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When my father died in December last year I had already resigned myself to the inevitable event. This did not make it any less sad. We had always been close and his health had slowly declined for the last fifteen years.

Every time I saw him for the last few years i thought, "this could be the last time".

Last summer the senior services agency in San Francisco that managed his care offered to send him over to Berkeley to visit with me and my mother each weekend. They agreed to do this if I would bring him home.

My dad had spent most of his life painting and sculpting and he spent a significant part of these visits sitting in the backyard in the sun under an umbrella painting the last three or four pictures of his long career.

Being with him especially during these last few months was a time of peace and closure for what had been an often stormy family life, even after my parents parted in the late fifties. It was a time of being together quietly, talking about the past, having a cocktail hour together in the evening and my fixing them dinner and then breakfast in the morning.

I was never so aware of my own mortality as I was in this period and it was the begining of my seeing myself for the first time as needing to make the most of my life. It was a confrontation with how precious each moment is and how much there is to do and how many choices there are to make. It made me see my children differently. It made me rethink how i want to spent the time available to me while i have the energy and vitality. It made me want to focus more on ensuring I optimize my own health and various resources.

When I got the call that my dad had suffered an irreversably serious heart attack, I knew the time I had dreaded had arrived.

I went to see him in the hospital and he was not conscious. I talked to him for quite a while and it was a struggle to know whether or not to let myself cry. Ifelt that despite his apparent unconsciousness that he would never the less be aware of my presence.

I met his doctor for the first time, a wonderful compassionate young gerontologist. While i was there they moved him to a hospice suite with a beautiful view of the city.

That evening I brought three of my sons to see him. We talked to him and held his hand, stroked his forehead and were quiet some of the time. I played my violin for him, some Sidney Bechet, some Greek music and some Christmas carols among others.

The next afternoon we came back with my mother. It was very difficult to sense how she felt about what was going on given their difficult relationship and her own emotional peculiarities. She complained to me that the morphine drip I had approved of woas not going to help him heal. I had to tell her plainly that he was dying.

While we were there he seemed to become agitated, moving around and shrugging his shoulder and making vocal sounds. I played my vilin some more and one of my sons played the recorder.

Not long after we got home I got the call. The doctor made the speech I had read and heard in movies many times. He said "I'm afraid I have bad news..." I knew what this meant. It meant it was time for the last visit.

I took my sons back over to the hospital again. My oldest son had turned twenty two the day before and the next day was Christmas eve. We had all entered into the state of shock that becomes grief no matter how well prepared you are for the event.

We went back to the room where they had left him for us. My tears flowed freely as they still can when I think about him. We talked to him some more and I stroked his forehead and held his now cooling hand for the last time. I played my violin for him for the last time. We talked about some of our memories of him.

Before we left i did something that might be odd or disturbing to some people. I took photographs of him. If I had had the presence of mind I would have taken a mold of his face for a "death mask" to be cast from but it did not occur to me until we were there.

I knew my dad would understand that this was my way, as his son, another artist to tell him how much I love him and that although this was a farewell, there would never really be a good-bye.

It has been eight months now since this took place and I now have the honor and privelege to begin to commemorate his life with the making of a film, a booklet and hopefully the arrangement of exhibits of his work. In this way he is always alive inside of me.


I have had a lot of loved ones who have died, since I was 8 years old. Time, is a great healer. And reading anything that helps. I have just lost my Mother due to cancer and we were involved with hospice.

I have become even more conscious of my mortality and I'm not afraid to go but like most of us don't want it to be too soon.


My Mother died Aug 1st from Alzheimer's, I am grieving and looking for answers.


I ask for Hopsice when my sister was dying this year and the M.D stated "people give-up all hope, I'm not ready to call them in". Now, she's gone....a diffcult death...what would you say?


This program is about physical dying - I understand this - but there is a mourning that is just as real to those involved without physical death. This is the birth of a handicapped child.

When a family is expecting a child, there are all sort of expectations for this child; yet, when it arrives in a state of mental or physical handicap, those expectations go out the window.

Therefore, although no physical death is involved, the family members experience emotional trauma as much and as real as if a death is occuring, but they do not, after a period of time, find closure. Theirs is a lifetime experience.

Please address situations such as this.


Thanks to PBS and Bill Moyers for such a thoughtful, beautiful production. I look forward to the next few nights.


I think that when you loose someone you love, the grief never gets better, it only gets different. When my mother died, I thought I was going to loose my mind because I thought it was taking too long to "get over" her death. When I finally allowed myself to truly mourn her is when I realized that I would never "get over" it but that it was okay. No one talks about the length of time it takes to come to grips with all of this, therefore we all feel that we are abnormal if we are not our old cheerful self after only a few weeks. Maybe people are afraid to be too sympathetic because it reminds them of their own mortality or that of someone they love.


My path way to healing has been in my own growth. Death has open my eyes to two choices we make in watching someone you love die. It was the most rewarding and hardest times of my life. I learn about life and death,was about making choices. And that was Love or Fear in any choices we make. In the end I have learned to Seize ever moment.


This program has affected my view on dying in a very positive way, my grief has been with me for almost five years, I feel I can't stop it due to the fact that when my sister was dying I was on denial & I refused to be part of it, I don't want to make the same mistake again. I'm glad there are people that are able to spend time with people that are dying, maybe I can volunteer & at the same time start my healing.


I would like to offer to your viewers a resource that will be available October 31st and published by Capital Books. This is an interactive guide to planning and preparing for your own death in a non-crisis environment. It dovetails with the wonderful programming happening tonight and the next three nights, and is also fueled by powerful personal stories. The book is titled, "Last Rights: Taking Care With Your Final Journey," and it is authored by Pat Cochran. It will be available at as well as other outlets nationally. It serves as a vehicle for taking back our death rights as a culture. We are also offering workshops based on the theme of this book, the first to be offered October 21st in Silver Spring, Md. Currently we are also working on a website to be operational in a few weeks.Anyone wanting more information is free to contact me at my e-mail address: I am heartened and delighted that this reality of death has found illumination so profoundly on nat


My mom died in April. I don't know if I need help with my grief. How do you know if you need help?


I lost my 18 yr. old son 17 years ago. At the time, I thought I was losing my mind. A year later I went to a seminar where I heard a couple speak about the loss of their son and how they were able to survive with the help of an organization called "The Compassionate Friends. With their assistance, we formed a group of parents who had lost their children. It was lieterally a life savor.. I have found over the years that helping others helped me more than anything else.

New York

Your willigness to share your stories touched me deeply. Thank you. I lost my life partner two and a half years ago. Although he had been ill for sometime his actual death was sudden and unexpected, at least to me. I think this complicates the grieving process in that it is harder to let go. I would be interested in how others feel about this, particularly from those who have experienced it.


Yesterday is history, tomorrow isn't here yet......thats how I need to live my life today


A dear friend has very recently lost his wife after her year long battle with cancer. How do I help him in his grief?


Thank you for this program. My husband died 12/30/98 of multiple myeloma, but I did not know he had cancer until 7/8/98! He knew it in 1994 and didn't tell me. I have been so angry at him for concealing something which was going to change my life forever in the name of "protecting me." How dare he make such a choice for me. I don't know how to get over this anger.


