Dealing with death. (Update of the memorial)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 11, 2013 6:09 AM GMT

    So I jut heard tonight that my high school teacher had just passed away. Its a strange feeling and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it at the moment. We have not had contact for the last few years, and I had always found her to be a bit on the ditzy side throughout our 4 year student/teacher relationship. However, now in hind sight I realize just how important she was in my life, as when my family life was falling apart around me, she was one of the people who helped me keep my sanity as well as pushed me to graduate from high school. At one point she said that I was like a son to her, and in a ways I feel a bit guilty now, for not having kept in touch with her throughout the years. As said this has just happened, however, this is quite significant to me as I have not had to really deal with a death of someone who had left quite an impression on me; even though that impact may have been quite a few years ago. So, to those who have gone through this, how did, or are you dealing with the death of someone in your life? Is it normal to feel this sense of guilt? I guess I can't help, but to think of this topic more lately as recently a good friend of mine lost her dad to cancer a few months ago, and a coworker lost her husband last week.
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    Update!: 2/23/2013
    Wow everyone! This has been a lot of great advice, and some incredibly moving stories. I am sorry for not having updated this sooner...So, I went to the memorial. I had called my parents hoping that they could come with me, but they were busy, and thus I went alone. It was a very emotional experience when getting there, and at points I felt overwhelmed. There was a point when her fellow teachers stood up and shared their memories of her, and during this part I started to feel angry. They kept saying how she was such an enigma, and seemed not to want others get too close to her in fears of being hurt. It seemed as if they were almost talking about a completely different person from the woman who would share her life experiences with me, and comfort me during my parents separation. I wanted to stand and say something, but as I was about to they began a slide show montage of her life. Afterwards there were refreshments, and some small talk went on, and I made sure to write in a guest book about the impact which she had made in my life before leaving the room. It was overwhelming with all these people from my high school, and while it would have been nice to reconnect with them, I was not really in the right set of mind to do so. I did want to talk to her son before I left the building as I could not leave without expressing my gratitude for what his mom did. Well turns out he came to me. We are around the same age, and despite us having not been close friends, there was always this mutual respect between us. Despite never hanging out with him that much, his mom would always talk about him, and through her I began to learn more about who he was. I admit that I also envied him as he was a seemingly very smart, put together person who looked as if he had a bright future in whatever path he chose. We had a little small talk catching up with each other as we had not seen each other in nearly five years. At this point it all just came out, and I expressed to him how grateful I was to his mother and how her support, kindness, love, and motivation helped me to become the person I am today. I know my words meant a lot to him, and I am happy that I made sure to tell him. So, thank you all again

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  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Feb 11, 2013 4:04 PM GMT
    I used to feel like this when someone I had known well died. It is hard to know what to say or do. But a few years ago, I lost my dad very suddenly and although I had lost other relatives that I had loved, I felt this with an especially big jolt. I'll tell you exactly what to do. First, go to the funeral. Send flowers to the funeral. They don't have to be expensive though I'd say she probably earned a giant bouquet from you. Screw the cost. Next, find her family and tell them exactly what you've said here. You can't imagine how much hearing things like that mean to those in mourning. It is overwhelming and comforting. Lastly, send a small note or card with a handwritten message that she may have been one of the most important people in your youthful life. If you've missed the funeral, send a long, handwritten letter explaining all of this and if possible, include a humorous memory. If you don't have a humorous one, a specific memory of a time and place and something she said. Give them a good visual memory of her doing or saying something meaningful. Help them remember her and know what a wonderful person your thought her to be. Believe me, this helps more than you can know until you're in their shoes.
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    Feb 11, 2013 4:14 PM GMT
    censorthis1 said So I jut heard tonight that my high school teacher had just passed away. Its a strange feeling and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it at the moment. We have not had contact for the last few years, and I had always found her to be a bit on the ditzy side throughout our 4 year student/teacher relationship. However, now in hind sight I realize just how important she was in my life, as when my family life was falling apart around me, she was one of the people who helped me keep my sanity as well as pushed me to graduate from high school. At one point she said that I was like a son to her, and in a ways I feel a bit guilty now, for not having kept in touch with her throughout the years. As said this has just happened, however, this is quite significant to me as I have not had to really deal with a death of someone who had left quite an impression on me; even though that impact may have been quite a few years ago. So, to those who have gone through this, how did, or are you dealing with the death of someone in your life? Is it normal to feel this sense of guilt? I guess I can't help, but to think of this topic more lately as recently a good friend of mine lost her dad to cancer a few months ago, and a coworker lost her husband last week.


