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My friend is dying (Kessie)
February 17, 2005
4:17 am
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Kessie
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For anyone who remembers me - my friend, the alcoholic, is dying. He hasn't eaten now for over a week, and is getting very feeble. He has advanced chirrosis, and liver cancer, and he was told two weeks ago is terminal and for which no treatment is available.

I met this man three years ago,and fell in love with him, inexplicably, illogically. I dont analyse that too much, - it's pointless. He's gay, and there was never a possibility of a 'relationship' in the accepted sense of the word. Nevertheless I love him, and for the past three years I have been devoted to him, and looked after him - have put my life on hold for him.

I think like many of us on this site that I always held out the futile hope that if I could only love him enough he would care for me too. He might even be able to control his drinking habit. (ha,ha)

He accepted all I offered, nurture, care, a free taxi service as he was banned from driving, and we had, for all its faults, a close and sometimes affectionate relationship. Now he is dying, - (and he really has a very short time.) he wants me to help with his final affairs. The funeral arrangements, etc. He has talked about his will, and bluntly said that he hasnt put me in it, but that I should 'choose' something from his house. I cannot bring myself to do this.

For days I have been trying to work out why I am so angry and upset about it. He is a wealthy man, but I have always just loved him, I dont need money, and posessions, I am getting on in years and have all I desire in the material sense.

Eventually I have realised that this final act of neglect by him is a public declaration that he doesn't care about me. That after he dies, many of his 'friends' - who incidentally havent been near him in the past three years - that many people here who know us both,will know for sure that he has just used me, that I was a fool, that he didnt care and that all my desperate attempts to help him, to show him how much I loved him, were all for nothing,and whats more, will be publicly so. I cannot stop thinking about it - I dont know how I can face going to his funeral. I know it's totally paranoid of me, but these feelings are just overwhelming me, I can't stop crying, and I just dont know what to do.

February 17, 2005
4:40 am
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SweetAmanda
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Kessie,

I have never 'met' you on here before, as I am fairly new.

My father died last month. I have recently come to learn that he actually killed himself. He was dying though. He had end-stage liver failure due to alcohol induced cirrhosis.

My dad did his own 'final act of neglect'. He left nothing for any of his children, he didn't let any of us see him... Very selfish. Even in death. How sad.

Not that I care too deeply about the material things, but this is an example: There were people at the funeral, whom I had never met, who were actually asking my uncle for some of my dad's belongings. (Arguing over them!) It turned out that they were people who lived in the same apartment building as him. I guess he had a pretty close relationship with them. They knew him better than I ever did. Or would.

I had a dream last night that I got something in the mail from my dad. It was a beautifully gift-wrapped box.

It was empty.

I can’t help but think that that’s all I ever got from him.

Maybe you too. This is your grief. This is your time to be sad and angry and bitter and hurt and feel alone and feel whatever you want. This is your time to be selfish.

I wish there were other people who could help you with the arrangements. That’s a lot of stress and pressure.

May I recommend a very good book? Its called "Tear Soup". You should buy it. It will be something that you will probably read every night for a long time.

My love and prayers,

~Amanda~

February 17, 2005
5:59 am
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Tumbleweed8
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Kessie, I am sorry to hear all you are going through. I have been thinking of you because I remember you saying this was going to happen when you last posted here. Please know that he probably did care for you especially since some times were more affectionate than others, but having that addiction, he could not be who he really was and respond in the right way. You were very kind to be such a good friend and he certainly needed such a friend as many people give up on addicted people. Many die alone, not having anyone to make their arrangements or any help in their sickness. It does not matter what anyone else thinks, really. You are a bigger person for having done all you did. I'm sorry for you, too, Sweet Amanda. I know you are hurting, too. Please take care, okay. Love & Hugs!

February 17, 2005
6:36 am
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CAMER
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((Kessie))) I am so sorry for the pain you are going thru now and in the near future...please know that you gave this man all you could, love, frienship, support and most important LIFE. I beleive deep down this man does love you and always will, he basically only has a short time in life and things may be overwhelming for you both. Trust yourself, and know that you did what you could, and while he is alive, kept him here on earth longer than his time. (((please cry, vent, scream, be angry)) its all part of the grieving process.

I lost my beloved fiance who was alcoholic, he chose to take his life thru suicide. Death is something no one wants to deal with, but this is life and we have to, keep venting here, and read the book that Amanda suggested and know deep down in your heart that you are a good person.

My thoughts and prayers Kessie are with you during this difficult time.