How long does it take to feel you want to live again


My 65 year old husband had a stroke 2 years ago and now has alzheimers. he livesin a CBRF as I can't care for him as I am on canes. He is so filled with anger and rage and it is directed against me,and I am so full of grief and guilt that I can barely function He is slowly dying and I feel I am dying with him. We have been married 46 years and I feel as if my body has been ripped in 2. I don't know how to deal with this constant pain and guilt.


My mother died on oct.26th 1997 and I am still grieving.I miss her so much.My mother had lung cancer and i took care of her until the day she died but I still feel like there were things i should have said to her or things i should have done for her before she died also the day that she did die I feel so guilty because she was in her room all alone and died all by herself i was not there at that moment and it still hurts to this day thinking how scared she must have been all by herself.I know that one day I will come to terms with it but I am not there yet.


I have no support from family, not my family, not my departed sweetheart's family. I am all alone trying to come to grips with it all. Stu passed on 6-28-00. I am having such a hard time making decisions, no matter how small. I am frozen and can't seem to budge. My wonderful life partner is gone and so am I. I feel as if I am only half existing if at all.


this has been the hardest year of my dad died in june...just days before his 63 birthday...he had cancer...we were lucky in that he was only sick 6 months...i was the primary caregiver for him in the last few months

my dad was a bright, funny, witty man....he was bigger than life to me my whole life...i would like to say that he went to death gracefully...he had a hard time asking for help even at the end...i knew from the day he had surgery that this is the way it was going to end...still i wasn't ready

the last month was funny...he wanted to talk all the he was trying to give me all the life lessons i would need in the short time he had left...he would wake up in the middle of the night and want to talk....i could not deny him...he told me all sorts of things about our family that i didn't was great..when people found out how sick he was they started showing up...i just wanted them to go if they were stealing MY time with him

his last 2 days were spent with me, my brother, aunt and uncle (my parents divorced years ago)....he just looked at us and said he was ready...i was not but told him all along i would do what he wanted

he wanted to sit brother and uncle supported his back....i held his hand...he was looking in my eyes when he took his last was a moment that i will remember for the rest of my life...the last thing he said was "i love you little girl"

this is my problem...the funeral is long over...the household and estate matters are nearly seems to be getting back to normal for everyone....i just can't seem to get back to life...i don't know that this is's more like the man that i thought was so big and important has just disappeared...if he could be forgotten so quickly what will happen when i do i go on when my heart is so broken...all the counseling hasn't help at all...what do i do with all this pain


I think the biggest thing to help me towards healing is my abolute reliance on faith. I am 43 and have lost all my parents (3) to death. The first was when I was 7. I knew at that moment, that I was now very adult like.. thank God I had support around me to sustain the faith my family had brought forth. This was my mother to a sudden aneurysm...she left 7 children father was next when I graduated from college. My second mother whom I credit lovingly with fostering me as the woman I am now, died tragically in a car accident November of 1998.

I am here with the rest of my family, somewhat scattered, somewhat localized, and bewildered to find the center provided by the previous generation. It is a discipline to look on these losses as making sense or even as a gift, a gift to appreciate each day and to make it extraordinary.

I am flabergasted by this series....I am totally glued to this incredible production. Bill Moyers always has quality shows.

I am also surprized to see inside the hospice organization. As all of my young family's experience has been tragic, sudden death has not brought exposure to prolonged preplanning.

My maternal grandmother died a couple of years ago.

At her death, my focus was care and presence of as many family members as could be there to make it meaningful for her. We were all at her bedside and held her, talked with her, prayed over her, joked with her and just quietly touched. After her death before we called anyone, I felt compelled to open the window for fresh air and to make sure her soul could freely leave. Some of my siblings laughed, but I was absolutely sure this was something I was supposed to do. Next, I needed to wash her face and hands. She was an exemplary female even at 97. Her make up, hair and her appearance continued to be a priority for her in her visits with people.

After all was done, and we carried on in our churces rich traditions which offered me comfort, I felt we had done this very well. I think you have to listen to yourself and others to know how to appropriately respond to the dying. They need to be in control and lead the way for their exit. This offers less resistance. To me, I was surprized to realize that it seemed like a birthing process. As painfull as this was, it was also a celebration of her transition. It was beautiful and done well. It prepared us for our other grandmother 5 months later, and then Mom 7 months after that. I continue to be present a deaths door for my loved ones, to face fear with faith and move the process forward. It has been remarkable in that I can accept death better on its own terms.

When I was 7, I was given no option wehter to attend my birth mother's funeral. It took me 28 years to realize that I had not gone through a grieving process for her. I had two chldren, and my second, my daughther Catherine was the catalyst to bridge this gaping hole in my heart that had gone on for so long.

I am going to take a breath now and look for some interaction wherever it may lead me!


My husband chose to die on his own in a hostile atmosphere of a hospital while I was away from his bedside. He had said his farewell but I didn't acknowledge it as such when he said "we've had a good life, haven't we?" I found him, stark naked, blood on his chest where they had opened him up, eyes wide open and a small smile on his lips. The lack of any kind of caring by staff or respect for him or his family still remains with me. The doctors were arrogant and rude. Then 3 yrs later our only child at 32 years of age entered a hospital where he went for tests after having been beaten by a gang and receiving head injuries and subsequent seizures. I had premonition but he felt secure and he died in ICU and never discovered him until after rigormortis had set in, not even able to use his good organs and eyes.He had called me at 11PM to come down to pick him up and I chose not to go to the Watts area of Los Angeles USC where he and I were told "he is a good friend, we wil takecare of him, don't worry" At 4 AM I awoke suddently and said out loud, my son is dead and this was confirmed at 7AM when his doctor friend called me and I beat him to the news that he had died. "sorry, heads will roll a disgrace, etc." Dr said he was going to make a novena at his sister's nunnery. In both these cases, as the sole survivor of a family with no one to connect to, I would not say that dying is as an afront as where we die and under what circumstances. I have had a difficult journey since losing both of them plus my two brothers, all within a period of 5 years. The mistake I made was moving to SC where I was to be close to my sister, who then moved to Florida, instead of staying in my home of 50 years in California with a family of friends. I have lacked the courage to move back for in the meantime friends lives have changed and so has the cost of living in California.

When one has the rug pulled out from them in the case of the solitary, frightful deaths faced by husband and son, I have thought of driving my car off a bridge or into a river but that is no guarantee that my death would be for sure, especially if I am ill or weak. I believe that an unconventional approach to religion has been my strength. I pray, meditate, have reached out in many caring ways but when every day I am asked, "why are you here and why did you leave California?" I say because I wasn't thinking clearly -- I couldn't say I felt like running the doctors over in the parking lot or that the way both of them died from uncaring staff made me feel like I died and became a victim twice, no chance to relate my anger and grief, I was ushered out of the hospitals when I wanted to talk about it.

