Hi my name is Susan and I lost my son Joshua 15 months ago. He was my hero as well as my son. He was diagnosed with type 1 juvinile diabetes at age 8. He was what the doctors called a brittle diabetic. Needless to say he spent a lot of time at doctors offices and in hospitals growing up. Josh never felt sorry for himself and he didn't want people to fell sorry for him either. He was a comidian and the way he looked at life was with such a way that I can't even describe. He would go up to total stranges introduce himself and carry on conversations like they had been lifelong friends catching up on old times. He told me once that life is to short to try to get people to like you so people either liked Josh or they didn't but most people did like him. Josh went into kidney failure in feb 2009 from what his doctor believed was an allergic reaction to a stomach med that another one of his doctors put him on. His health deteriorated quickly after that. Josh was never really big he was 5'5" 136 lbs before the kidney failure and when he left he was 90 lbs. I watch helplessly as my son wasted away and suffered more than anyone I had ever seen before. Since I come from a medical back ground working in medicine myself I've seen people suffer but Josh did it with a smile on his face and he even tried to help me get ready for his passing but I didn't wan't to believe it cause I still had hope and I had to stay strong for him. Joshua left us on July 23 2010. He was 23yrs 3mths and 8 days old. I miss him so much but I wouldn't trade not one minute of his life for anything, the good and the bad. I followed all his wishes to the letter so when I signed that paper to take him off life support that was they last bit of strength I had. I'm not doing well and I know what Josh would be telling me right now "get over it mom and go on" but I just don't know how. I think it's hard for any parent to lose their child but to watch your child go through what my son went through that's just to much for me to handle. I've lost wieght, haven't been able to go to work cause my hands shake all the time take so much medicine to just try to function and I don't go anywhere. I don't talk to friends becase of the way they look at me and they just don't know what to say to me. I just exist that's all.  If anyone has any advice or words of wisdom anything would be apprieciated. Thanks

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Comment by JoAnn Brozowski on April 16, 2012 at 8:18am

Dear Susan - My heart broke for you as I read your story, as it breaks for every story hear that I read.  I lost my son Tyler, my only child, at age 24 on January 26, 2010.  He was my son and my best friend.  I understand completely how you feel  Except you had to watch your son suffer for so long and you have that terrible memory to bear as well.  But regardless of how they passed, the result is the same.  I understand the depression, anxiety and PTSD.  I can understand being unable to work and being unable to eat.  I understand every single bit of it.  That is why we are here together - because we all understand.  Before I found this group I thought I was the only one in the world and that I was losing my mind.  But I found this group and now I understand that every one of us suffers exactly the same way.  I will keep you both in my prayers.  Come here when you want to cry to someone, scream, or just quietly read.

JoAnn - Tyler's Mom

Comment by Barbara Rieger on April 15, 2012 at 1:04pm

Wow Susan I liked it when I read that Josh would walk up to people and introduce himself and carry on a conversation with strangers like they were catching up on old times. I've done that when I was a salesperson in a major appliance store. (It is an exciting for me to talk to strangers even now and this is how your son Josh felt;in my opinion anyway.) That was always a better way of getting a customer than when they came up to me. I could usually feel vibs from people and was wrong just one time when I refused to help a young couple. I had prejudged and was wrong, but since that time I stopped that. They were what I thought foreigners who didn't bathe which was considered an aphrodisiac however I was totally wrong that one time. Your son was a comedian because he knew that it made him feel better to make other people happy and in turn he was happy by doing it. It's a great feeling to do that. I speak from personal experience.

From reading your post I'm afraid that maybe you keep relieving the bad time over and over in your head. Also from what you said that you know Josh would be telling you right now "get over it mom and go on" I can compare that to my son with his favorite quote "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." After reading that from him on his wall I shook off any guilt I may have felt as I was going on with life by continuing what I did before the tragedy.

I knew what I had to do immediately because of many different people that were friends in my life who advised me or told me things previously before Joe leaving this planet and going into another dimension. One time I didn't stop quick enough as a car drove into a parking lot and hit the side part.  It was a rainy day a friend of mine who was my parents age never drove but Hedy encouraged me to go out again and drive after I told her I was frightened and didn't want to drive. It was the way she said it not her words. Also another friend of mine Ceil who is 20 years older than me said something to me when we attended a memorial for Kathy at our senior center. Kathy was the director there and had the job since she was 19 years old then retired at 49 years old. Not 3 months later went by and Kathy lived in another town when for no apparent reason just passed. At the memorial I said to Ceil I'm surprised they continued having all the other activities on that day when we were mourning Kathy. And Ceil said, "Life goes on." My friend Ceil had it tough her husband passed at a young age and she raised 4 children and sent them to college. One is a music/band teacher in our town HS.

