Loss: What Do You Do When There is No Closure?

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, Tue, Jun 18 9:05am

I recently experienced the loss of a very fine friend. We were more than friends, but kindred spirits. You see, we both shared a very rare form of cancer and she was going through some very difficult treatments. One day after her last treatment I texted her to find out how she was doing. Her spouse called me back to say that she had died and the funeral service had already occurred. I felt at a loss. My grief was compounded in that I did not have an opportunity to gather with her other friends and family members at a service to share with them.

As I was dealing with this loss and my sense of not experiencing closure I thought that many of you might have experienced something similar. Perhaps it was a loss due to a sudden, unexpected death because of an accident, crime or suicide.

I would be interested in knowing how you handled your grief. I welcome any suggestions that you can offer. Will you share with me?

Good morning,

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, and that you were unable to participate in her official memorial. You may have to create your own, very personal memorial of sorts. You and your friend shared moments together that belong to only you and only you would know how to memorialize that.

But even that may not bring what you seek. Closure is a strange animal; it can come quickly or take years.

REPLY
@sheridonaldson

Good morning,

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, and that you were unable to participate in her official memorial. You may have to create your own, very personal memorial of sorts. You and your friend shared moments together that belong to only you and only you would know how to memorialize that.

But even that may not bring what you seek. Closure is a strange animal; it can come quickly or take years.

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@sheridonaldson Thank you for your very thoughtful, kind suggestion.

I am planning on doing my own "eulogy" if you will. My intent is to write a few paragraphs and send the thoughts to her son and her husband so that they can know how my friend and I were prayer partners for each other and how we supported each other with hospital visits and showing kindness to others who were also ill.

Is that somewhat of what you were referring to?

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I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend. It must have been such a shock to hear that she had passed when you were hoping to see her again. Also to have shared a rare cancer (I imagine) would have been a special and unique bond that you may have not experienced with many others. That makes the loss even more unique.

Reading your post has been helpful to me because I have felt alone in the grief I experience from the death of friends' children from last summer. My baby was in the PICU all last summer, so we became close with four families whose children were also in intensive care…some from rare autoimmune disease, some from cancer, some from tragic accidents. Although we were strangers at the beginning of the summer, those intense weeks of living together in incredibly emotional life or death for our children situations brought us instantly close. We shared our deepest fears and most terrifying moments. Since then, every one of the children has passed away. Some of the ways I found out about the children's passing was traumatic. I have kept in touch with some of the parents, but others, in the overwhelming circumstances, we didn't think to exchange contact info. So I have no way of getting in touch with them. It has left me feeling isolated in my grief with a lot of pain for the families. I think of them often, planted trees in their honor, but still feel there is a lot missing in my being able to process the trauma and loss. I would love to hear how others have dealt with this type of grief as well.

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@kristap31

I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend. It must have been such a shock to hear that she had passed when you were hoping to see her again. Also to have shared a rare cancer (I imagine) would have been a special and unique bond that you may have not experienced with many others. That makes the loss even more unique.

Reading your post has been helpful to me because I have felt alone in the grief I experience from the death of friends' children from last summer. My baby was in the PICU all last summer, so we became close with four families whose children were also in intensive care…some from rare autoimmune disease, some from cancer, some from tragic accidents. Although we were strangers at the beginning of the summer, those intense weeks of living together in incredibly emotional life or death for our children situations brought us instantly close. We shared our deepest fears and most terrifying moments. Since then, every one of the children has passed away. Some of the ways I found out about the children's passing was traumatic. I have kept in touch with some of the parents, but others, in the overwhelming circumstances, we didn't think to exchange contact info. So I have no way of getting in touch with them. It has left me feeling isolated in my grief with a lot of pain for the families. I think of them often, planted trees in their honor, but still feel there is a lot missing in my being able to process the trauma and loss. I would love to hear how others have dealt with this type of grief as well.

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kristap31

I am so sorry to hear of the loss and aloneness that you feel. I can understand it. I hope that others will share as you have.

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This is my recent story….
It is also on the Grief and Loss site.

