Jeff's Mom

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  1. Lou Ann, Kira is a really beautiful young woman. I agree that our children are most likely friends in heaven. On Jeff's angel date we walked into his bench site overlooking the water. As we sat there we were suddenly surrounded by more dragonflies than I had ever seen in my life. They flew all around us in circles and danced over the gardens. For a brief second I wonder if it could have been our kids gathered together showing us they are still very much alive and thriving. The funny part is that they were just gathered by us and around the bench and gardens. It seemed so beautiful and magical.
  2. Shannon, I do remember how close you were with Ashley. I also know how difficult this situation is for you to try to understand. Suicide is a very complex issue. In the case of my son he managed to hide his depression behind laughter and joking. Many people thought he was the life of every party. Underneath lurked a deeper and darker self. A young man that had low self-esteem. We supported him and encouraged him in every way that we could. Did we know he was planning this? Never. In fact, he ate dinner with us that evening before going to his room. He appeared to be fine to us. He did not leave a note. We will never know the exact reason that he was pushed over the edge. It has been several years now since... and at the beginning I honestly did not think that I would be able to find the strength to survive and continue living in any reasonable fashion. It has taken a lot of effort and a huge amount of patience to be able to say that I am managing as well as I can. I have found I am able to enjoy many things again that I never thought possible. I am a very different person than I was before this happened. I know it sounds lame to say that time has a way of healing, but it honestly does. There will always be triggers that cause a reaction and so I often avoid them if at all possible. If not...I try to face the situation as best as I can. You must tell yourself this...that you offered every support and kindness that you could. Poor Ash was in a place where she desperately needed professional help. I have found that those who are the most serious about suicide usually get it right the first time around. My heart aches for her family and for all of you. I am convinced that she is surrounded by those that love her in a life free of her internal pain. HUGS to you. Kate
  3. Shannon, I am so very sorry for her family and friends. My heart goes out to all of you.
  4. We returned home after a very fitting send off for a truly giving person. I know he would have loved the gathering. He was a member if an antique car club and was definitely into bands like Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, and the Stones. The main message was that he loved everyone without hesitation or discrimination. What a lovely legacy to leave behind. Shannon, oh my dear ...I am so very sorry. The poor girl. I'm glad you came here to talk. The place where we all get it. Please keep us posted and we are sending loving wishes and prayers your way. I have really missed your posts. Somersky...PTSD really is a horrible thing. I imagine we all suffer from one form of it on this site after losing a loved one. It has been seven years since my son died and my husband and I still find ourselves pushing back the memories from that night. We, too, performed CPR on him even after he took his last breath waiting for the paramedics. The feeling still haunts my husband as he felt his last breath.I will tell you this...now after several years we push that memory to the back burner and focus on something that makes us smile when we think of him. It will take quite some time to find your feet touch the ground again. But know this...we have all walked in those shoes and we are still functioning. We have our ups and downs and good and bad days even after a lot of time has passed. Hold on with both hands and know we are here for you. Tommy's Mom, heck it sounds to me as if you have raised your children in a very responsible manner. That to me is a huge accomplishment! It will be lovely to have her with you for those few weeks. Enjoy her company while you can. Tell me, did they finally get over the silly reporting about our GG gently guiding the Queen's elbow while she descended the stairs of Canada House? I know it was considered a break with protocol... but honestly...he was concerned that she might take a tumble and the results could have been fairly serious. A full face plant could have been a lot worse. Well, we are off to sit outside to sip a cool drink and toast our dear friend. Thinking of everyone. Heck Georgina, I just read your post. Please know we are wishing you the best of recoveries and a speedy one if I do say so! Kate
  5. Susan, thank you for sharing your post yesterday. It warmed my heart and came at just the right time. I agree about how we all interconnect with the universe through our actions. Whether it be in a grand style... or in a simple one on one way with another human being... we all put that love and caring back. I remember Muhammad Ali said: "Service to others is the rent we pay for our room here on Earth." Dianne, I am glad to see you back and wondered what had happened. I can honestly say that you have always offered a kind word and support to all. Never feel that you have let the side down. That simply is not true. Dee, so sorry to hear about a former student. Sending prayers for her family. I am happy to see that there is more awareness about depression and now I hope that people will pay better attention to that information. I also would like to add that there are many loving and supportive families that have lost a child to depression. That is the nature of this beast. So frequently the ones suffering the most are very good at hiding it. We all need to show compassion and understanding and hopefully when we see someone struggling, or if they feel safe in opening up to us... we can direct them towards the proper professional help...without fear of stigmatization. It is another fabulous day here today. Brilliant sunny skies. We are off to attend the celebration of life for our friend this afternoon. I'm sure he will smile to himself when he see his many friends and family gathered to pay tribute to him. Love to ALL, for a decent day. Kate
  6. Oh, cry me a river! We all have problems and it doesn't mean we can go and take the easy way out. They are just weak and spineless!!! Now that I have your attention...this is the crrrrrrrap that I have had to endure for years. As if our loss was not hard enough. I, so agree with you Lesley. I have mentioned many times on this site about educating people to the very real issue of depression being a REAL medical illness. Sadly, we live in a society that is mostly blocked to educating themselves into thinking a new way about this illness. I was so pleased to hear about the graduation. Congratulations! You must have been beaming with pride. What a joyous occasion with your son along the way to cheer things on. Well done!