South Carolina, formerly from Calif

It is coming up on three years since my dad died of cancer. I took care of him by myself with no real help from anyone. My brother tried but did not have the stomach for it. We tried to get help from local hospic but did not succed. I said that i would never do that for anyone again, because of what it took out of me emothionally, and mentally. But here I am looking back, and find myself in that same situation again taking ing care of a man who is not related to me, who is dying of cancer simular to my father's. And realizing that by doing it again after swearing it would not happen. That it is helping me to finially let go of my dad as well as my mother's passings. I watched the show tonight and found myself crying and feeling the feelings i should have felt almost three years ago for my father and almost 8 yrs ago for my mother. I know that loosing Phillip the gentleman I am taking care of now will be hard but I do know that I will be able to deal with it alot better this time than bef


I am a very recent widow, my husband died in May. He was 64 yrs of age, had retired 5 years prior, with so much to live for. Coping with all the changes in my life has been overwhelming. I have had to deal with disposing of autos & boats, all that guy stuff. I was particularly interested in what Wendy Johnson had to say about her father's death. My husband also died as a result of a rare neurological disease, within 5 mo.


I lost my grandmother and mother in six months of each other almost to the day. Took care of my father till his death. In march I lost the last close living relative on my side of the family. I have never had a real chance to grieve. I am to the point I do not know how . I watched four members of my family fade away from old age and illness.


In caring for my dying mother for 3 months ,in my home,i feel I did a lot of my grieving & mourning. By the time of her death I was able to share stories with her ,say my goodbyes 7 know that someday we will meet again.


I have begun to make it a point to say the "important things" to love ones whether it is daily, weekly, everytime I see them. At first, they used to say "Are you trying to tell us something?" (i.e., are you dying?). The answer was "yes" (we are all dying), but I meant and further explained "Yes, you are important in my life and I want you to know it."


I have enjoyed so much in my life and have filled my days; never wanting to waste a momment, whether at work, play or family. At 46, I never married nor had children - my nieces and nephews received that special love from me instead.

In June, my 19 year old niece, Leah, died. At first, I thought a good came from this terrible tragedy, emotional closeness within my 6 siblings and their children. Yet as the days pass, neither friends nor family have reached out to help me through this terrible sadness. Although I asked my minister to stop in to see my parents (who don't even belong to the church), never has he asked after me and my need for solice. After all I'm only an aunt. I have talked about my feelings to friends, but no one reaches out to help alleviate the pain. My emotional loneliness continues.

So I no longer seize the day. Instead I spend quiet momments by myself.


I am not certain that I have ever gotten started on the pathway to healing since my husband died.

No, choices made daily are not based upon contemplation of my own mortality.


What helped the most after my parents died was people saying they were sorry. coming back to work and being met with silence was the worst--I didn't know if they didn't know about the death or if they just weren't comfortable saying anything! Saying something to the grieving person helps, even if it makes them cry. I still remember all the kind words from my dad's friends--the people who knew him before he was ill--who told how much he helped other people.


My experience with hospice was short but not anything like it was portrayed on your program tonight. After many "appointments" and tests, my Father was finally diagnosed with bone cancer. He had been not been feeling well for a while, but he was never one to complain so nothing much was said. One day our stepmother called, in tears, to ask for help in getting a hospital bed into their house. It was the beginning of a short but everlasting part of my life. After our stepmother's request for our help we discovered that He had been in for tests for three days in a row and that she did not think that he could make it in for his appointment that Monday, so my sisters and I went to help. It was the worst thing that I have ever witnessed in my life to see my Father get from his chair out to the car that day. And to find out later that day that his appointment was to be told of his diagnosis and be treated the way he was in being admitted into the hospital was torture for all of us. It took hou

The only "hospice care" occured the first day that my father was there, we could "call her any time". That was the first and last time we saw her. We just sat around and waited for dad to die. It was pretty effective! She never had to show up again and we never called her (I wonder why).

I am still trying to deal with his death and that was on May 24 of this year. Maybe I am still trying to deal with my Mother's death (in 1964) when I was six years old, but then again maybe he was too.


I had lost a cousin on April 20,2000. Her name was Debbie she was 46 years old. She went into the hospital for a triple bypass and was in there for a week. She came home and was home for three days till she died of a blood clot. I was very close to her and not having her here makes me miss her and I have been griveing over her ever since. I just want to feel better and not grief so much.


I was disturbed by the attitude of Pervanche, she was asking people to be there for her, but it seems that when she receives any attention that is not to her liking, she disregards the other people attempts to be supportive. Just because they are giving the only type of support they know how to give, even though it may not be what you want or need to hear at that particular time, doesn't make them bad or "fluffy".

I originally thought I could emapathize with her until she read her fireside letter, which may have been an attempt at humor, but came off as callous and selfish. That made her previous comments sound like she was saying to the world, "You may speak to me only if I deem your pitiful utterances worthy, elswise begone."

I lost an infant son some years back. Not only was that a tremendous personal loss, but it was a family loss in that I am the last male in our line of a rather unusual surname and it was unlikely that my wife and I would have any more children due to our age. Yes, I was hurt and angry. And I had troubles with people trying to express their feelings, even if they were only of the obligatory polite nature. However, I recognized they were dealing with something they felt uncomfortable with as well. They didn't have to speak to me at all. So any effort, no matter how clumsy, was appreciated.

I feel like this message is a bit off-topic, so it is more for the benefit of the producers, Ms. Pervanche, and my own spleen. However, if you feel it would contribute to the discussion, you may post it.


I think after my fathers death, I started to resent spreading myself thin. Before his struggle with pancreatic cancer I would volunteer my time and energy in many areas. I couldn't and wouldn't say no, because I felt as though I was needed, until my father died. I began to question and resent giving my time away. At first I thought I was being selfish, but then I realized I was still grieving, and I needed to pull back and figure out where I wanted to put my time and energy toward. Death makes you realize who and what are the most important things in your life. Faith,Family/friends, and health are all we really have, and when health is gone, Our belief and loved ones are the only ones that can carry us through.


Absolutely. My father is dying from end stage renal cancer and as his only "child" and secondary caregiver, I am in the midst of anticipatory grief. I love him and want to make him happy, make every minute count, be the perfect daughter. The last few days as he declines, I am experiencing anger. There's nothing I can do to make this better. There's only one ending here. I am having such a hard time letting go. None of the he's old and has lived a full life type of comfort helps at all. What has helped most are my closest friends who listen, accept, and just be there. I know life goes on, but I cannot be other than what I am right now in this place at this time, a griefing daughter who doesn't want him to go.


I lost my mother and father within 8 weeks of one another. My parents divorced when I was 3 years of age. Essentially my father drank himself to death.

He chose to live his life alone and to die alone. I am okay with that.

My mother committed suicide on March 17, 2000. She was 54 years old. She was diagnosed with breast cancer (Stage I) August 1999. Besides the cancer, she suffered from major depression most of her life. She had one more week of radiation treatment prior to her death.

I am 32 years old. I don't really "fit" anywhere with my grief in terms of relating to people in my age range. Most people lose their parents later in life. "Suicide" do I survive this? I am completely alone. For the first time in my life I can honestly say that I don't have a purpose in life. I related so much to the woman whose father had "taken his life".

I am aware of the beautiful experience of being there for your loved one when he/she is passing on. I lost my grandmother at age 27. I would not have missed being there for anything. It was an experience to precious to be explained with words. I was also there for my grandfather when he died three years ago. I always felt that our society valued being there for the birth of a baby yet little value was placed on being there as a person was leaving his/her body. My grandparents were like my parents. They gave me so much. Being there while they passed on seemed only right for them and me.

This time...suicide??? My grief is so different. No one really understands what I am going through. I feel that I am too young to have lost so many important people in my life.

