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Mom & Dad grieving differently


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Hi everyone,

New here. Just want to kind of vent a little. Get my daughters story told. and maybe find some kind of comfort, knowing im not the only one going through this.

Our daughter, Sarah, was 16 years old. She died on December 30, 2011, after a terrible 1-car accident on December 27, 2011. Sarah had spent the night with a friend the night before. She was coming home the next morning about 8:30am... to take her 13 year old brother to the church to leave on a youth retreat to Gatlinburg. There have been several other accidents at almost the exact same spot. At least one other one was fatal. There were no witnesses, but the story we got was that she lost control of the car, went off the shoulder of the road and hit a tree on the passenger door. Her car had front and side airbags, which all deplyed. But the tremendous collosion with the tree --the airbags didnt make much of a difference. We were told that once the vehicle stopped, the tree was actually where the passenger seat should have been. When she left her friends house, the friend really wanted to go with her. Sarah just brushed her off, saying .."its ok girl I'll be right back, love you". If the friend had gone with her and the accident still happened, the friend would have died instantly. One child dying prematurely was too much. We can be thankful that the friend stayed home. Its been a couple of weeks since her death. I do understand that everyone grieves differently and goes through several different emotions. I also understand that me, my wife, and our 13 year old son will grieve differently. I am obviously sad and in pain -- she was my baby girl. I've tried to make myself physically busy.. with paperwork, auto insurance, life insurance, getting time off of work, just dealing with different stuff. This has been a tremendous help in keeping me somewhat sane. Now most of the paperwork is caught up and i still have a few more days off work. Now I'm still sad and hurting but kind of numb, I've been told that some of this is normal and to be expected. Our 13 year old son, broke down at the hospital a few times and at the funeral. But since we have been home, he has been acting as though nothing has changed. My wife on the other hand is very sad, very much in pain.. as expected. she is scheduled to go back to work in a few days, but is finding it very, very hard to simply get up, get dressed and to go ANYWHERE. I really dont think she will go back to work for a while. Maybe that will be ok too. We've gotten into seeing a grief counselor, (we originally sought out counseling for our son) the center is geared mostly for kids who have lost siblings or parents. But they also counsel parents that have lost their children. I'm very concerned about all three of us... me --because I can function and take care of simple day-to-day activities. My wife --because she cannot deal with simple day-to-day functions. she really, really does not want to leave the house. and our son --because he is not showing any signs of grief. I do understand there are different emotional aspects of grieeving, and i do understand that everyone does not grieve the same way. But me & my wife are really beginning to annoy each other. I get upset with her not being able to function, she gets upset with me wanting her to get more involved and we arent doing either of us any good. We are all trying to be patient and understanding of one another. But we just cant seem to see past our current emotions. I know its still very early past her death and people keep saying time will help us to accept a new normal and that we have to be strong for our sons sake. Just dont know how to move forward. We are Christians (just as my daughter was) so we know Sarah is in Heaven, and we are trying to lean more on GOD. i'm starting to ramble... just trying to get my thoughts into words seems to help. Anyone out there, with any words of wisdom.. please respond.

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Dear Ken - I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your dear Sarah. I lost my dear Sarah last

August 18 of 2010. My Sarah was 29 and died of leukemia. This is the most unnatural, excruciating

thing that can happen to a parent. It was not supposed to be this way.

I totally understand what you're saying about the differences in the way you and your family are

grieving. We have a younger daughter who is 28 now, much older than your son, but she reacts

similarly to your son. We are much further along on our grief journey than you all, but my daughter

doesn't "grieve" in front of me or my husband. I believe you all are in shock still, which takes months

to start fading.

May I encourage you to visit the "Loss of an Adult Child" thread of this website. There are wonderful

people there, many with years of experience with this loss, many brand new just like you. They are

kind and understanding and want to hear about you daughter, as do I. Try to be kind to one another,

this is a very long, hard road. My prayers to you, your wife, and your son.

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My 16 year old son, Brian was killed on 6-19-2008. The day the world stopped turning for us.

I can only tell you what helped me. I took over a month off of work. When I did go back, I only worked 4 days a week, 8 hours a day for over a year.. The 8 hours a day were very difficult, but going back to work FORCED me to think of something else other than a future I no longer recognized.

Could your wife go back part time, 4-5 hours a day 3-4 days a week. Anything to get her mind to start allowing other thoughts into her head. Our home is our safe-zone. Leaving it makes us feel like horrible things will happen again.

As for your son, our son did not cry either - he went around destroying things. We bought him a full-size punching bag. In our case, another boy pled no-contest to Homicide by neglegent use of a motor vehicle. My surviving son wanted to do real harm to this young boy. My son caused several thousand $ worth of damage to the boys home and car. We had to do something.

Like I said, every family is different, this did work for us, but it took a long time. I mean at least 2 years for our surviving son to work through his anger. We also have a surviving daughter. She recently came to us stating she thinks she needs couseling for depression - 3.5 years later. We are supportive of her.

There are many of us bereaved parents out there. We post on Loss of an Adult Child thread. Just click on that title and you can see us. Even though Brian was not an adult, I am accepted without question and you will too.

Hang in there my friend.

Colleen, Brian's Mother FOrever

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