Skip to main content

A special welcome to anyone who is new to The Grieving Room.  We meet every Monday evening.  Whether your loss is recent or many years ago, whether you have lost a person or a pet, or even if the person you are 'mourning' is still alive (pre-grief can be a very lonely and confusing time) you can come to this diary and process your grieving in whatever way works for you.  Share whatever you need to share.  We can't solve each others' problems, but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.
At the end of January, both my husband and I lost dear friends.  How we dealt with this loss both together and individually, plus the different ways the families handled these tragedies, is the topic of my diary.

Andy had been one of my husband's best friends for over 25 years.  While I  did not seek out Andy's wife, Jennifer, on my own, we did get together often as couples.  We were boating buddies, had BBQ's on the beach and backyard parties.

But Andy and my husband were very close.  

When he was diagnosed with cancer eight months ago, we all had faith that he would survive.  After all, cancer is not the automatic death sentence it used to be.  He went for all the treatments and by Christmas, we thought he had it beat.  Jennifer even told me she was going to have a small dinner party to celebrate.

Around January 6th, Andy was back in the hospital.  My husband was there, visiting him every chance he had.  Then he came home.  Then he was back in the hospital.

My husband, Bobby, was confused and couldn't answer any of my questions and I felt weird asking Jennifer.  What was the problem?  Why all of a sudden he's sick again?

Andy couldn't have visitors because he had no immune system and could become very ill just being exposed to the common cold.  So nightly Bobby would call and they would talk for hours.  At the end of one phone call, my husband turned to me and said, "He said he's done."

Andy went home under hospice care on the 21st of January and died on the 23rd.

He fought a good fight, but in the end his body couldn't take it anymore.

His wake and funeral, while sad, was filled with people sharing funny stories, laughing and joking about the time Andy did this...or Andy did that.  It was so beautiful and uplifting.  At one point, a clergy member asked us all to applaud Andy's life, and we did through tears.

My husband is getting better now, but for awhile he was lost in his grief.  He kept saying, "But he was getting better.  Everything was going to be OK"  Putting together a picture collage helped a lot, we laughed and remembered good times on the boat, the time we got stuck, and how Andy dived into two feet of water to save us.  What a hero!

Andy- you will be missed.

And then, the day after we attended Andy's funeral, I got a phone call.  

Natalie, the first friend I made who did not have kids the same age as mine.  My first real 'adult' friend, died in her sleep.  I hadn't spoken to her since before Christmas and to say I was devastated is an understatement.

But this time, at her wake and funeral, the mood was very solemn and quiet.  Natalie had two sisters, whom I had met over the years at family parties, two daughters who called me Aunt Carol and an ex.  There was nobody there to share my grief with.  Bobby was still reeling from Andy's death, and the daughters were so wrapped up in their own grief they hardy recognized me.

I can't help feeling I let her down.  She should have 'gone out' the way Andy did- full of love and laughter and fun memories.  She was such a funny person.  Everything was a joke to her.  She found humor even in the saddest experiences.  

I feel bad that I let even a few months go by without talking.  But we get caught up in our lives and the time just flies.

But not anymore.  Old friends have been surprised by my calls, invites to lunch or just get-togethers.

Life is indeed way to short.  I've taken to calling people as soon as they pop into my head.  "Thinking about you...just wanted you to know"

Because you just never know when that person will not be there to answer the call.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site