My mother robbed me of being able to be there for her while she passed on. My mother was my bestfriend. My family is pretty much gone. I am not married, don't have any kids, and am not in a relationship. I am pretty much alone. Only a few people know that my mother committed suicide. Most think she died of cancer. This lie has been very difficult to pull off.

I am in therapy and work out 4-5 times a week. I have done everything that had been suggested to me to make me "feel" better. This is a dark lonely place. My peers don't relate to me. I relate to 50 year old people. I have not found anyone my age that has had a parent commit suicide.

I am grateful for being able to have watched this program. My only suggestion is to add a variety of age groups to the discussion. Also, include topics such a suicide. Our society doesn't really deal with the issue of suicide and what the survivors feel. The grief is different.


My mother was murdered in January of this year. It has been a difficult time for our family and friends. The shock of such a horrendous event, on a magnitude that we could have never imagined previous to being thrown into it, was nearly too great to handle. She had disappeared for just over a week, then her killer confessed to the crime and her body was recovered.

The unexpected loss or theft of my mom brought so many thoughts and feelings with it, it was nearly overwhelming. Once we had recovered her body, we were able to start dealing with the truth that she was dead and processing what had occurred. My family of two sisters and brother, our own families, as well as our extended community of family and friends, struggled collectively and individually with the loss.

In the first hours and days of our loss, we found ourselves dealing with the seriousness of what had occurred and the accompanying shock. Then, in the quiet moments together, much of our time was spent remembering, joking and laughing about the good times and some of the silly things that were happening that we thought mom would have gotten a laugh out of if she were here. But then for me personally, I would escape for rare moments alone or with my wife in a dark room or in the car and cry so hard that my muscles would ache. I had acute chest pains for three days from the anxiety and crying.

We were bombarded with friends, family and neighbors. Mom was so loved by all that we had more food than we could have ever eaten. Flowers, plants and cards were in great abundance. The funeral service saw so many people that we were overwhelmed. Much of that time however, the time shared with others, I felt was spent helping them deal with and process their grief rather than the reverse. It was and still does remain incredibly exhausting. I waited for and looked forward to things quieting down, specifically for the doorbell to stop ringing and the well-intentioned advise to end. While the former has the latter has not.

My family and I are constantly reminded of her brutal death through case related interviews and court dates and we all dread the trial. However, I do look forward to the sentence being rendered and related events slipping away from media attention and to some sort of rest. I also look forward to the normalcy of life, whatever that means, returning.

Some of the things that has helped me through the initial and acute stage of loss and continue to help me in dealing and coping with my mom being separated from us are my faith, family and profession.

Firstly, I am a religious person and I am confident that my mother is near me in spirit. I have felt her influence and calming touch numerous times during this crisis. It brings me peace that while I may not be in a position to hug her or see her, that none-the-less she is with me at times and she can hear my words spoken to her.

Secondly, my family has been quite supportive of one another during this event. We have pulled the wagons in a circle per se and have really rallied to one another as needed. My mom is surely pleased with this as she worked our entire lives to ensure that we, her children, were friends as well as siblings.

Thirdly, I have gained experience and understanding through my professional pursuits. As a social worker, I have had experiences in helping others deal with loss and adjustment. In addition, I have been able to study the process of loss and grief. Yet further, I have been able to develop skills and applicable knowledge of processing thoughts and feelings in a nonjudgmental way that has helped me personally as well as my family and friends.

I miss mom terribly. I miss her sweetness and her ever-constant love. For selfish reasons I want her back…but I know however that she is in a better place and that she is still working for good, close at hand, just on the other side of the veil. She is not resting but continuing to serve others and grow in her own understanding of the eternal truths and constants that govern the universe. This truly gives me peace.


When I was 18 years old, my girl friend Vicki was killed in a car crash on Nov. 29, 1982, I told her that I loved her at 11:00 am, that day, at 2:00 pm I was told that she was dead. I thought my life was over, I told myself the moment I heard those words, I'll deal with that later, I have a frat party to get ready for, so I went outside to my truck and with no effort, I picked up to full kegs of beer, packed with ice, weighing about 100 lbs each, I carried them from my truck to the back porch one in each hand. I've never had that much strenght before in my life. The realization of Vicki's death hit me like a freight train when my house mate, Kevin came home an hour later and asked if I was alright. My answer was "No" I've not been the same since. I never will be the same person I was at 11:00 am Nov. 29th, 1983. On May 1, 1983, just several months after Vicki's death, my oldest brother Vance woke up on a Sunday morning and while taking a shower, dropped dead at age 29. I used to talk to him

ecause she held all of her grief inside and never would let it out. She suffered with diabeties, and heart failure for eight long years. She waited until my first daughter Caroline was born to die. She saw her for one day. Caroline was born on April 17th, mom saw her on April 30th, on May 1st she died. I have had other friends, my age, younger than me, some a little older, who have died. And last year, a little boy, eight years old, a friend of my son, Dalton, was killed while crossing the street to get on the school bus. I think of Dalton often times when my own children are standing and waiting for the bus to come in the mornings. Recently, I was with a friend of mine, while I was talking to her about preforming his funeral services, he died. I was there for her to lean on. I am so familiar with death and dying that I was able to help her, hold her, carry some of the grief for her I hope. Maybe what was said on tonight's program is true, death and love are the two thing we all pass on to others, ev

o those whom I am grieving with, if not they don't know that I really care and I become one of those false friends, who say the dumbest stuff like, "it's O K ", "your young," "get a dog" or "there are more fish in the sea", If you know what is like, you know that when someone you really care about leaves you, by way of death, it's NOT O K, and you are not young, you become very old, you can't just get a dog, and there are no other fish in the sea like the one you lost. It hurts, it hurts bad, and a part of you dies with them, and you are never ever the same again. But as the lady on TV said tonight at the same time you begin to realize what it means to be alive, and how real and alive those whom we have lost still are, they are alive inside of us, and they don't ever leave completely. My dear Vicki, my beloved brother, Vance, Harry, my mom, my friends Craig, Gary, Carol, Andy, Steve, Mark, Dalton, and my wife's grandmother, and all of my grandparents, Dewitt, Ola, Boyd, Mary, and my uncles and aunts, ed someone to share your grief with, e-mail me, at, I'll do my best, I've been there and done that, so let it be!

North Carolina

My husband died of a heart attack suddenly as he was out for a walk. This occurred 8 days after the death of his only brother. This was the most devastating moment of my life. I never got to say good-bye. This was 5 years ago and though I had to go on with my life, I will never be the same. It took me at least 3 years to come to terms with this.


Time and friends, but mostly praying to God for his presence in your grief. Just knowing there is no "time frame" for mourning, everyone is different and your life is not the same after losing your loved one, you don't think the same and things are different,


What about some discussion of cryonics? (body freezing in hopes of eventual scientific restoration of life). See (for example) website


Knowing that I am not alone. I felt so alone and no one knows what I'm going through. I attended a Hospice grief support group and it has helped me cope with the loss of my partner.


Having watched a relative valiantly cope with being the primary caregiver of a very UNloveable loved one, I wonder what 'grace' can the rest of we family members bring to a situation when the person who is dying remains stubborn, wilfull, and with-holding? When the dying person never reaches out...when he doesn't take any responsibility for the hurt he has caused?