    Go to the funeral.

    My dad who was a retired teacher passed Dec. 28th. Jan. 5th before his funeral a former student told me that he stopped by because my dad deserved the respect he was paying.
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    Feb 11, 2013 4:23 PM GMT
    Your feelings are completely normal. Guilt is a natural response to death. The more you encounter it, the more you will realize people respond in many different ways. There are the 5 basic stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) but it's not that linear. That being said, don't be too hard on yourself. Whenever somebody passes away, people always have 'what-ifs,' thinking of how it would have been better if they had kept in touch or acted differently. If nothing else, the reality of death helps us to appreciate life more. Respond in a way that feels right to you: may be sending a card and/or flowers, attending a service, or just memorializing her in some more subtle way. Best of luck in working through your grief.
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    Feb 11, 2013 6:01 PM GMT
    censorthis1 said So I jut heard tonight that my high school teacher had just passed away. Its a strange feeling and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it at the moment. We have not had contact for the last few years, and I had always found her to be a bit on the ditzy side throughout our 4 year student/teacher relationship. However, now in hind sight I realize just how important she was in my life, as when my family life was falling apart around me, she was one of the people who helped me keep my sanity as well as pushed me to graduate from high school. At one point she said that I was like a son to her, and in a ways I feel a bit guilty now, for not having kept in touch with her throughout the years. As said this has just happened, however, this is quite significant to me as I have not had to really deal with a death of someone who had left quite an impression on me; even though that impact may have been quite a few years ago. So, to those who have gone through this, how did, or are you dealing with the death of someone in your life? Is it normal to feel this sense of guilt? I guess I can't help, but to think of this topic more lately as recently a good friend of mine lost her dad to cancer a few months ago, and a coworker lost her husband last week.


    1. You're growing up.
    2. Hindsight is 20/20.
    3. Death is final.
    4. See steps 1 to 3.

    Death has a series of steps, grieving, guilt, anger, resentment, denial, sadness, acceptance, among them. You can study the whole cycle elsewhere online.

    While death is final, being dumped isn't, and is a lot harder. Welcome to The World. It's normal be be melancholy around all of it.
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    Feb 11, 2013 6:18 PM GMT
    It's normal to feel a sense of guilt when someone dies because you start thinking of all the missed opportunities, the things not said, the things not done.
    You can't beat yourself up over these things because daily life usually gets in the way. Just use this as a learning experience to take time to remember that it's the relationships in our lives that are the most important and should be fostered and nurtured first and foremost.

    Whenever I have this conversation with someone (usually a workaholic who sacrifices everything for career), I say that I defy them to walk through any cemetery and find a tombstome that says something like:

    Loyal employee of XYZ Corp.
    This tombstone sponsored by ABC Corp.
    His stock portfolio was worth billions
    Her house was the cleanest on the block
    Her clothes were the most stylish
    He drove a Porche

    What you will find is:

    Loving husband
    Devoted father and husband
    Sadly missed by family
    Beloved uncle, brother, sister, etc.

