Death and grieving - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 2,344
Death and grieving

Hi gang...

I've got a little bit of a personal question to ask, and I'm wondering if any of you have been through this or know someone else that has.

Basically, I've got two dear friends (married) that gave birth to a beautiful little baby boy on the eve of December 24th. Unfortunately, he was born with not one, not two, but an unheard of statistic with four heart problems. This birth defect took his parents, and all of us (their friends) through quite an ordeal.

Right at birth, he was wisked away to be placed on oxygen. Eventually, they diagnosed one of the heart problems and decided that a transfer to the Infant ICU at UCLA Medical Hospital was the course of action and best chance of survival. Once there and over the course of a few days, they ran several more tests and determined that there were, in fact, four seperate issues that we would have to deal with. Without getting too technical, the biggest problem was the two great arteries were reversed, essentially just looping the oxygenated blook back to the lungs and the blood passing through the body back into the body. There were also two holes in the exterior and interior walls of the heart itself, and another artery that was connecting the two great arteries together, causing a mix in the blood.

After having an open heart surgury, things seemed well (though swelling prevented the chest cavity from being closed that night). Then at 3am that same night/next morning my friends received a call from a very concerned nurse that their baby boy had gone into cardiac arrest, and they should get to the hospital before it was too late.

Much to their relief and surprise, the baffled but very knowledgeable doctors at UCLA were able to put him on several machines and keep him alive. He had lost much of the blood and platlets that all of our friends had donated the days prior to the surgury, but he was alive.

After serval days of trying to wean him off the machines and let his heart gain the strength to work on its own, the brave little boy just couldn't take the stress any longer, and suffered another, fatal cardiac arrest.

Ironically (or is it) this occured exactly three weeks after he was born - the original projected due date for him to be brought into this world.

Skip forward, and here we are - some month and a half after the funeral. I am one of the closest friend to the father of that brave little boy, as am a good friend of his wife. I am one that he confides a bit of information in, that he may not tell others. While no one would expect either of them to be able to be happy and dancing around, I know that they both have gotten short fuses and a bit snippy, mostly with each other.

The mother will breakdown and cry with miminal triggers, and the father (my close friend) is increasing moappy and wonders what he did wrong to deserve something like this. They try to make the best of the situation, but it is very difficult to know that you lost your first born as a result of nothing you did wrong - just the rarest of all birth defects.

My question to all of you - if you've known someone that's gone through this, how did you handle this to try and keep them from losing a grip on life? If you personally have experienced this, what do you wish your close friends would have done more (or less) or?

The hardest part in all of this - myself and two others that fit the "close friend" category live 400 miles north of them in the San Francisco area, while he's down south near Ventura County. We try to talk on the phone often, play games online, and he's even got several trips over the next few weekends planned for up here - so we'll be spending some time with him again (been difficult since the funeral in January).

What are your thoughts? Experienced or just outside the box?


[size=9px]
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
| 2004 2.3L Winning Blue 3s Hatchback | Build 10/03 | Manual | 69k+ Miles | ABS/SAB/SAC | Moonroof | 6-Disc CD | Sirius | Tint 35/15 | P5 Antennae | Infinity/Alpine Sound | PhoenixGold Amps | Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 | OK! Homer Certimafied | SOLD APR 2007[/size]
DJ Spencer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 07:42 PM
F1 Driver
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 3,375
Re: Death and grieving

I'm sorry to hear about your lost, I have no advice at this point but I wish you and your friends good luck and offer my condolences.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
[VU]Juan is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 08:41 PM
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Platte City, MO
Posts: 1,866
Re: Death and grieving

Everyone deals with grief in their own way and on their own schedule. The loss of child is something that no one can imagine until it happens to them. I'm a HUGE believer in good counseling and I'd suggest it whether it be social worker, psychiatrist, clergy, whatever. It takes time to heal. Continue to be a friend to them, show your love and support.