Love, Camer

February 17, 2005
8:03 am
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birdy
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Kessie,
My dad, who was abusive, died 5 years ago. I was not very close to him through life, but I cried when he was terminal. I cried for the relationship that I never could have with him. All of the lost chances to make a 'normal' father/daughter relationship. Even now, I wonder what I could have done better to have improved our relationship. I can understand your feelings, and they are very real. I am sorry that you have given so much and feel that you have received so little. Time will help you to heal the pain. We are there for you.

February 17, 2005
8:48 am
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Juanita
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Kessie,

I am so sorry for the sorrow and frustration you are feeling. You have already started the grieving process knowing time is limited.

Perhaps this thought may help.

You lived each moment of your life doing what you wanted and enjoyed doing. You got to spend time and help the man you love. Love is selfless. Love is giving. Love is enduring. You are a wonderful person who choose to live by the rules of true love. Let no one or thing tarnish that. Remember, you were (are) happy in the moments you shared. Do not turn things that were joyous for you into regret. You were true to yourself. There is no regret in that.

You friend is hurting and sick with disease. Surely he is also thinking the error of his ways ~ wishing perhaps he would have chosen a different path. Many people hurt the ones they love, or who love them, most because you are the one who is there, and who cares most, when their emotions get the best of them. You've known him a long time... would he be acting and saying these things under 'normal' circumstances? I don't think he would. Terminal illness can make people bitter, not themselves. Think of how he was when his health was better.

Be true to yourself. If your heart says to care for him, stroke his forehead, or kiss his cheek... do it. Don't worry about what others think. Material possessions mean nothing in the After Life. Just the Love. If he has offered you something, perhaps pick something of sentimental value for you. His cologne bottle or a shirt you loved on him... a photograph perhaps.

Your time is limited with him now. Do not let worry of what others think ruin what time you have left. Do what your heart says to do so YOU will have no regrets. Also, if you have things that need to be said to him, now may be your only chance. Trust your heart to guide you.

Love is the most precious gift - never, ever regret giving it.

You have my sympathy. Losing a loved one is never easy, be it fast or slow. At least you know you have a few moments left. Use those moments wisely.

Peace.

February 17, 2005
11:58 am
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dear kessie,

I am sorry you're going through this. It must be terribly difficult for you to loose a connection with somebody who obviously meant so much to you.

why - for whatever reason - you decide to love or care for someone, and the extent in which the love is mutual (coming equally from both sides), is really none of ANYBODY's business. It's something between you and him. Both people involved define what a relationship is based on ... its true meaning or significance (do not always concur). What if a woman or man decides to care for or love another human being who can't love him (or her) back, or not to the same extent or in the same way …. would that be a wrong thing to do ? Are you selling yourself short if you do ?

kessie - you wrote:"he has talked about his will, and bluntly said that he hasnt put me in it, but that I should 'choose' something from his house...i cannot bring myself to do this ...for days I have been trying to work out why I am so *angry* and upset about it".

I can only tell you what message my "radio" is receiving here ;I do hope my "interpretation" of the situation you have described here will provide you with the power to support and enhance your feelings of self-respect and personal integrity.

Kessie, in reality - all I 'see' him doing here in my view is... PROJECTING his inferiority complex or feelings of unworthiness ("I don't deserve love" or "I am unlovable") onto ... YOU. Because he's giving you - (un-)consciously? - the message that he cannot imagine another person loving him or looking after him just for "him", for the person or human being he is without expecting anything in return. He's being conditional - towards himself (you'll understand !).

So core beliefs or hidden assumptions like - "I (= your male friend?) am not a good enough person to be loved or cared for as such in this way" - and - "nothing comes for free in life", probably resonate fairly well with his cognitive mindset ... his hidden 'expectations' of himself, people and life.

Hence, given this "mindset" he probably felt he "owed" (guilt) you for all your loyalty, devotion and boundless friendship or love towards him.