    That should give you pause to realise what is really important in life.
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    Feb 11, 2013 11:11 PM GMT
    Destinharbor saidI used to feel like this when someone I had known well died. It is hard to know what to say or do. But a few years ago, I lost my dad very suddenly and although I had lost other relatives that I had loved, I felt this with an especially big jolt. I'll tell you exactly what to do. First, go to the funeral. Send flowers to the funeral. They don't have to be expensive though I'd say she probably earned a giant bouquet from you. Screw the cost. Next, find her family and tell them exactly what you've said here. You can't imagine how much hearing things like that mean to those in mourning. It is overwhelming and comforting. Lastly, send a small note or card with a handwritten message that she may have been one of the most important people in your youthful life. If you've missed the funeral, send a long, handwritten letter explaining all of this and if possible, include a humorous memory. If you don't have a humorous one, a specific memory of a time and place and something she said. Give them a good visual memory of her doing or saying something meaningful. Help them remember her and know what a wonderful person your thought her to be. Believe me, this helps more than you can know until you're in their shoes.

    Excellent advice, especially sending the family a note.
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    Feb 12, 2013 12:41 AM GMT
    Been there done that. Angry, sad, grief and then move on. That's life
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    Feb 22, 2013 10:10 PM GMT
    As I write this my Aunt is lying in a hospital bed dying of cancer. I just got the call that I should see her because she just took a turn for the worse. I don't want to be a bitch about this but I am. And as I end this message she might have already passed. I just couldn't do it, I couldn't go and see her, she was a strong woman who helped raise me for half of my life after my parents split. She was always there for me until she went in a couple weeks ago due to side effects of chemo. I hate death, and I can't deal with it. I want to see her so badly but I can't bring myself to going. I think she would want to see me too but I can't do it, half of my family tells me they feel I shouldn't see her and the other half are upset that I won't, they're making feel like I'm a bad person, well they're just making me feel more of what I already feel myself. All I know is that I love you Aunty Karen, and I'm glad you were a big part of my life.
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    Feb 22, 2013 11:00 PM GMT
    I'm sorry I couldn't do it... I called my other aunt to her that I love her. I'm fucking weak and that's all I could do, I was going to go but I can't, I'm sorry.
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    Feb 22, 2013 11:03 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidDeath has a series of steps, grieving, guilt, anger, resentment, denial, sadness, acceptance, among them. You can study the whole cycle elsewhere online..
    You mean the K├╝bler-Ross model?

    Which are:
    1.) Denial
    2.) Anger
    3.) Bargaining
    4.) Depression
    5.) Acceptance
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    Feb 22, 2013 11:12 PM GMT
    Lo5t5oul5 saidI'm sorry I couldn't do it... I called my other aunt to her that I love her. I'm fucking weak and that's all I could do, I was going to go but I can't, I'm sorry.


    At least write her a letter for your aunt to read to her.
  • JArking

    Posts: 139

    Feb 22, 2013 11:14 PM GMT
    I'd give the same advice that everyone else is giving. Go to the funeral if at all possible, or try to honor the memory of that person by doing something like writing to the family.

    Two years ago yesterday I lost someone I loved, my best friend and boyfriend and reflecting upon it I dealt with it the only way I knew how. Each death in your life will effect you differently, sometimes it will be easier to manage than others. The advice I was given was to deal with each day as they come, and allow yourself time to grieve. When you're ready try talking about it or working through it by helping others and you may find the healing process comes easier.

    I didn't, I grew bitter and resentful. icon_smile.gif I still am pissed off but I accept that I'm not ready to let go of those feelings and may never be. The most important thing I learned was that the pain doesn't go away. It will fade but it can come back tomorrow, next week, or years from now. You just have to accept that it will and greet it like an old friend (whom you may or may not want to sucker punch in the face).
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    Feb 22, 2013 11:48 PM GMT
    Lo5t5oul5 saidI'm sorry I couldn't do it... I called my other aunt to her that I love her. I'm fucking weak and that's all I could do, I was going to go but I can't, I'm sorry.


    I agree with Aristo to get closure. Some day, you might regret
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    Feb 22, 2013 11:56 PM GMT
    Lo5t5oul5 saidI'm sorry I couldn't do it... I called my other aunt to her that I love her. I'm fucking weak and that's all I could do, I was going to go but I can't, I'm sorry.