  7. Lou Ann, no, you have not said a thing to offend. I often find that in the summer things can become quiet for a day or so when the weather is particularly nice. We all go about grieving in our own personal way. We do what works best for us. For now if shopping in a place where you can feel free to breathe comfortably is what you crave than you go ahead and do it. We all have triggers that set us off and places where we feel secure. There is really no right or wrong way except if we hurt someone. After a time you do find that you build a new network of supports. Some people that we had considered close will let us down. And then there will be new contacts as we slowly grow stronger. We begin to feel safe leaning on those that have proven their sincerity. It is not an easy process. It can be very painful at a time that we simply feel we can not take any more. But life is like that. Just when we feel there is no longer hope a door opens. I've learned not to fight it. I suddenly did notice a strong smell of smoke this afternoon. I gather the wind had shifted and was bringing it from the fires. Our summer has been spectacular. Perfect day temps and no pesky bugs. Just to my liking. The memorial service for our friend is on Sunday. I hear they are expecting approximately 400 people. He was such a decent and giving person. It is going to be a busy weekend as they are holding our Film Fest on the Lake. The forecast is definitely perfect for the event. Colleen, I know it was difficult to do what you did. I really hope that by doing this you will find the sense of release and peace that comes with forgiveness. Brian will be smiling at what a super Mom he has. You can be sure of that. Sherry, thank you for sharing that verse. How truly fitting. Somersky...how are you holding up? Georgina, thinking of you. Let us know how you are managing. Gretchen...how is the pup? Dee, how is Jon doing these day? Wishing everyone a peaceful evening. Kate
  8. Dee, how lovely to mention Jeff's birthday. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. It sounded as if your day was as special as your girl. Wonderful memories shared with close people. Susan, thank you for sharing the family pictures. I'm sure you will plan a terrific gathering for your boy. Always loved and cherished! Love to everyone as they start another day. Kate
  9. Thank you everyone for your kind wishes for Jeff's birthday yesterday. We had a low keyed but lovely day. We were able to walk into his bench and sit looking at the water. There were so many dragonflies and birds to keep us company. The butterflies and hummingbirds were enjoying dancing around his flowers. The weather could not have been more pleasant. No matter how long a time it has been since he has been gone I agree that it is always hard to accept that another year has passed without him here with us. Lou Ann, the fires in British Columbia are certainly spreading. Many more people have been evacuated and it sounds as if it will be some time before they can return. Here's hoping for some serious rain. I sure hope the smoke does not reach us as I have asthma. Sending wishes for everyone that your day brings you comfort and peace. Kate
  10. Somersky, I love your pictures of your son. What a handsome young man he is. I am so sorry for your loss. Please keep sharing with us and know you have found a great place to come to be understood. Gretchen, I love the new pup! What a cutie. Steve's Mom...Oh, I wish I had known. I live a hour drive from Winnipeg and head into the city regularly. We are the home town of Winnie The Pooh. They have a huge collection of stuff at the Children's Store at The Assiniboine Park Zoo. Dee, thank you for sharing your poems and I hope that today is a bright and sunny day reflecting the spirit of your wonderful girl. Lou Ann, thank you for thinking of me. We are keeping it quiet today. We are now almost eight years this Christmas into the time he died. He would have been 36 today. He died at 28. It still hurts like heck. Much like a scab with the sore just below the surface. Still, we keep on going. One day at a time and it is amazing how quickly the times passes. We'll take a walk into his memorial bench site as it is a really beautiful day today. Georgina, and Becky...thinking of you. Take each day at a time and let us know how things are going. Love to you ALL. Kate
  11. It has been a full seven years now since my son died. I have seen many ups and downs. The reaction of people under such circumstances has mostly been distaste or withdrawal. The best response is to say that you are coping as best as you can under the circumstances. Leave it at that and wait for their response. If they drop it then change the topic. If however they offer any support then gratefully accept it. People can be so judgemental and you do not ever have to explain yourself. You have lost your child and the end result is that you are left in a state of terrible pain. HUGS to you! Kate
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  13. Dee, thinking of you tomorrow as you remember that special girl of yours. We will be with you in thought and we are sending a huge HUG. Kate
  14. Colleen, sending a huge and warm HUG. We all know how hard each special occasion can hit us. When we see how other families are intact it crushes us. We will never have an answer that will satisfy us as to why it had to happen. I am dreading the 16th as it approaches Jeff's birthday. To make matters worse on the 19th we are gathering for a family get together. All kids and family are to join together for a party. I must admit since his death I do not feel much like celebrating anything. One foot in front of the other is about all we can ask of ourselves. Thinking of everyone.
  15. And there are many signs we are given by our children to help us to cope with their loss. I remember the day of Jeff's memorial it was a really beautiful day. We waited months to hold it and it gave me the time to plan a special gathering of his friends, etc. It was held at a lovely resort that overlooked the lake. At the beginning we all stood on a high cliff that was covered by a tent overlooking the water. We gathered while prayers were said. A dragonfly kept landing on the hand of the person that was holding the prayer service. It simply would not fly away even though they kept shaking their hand. Everyone laughed and someone called out that it must be Jeff. I knew that it was a sign. He was there to witness the love being shared and shown. Particularly when he knew that an awesome Irish wake followed. Music, food and stories. This was not a typical religious ceremony at all... but something that a young man would consider SWEET! I even had a table with ice cream sundae and toppings set up for the kids. Everyone left with a smile on their face as it should be. As much as we miss them terribly our pain is softened by the hope and certainty that we will see them again one day. Hold on to that fact on your lowest days.