My best friend...

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2003
My best friend...
9
Thu, 07-21-2005 - 12:17am

Hi everyone. On June 27, 2005 my best friend Todd had a massive heart attack and died at the age of 39. In the last 3 weeks I thought I was dealing ok with stuff. I've known I'm struggling, yet I've been dealing with it and letting me feel what it is I need to feel. Every emotion that pops up - I validate it and let myself feel it. Two days ago - I ended up in the ER in the middle of the night with chest pains - thinking I was having a heart attack. The doctor told me it was anxiety/stress related. So here I am - a friend recommended I come to this message board - it helped her a lot. Todd and I compared our relationship/friendship to that of TV's Will and Grace. We would talk about everything, work, men, life, whatever it was going on. He was always the first person I called when anything good or bad would happen in my life. He was my best friend and I really don't know where to go or what to do. I feel like I'm being gutted like a fish. I've never felt like this before. I thought I was dealing ok, this trip to the hospital makes me think otherwise. I know that grief effects us all differently and we all go through similar emotions but in different ways. I have yet to ask God why and I haven't gotten angry at God. I've gotten angry at Todd - we were planning on doing so much together in the near future. I feel confused and sad and depressed. Any ideas will be appreciated.

KC

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2004
In reply to: grl4nyy
Thu, 07-21-2005 - 6:53pm

KC, I'm so sorry to learn of Todd's sudden death.

AcornLeaves
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2003
In reply to: grl4nyy
Thu, 07-21-2005 - 8:42pm

thank you. I realized today while I was at work that I have some anger issues and possibly some memory loss issues as well. I was speaking to a friend and she told me that I had said something to her and I don't remember saying it and then I got angry at both of us. Me, for not remembering and her for even bringing it up. I will go to the link you suggested, I will use all the help I can get. I feel so lost and broken inside. I also get angry at myself for crying and being sad - it's like I'm supposed to be the "strong" one for all of our friends and all I want to do is curl up into a little ball and stay there for awhile. Then, when I can't do that cause of the "friend" being upset or whatever I get mad at myself (and sometimes at them for not letting me do it - but in all honesty I know it's me not letting me do it).

He was such a good friend to me and I'm lost on how to react to stuff now because he was always the first person I would call and now he's gone and I can't. I guess saying I miss him is an understatement. I didn't realize I was so angry until today - not just at him for leaving but at life in general. People keep telling me that he wouldn't want me to be so upset - but ya know what? that doesn't help me...it doesn't make me feel better - it makes me upset with myself that I'm so upset and it makes me feel like I'm not allowed to feel this way.

thanks again for your advice and I'm going to be posting here for awhile. Just typing this out let out a lot of emotions while I was doing it. I'll just keep doing it.

hugs
KC

Community Leader
Registered: 09-14-1997
In reply to: grl4nyy
Thu, 07-21-2005 - 9:51pm

Hi KC


I lost my sister in December. She had lived with DH and our girls and I for 4 year due to chronic illness. She was my big sister and when I was young and stupid, she took me in, and then had the courage to kick me out so I could get my life straightened out. In many ways she was my role model and my best friend. And I miss her. And I am angry. I am angry at the people who say it is for the best. I am angry at the people who have the faith to say that she is still looking at and loving my DDs. I am angry with the disease that killed her. I am angry at the DRs that okayed her transplant even though DH and I told them that she was not strong enough. And I am angry that I wasn't able to do more. I dream that I should have done more.And those people who say for whatever reason "don't feel that way" I want to SLAP them.


But I don't. I go through my every day life. I write checks to the organizations that research Alzheimers (Mom's disease) and Lupus (Geri's disease). I talk about them both. I see them in my daughters and I grieve. I plant flowers on their graves. I donate to the Humane Society. I am the representative payee for Geri's mentally disabled adult son.


Dealing with grief for me will take as long as it takes. One day at a time.


Beth


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2004
In reply to: grl4nyy
Fri, 07-22-2005 - 11:04am

KC,

I really understand how you are feeling. The key word is how 'YOU' are feeling, to hell with everyone else. I lost my sister (and my closest friend) suddenly 18 months ago. I remember my instinct to pick up the phone to call her. Like you, I always called her first for everything. I did call her and listened to her voice on her machine... I cried, my heart was broken (and still is). When her phone got disconnected I could no longer call. So now I speak to her as if she were in the room with me (I will post something at the end of this that refers to this). I do this because it is all that I have.

Anger is normal and it is healthy. It is ok to be angry at who ever you need to be angry at. My sister had foot surgery (yep just simple $#@$ foot surgery). She had went home with my parents for some help after the hospital. My Mom had a cold the week before and my sister's chest didn't feel well. We thought it was a cold. Because she couldn't move around very well, she didn't want to go the hospital. So my Mom called her cousin who is a nurse to come over and check her out. She said go to hospital, because she thought it was a blood clot. It was, within two hours she was gone........ If she wasn't so stubborn maybe the medication could have worked. Maybe not. I am way more angry at the doctors for not giving her the medication while she was in the hospital. Someone once told me "Anger - you don't know where it comes from or where it goes."

There are many stages of grief and they occur at different times for everyone, or even not at all. Everyone grieves differently. One thing that I have learned about my grieving process is to communicate it with others close to me. I will tell them that if I need to talk about my sister, I will because I need to. To my husband, if I need to cry it is because I need to, let me do it, it will help me. I think it is perfectly fine to say to your friends that tell you that he wouldn't want you to be angry .... "You know what, he may not want me to be angry, but I AM angry, so let me be angry." also "Maybe he's angry himself because he wasn't ready...."

Nobody knows what you are feeling, only you. If no one wants to listen to you rant, do so here, it is encouraged. Also writing in a journal helps to. If your angry, write it an rip it up!

Lastly and most importantly I wish you courage to feel your loss. I am so sorry. It is a gift in life to love someone so deeply. It is a complete tragedy when that is taken away.

As promised, I found this on my sister's computer:

Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only
slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it
always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Holland , Henry Scott

Nee Nee

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2003
In reply to: grl4nyy
Fri, 07-22-2005 - 12:07pm

I'm so sorry for your loss and thank you for your words of encouragement. I would return the favor if I could. I have learned many things in the last 4 weeks about myself, about life and about grief.

I remember Todd and I would sit and talk about all the things we wanted to do together. He was the best friend I've ever had in my life. The one person in my life who truly and deeply loved me unconditionally. We even had the same taste in men! haha He was so much like Will and even had a little bit of Jack in him (from the tv show) we would be bowling and when one of us got a strike or a spare - we would do the "belly bump" that we saw on that show. We talked about so many things and we had so much in common. We were planning a trip to San Diego in October for a convention...we were going to go from Thursday to Monday (two extra days from the convention) and go sight seeing together. I had already bought the plane tickets and he had already reserved our hotel rooms.

I sometimes get angry when I think of all the things we had planned and all the things we had wanted to do. And then I get extremely sad and I can feel myself "isolating" and not wanting to be in contact with anyone. I also know I need help and I struggle to ask for that help.

thanks again

KC

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2003
In reply to: grl4nyy
Fri, 07-22-2005 - 12:17pm

Hi NeeNee, thank you. It helps me to know I'm not alone in this and helps me to know others understand what I feel. My friends here in Vegas understand my pain but they don't really understand my anger. When I tell them to stop saying that he wouldn't want me to be so upset - they don't understand why it upsets me. I try to tell them no matter what he would have wanted - this is how I feel and I need to validate my own feelings. with everyone telling me that - my emotions are not being validated and it only makes me suffer more because *I* end up stuffing them. I've never been good at dealing with pain and loss and grief - I'm learning every day how to breathe again and how to put one foot in front of the other.

I'm sorry for the loss of your sister. I called Todd's voicemail several times in the first few days after his death. Just to hear his voice. I can still hear his voice in my head - if I let myself be quiet and not move. In January he had been in the hospital for some kidney problems and I was sooo scared. He was upbeat and before he died, he was the happiest that he had ever been (he told me that) and he felt great. He was eating right, exercising and taking care of himself first. I talked to him the night before he died and I thank God the last words I said to him were "I love you honey" those were always the words I ended our conversations with and I'm thankful I did not vary that....

I've prayed and I've meditated and I've talked to God AND I've talked to Todd every single day. I think the only two days I did not do any meditating or talking to them was the two while I was in the hospital. I slept and I kept thinking about stuff. I will get through this - one day at time and sometimes one breath at a time.

thanks again
KC

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2004
In reply to: grl4nyy
Fri, 07-22-2005 - 12:46pm

KC,
I am going to disagree with you one one thing. You said you are not good at handling pain and loss. I think that you should give yourself a lot more credit. From what you wrote it sounds like you are doing the right thing by feeling your emotions. All you can do is get through each moment, each breath. You are doing what you need to do.

Be kind to yourself.

Would your friends be interested in reading some of the materials on this board? There are some references on how to be supportive or even to help them understand the anger. Just an idea. There have been some visitors posting on how they can support their loved ones.

Lots of Hugs!
Nee Nee

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2003
In reply to: grl4nyy
Fri, 07-22-2005 - 12:59pm

Hi NeeNee, you're right - I need to be kind to myself. I beat myself up for the way I'm feeling all the time and yet logically I know the way I'm feeling is OK - I'm allowed to feel this and I'm struggling in letting myself feel it. Sometimes it's so hard to breathe at all and then others it's ok for the moment. When my friends ask me how I'm doing - I'll OK - but that could change in 30 seconds hahah

I will suggest to my friends reading some of the boards/messages on here. I've been on here just a few days and I'm already noticing a difference in how I'm feeling. It's given me a place to just be me and have no fear of what others think I should feel or what others think at all. It's been a great help.

thanks =)
hugs
KC

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2003
In reply to: grl4nyy
Fri, 07-22-2005 - 1:59pm

"Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Holland , Henry Scott"

I like this. It made me cry, but I like it anyway. While my husband was sick, he was very scared. Almost always, I was the strong one, comforting him, telling him it was ok. This passage reminds me of what I used to tell him when he got scared - when they said "cancer" and "mestatasized" and "hospice" and many other things over the 18 months he was sick. I used to tell him, "What's going on is what's going on. Nothing has changed just because someone gave it a name. God's plan is still God's plan, and He is still in charge. Nothing has changed." It used to calm him.

Maria