I lost my mom the first time when she was diagnosed with MS when I was 14. I became primary caregiver, along with my brother for her after my dad divorced her. They didn't have a strong marriage to begin with and the disease was more than either of them could deal with. She eventually ended up in a nursing home as her care became more than both my brother and I could handle. Fast forward a few years, I have 3 children, am pregnant with the 4th and my mom passed away, the day my 4th was born. I never have really been sure if I dealt with the grief from her "2nd" death or if I just pushed it aside to raise my newborn. My brother and I were close and he took my mom's death very hard, and maybe that was also part of my lack of dealing with my own grief, as I felt like I needed to be strong for him.
My dad was diagnosed with Melanoma about 1.5 years later and after a short battle with the cancer, he was gone as well. I remember shortly after my mom passsed, begging him to take care of himself because I couldn't take losing another parent, and he shrugged it off and determined that "he was healthy as a horse". I am still somewhat angry with him.
In all this time I am also living in an abusive marriage, unable to grieve in any kind of healthy manner. Two years after my dad passed I filed for divorce. I packed my children up, moved from a place I had called home for 15 years and started all over. I had left my brother in that city, but moved closer to my grandfather and a cousin who was like a sister to me. Things were not easy, but I felt like a had made the right decision.
A little over a year after I moved, my brother became ill. Diagnosed with a terrible illness, I spent three weeks in a hospital room helpless, watching him die. I am still almost as devastated today as the day I watched him take his last breath, and over a year has already gone by. Still seems surreal to me that he is not here.
Five months after my brother's death, I lost a nephew to suicide. He had depression issues since he was a teen, then served in the marines, and everyone thought he was getting better..and this one was out of the blue..
Then shortly after that, my grandfather had an accident at home and broke his neck, and back and spent months in a nursing home rehabbing, but he was 97.. 97 year old bones aren't quick to heal. He was plagued by recurring pnuemonia and I "talked" him through to the other side just this past March. That by far was the most meaningful death, as I was able to come to some sort of acceptance before he passed. And we had some AWESOME conversations!! But his death marked the end of my immediate family..that's it, they are ALL gone. I am it, all that's left. It's scary and overwhelming all at the same time. I have beautiful children, have an awesome boyfriend, and still somehow feel this overwhelming "aloneness". I have no relationships left that even come close to the relationships I had with them, especially my brother.. It's a bigger "ouch" than I ever could've imagined.