Recent, totally sudden, traumatic loss of our daughter, 45.
Posted by ihtak46 @ihtak46, 5 days ago

I just returned from our girls week at 8pm on June 2 and talked to my husband about what fun our daughter and I had that week. Every year I visit her for girls week. At 6:15am that very next morning our son in law called us. We immediately, in shock packed and drove to Ohio ( we live in SC). Our daughter didnt make it to the hospital. I still cant believe shes gone. We are lost, empty and feel its all surreal.
Our daughter was generally fine, however she was taking Tamoxifin which has several bad side effects, worse of which is blood clots, which is what happened.
She was taking it for a year and her doctor only saw her twice. She also had other side effects, etc. I will write more later. We need help dealing. She was our only sweet child, a teacher and LOVED by everyone. She was amazing and was involved in many charities, projects, always giving, loving, helped everyone with anything, kind, people loved her.
We cant deal with this well; cant believe shes gone. We have no family here in SC (Hilton Head area). Not many friends ( they all work, we are retired) so its tough. Her school had a beautiful tribute to her by having a concert, a parade and candle-prayer Virgil. Hundreds of cards were received by us when we came home. I miss my sweet daughter so bad. We cry every day, just sick! Please help. My friend, Terri Martin who also belongs to Mayo Clinic Connect suggested I seek help with Mayo Clinic. Terri is wonderful!
Thank you.
Our daughter just “celebrated”
(July 28) her 15th Wedding Anniversary in Heaven. Yesterday, Aug 1 was her 46th birthday. Help!

REPLY

@ihtak46 I am so glad that you posted here. I am sure that many of our Members can relate to sudden death. It is so very hard on the family not to have any preparation and not have the ability to say good-bye. As you go through these anniversaries, I wish you comfort and peace knowing that your daughter was so well-loved and appreciated by her friends, family and her community that she served so well.

Liked by maone, Parus

REPLY
@ihtak46

This is my recent story….
It is also on the Grief and Loss site.

Recent, totally sudden, traumatic loss of our daughter, 45.
Posted by ihtak46 @ihtak46, 5 days ago

I just returned from our girls week at 8pm on June 2 and talked to my husband about what fun our daughter and I had that week. Every year I visit her for girls week. At 6:15am that very next morning our son in law called us. We immediately, in shock packed and drove to Ohio ( we live in SC). Our daughter didnt make it to the hospital. I still cant believe shes gone. We are lost, empty and feel its all surreal.
Our daughter was generally fine, however she was taking Tamoxifin which has several bad side effects, worse of which is blood clots, which is what happened.
She was taking it for a year and her doctor only saw her twice. She also had other side effects, etc. I will write more later. We need help dealing. She was our only sweet child, a teacher and LOVED by everyone. She was amazing and was involved in many charities, projects, always giving, loving, helped everyone with anything, kind, people loved her.
We cant deal with this well; cant believe shes gone. We have no family here in SC (Hilton Head area). Not many friends ( they all work, we are retired) so its tough. Her school had a beautiful tribute to her by having a concert, a parade and candle-prayer Virgil. Hundreds of cards were received by us when we came home. I miss my sweet daughter so bad. We cry every day, just sick! Please help. My friend, Terri Martin who also belongs to Mayo Clinic Connect suggested I seek help with Mayo Clinic. Terri is wonderful!
Thank you.
Our daughter just “celebrated”
(July 28) her 15th Wedding Anniversary in Heaven. Yesterday, Aug 1 was her 46th birthday. Help!

Jump to this post

So very sorry for you and your family. Praying you will find comfort and peace. A blessing to have been so close to her. Good memories to have. Also to know you will be reunited in Heaven some day with her for eternity. God bless you

REPLY
@ihtak46

This is my recent story….
It is also on the Grief and Loss site.

Recent, totally sudden, traumatic loss of our daughter, 45.
Posted by ihtak46 @ihtak46, 5 days ago

I just returned from our girls week at 8pm on June 2 and talked to my husband about what fun our daughter and I had that week. Every year I visit her for girls week. At 6:15am that very next morning our son in law called us. We immediately, in shock packed and drove to Ohio ( we live in SC). Our daughter didnt make it to the hospital. I still cant believe shes gone. We are lost, empty and feel its all surreal.
Our daughter was generally fine, however she was taking Tamoxifin which has several bad side effects, worse of which is blood clots, which is what happened.
She was taking it for a year and her doctor only saw her twice. She also had other side effects, etc. I will write more later. We need help dealing. She was our only sweet child, a teacher and LOVED by everyone. She was amazing and was involved in many charities, projects, always giving, loving, helped everyone with anything, kind, people loved her.
We cant deal with this well; cant believe shes gone. We have no family here in SC (Hilton Head area). Not many friends ( they all work, we are retired) so its tough. Her school had a beautiful tribute to her by having a concert, a parade and candle-prayer Virgil. Hundreds of cards were received by us when we came home. I miss my sweet daughter so bad. We cry every day, just sick! Please help. My friend, Terri Martin who also belongs to Mayo Clinic Connect suggested I seek help with Mayo Clinic. Terri is wonderful!
Thank you.
Our daughter just “celebrated”
(July 28) her 15th Wedding Anniversary in Heaven. Yesterday, Aug 1 was her 46th birthday. Help!