As a result of what he said (quoted above), you might feel 'hurt', 'betrayed' - maybe feeling humiliated or embarrassed, too - by him for even suggesting that you devoted yourself to him ONLY because (~the only reason being) you wanted something from him in return - such as ... being mentioned in his will, wanting some object from his house etc. (he's suggesting or PROJECTING unto you :"the hidden purpose of your caring is or was that you wanted to "get" something out of me, out of my being ill or dying, you only intended to "use" me or "exploit" my weakness or frail state of being" - so kessie, what I'd like you to explore or investigate here is ... are YOU feeling hurt, disempowered, let down or dissappointed by him because of what he said or "did" to you? If so, HE is the one who did you wrong and I feel you should confront him about that, let him know his behavior - his remark about the will - hurt you and WHY it hurt you so much, otherwise you might feel tempted to "take on" or carry his "load" - think of a phenomenon as substitutional shame - if you get my meaning) - because, from my perspective, by 'bluntly' saying that he didn't put you in his will, maybe leaving you with a "picture" of you ... suggesting or implicating you were "preying" upon that or kinda expecting him to do so in exchange for your help, he's 'devaluing'( ~ staining or ... shaming?) your *unconditional* friendship or love for him by TRANSFERRING (transference?) upon you some kind of expectancy, motive or intent you say - and know within yourself - you do not have (you probably don't want to take anything from his house because you now think that it would prove him right in his - false - expectations - which, by the way, have nothing to do with you but EVERYTHING with him). By acting like he did, he may have touched upon some old childhood wound, hurt or pain of yours. Maybe unknowingly creating conditions in which your pain is resurfacing. That's what I think is upsetting you here (are you replaying a childhood 'drama' - a need to "fix"?). And at the same time maybe inducing or evoking (= your friend) a feeling of embarrassment (shame? guilt? or both?) in you that doesn't belong on your plate to begin with - because it actually has more to do with him and how he most likely views the world and a lot of people in it ('using'?) - my guess would be that he's the one feeling guilty because inside he knows he cannot live up to or return your gift of unconditional or spontaneous love. Honoring your inner beauty. See your for the beautiful person your really and truly are. He just doesn't know 'how to' ... (he's just not capable of loving you or loving you back unconditionally, take your pick) ... my guess ... out of a lack of self-love? Some kind of inferiority complex? He might feel bad about himself (unworthy or unlovable) or disapprove of himself for whatever reasons. I am just throwing some things at you here. I believe he does care for you in his own, more or less impaired or limited way - (if he didn't have any feelings for you be it friendship, affection or love, he wouldn't let you come so close to him nor trust you with his terminal care) - but probably not in the way you would have liked to see him care for or loving you. But that's what you consented to - or signed up for - from the beginning. You knew that, didn't you. I suspect he's just not capable of that. But again, in my view you're not failing him but he's failing - you - here in a (major?) way. If your love or friendship (caring) for him is "pure" or true, you will know it inside your heart (as does he ...), you don't - or shouldn't ? - need any external validation or "recognition" (f.e.: inheritance) to convince or prove to yourself - nor the "world" - that it is or was "genuine" - the "real" thing. It's a 'gift' two people carry with them in their hearts. It's something intimate and personal. I think you shoud feel proud of yourself if only because you selected this man to devote your precious time and energy to, you've put your very heart into it. To ease his suffering. To accompany him on his last journey. That kind of caring - just being there for someone in need and making him feel special and loved - is becoming very rare, nowadays. If you had chosen me, I'd feel priviledged and honored by such a gift. Even if, in a hypothetical manner of speaking - you had (unconsciously or intentionally) chosen me to get closure on some unfinished business of your past. That doesn't diminish the value of giving, does it ? I don't believe it does. Otherwise only "saintlike" people who are without "histories" - without any flaws, imperfections, needs, scars, emotional baggage etc - would be eligible to practice caring or loving behavior (baby's ?). Your love is just as good, valuable or "worthy" as anybody else's. This is your chance to grow beyond - or forever set yourself free from - ANY expectations - his, yours, the "world" - and value you just for being that wonderful "you". Regardless of any tangible "signs" of affection or reciprocity coming from your dying friend (if other people take or "explain" the absence of tangible "signs" of his gratitude, care or love as "proof" for you being used by him - that he didn't care for you at all, just used you - then they are merely showing or affirming you that their beliefs or thoughts about love or loving care are just as "conditional" as his). You can show the "world" (friends, etc) that you friendship or love goes beyond such a limited or narrow concept of love or loving care. That's what you can do - for you here. Don't go to that funeral carrying a dead corpse (his "load") on your back. Do finish your "business" with him. You can face going to that funeral because you have nothing to be ashamed of (or feel guilty of). You didn't fail him. Other people's assumptions, opinions or convictions are not your responsibility or problem (besides, you'll have to first ask them to find out). Everyone is entitled to his own view or opinion. They know what's on their mind, you know what's in your HEART. You don’t "owe" it to anyone ... to show evidence or "proof" of your unconditional love or care for him. Nor does your male friend (for you). That's between you and him.

In my opinion, he's the one (= your male friend) selling himself short here. Because he sounds like a man who hasn't been able to - fully and unconditionally - appreciate your love and care (giving) ... in short, be appreciative of all the compassionate qualities you have ... you know, kessie ... some people just don't know HOW TO RECEIVE, truth is...you DO love him "enough" but it's difficult for someone who doesn't know how to be "enough" or how to be sufficient - to understand that... he just might not know how to handle or cope with your gift of unconditional love because he has never taught himself how to do ... just that ....love himself unconditionally - as a gift to himself - just for the person he is (he cannot give to you what he can't give to himself). It's probably not a part of - or included - in his view of ... how life works. And you know what's sooooo beautiful about you, kessie, you .... understand that. And you nevertheless - in spite of everything he "is" or "is" not - are offering your gift of love and care to him. I think that's pretty unique or special.

I hope you'll be able to find some hope, comfort or relief in my writings,

x [email protected] x

February 17, 2005
12:14 pm
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kathygy
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I am so sorry for the loss you are grieving and will be grieving. I think it is very important to try to make peace with this man while he is still alive. In order to do that I think you must be open and completely honest with him about the way you now feel. It is a chance to talk things through and hear his side. You may be misinterpreting his motives.

February 17, 2005
4:32 pm
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bel
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Kessie IM sorry your hurting and I think your hurting double time if you know what I mean. Your hurting because your best friend is dying and then he didnt leave you in his will after all you have done for him. I understand you dont care about material things but it would have been nice of him to acknowledge all that you have done in his will.

I guess there is really nothing you can do about it, as Im sure you dont want to bring that up to him in his present condition.

You have done an amazing thing standing by him and Im sure you will be rewarded in some way for all your good deeds.

Bel

February 17, 2005
5:48 pm
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Kessie
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Thank you for your replies - I felt better after posting on here, and oddly - those feelings have already been superceded - I have spent the day with him - he has deteriorated suddenly, he was coping first thing this morning, then suddenly lost control of his bodily functions - The housekeeper and i got him into his bed with difficulty - I washed him as best I could, but he haemorrhaged, and I sent for the doctor - I had to sit beside him, his mouth and nose bloody, faeces all over the bed, crying out in terrible pain, for several hours while waiting for the doctor and the ambulance. He held on to me asking 'please take this pain away'and unable to do anything. I felt so helpless, the ambulance came at last - and he is in hospital, and thank God with morphine, not in pain any more. I sat with him until just now. He only has a day or two left. I love him. Nothing else matters

February 17, 2005
6:18 pm
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tooscared
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I'm so sorry Kessie. I know you are in great pain yourself right now. You are giving of yourself in a very difficult situation. Be kind and gentle with yourself and just do what is in your heart. Don't worry about what anyone else will say or think. Hold your head up high and know that you have made a difference in this man's life for the better.

February 17, 2005
8:07 pm
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Kessie
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thank you TS - I rang my friend who is a doctor - it so late and she is so kind, she has to work tomorrow morning but came over to see me. She has just left. It is 1.am here I couldnt stop crying, I still can't stop. I knew this day would come - but somehow. I never allowed myself to think about how traumatic it would be. I cant write any more

February 18, 2005
9:01 am
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Juanita
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Oh Kessie -

My thoughts and sympathies are with you. This is a very tough time for you. I shall send a prayer for strength for you and loving healing for your heart.

I know you love him, but we don't want to see our loved ones die, especially if they are suffering. You are such a dear heart for standing there thru thick and thin.

Loving and caring thoughts are sent your way to help you thru this awful time.

((((((((((Kessie))))))))))))

Juanita

February 18, 2005
9:08 am
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Tumbleweed8
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Kessie, I ditto the previous post by J. I could not have said it as well and I'm praying for you, too, and for your friend. Please take care as best you can, okay. Hugs!

February 18, 2005
9:10 am
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tooscared
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Hugs and prayers from me too Kessie. I am just so sad for your loss. Words can't express your sorrow, but just allow yourself to grieve and feel your emotions.
Love, TS

February 18, 2005
9:28 am
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willitgetbetter
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Kessie,
I don't know the history because I am fairly new here. I Don't know what to say to take away your pain. I have lost someone near to me and I suppose I have never got over it. I have however learnt to live with it.

It is so hard to watch someone you love slowly die but remember something, it is not your fault, please don't blame yourself. He is your friend and has feelings for you. That is the most important thing and he will take your friendship with him. That will give him some comfort. As for you, take comfort in the fact that you were there for him.
(((Willitgetbetter)))

February 18, 2005
9:48 am
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Kessie
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He died at 8. 45 this morning - I feel awful for now. I had a phone call as I was on the way to the boarding kennels to take his two little dogs there.Im glad I was able to be with him near the end. I'll get over it. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers, even though I dont know you It is a great comfort to be able to write about this

February 18, 2005
12:36 pm
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GullyFoyle
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I am so sorry, Kessie. There isn't much I can say, except that my prayers are with you. He is no longer in pain and has gone on to a better place.