When my husband died of Cancer this year, we never talked about his dying. He always remained positive and I felt I needed to be this way also, for him. I don't know how he felt. Was he scared? Was he sad? Was he thinking about me and how I would feel is he should any emotions? I wish now we would of talked because maybe I could of made things easier for him.


I became a risk taker. I had always wanted to learn how to fly. Since I had many hours to fill now that I was alone, I took flying lessons. As I soared through the air, I felt closer to my sweetheart and I felt I was mastering a goal. The beauty of the ground below me helped to place myself out of sorrow for that hour.


My husband died one month ago today...We lived with his dying for all this year..He had Cancer..Superior Vena Cava Syndrome..I nursed him at home and he died in our daughter was very good in helping me care for Dad. I am angry at the medical people and the DAMMED CANCER SOCIETY...they have taken billions of dollars from the public and they employ millions of people in research..they don't find cures , they just employ people.. The hospice society did nothing for us..the community care nurses came in every so often and built a file off the information I kept..they did little for my husband...I kept notes of all the medications I gave my husband..I am also angry at the pharmacy which felt they had to caution me constantly on the medications,they couldn't seem to get in their heads that one who is dying will not become addicted on the medications we were using..mainly 292's and Adivan..1mg. My husband refused the morphine and I respected his wishes so we controlled the pain with 292's..H

B.C. Canada

I find that I am hyper aware of wasted time. Time wasted worrying about money, or work, or things like that. My mother worried so much about afraid...hated her job and complained allthe time but nnever left until she retired. Then she died less than a year later. I have little ability to tolerate what doesn't ring true for me. I find that when I see something I like I just buy it. Instead of agonizing about wether or not we can afford it. My mother died 3 1/2 weeks ago and we bought our first house today and also decided to start a family. Death has increased my appetite for life. And made everything much more precious.

British Columbia

Thank you so much for your wonderful show. I work for The City of Pleasanton and Jim Locke use to sell products that we used on a regular bases. He came in on a regular schedule and always had a joke to share with all who were in the office. I had just heard of Jims passing just a couple of months ago and this program was a big help for me. I wasn't a friend of Jims but I did get that awful feeling in my stomach because of his death. What a truely great man for shareing his final moments with the rest of the world to see. Wow I wish I had know him just a little better. I know that he retired about 2 years ago and what a crappy way to end retirement. God bless you Jim, and may you continue to shine with GOD. May your family know of all the people you touched and that you are truley missed. Good Bye Jim, we really miss your jokes.


My husband died of Cancer in June of this year. We never talked about his dying. He remained very positive that he was going to beat this disease. For his sake I remained positive for him. Now I wished we would of talked about his dying. I don't know if he was scared, in pain, physically and/or mentally, angry. . He never complained all through his illness. He never said "why me". It hurts me terribly that he went through this without talking to me .


"Support groups" haven't helped. I am a strong individual (thanks to my parents), and just realizing we take one day at a time, and that life does go on, and there are things that have to be done. If I didn't do them, they wouldn't get done. And, after my parents died, there was SO much paperwork & stuff that had to be done, that I didn't have too much time to really sit down & sob per se; I had to move on. However, at this stage in the game, 12 years hence, to this day, ne'er a day goes by that I don't think of my Special Parents!

Of course, carpe diem, realizing that life is short, keeps me living life to the fullest to fit in everything I want to fit in before the inevitable strikes, since we have no clue when that time is apt to...


No,but contemplating my wife's death has. I thank God each day I see and if it be His will, I will be seeing her at His appointed time. Choices I make in my daily life,I believe is guided by Him. Some old friends and relatives have been really caring and available whereas everyone was busy with their own lives before. I am blessed and watched over.


Dad died 12-26-89 after 3yrs + 3mos intense suffering. Mom died unexpectedly 11-19-99; shd folded church bulletins the day before and the next she died of colic. She& we were lucky she went faster than Dad but both had great pain. I have great support at church and work but it's hard. I wish my grief would quit; it comes tiny cloudbursts & lotsa Kleenex. They say this is normal, but I need to control the lability; it's the hardest thing. I am moving out of my unhealthy co-dependency attachment but still have other life skills to gain like confidence and career. I turn 48 on 10-2 but still hate my BD; Dad's last rites were the night before. Maybe I need to say it's okay? Then will the pain and tears end? Or do I have 2 years of ouch? I tried to put a date on this but can only go a day at a time.


My mother died 11 years ago, and I feel as if I haven't finished grieving; it keeps leaking out. One thing is I'm 55, so I think I'm supposed to accept the death of a parent more calmly, and at the same time, I accepted it so calmly at the time that I hardly felt it at all. She was 64; she died of lung cancer. And she began the whole cancer trek about 4 years before her death. My culture is of the stiff upper lip, I'd rather not discuss it kind.

My father died a year and a day later. Sometimes I miss him, too; but the whole thing seems more in proportion...

I'm not asking for advice. I have a therapist and I'm doing this griefwork the best I can. The program tonight just brought a great deal of feeling to me. Thankyou.


I used to live for the moment. Now I am a Chaplain in a subacute unit where their are end-of-life issues everyday. I am now making decisions based on this experience.


My father passed away in March after 3.5 months in the hospital. He had a heart attach and then a triple bypass, which had complications, then infection. He ended up with a huge hole in his chest that needed to heal too slowly and was unable to get off the ventilator. The ventilator was the most difficult thing for him and us as it limited his ablility to discuss what he wanted with us. I did everything that I could think of during his hospital stay, but still have much guilt in the way it all turned out.


Peter, I was touched by your wishing you had made a death mask of your Dad. I carved the gravestone for my parents. A traditional "joined hands," and the wreath around them was oak leaves with six acorns for their children. I brought the wood "plug" to the interment of the ashes, and I was so proud of it it overrode any feeling of grief. When I cast the gravestone in bronze, I inscribed on the back of it "with gratitude."

I've been a little ashamed that I had more pride than grief and more gratitude than love, and now I'm not so sure it is as simple and damning as all that. I'm an artist. It consoles me.


Death has been part of my life for a good 3 years now. I caregave my father for 2 1/2 years, at home, until he died on March 10th. I had to give up my business, savings and an 8 1/2 relationship to do it.

Three weeks ago my ex mother in law died and the day after, a very dear, close friend of mine suddenly dropped dead of a heart attack. Then, last Monday I had to put my 2 year old Terrier down because of a long, difficult battle with an 'idiopathic' condition.

I am no longer afraid of death. I'm numb. My only concern is not to suffer when my time comes. I watched my father die a slow painful death while hanging on to life for all it was worth. It was awful, but, I would take care of him again if he needed me.

I don't believe in letting people die alone. I stood by my father and helped him in the last part of his journey. I believe it was the right thing to do.

I, however, do have a difficult time with our health care industry and the way they treat the dying as well as the caregivers and their families. It's, for the most part, disgraceful.

I truly believe they are keeping corpses alive because they are making a ton of money off of these poor, suffering people. Each day they can keep them alive Medicare and insurance co's pay various industries beau coup bucks. That includes, the doctors, hospitals, pharmacutical companies, all the suppliers of everything from bandages, to food, clothing, toilet paper, ambulances, techs, PT's, etc. It's disgusting.

I'm glad that Bill Moyer is exploring this subject. It is something we will all go through and if we don't want to suffer like our parents, then we had better start a frank, open discussion about this subject before it's too late, for us.

Death is an important part of life. It's taught me to value each day of my life and not to put up with anything that I don't feel is right for me. Taking care of my father gave both of us the chance to get to know each other as I had been disowned and disinherited for 18 years. I often told him that G-d was keeping him alive so he could see I had turned out alright.

My father taught me, and my daughter, many things during the last part of his life. But, truly the most important 2 things were how to be brave and courageous in the face of a completely horrible situation as well as how to face death. I held his hand and told him that many times before he died. Our home healthcare assistant told me that, when I left the room, my father always cried.


When my husband died in 1974 there was no hospice and the Dr.s wanted to put him in a home to die..I am so glad I took him home and even tho' I was his nurse, dr. and had a nurse that came in one hour a day to bathe and check his I.V. I did everyhing else for him including going to get medecines etc. as I had no one else..and two children..13 and 11..It was very difficult for all of us..but I would not have done anything else..he was so grateful and uncomplaining..a wonderful patient!! I did not believe he was going to die until the last three weeks. Our minds help to block that out and won't let us believe what we see..How could i ever believe he was not going to die when he went from 180 pounds to skin and bones..but i could do anything.

My husband at 27 soon after we were married had cancer and 18 years later a new kind made him ill again..we had many good years after that awful 5 year period..He never let it get to him..that first time..went to college..and taught school for ten after graduation before we both quit in 72 and he lived two more years..

It is amazing how much illness does for your view of life. I almost died in that same honeymoon period and it made us realize how wonderful life was and we lived it to the max.

We adpted two children..and they lucked out because our daughter had 5 congental defects, and our son had reoccuring tumors on his foot..In a ten year period one or other of the three was in the hosp. with operations every six months. They were lucky they had found parents that knew what being ill was all about.

I asked my daughter if she was unhappy that her daddy was in the house when he died, "No," she said, "I knew where he was.


Forgot a very important matter.

Bill Moyer is an alumni of my college U. North Texas. I always when I would regale my husband with all of the wonderful people who attended that college..He was always included. I am very proud of him for he is a sterling representative of our college.

I'm from Longview, Texas..twenty miles from his home town..and my uncle was a Dr. in as is so often I feel like I know him but he does not know me..but we share a lot of past.


I watched the "eyes wide open" document tonight and it stirred up alot of deeply buried feelings inside me that I didn't know I had and never faced when she did die. My mom died in 1993..... and it was a VERY hard day :( as it came as a shock as my mother was in denial and beacause she was in denial....she never gave me ample warning or me a chance to prepare. Although I know now she KNEW she was dying..... but it was a BIG secret. and that ANGERS me to no end.As she robbed me of the opportunity to tell her things I would have liked to share before she died. Umm, And as a result of that I try rto be sure I tell those who are important and special to me in my life today that I love them as I would never see them again.


I received a new liver Aug. 3, 2000. I feel like my recovery is slow and being compromised by the fact that my left hand is numb and very painful, from having the circulation cut off during 10 hrs. on the operating table. I'm truly greatful for the new lease on life, having only 3 months left to live. But at what price? Half of my life was totally consumed by music and playing the 5 string banjo,dobro and guitar. That is now a thing of the past. My doctor is very unsympathetic and always says 'If that's your only complaint, you're lucky'.I don't get it - half of my life is gone and I can't do much of the things I used to or would like to do. I'm very frustrated and depressed by this situation.


When my father was diagnosed with prostate and bone cancer, and was given only one year to live. I think I went through the morning prosess at that time. And at some times early on I was in denial. Dad was to young, and hadn't yet had a chance to retire, or do the things he had planed to do. Dad was in good health, and didn't smoke or drink. He was a happy man with an active life, and this just wasn't suposed to happen to him. My mother was allways the sick one, being handycabted all of her life. And we my two brothers and I , allways expected mom to die first.

As time went on and the pain became intence. They put dad into the hospital. He was druged with morifeen and was in such cronic pain that you couldn't even hug him, or even touch him. The cancer had envaded every bone in his body. I greaved the most at that time. I prayed to God to release him from this expereance. And when the day came, I and the hole famaly felt such joy and peace, that it was finaly over for him. And the greaving stoped. I still think of him everyday. But the things that I remember are the good times. Dad was a happy man and loved people. Sure I miss him. It is hard not to. But I have faith that I will be with him again, and thats what I look forward to.


We watched the first shows last night. No one mentiond the shock that a sudden death has on a family. We received the phone call that our youngest son had been killed in a motercycle accident at 12:15 A.M. It has been 7 years ago on July 16. He was 21, five weeks before his 22 birthday. And we did not even know that he had a motercycle. He was attending college in San Francisco. 250 miles from our home. The police report said that the accident was his fault. We later learned that this may not have been the case. However, we chose not to persue this as it would have been difficult to prove and we all believed that it was important to forgive. I know that the youg woman driving the car has had her own heavy load to carry. It is interesting how people who have not lost someone close react. They are so imbarresd by grief. Even after seven years if we mention Mike they get imbarresd and quickly change the subject. They do not realize that he is still a major part of our lives and that


I have been a Hospice volunteer for nearly 3 years and have enjoyed each person I have been with. Each one brings a different story and life into my world. At times I wished that I would have met them sooner but then the meaning would not be the same. I got started with Hospice of Midland when my daughter-inlaw mother was dying of cancer. I saw first hand how these nurses and caregivers open their hearts to you no matter who you were or what you have done in your life. I ended up setting with her and my daughter-inlaw until the end. That is when I decided to go through the volunteer training. I never thought of how much it would enriched my life being with these people who know they may not be here the next day. I also volunteer as an Obudsman in two nursing homes and Hospice will give the names of whom to see during my visits. So I get to see things in different ways. One who is lucky enough to stay home to die or the one put in the nursing home. If I could have my way all would die


me again..I kind of dumped last nite after watching the show..We had the doctors making home visits for the last 6 weeks, at first 2xs a day then once a day then only twice a week, they did not seem to know how long he had left. My daughter who helped me with the nursing stayed here most of the time and brought her 6 yr. old and 8 yr.old daughters as well as her 16 yr old son, who helped me when his Mom had to go home to her husband to smooth over his hurt feelings. When the kids were here they played normally,made kid noises and came in at nite ,climbed up on the bed to give Grampa a hug and kiss goodnite,which he seemed to enjoy to still be part of life. But I noticed when one is dying,they also start to withdraw inward and start to leave us . My husbands cancer (tumor) started on the top and outside of his right lung..when he died I could feel the tumor protruding out below his lower left rib cage. He could not talk for the last week . We both accepted "thy will be done" but he still had

B.C. Canada





I want to let you know about another resource. Former staff of the Elisabeth Kuber-Ross Center present workshops throughout the US and elsewhere. These workshops are designed to give people the opportunity to safely express the full range of feelings associated with grief in a supportive and non-judgmental atmosphere. These workshops are useful to people dealing with any kind of loss including terminal diagnoses, caregivers, and professionals. They are based on the idea that by working to resolve our unfinished business we can live more fully, beof more effective support to others and die with fewer regrets. For more information about workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area call 415-263-4822.


My six year-old daughter died 13 years ago after being struck by a car driven by a drunk driver. Nothing in my life has come close to having the impact this did, and what my wife, other daughters and I live now is a new life. It took a long time to reach the point where that felt OK...where laughing and having fun and not thinking about her every minute no longer brought on feelings of guilt. But I don't understand the need so many people feel to use the word "heal." After our daughter died we struggled and grieved and functioned at minimal level for months. We didn't care if we lived or died, and continued to get up and do things each day out of habit and because of the needs of our other girls. Without any landmark declaration that we were going to "move on" or "heal," eventually we began to function in a way that was a little bit like the way things had been. We slowly returned to choosing to eat and work and play. We were able to read and go to movies, and exercise, and do the thing

But it happened automatically. Time didn't "heal," but time began to dull the intensity of the pain, and leave in its wake the events and new people that were the foundation of what our unwanted but inevitable new life would become.

The awareness that our daughter is gone...that we can never share beautiful sunsets and magical days and so many other things with her...never leaves us. That's why it truly is a new and different life. What's missing is that sense of being "carefree," a word I'd used but never really thought about until this happened. My life is good and filled with the joys and sorrows that any life has, but I can't forget what I had when that other life, however briefly, was as perfect as it would ever be.


My 21 year old son died very suddenly July 12, 2000. I am looking for guidance. I am searching for support in my area, either an individual or group approach that might help me be able to live with this. I liked the philosophies and Buddist approach that I heard last night. Is anyone aware of anything/anyone similar to Frank in the Seattle area. I would email him directly but could not access his email off the web site.

Thank you,


My mother passed away in June at the Hospice unit at Deconess Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.....She had been diagnosed with Leukemia only 5 days before she died and she asked me" How did I get here???I thought I was doing so well".......Everything from that point on was a blur from family and friends rushing in and out to planning her funeral and cleaning out and leaving her apartment, where I stayed when I visited. I've cried and I know she is with God and pain free but I am still very overwhelmed with grief...everytime I see an older person, I can't help but stop and make sure I'm breathing...there are two other siblings older than me(I'm the age 46) and I'm just numb....Help Me!!!!


I watched my mother die of pancreatic cancer in 1990. She died six months after diagnosis.She was able to sustain one operation which gave us more time together but we felt she was too weak to endure the chemo the doctors wanted to do.She and I never discussed the fact that she only had six months to live but I am sure she knew it. I was so caught up in all that was going on I was unable to cry,believe me I've cried so much since then. It still hurts so bad to think about that time but God has wiped away most of the tears.I have vivid memories of our time together.I wish that I had had the priviledge to view your program prior to her death. Perhaps I would have been able to ask questions when she said that she had seen her mother and other family members and a very bright light. After seeing the bright light she reported that she was sent back because it was not time for her to die.

She did not want to leave her mother but returned to us,speaking often of this light. She was very calm and very aware of everthing going on around her. Although she was quite weak, because she could not eat solid food and was not being fed by tubes she wanted to see all visitors.I was teaching school in Ohio and she lived in Virginia, several times during the summer I visited but she waited for me to come for a scheduled visit before she died. I was too sad to call all the people I should have.

Six days after her funeral my husband decided we needed a vacation so we went to Chicago. There I met a woman who gave me a copy of a book by Norman Vincent Peale. It was called "When Sorrow Comes" . I read it until I could cry no more. The soothing words helped to heal my sorrow.


Very good series. I wish that it had been filmed and shown in 1997. My husband was diagnosed with cancer and was dead in 61 days. It was so fast and I did not know what was happening. I did not know what a hospice was, I thought that it was a place for people who were getting better.

I learned so much in such a short time, the hard way.

I formed a grief support group, as I found that there was a charge for them.

It is three years later. Looking back I would have done things differently.

I still have my moments and I have not let myself really grieve as it is too painful. Now I just exist.


I feel so alone in my grief. I am in counseling, my pastor is always available, I know my friends care, but I am so alone. My Mother died at 84 (11/97)-it was a "good" death (altho her last months were not) and I was "getting used" to her death and then my son (age 34) was killed in a auto crash. It's almost 15 months since he was killed-I've read all (almost all) the books-I do everything my "shrink' tells me but I cannot "move on". I contemplate my own death and consider the peace of it. I do nothing to further my demise but I welcome it.


I resently lost my husband at 42, to espohagus cancer. He was diagnosed in December and died March 30 of this year. I feel so alone and devastated. I havea 4 1/2 year old daughter and had to give up the adopted daughter, who was 9mths, after my husband passed away. Our love for eachother was endless. Our lives were filled with challenges and obstacles. We lost 3 children before they were a year old, from a kidney disease. I lost my mother and sisters and brother in a firer in 78 and my father the following year.

Why so much loss. Why so many montains to climb, only to fall again when you reach the top. My husband was my bestfriend, my soul mate, my confident, I loved him so. He is my hardest loss. He has made me look at life so differently. I want to keep him alive, in a way that we will all be reminded of the young losing the young. When your in the prime of your life, and the road looks so clear, all of a sudden a sharp curve changes your whole life.

I am having a really hard time finding a group for younger spouses, no disrespect, but most of the groups you don't usually find younger spouses who have lost. I am 36 years of age. Please don't get me wrong a loss is devasting no matter what your age, but when your younger there are different issues, children, work etc. I want to try and start up some groups for the young losing he young. Not just meetings, but dinners amoung the groups, babysitting assistance, support, encouragement and most of all understanding exactly how you feel.

Why is it when you need people the most, they have all left. It's like life is suppose to go on, because theirs is. Yet you don't know this life, you have never lived it.

Please if anyone has any ideas or people they think I could write, to help with advertising, publicity, and just simply awareness.

Although I feel it, I know I'm not the only one out there.

For all you who have lost and read this remember one thing no one can take the dear memories we hold so close to our hearts. Remember they will always be a part of sky, the wind the sand, the stars and for that, they are never far away. Always remember, when you think of me I will alway be in your heart and never far away. (As my husband said to me).

Bless you all,

thank you


I think I should say, that 60 is young to me. I am refering to your 70's to 80s when you usually have more support from your dear friends who have lost as well.


Since losing my husband to mesothelomia in March of 1999, I try to make better choices. I say no when I really don't want to do something. I am more aware of death as something that could happen to me at any time. I don't want nonsense in my life, just the things that are important and true. He had Hospice and they were wonderful people.I feel I must be true to myself. I have always known that God was with us before and during his illness. Now I know he is with me every moment. I feel as though he and I are on a journey. He has just gone ahead and I will follow someday. We are in this together and God will see me through it all. I am more careful about how I speak to people. I guess, more honest and to the point.

I've always been careful not to hurt others feelings and I still am but I also am more to the point, ever so gentle.


What has helped me to move forward is that I know my mother would be unhappy if I didn't. At times I find it almost impossible;but I keep her with me every day.


Had to terminate life support on wife of 52 yrs.

on venterlator and with a tempature of 108 degrees and having a heart attack and seizures , her situation was hopeless plus being in a coma , did not make it any easier to disconnect , but it was done.. after all hope is gone one should not hesitate in this .


There are times where I wonder why we are here at all. Both of my parents are deceased.My mom died many years ago, my dad in the last year. The experience of their dying was very different--closed & don't talk about it with mom, & being very open about it with my father. I often wonder what has happened to them. I don't think I will ever understand why God or whoever/whatever has in mind allowing some people to live in pain for a long time before death finally takes them & others die quickly & peacefully. Why does he allow young children to suffer nutritionally, physically, with no one to love them or meet their needs...Why are we here????


My sister died 3 years ago. She was 33 years old. She left a son (5 Years old) and a daughter 8 years old. She sent her children to school, and went off to work, put in a full shift, and went out for a coffee with a friend. She never made it home. She had a brain aneurysm, fell into a coma for 6 months.

The decision was made to stop life support. She had no quality of life. I have no regrets of making that decision. As for grief, I am far from over it. I have good and bad days. After 3 years, the only thing I know for sure is the pain never goes away. The only thing that changes with time is the way you deal with it on a day to day basis. You learn how to control it. At work I will laugh and have a good day. Because it's not the time to cry. When I come home, it's home work with the chidren, still not the time to cry. When every one is sleeping, or if I'm driving alone in the car, it is time to cry. Amazingly, I find that your system does it on it's own. It seems to learn, when to mourn and when not to. The hardest part for me was and still is, not having the people around you understand that yes 6 months after, you are still in limbo and in a great deal of pain, and yes 2 years later, you are still in the same situation. And today, 3 years later, people still don't understand that you still

Quebec Canada

Knowing that I provided comfort, compassion, and companionship to my husband as he died helps me during this mourning process.


after my mother passed away and i had to return home from australia i bought a journal and wrote down everything that happened in the 6 weeeks that my mother was told she had cancer and then died in such a short time it was then i cried and was able to get on with living again


In the last two years I have lost 4 family members(Dad,Grandmother,Aunt & Birth-father), and a good friend to various illnesses. During this time 2 other family members have been diagnosed with cancer, one is terminal. Explaining to my 9year old why his Poppa died, even though he prayed for him everyday, helped me reinforce my own beliefs and helped me in my own healing. You can't lose a loved one and not contemplate your own mortality. But, I hope by facing my mortality, it makes me a better person, more sensitive to the feelings of others who are going through the pain the last 2 years have brought to me, and stronger in my belief that in same way we'll all be together again one day.




On Friday I went to a funeral of a 6 year old. This bright little redhead was an only child of a single mother. A year ago he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The last few months were very painful for him and emotionally devastating for his mother. You have not touched on what happens when a child dies. Perhaps this is a whole different show.



I just lost my father 2 weeks ago. Me & my father were very close. We did things together everyday, whether it be camping fishing talking, Taking trips, & or working on cars or the yard. I cant except that he is gone. I hurts too much. It is the weirdest feeling inside me that is just making me sick inside. Six yrs ago we found out he had 6 months to live. At that time I structured my life around him & enjoying him. He lasted 6 yrs & maybe thats why it hurts so much. I know hes in no more pain & I am glad for that but I think its more selfishness. I will never see him gain. I cry everyday. I need help to deal with it.


I lost my Mother in death in May and My husband the 17th of August after a year, short of 10 days, being an invalid after a stroke and massive brain hemorrage.I think it would help to talk to others experiencing this type of grief. Thank you.


What was the name of the book that was required reading for the palliative team @ the hospital?


My father's death in March not only taught me that life is precious and that we should strive towards quality and not quantity but that also we should not be afraid of death. I miss my father very much but because of my faith I truly believe that he is in a better place and finally resting in peace. Society tends to ignore issues about death, terminal illness, etc. because for one reason or another it is consumed with being young and death is ignored. If you keep in mind that death like living is a big part of life then you are on the right track. The series on "Living with Dying" is absolutely wonderful and extremely informative and I have suggested it to people (even though they are not faced with terminal illnesses) to watch it because it opens up your eyes.

Washington, D.C.

i just lost my father on August 16th due to Mantle Cell Lymphoma Cancer. I am having a very hard time with this because of me being so young (20 years old) and I am/was very close with my father. i was wondering if there is anyone else out there my age that is going through this???? i am having a real hard time. I have many things in front of me that I need my father there like when I get married, when i have a child, when i graduate from college and so on and he will not be ther phusically. and this is very hard for me to cope with.


Very recently was told that My Aunt had terminal cancer. Because I've been dealing with deaths of both parents, and an Aunt whom I dearly loved and still miss. I feel like I'm on overload. Can't bring myself to tell my Aunt. She is frightened of most everthing. Because she trusts me with her life, I feel like I'm the "executioner" with this death sentence. She lost her husband 16 months ago, and is not coping well. She is as you can imagine very fragile. I am makeing arrangements for her and Hospice. But still, I feel like I'm missing something. While she has a large family, they are elderly. My Aunt is 83 years young. Can you help me put the pieces together? Before I fall apart.


Over a 10 month period my beloved husband and my father died. I found books, "You Can Heal Your Life," several books by Emmet Fox, "Saved By The Light" and vigerous exercise to be of great help. I would like to know how other people survive their loss.


after being at my dear sainted mother's deathbed...there seem's like nothing could be harder in life...except the death of your child (god forbid)...yes i believe that the death of the brain is not the death of the essence of the being...that the essence of mind is the soul..and goes on and on infinatum...since energy cannot be destroyed....and mom had tremendous energy.....

the morning after her passing was feb. 14th, 2000 and

as my older sister and i had coffee in our usual chairs at the kitchen's chair was empty...suddenly the kitchen light blinked on and off 2 the third time my sister and i looked up and she said "what the..." and i said "good morning mom"....and turned to my sis and said it's mom!!!....the light blinked a couple of more times ( a total of 5 i think....never before in 30 years that my sister lived in that house..nor since...has the light in her kitchen ever done that....coincidence???i think not.....

another thing is that i never lose or misplace things...however the handkerchief my mother gave me years ago...and that i used at her funeral and many many times after i was driving in my car or at home and broke down in grief and mourning...disappeared!!!>>>>just said in that ..o.k.adeline...that's enough crying.....and i understood....i also said that the first fruit of my fig tree...that i wished she was here to enjoy the figs with me...that morning i picked 3 figs to bring to work and as i drove i said italian...the blessing my mother always...always said over the first fruit of the season...and said out loud that i wish she could taste it with me....well..when i got to work...i only had 2...yes 2 figs...i searched hi and low for the 3rd one....and knew...just knew that momma had the first fruit....

not the overactive immagination of a grieving adult child....but a down deep...bone believing feeling that momma manifested her incredible will to comfort from beyond her mortal self....momma, i love you....

arrividerci...not goodby..till we meet again...


I am very frustrated with society's treatment of those of us in grief. I have lost many relatives of the course of my life and no one ever talked about the way they felt. After the funeral--which was very somber and quiet--every thing was over and done with. Now that it is my turn to be the one "left behind" I don't know what to do with the grief. I don't know what to do with the pain and the sadness and the anger. I stuff it in like my family did and it comes out when I least want it to. When my father died my employer gave me two days off for the funeral and then I had to go back to work, ready or not. My boss said it would be good for me to get back to work and keep busy. HOW THE HELL DID HE KNOW WHAT WOULD BE GOOD FOR ME!!!!! When my mother was in intensive care I tried to take family leave and my employer wouldn't let me. A few months after she died they fired me. They said it was for another reason but everyone knew why--because I spent all that time at the hospital and because I was so u



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