Jump to this post

I am so sorry for your loss. It stands to reason that you would have such major grief losing a daughter who was so close to you. The fact that her death was so unexpected has compounded the difficulty of accepting the reality. This is still fresh and painful in a way only time can address. Have you learned of any grief groups in your area? How do you feel about grief counseling? While it would be helpful and meaningful to have friends at times like this, even that sometimes isn't enough. It is encouraging that you are able to reach out for help, because there is help available for you. Specialists can help you identify your own particular needs, and those things that are most possible to help you going forward. Do not hesitate to see your primary care physician. In addition to helping you make healthy choices, you may find that perhaps medication will help you maximize your efforts to care for yourself. Sometimes our thinking doesn't even make sense, as wanting the pain to stop, yet not wanting that at the same time. I once thought the pain of loss was what helped me maintain my memories. Not true, but at one moment it made all the sense in the world. Good luck to you in finding what you need, Know there just isn't a "normal grief" path where one size fits all. And remember how you have recovered from grief in your past, for this is the same in that respect. You will be okay. Not the same, but okay. Please be gentle with yourself as you find your best path. Thank you for trusting yourself and the Connect community. Will you let us know how you are doing as you find your way?
Nancy

REPLY
@1nan

I am so sorry for your loss. It stands to reason that you would have such major grief losing a daughter who was so close to you. The fact that her death was so unexpected has compounded the difficulty of accepting the reality. This is still fresh and painful in a way only time can address. Have you learned of any grief groups in your area? How do you feel about grief counseling? While it would be helpful and meaningful to have friends at times like this, even that sometimes isn't enough. It is encouraging that you are able to reach out for help, because there is help available for you. Specialists can help you identify your own particular needs, and those things that are most possible to help you going forward. Do not hesitate to see your primary care physician. In addition to helping you make healthy choices, you may find that perhaps medication will help you maximize your efforts to care for yourself. Sometimes our thinking doesn't even make sense, as wanting the pain to stop, yet not wanting that at the same time. I once thought the pain of loss was what helped me maintain my memories. Not true, but at one moment it made all the sense in the world. Good luck to you in finding what you need, Know there just isn't a "normal grief" path where one size fits all. And remember how you have recovered from grief in your past, for this is the same in that respect. You will be okay. Not the same, but okay. Please be gentle with yourself as you find your best path. Thank you for trusting yourself and the Connect community. Will you let us know how you are doing as you find your way?
Nancy

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I think this reply was sent to the wrong person? I had responded to the lady who lost her daughter. My Son disappeared.

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Hi maone and @1nan
Im not sure if u r referring to me or not. My husband Barry and I lost our daughter Kirstin on June 3, 10 hours after I came home from visiting her. It was sudden!
I am not good! I choke up often, cry everyday, I cant even look at her picture, I break down. We were extremely close. Its horrible! I cant even explain
It. I feel so empty and lost!
Thank you. Id love hearing from you.
Kathi Fodor

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@ihtak46

Hi maone and @1nan
Im not sure if u r referring to me or not. My husband Barry and I lost our daughter Kirstin on June 3, 10 hours after I came home from visiting her. It was sudden!
I am not good! I choke up often, cry everyday, I cant even look at her picture, I break down. We were extremely close. Its horrible! I cant even explain
It. I feel so empty and lost!
Thank you. Id love hearing from you.
Kathi Fodor

Jump to this post

I got a reply for you. I have read your story and pray that you can feel comfort. I cling to Jesus each day. I know he cares. Know that I’ll be praying for you. God bless ❤️

REPLY
@ihtak46

Hi maone and @1nan
Im not sure if u r referring to me or not. My husband Barry and I lost our daughter Kirstin on June 3, 10 hours after I came home from visiting her. It was sudden!
I am not good! I choke up often, cry everyday, I cant even look at her picture, I break down. We were extremely close. Its horrible! I cant even explain
It. I feel so empty and lost!
Thank you. Id love hearing from you.
Kathi Fodor

Jump to this post

Yes, Kathi, my reply was intended for you. If you would like to have conversation with me, I would be honored. You can email me, or we could have phone conversation if you wish. I would like to know you are using all available resources to help with your exceptional grief.
Nancy

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Hello, No Closure. I know and absolutely understand told being told that someone you loved is gone. It hurts and the what if's? I should have? Why wasn't I told? No has that right to take away that moment We had a right to share and say, So Long! My husbands first cousin died, his daughter died a few months earlier. We received a call MUCH LATER from his son he that he had passed away. I went into hysterics. Did not have the presents of mind to let him know exactly how I felt! He lived in a different state I would call him. We had such memorable conversations. Let me know that my husband was always like as he is now. He had Leukemia, Diabetes and he suffered for a long time. His daughter had severe medical issues. No I will never have closure until I write that letter to his wife and children.