The day of my son Joe's farewell there were some flowers (I requested in the paper no flowers but to contribute to MADD) nonetheless, and now I'm glad there were flowers. It made me feel good although I didn't realize that previously.There were two beautiful flower arrangements that my husband and I brought that evening to the senior center. The next day on the side of the building at the senior center a ceremony dedicated with a plaque and tree in Kathy's name. One arrangement placed under her photo on the wall inside and the larger one that was from my HS (I'm usually on the reunion committee) was placed outside. That was on a Monday and on Thursday I attended my garden club were that month my son Joe's photo and his garden at mom's house where he lived were placed in a newspaper. A man had the paper in his hand and someone told him I was the mother and later he spoke with me and gave me his sincere condolences and a big hug.  I am publicity and now membership chair at the garden club amongst doing other things.

Susan, Joe was my old child but yet I know if I didn't continue doing what I did before he would think of me as a wimp. There are days I just have a melt down but I know so many stories and one is from someone I never met. We became friends on the computer at a site for soaps. Connie lost her husband and 5 year old son as they were both driving to their new home where my friend was preparing for all of them to live together. Connie and I have a commonality a drunk driver took our precious sons and her husband. 

Our children have been an example for us and keep teaching us but we must look for it. It stares us right in the face. Your son Josh knew that life was meant to be lived. Life is for the living. This is what one of my mother's brothers told her one time. 

You are still living and if you had a chance to talk with him in a dream even Josh would tell you this. In fact you know this I'm just stating the obvious. When someone passes all they take with them is the love. Keep sending him your love.

People need people and this is one place where people understand you. We are people helping people on this site. Susan I feel that you have made a step in the right direction. Everyone needs a hand to hold onto and I am mentally holding your hand. You don't need to just exist you can and you will live. Take is slowly, go softly and thoughtfully. There is a saying that you may want to learn to repeat to yourself as I so often do when things become difficult.  I have lots of saying that I repeat to myself often. One is "Inch by inch anything's a cinch."

I believe that we can only get out of our minds what we put into it. Do something for yourself now that you did in the past when you were younger than you are now. Do something that you enjoyed doing, do your best to concentrate when you do it and write it down on a piece of paper. Look at it, give yourself credit and then do it again. Maybe watch a cooking program. It helps me because I have sleeping issues. But I don't have to think when I watch a cooking program. I just visualize cooking it and how good it might taste. And enjoy watching the chef's at work. The chef's and cooks are all happy and upbeat individuals who cab help us feel better. They help me feel better.

I've shares some stories about friends and why and how I've been able to go on in life. It's not easy with doing all the extra work with my home and for my mother. But my son lived with her and she lost just about everyone in her life that meant so much such as her mother at 16, my dad the love of her life, her son my only sibling and her first grandson my son Joe.  It's rather difficult for mom and for me. But sometimes I take a break and then bounce back. I use to tell my members when I lectured to pick yourself up dust yourself off and get back on the program.

Keep thinking toward the future and getting back to living your life again. Maybe you can watch people on television such as Joel Osteen he has some really good positive stories. He always starts with a joke. He is a delightful young man who shares wonderful stories of people who are members in his Houston church congregation. He will pick your spirits up. But you need to turn him on. He is on Sunday mornings a couple times and also a Friday but I haven't watched lately on Friday.

Try to watch Sitcoms and laugh. Believe me laughing in good for you. Every coin has two sides and laugher is the other opposite of crying. It will help relieve the pain and help the healing when laughing. Try it if you don't do that already. If you ever watch "Every one loves Raymond" my aunt said that Marie is like my mother. LOL

Also a really silly sitcom is "Kind of Queens." There are others but these are funny. My husband watches Sci-Fi one of them is "Fringe" that is on Friday night at 9pm channel 5. That helps because of dimensions which my husband and I have spoke about. It's possible that there are more than one of us living in more than one dimension. My imagination helps me cope learning about this possibility.

If you have any comments or questions please don't hesitate. I'll answer as best as I can. My heart goes out to you and I sincerely hope that you can grab onto one thing to help you that I've tried with all my heart to get across to you.

Have an upbeat day!

With Love,

Barbara

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