    You should do what you feel is right; however you stated that your aunt was always there for you. Now when she probably needs or wants you to be there for her you aren't. I understand that you're scared. The guy I fell in love with passed away on January 26th and I couldn't bring myself to see him dying in the hospital. I regret that decision and wish I had gone. Just make sure that the decision you make won't be one that you'll regret. If it was me, I would go and support her like she supported you.
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    Feb 23, 2013 1:11 AM GMT
    Sup bros, for some closure on this subject. I tried to bring myself to go and see her but I couldn't, I called up my other Aunt, her youngest sister and she conveyed my message for me. She told me "She was a little agitated earlier, but when I spoke to her about you, he face got calm & relaxed. She looks very peaceful." I don't know how much of that was true but I want to believe it all was. She is a strong, hard working, little Japanese woman who cared about everyone the best she could. Always going out of her way to make everyone happy. We never knew how bad she was, she was working two jobs until she felt ill at work. I want to remember her the way she was, that's why I couldn't go and see her like that. Sorry for all the gush bros. Won't happen ever again.
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    Feb 23, 2013 3:16 PM GMT
    censorthis1 said
    So I jut heard tonight that my high school teacher had just passed away. Its a strange feeling and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it at the moment. We have not had contact for the last few years, and I had always found her to be a bit on the ditzy side throughout our 4 year student/teacher relationship. However, now in hind sight I realize just how important she was in my life, as when my family life was falling apart around me, she was one of the people who helped me keep my sanity as well as pushed me to graduate from high school. At one point she said that I was like a son to her, and in a ways I feel a bit guilty now, for not having kept in touch with her throughout the years. As said this has just happened, however, this is quite significant to me as I have not had to really deal with a death of someone who had left quite an impression on me; even though that impact may have been quite a few years ago. So, to those who have gone through this, how did, or are you dealing with the death of someone in your life? Is it normal to feel this sense of guilt? I guess I can't help, but to think of this topic more lately as recently a good friend of mine lost her dad to cancer a few months ago, and a coworker lost her husband last week.
    ****************************************************************************************
    Update!: 2/23/2013
    Wow everyone! This has been a lot of great advice, and some incredibly moving stories. I am sorry for not having updated this sooner...So, I went to the memorial. I had called my parents hoping that they could come with me, but they were busy, and thus I went alone. It was a very emotional experience when getting there, and at points I felt overwhelmed. There was a point when her fellow teachers stood up and shared their memories of her, and during this part I started to feel angry. They kept saying how she was such an enigma, and seemed not to want others get too close to her in fears of being hurt. It seemed as if they were almost talking about a completely different person from the woman who would share her life experiences with me, and comfort me during my parents separation. I wanted to stand and say something, but as I was about to they began a slide show montage of her life. Afterwards there were refreshments, and some small talk went on, and I made sure to write in a guest book about the impact which she had made in my life before leaving the room. It was overwhelming with all these people from my high school, and while it would have been nice to reconnect with them, I was not really in the right set of mind to do so. I did want to talk to her son before I left the building as I could not leave without expressing my gratitude for what his mom did. Well turns out he came to me. We are around the same age, and despite us having not been close friends, there was always this mutual respect between us. Despite never hanging out with him that much, his mom would always talk about him, and through her I began to learn more about who he was. I admit that I also envied him as he was a seemingly very smart, put together person who looked as if he had a bright future in whatever path he chose. We had a little small talk catching up with each other as we had not seen each other in nearly five years. At this point it all just came out, and I expressed to him how grateful I was to his mother and how her support, kindness, love, and motivation helped me to become the person I am today. I know my words meant a lot to him, and I am happy that I made sure to tell him. So, thank you all again

    ****************************************************************************************


    Death sucks bro, especially when it's someone you care about. It just makes you want to spend more time with the people you care for and love, and let them know how much they mean to you. I been spending my Saturdays with my mom because I want to have as much time with her as I can. I feel for you bro.