I will never have closure with my daughter and my brothers wife, her adult children.

Hello Kathi, I can't find the words to say how deeply I feel for your loss. Hope you have a lot of support at this time.

REPLY
@ihtak46

This is my recent story….
It is also on the Grief and Loss site.

Recent, totally sudden, traumatic loss of our daughter, 45.
Posted by ihtak46 @ihtak46, 5 days ago

I just returned from our girls week at 8pm on June 2 and talked to my husband about what fun our daughter and I had that week. Every year I visit her for girls week. At 6:15am that very next morning our son in law called us. We immediately, in shock packed and drove to Ohio ( we live in SC). Our daughter didnt make it to the hospital. I still cant believe shes gone. We are lost, empty and feel its all surreal.
Our daughter was generally fine, however she was taking Tamoxifin which has several bad side effects, worse of which is blood clots, which is what happened.
She was taking it for a year and her doctor only saw her twice. She also had other side effects, etc. I will write more later. We need help dealing. She was our only sweet child, a teacher and LOVED by everyone. She was amazing and was involved in many charities, projects, always giving, loving, helped everyone with anything, kind, people loved her.
We cant deal with this well; cant believe shes gone. We have no family here in SC (Hilton Head area). Not many friends ( they all work, we are retired) so its tough. Her school had a beautiful tribute to her by having a concert, a parade and candle-prayer Virgil. Hundreds of cards were received by us when we came home. I miss my sweet daughter so bad. We cry every day, just sick! Please help. My friend, Terri Martin who also belongs to Mayo Clinic Connect suggested I seek help with Mayo Clinic. Terri is wonderful!
Thank you.
Our daughter just “celebrated”
(July 28) her 15th Wedding Anniversary in Heaven. Yesterday, Aug 1 was her 46th birthday. Help!

Jump to this post

My thoughts and heart are with you and your husband.

REPLY
@kimspr3

Hello, No Closure. I know and absolutely understand told being told that someone you loved is gone. It hurts and the what if's? I should have? Why wasn't I told? No has that right to take away that moment We had a right to share and say, So Long! My husbands first cousin died, his daughter died a few months earlier. We received a call MUCH LATER from his son he that he had passed away. I went into hysterics. Did not have the presents of mind to let him know exactly how I felt! He lived in a different state I would call him. We had such memorable conversations. Let me know that my husband was always like as he is now. He had Leukemia, Diabetes and he suffered for a long time. His daughter had severe medical issues. No I will never have closure until I write that letter to his wife and children.

I will never have closure with my daughter and my brothers wife, her adult children.

Hello Kathi, I can't find the words to say how deeply I feel for your loss. Hope you have a lot of support at this time.

Jump to this post

kimspr3
You have had quite a bit if loss and deep sadness. If we could only share the sadness and emptiness. I pray you find closure and soon are strong enough to write that letter.
Talk of support for me, for us….we live 600 miles from our home town, where Kirstin lived and Chad live. Most of our family are inOhio, Az and Mi. Few friends here. We love where we live but many people are not friendly. Other than two couples here we really dont have anyone close. Yes, it is hard. I know of two support groups nearby. My husband wouldnt mind going but he said he didnt want to hear others sad stories because itd make him sad and hes aching enough. I try to get through the day but I think of Kirstin almost constantly. Things remind me of her. God, she was incredible; so loving, sweet, big, warm heart, giving…..I can go on. She truly was ‘one of a kind’.
Being an only child her and I were very close. Right now, Id gladly change places with her. We didnt see each other near often enough…..beginning of June ( girls week, I stayed 10 days), Easter Break, (week)Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Both a week). She always wanted me to fly down more often, but my husband is….I dont know, he’d prefer I stayed home. A bit controlling maybe. That made her angry with him. I guess we all have regrets.
I was with her the evening before the morning she passed.
This is a nightmare. Im so in denial, angry, lost, pissed off, lonely and in pain, emotionally.
Dont know what to do; probably should go to the support group. Is there one online from Mayo? Id like on online!
Thank you do much.
Kathi
Theres a ton of posts, etc on Facebook under her name (Kirstin Fodor Wallace). I think its still on there. Or
mine. (Kathi Jacobs Fodor).
She was a teacher and an amazing one. Oh the greatness she accomplished. Unreal! She so loved her kiddios. And….more.
Sorry for going on.

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