaphor for life and death from Pale Gray for Guilt (1968), one of John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee novels, came to mind the other day. I looked it up, and here it is for easy reference.
***** 

https://www.miskatonic.org/2014/12/12/the-sandbar/ 

 

 

 

 

 

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I lost my last Great-Grandparent on July 8th.  She was admitted on the 4th and was taken off life support on the 8th.   I also recently watched a good online friend of mine end his life via a shotgun live on Skype.  I do have a short emotional session with myself when I lose a friend or family member, but I swear that I literally feel God's Hand on my shoulder and I'm reminded that all my loved ones will be waiting for me when my time comes.  Sorrow over the death of a loved one is normal, but NEVER let it run the rest of your life.  Our loved ones wants us to live the rest of our lives to it's fullest.   

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11 hours ago, Maser said:

I lost my last Great-Grandparent on July 8th.  She was admitted on the 4th and was taken off life support on the 8th.   I also recently watched a good online friend of mine end his life via a shotgun live on Skype.  I do have a short emotional session with myself when I lose a friend or family member, but I swear that I literally feel God's Hand on my shoulder and I'm reminded that all my loved ones will be waiting for me when my time comes.  Sorrow over the death of a loved one is normal, but NEVER let it run the rest of your life.  Our loved ones wants us to live the rest of our lives to it's fullest.   

My death isn't my greatest fear, the impact on my surviving family is!

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