2004 3s Sedan, 5spd, Velocity Red, Kuhmo ASX
Vince8739 is offline  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 11:02 PM
F1 Driver
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Waynesboro, PA
Posts: 5,149
Send a message via AIM to ZoominPoet Send a message via Yahoo to ZoominPoet
Re: Death and grieving

Wow. I cannot even begin to imagine how your married friends are feeling at this point. My mother lost several babies at birth and a few of my aunts went through the same type of ordeal. This is definitely something nobody can relate to unless they've personally experienced such a tragedy.

Advice? Hmmm, not sure if I can be helpful or not. First off, a good support network of friends is vital during this time. Even though it will not prove easy, continue to be there for them and do whatever you can to be of some help. There is only so much that can be said via words regarding the situation.

Vince8739 had a good point. Everybody definitely has their own timeline and personal ways to deal with grief. Give them space, when needed, but also be there when they reach out. Something you just have to get a feel for.

I definitely suggest them finding some type of counseling to get involved with, as it is hard to deal with such tragedy alone. I'm not sure if they are Christians or religious at all, so I cannot really offer any alternatives based on their religious background. The mother, especially, should seek out someone who is recommended to them or someone who specializes in this type of grief.

Even as a Christian, I have a hard time understanding the reasoning behind such events as this. I know there is an ultimate plan for everything/everyone and each event of our lives happen for a reason, but...I do not know why babies are brought into our world just for a few moments/minutes or days before they pass soon after.

I'll definitely keep your friends in prayer, as they need strength from all angles right now... Hang in there, bud.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
ZoominPoet is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 01:07 AM
F1 Driver
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 5,896
Re: Death and grieving

DJ, I'm sorry to hear such news. As ZoominPoet said, there's really not a whole lot anyone can say to make your friends feel better about this. They'll pull through in due time and move on... hopefully to bring another little person into existance. I think the most important thing is that friends and family give them all the support they need to make sure they don't lose hope or become afraid to try again later.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
3AndMe is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 2,344
Re: Death and grieving

Thanks everyone.

Not really sure what I was looking for here (I know there's not a magical correct answer) - just looking for advice I guess. It's more difficult because he refuses to go to a counciling when that person hasn't experienced the same situation themselves.

My girlfriend and I have both suggested a support group with others that have had similar cases, as those people are more likely to be working through it, or already have and want to help others.

Again, thanks to everyone.

[size=9px]
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
| 2004 2.3L Winning Blue 3s Hatchback | Build 10/03 | Manual | 69k+ Miles | ABS/SAB/SAC | Moonroof | 6-Disc CD | Sirius | Tint 35/15 | P5 Antennae | Infinity/Alpine Sound | PhoenixGold Amps | Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 | OK! Homer Certimafied | SOLD APR 2007[/size]
DJ Spencer is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 03:25 PM
F1 Driver
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: DC
Posts: 3,147
Re: Death and grieving

[quote author=DJ Spencer link=topic=41573.msg609474#msg609474 date=1141844525]
It's more difficult because he refuses to go to a counciling when that person hasn't experienced the same situation themselves.
[/quote]

I've seen that before with similarly traumatic events. I don't want to call it a "pride" in one's grief, but there's definitely an element of "how the hell would you know what it feels like, my grief pwns your grief." You see it a lot when a parent dies and siblings compete over who can be the saddest, who was the closest, etc. They want to cling to the grief because it connects them to the person that died, and getting past it somehow means that they didn't love the person enough. The answer is that nobody knows what it feels like, not even people that have gone through it. Every relationship and circumstance is different.

But there ARE plenty of people who, although they can't KNOW exactly how it feels, UNDERSTAND what it is like. A therapist/doctor/counselor isn't going to make the pain go away, they're going to listen and help that person acknowledge and deal with certain feelings and emotions so that they can live a happy life without being held hostage by guilt or fear. Maybe you could get some information from a grief counselor or something and give it to him. Don't tell him he needs to see the person, just that he should look over the info and think about the possibility that it could help.

Support groups may be a first step to seeking professional help. You get around the whole "you don't know how it feels" thing by being with people that have been there and many of them are led by professionals in their spare time.

I have no professional knowledge or education on this subject. A few years ago I went through a period where people were dying left and right. I saw a lot of grief. So this is just my experiences and opinions.
murph182 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs > Misc > Lounge

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome