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Still Waiting


Stewarts Mom

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Stewarts Mom

Its been 9 months now since my son has passed away.  I am no closer to healing now than the day I found out he was dead.  However, I am still waiting for answers, still waiting for an autopsy report, a toxicology report.  I sent  request forms in, I have called and left messages and have had zero response from the medical examiners office.   Why is it taking so long? I was told today that it has been sent to the State? I dont understand this at all, and I am getting irritated that I still dont know exactly why my son is in a grave.  Has anybody else had this problem with wanting answers?  I get that these things take time but 9 months is absolutely ridiculous for a grieving family to be waiting.

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Dear Stewart's Mom,

I am so sorry about your son.  I lost my son in August 2017 to a fentanyl/methamphetamine overdose.  I live in Virginia, and it took over 3 months to get the toxicology report back so that they could issue a death certificate and cause of death.  9 months seems like a very long time, but my understanding is that many state labs are backlogged due to the increase in the number of overdose deaths in this country.  I suspect New Jersey may be experiencing a backlog, but it is very sad that no one is responding to your inquiries.

For us, the waiting only confirmed what we already knew - we didn't know the exact substance, but there was no doubt in our minds that he overdosed.  One day the death certificate just appeared in the mailbox and that was that.  Seeing it in writing was agonizing.  It took several weeks for me to digest the news and tell my family and friends.  I just couldn't bring myself to say anything.

I have not yet picked up his belongings from the police who investigated his death.  It has been 18 months or so, and I just can't seem to bring myself to do it.

Anyway, you are on a very hard journey.  I wish you the very best.

Dewbs 

 

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Christina11

Dear Stewarts' Mom.

I am extremely sorry for your loss. Your post truly touched me deeply, and I cannot fathom how it feels to anyone loosing their child, no matter the age. Probably there is no such thing that can ease your heart, sorrow and grief. 

Many years ago I have experienced loss myself. No comparison here. There is no way to compare any subjective experience. It was a long struggle to be able to get over the fact of loss itself, not to mention the aftermath. Struggling with PTSD and its severe impact it had on my life I had to decide if I anted to live or just leave this planet and life for good. After my body rejected any kind of food I lost so much weight, and no doctors were able to find the root cause until a friend of mine referred me to a lady of great reputation and I felt a little bit of hope. To make a long, very long story short, I have was able to find my way back into living a life worthwhile living. If you feel like you would like to heal the wound of loss, grief, emptiness, not seeing that a meaningful life can be possible at all after what happened to you, I'd be more than happy to share with you more about my experience to exchange more thoughts regarding this tremendously painful loss. Even if you would like to know more about how the lady was able to help me, I can share with you her contact info. She may take you on a path beyond what you thought is possible. God bless. Christina G.

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Stewarts Mom

@Dewbs  my heart goes out to you also.  The death certificate I have says pending, I find it hard to believe that after 9 months they still have not been able to amend the certificate with an actual cause of death.  I have my sons belongings the funeral home gave them to me the day I went to ID him.   I have a bag they gave me with his phone, earrings, money and a few other things, that I cannot bring myself to open at all..  It makes me sick looking at it as he was missing and the stickers all over the bag say "White Unidentified Male".  I also dont understand why they did not check the Missing persons database when he went missing as it was all over the news, the newspapers, facebook,  local police and State police websites that he was Missing and Endangered.  My cousin got in touch with the medical examiner this past week, he was trying to find out what is going on and he responded with, its been turned over to the State??? What the hell does that even mean? Why would it be sent to the State?  I have had no contact or communication from the Police department in regards to this.  I want to call them and get a police report, but there are 5 different precincts in that area and I dont have a clue which one responded.  I work in an office so its not like I can spend time on the phone here making these calls, I feel its something that should be done in private.  They found three others decesaed two days after they found him in the same neighbourhood so I dont know if thats why its taking so long, maybe they are related to a bad strain, I dont know.  I also dont know if the police are actually doing an investigation or if they have, they never tried to contact me.  Its been ridiculous and extremely painful, not knowing, and waiting. @Christina11  Thank you for the kind words, I have been through all of what you have, the weight loos, the PTSD, depression etc, but I was going through  and still am, all of that prior to losing my son due to a very bad and nasty separation.  I work with therapists, psychologists, bereavement groups and I am much healthier at the moment. 

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@Stewarts Mom,

I responded to your message and just saw this.  I’m so sorry.  It all sounds so impersonal.  You obviously live in a much larger area. I am dealing with a very, very small police department in a small town in a mostly rural county.  I was able to talk to the detective who responded to the 911 call, but he retired before I could talk to him in person. When I called the police captain, he was very apologetic that no one had called me back...then he never called me back after that first conversation.

Thats just terrible that they didn’t check the missing persons register.  I can only imagine how gut wrenching that must have been to have him referred to as unidentified.  

I wish I could help. I think the police are just overwhelmed.  Something that comes to mind about the coroner saying it was turned over to the state is that in Virginia the state issues the death certificate...maybe that’s what was meant?  I went on line to see how to get a copy of the autopsy...I have given up on phone calls in general having been lost in a phone tree so many times. Just haven’t done it.  

Dewbs

 

 

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Stewarts Mom

I have the "Pending" death certificate the funeral home gave me.  It's supposed to be amended when there is an actual cause of death and I can get the amended one.  All deaths are registered with the State, I get that but it was on a municipal or County level, or so I thought until the medical examiner told my cousin it has been turned over to the State.  It's very frustrating and upsetting 

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