I remember when my Grandfather died. He was a wonderful loving man and at the end, he was in terrible pain, hooked up to all these terrible machines. I remember holding his hand, telling him that I love him over and over. I told him that it would be okay and that he should let go, that it was time to let go. He passed a couple of hours later... I cried and I mourned, but through it all, I realized that he was no longer in pain. I loved that man and I am a better person for knowing him.

I grieve with you, Kessie.

Gully

February 18, 2005
12:41 pm
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sewunique
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Kessie,

I am so sorry for the lose of your friend. You gave of yourself, that is the best gift you can give anyone. I know you wanted to be there with him and for him; when you grieve, please remember that you were there for him, and no one can ever take that special thing you did away from you.

Yake care of yourself thru this and go thru what you need to do for the grieving.

Sew

February 18, 2005
3:15 pm
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Kessie
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I feel so bad. Not only is he gone, and there is a great gap in my life, but i have to come to terms with the fact that whatever I may have wanted,fantasised, pretended to myself, utimately all I ever was to this man was a free taxi service. Now it's all over, his executer has arrived and he has'nt even contacted me. I am SO unimportant. I can't believe that all these last three years I have looked after this person, taken care of him, subsidised him and been his confidante vis a vis all his health problems - now his previously absent friends suddenly crawl out of the woodwork and become the 'close friends' Never mind the fact that they ignored him, marginalised him, cut him out of their social life because he was alcoholic and therefore inconvenient; suddenly he becomes in death acceptable again, - a 'wonderful person' funny, witty, a great host, entertainer, guest. What the fuck is this?? Yes I know I'm grieving.... but it is all so UNFAIR

February 18, 2005
4:01 pm
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Kessie
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I cant handle this. Does anyone know of a bereavement web site?

February 18, 2005
4:27 pm
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tracylyn
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Kessie ~

I am very sorry for your loss and this pain that you are feeling.

This man was an alcholic. He needed you to take care of him and untimately....you needed to have him to take care of. You've said yourself that the material things don't matter. You had his heart but as an alcoholic, he didn't know how to fully give it. I imagine he loved you to the to the best of his ability.

My father was an alcoholic and died from complications from a stroke because he detoxing body didn't have to strength to fight. I used to wonder why I wasn't worth his love since he didn't show it much. What I know now is that he did love me...he loved me in his own way. The only way he was capable of.

Take with you the memory you have of this man that you adored. Cherish that he accepted your help. I imagine he cherished every moment you were there and he is thanking God at this moment because he had you there in the end.

Everyone deserves a true friend like you.

February 18, 2005
4:38 pm
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Kessie
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I hear what everyone is saying but I cant deal with this. It only happened this morning. Im so grateful for what you say I feel so hopeless and helpless and sidelined. I try to do what you say. I just feel so desperate and unwanted. I know ultimately it will pass, but I was everything to him and now I'm nothing.

February 18, 2005
4:47 pm
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angel without wings
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Kessie, I'm so so so sorry for your loss. I know it is extremely hard for you. From reading all these posts and especially your first post, one thing is clear to me. You are trully an angel:) You met this man for a reason and you stepped up to the plate and took care of him and sacrificed for him. Most acts of TRUE kindness do not get anything in return. That's what makes them true and ultimately self-less. I believe that for reasons unknown to you, God had this path for you and i don't think you let him down at all. Try not to worry about the other people that think they were close with him. God knows who was trully there for him. I believe you will be rewarded for this a hundred times over. You are wonderful, caring person. There are not many people out there that could have taken on the responsibility and sacrifices and hardships that you have endured. You are very special and you should remember that!! God Bless you and stay strong:)

February 18, 2005
5:00 pm
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Anonymous
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Kessie,

I hope it is not lost on you that you were purposeful in his life and death. You are an angel to have cared for him the way you did.

I have recently experienced two deaths and while I can't understand exactly what you are experiencing, I can empathize to a degree. When a friend of mine died right before Christmas, all another "friend" could do was complain that the death had "ruined her Christmas."

People don't understand death. They fear it. They get stupid when they try to articulate feelings about it. They do things not to comfort those who suffer the most loss, but to appease their own guilt and shame for wishing they had done things differently. Sadly, people like you will bear the brunt of this inability in others to cope.

I am glad for your friend, that he transitioned and hopefully has found freedom from his pain. I also believe he will be your "angel" should the need arise...

Love to you, Kessie.

Ren'ai

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