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Mike P   

Hello, Everyone. I guess it would be good to introduce myself. My second oldest son, Cameron, died in March 1992 when a dresser in his room fell on top of him. He was supposed to be taking a nap, but apparently he was trying to reach something on top of the dresser. It was the most horrible thing I've ever gone through and the most intense, deep, and long-lasting pain I've ever experienced. My wife and I went from planning for pre-school and day care to planning a funeral, picking a burial plot, and picking a headstone overnight. I would never, ever wish that kind of thing on anyone!! It took a great deal of time and effort to heal. I am not in the process of the raw pain and grief that so many of you are in, but I can honestly say that I have a very good idea of what you are going through. If a person hasn't gone through it, there is no way they can possible understand it. There is simply no reference point you can relate to unless you have been there. Events like his birthday and Christmases and such have gotten a lot easier, but they can still be rather tender when I remember him. He would be 27 years old if he were still alive. I can honestly say that there is never a day that I don't think about him after all these years. I can also honestly say that it took me a long time to work through all of this and now I lead a happy, normal life and that I carry this grief rather than it carry me. It took a lot of time and work to get to that point. I hope that I can be a voice of comfort to those of us whose grief is still raw and very deep and I can offer a perspective that there is hope, even if it seems very dim or even non-existent at this point.

I attached a photo taken of Cameron the day before he died. His aunt Crystal and his older brother, Eric, are in the background. I love you, Cam!

Cameron_B.jpg

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mikep what a lovely photo of your little Cameron he is precious. I guess you did some counselling which is great. Was there anything else that helped you to move forward? How do you deal with trigger days? It is great that you have joined us and can give a longterm perspective on grief, some days it seems I go backwards. How many other children do you have  and are there any grandchildren in your life yet?? How did the siblings cope longterm with the loss of their brother? What helped them or were they too young to understand and remember? My 3 two girls and a boy are all adults and living in different cities.but I don't think they have processed their brother dying properly. Easier to pretend he is still in Hawaii and not think about it I guess. They talk about Tommy to each other sometimes but they don't often talk about him to me prob because they are afraid of upsetting me. I had a major mental breakdown after Tommy was killed and took a very long time to recover from that and re enter the world again, and I am still pretty fragile though have made some progress and beaten some of the anxiety and my agorophobia that I developed afterward.

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Mike P   

Tommy's mum, thank you for your kind words. Yes, we (my wife and I) went to family counseling. We went to one in-person support group, but I didn't feel comfortable there. We went to another one and it was a much better fit. The trigger days? For almost three months after Cameron died, it was every day! I would literally cry for two hours a day at work every day and on the weekends. Fortunately, I had a fairly private office and most people knew to leave me alone when they hear a lot of sniffing inside. The firsts of everything were pretty hard, like Christmas, birthdays, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. I just cried through them for the first couple of years, and gave myself credit for getting through them even if I was a total mess in doing so. I have a son who is 29 years old, and a daughter who is 24. Both are on their own. I have one grandchild, my son's daughter, but we usually aren't able to see her. (That's a whole different story!) Eric was very young, 4 1/2  when Cameron died, and he had trouble with the concept of never and forever as it was very abstract for him to understand. Every now and then he would ask "Daddy, when is Cameron coming home again?" I'd have to tell him that Cameron died, and when you die, you don't ever come back home. He'd look confused and say "Not ever?" and I'd say, "Nope. Not ever." He'd think about it a little and then go off and play. There were times when he would cry or get angry and act out, and we would ask him if he felt bad about Cameron, and he would say "Yes." I'd ask, "Do you want me to hold you?" and he would say "Yes." Then he would crawl into my lap and I'd hold him for a while and then he would get down and  go play. He gradually healed and got through it. He was young enough that he doesn't remember Cameron now and only knows him by the  photos and the stories we told him. He feels a little like Cameron is this ghost in his family that he doesn't remember and it feels a little weird, but it's just a part of his life. Lauren was adopted after Cameron died, and she doesn't know him at all except the photos and stories. We were able to adopt Lauren because we only had one child after Cameron died, so she feels a little strange that Cameron had to die so she could come into the family. I tell her that  even before Cameron died that both Mom and I didn't feel like our family was complete, but when we adopted her, the feeling went away and never came back. It took me about four years to feel like I was strong again, and it has gotten better, but I think about Cam every day. On the day of Cameron's funeral, I could feel myself heading for a nervous breakdown like a runaway freight train! It was only through my brother and my dad giving me a priesthood blessing (a Mormon blessing) that kept me for totally collapsing. I found huge comfort in my belief system that my family has been sealed together forever and that one day I'll have Cameron again and be his dad again. It doesn't take the pain away, but it gives me a lot of hope and perspective. Even with that, it was still the worst thing I've ever gone through!

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Lou ann   

Mike. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious son. You are right that no one can understand it unless they have gone thru it. I am glad you and your wife have got some good therapy and been able to move on the best you can. I lost my daughter six years ago and have found this site to be tremendously helpful.  If you want join us on loss of an adult child .  It is for parents who have lost a child of any age.  I'm sure other parents would  benefit from your story and also we are all there for you when you are having a bad day.  Your Cameron was truly an adorable little fella.  Again so sorry for your loss.    

 

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Mike P   

Hi, Lou Ann. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know it's incredible pain. Thank you for your post above. I will check out the loss of an adult child section and probably join it tomorrow.

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On 6/27/2017 at 9:26 PM, Mike P said:

Hi, Lou Ann. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know it's incredible pain. Thank you for your post above. I will check out the loss of an adult child section and probably join it tomorrow.

Yes, this memory is unforgettable.

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hi hiboson33 please join us on loss of an adult child and share your story we welcome you although it is so sad that we need to be a part of this group. together we will grieve and heal over time. please tell us more about the child/ children you lost, how and when it happened if you feel able to so we can support you especially for the birthday and angelversary when all of us struggle the most.

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