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death of son
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death of son

I have communicated with friends in other forums: am new to this one.

As MH members have been incredibly helpful to me as I worked my way out of agoraphobia following anal cancer and its aftermath, I turn to people here for the most recent incident I have to deal with.

As Google picks up posts, and my loss involves a violent crime, have to be careful not to be too specific.

My ex husband shot two of my sons last Saturday night following an argument.  We may never know the exact details, and I am not sure it matters.  My younger son died I hope instantly from a gunshot to his chest.  My older son was shot three times in lower body before his dad turned and fired at the son he killed.

It is an unbelievable blow.  I may be in shock, but seem to be ok.  My family is so wonderful, trying to protect me from the worst of what we have to do.  But today, I was able to speak to a detective on the case; it was one of the formalities required.  He gave me his cell phone number and said I could call anytime.  He offered details, but I am not able to deal with them just yet.

In my heart I felt I might get a call regarding violence between my older son and his father.  Not my younger son, who was very responsible, and owned the land his father lived on rent free.  

I divorced my ex husband in 1974, because of our vastly different life views.  And I knew I could not change him after living with him for 21 yrs, and having four children.  Three boys and one girl.

His violent tendency which felt to me back then like a serious psychological defect, must have grown worse with age, and his lifestyle.  He liked living in remote areas, where he could do as he please, and have no regulations on behavior.  This is where the crime took place.

He had two wives after me: none stayed: I met his last wife who was a darling woman.  I was curious how she could put up with his drinking and backwoods lifestyle.  Well, she finally had enough of his brutality, especially when it involved her son, whom he threatened to shoot.

Comments on one website were pretty hard to read: all the media attention very hurtful to  my daughter and youngest son, who had nothing to do with their dad.  I will talk to my youngest tomorrow.  He has been unable to speak before today, when he talked to his uncle.

My job tomorrow will be to go to morgue or more probably to funeral home to begin arrangements for cremation and memorial service.  It feels like a terrible dream.  I don't think I can deal with seeing his personal effects, jewelry, wallet, truck keys.  But we may need keys to get into his home to find mail and try to keep up with payments he may have had.  

I am getting a hot shower and hope sleep will come tonight.

Anyone else dealt with violent death within family?  Any support welcome.
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16 Comments Post a Comment
535822 tn?1443980380
I can tell by the way you are communicating that you are in shock,I am so sorry,  my thoughts are with you, if you need to talk when you are ready  please PM if you wish to ,I am a good listener I am always around as I work online and I am a former Samaritan ...
Avatar f tn
I am terribly sorry for everything that has happened to you.It will be a long road ahead look to the Lord to give you sthrength to make it through one day at a time.I am here if you need me I will be praying for you.

Bless you
1171787 tn?1295549831
I am so sorry that you are going through this! Words cannot express my deepest sympathies to you and your family. May God send you peace through this long road. My prayers are with you(((hugs))))
973741 tn?1342346373
Oh what a painful experience.  I can not imagine what you must be feeling.  I dealt with a tragic, unexpected death that was nothing compared to this.  I will tell you that I was in shock for over a year.  I either felt numb or intense, almost unbearable pain.  Mostly I felt numb.  That is okay to be numb as that is the brain trying to protect you.  I am going to say prayers for you and your son that is holding onto life and your one that has moved to the next life.  And all of your family as this is a tragedy for all.  There are no words to express my sympathy fully but know that you have it completely.  Anything I can do to help, please let me know.  
874521 tn?1424120397
Oh you poor dear lady how I sympathize with what you have and will have to go through!!
the loss of a child is so heartbreaking let alone through such circumstances.
Your ex is a sick sick man, and I truly hope he is locked away forever and not able to bring anymore hurt to your family.
20 years ago my husband who was mentally ill at the time....shot himself, the wound did not kill him but did leave him with brain damage that thank goodness wasn't severe enough to totally disable the time he was so ill his intention was also to take my life and our sons, thank God at the last minute divine intervention changed his mind....I wish the same had resulted in your case.
May God help your injured son soon heal and recover totally from this horrible incident.
You will have many hard times ahead dealing with all these details and I wish you the strength to do so, there are many good people on MH that will listen whenever you should need to heart goes out to you all.
May God bless and keep you.
1118884 tn?1338596450

You do have an idea of how sudden violence, within a family, can affect your life.

Thank you so much for your post and prayers.  The worst may be ahead. Or not.

I didn't sleep last night: maybe that is part of why I acted in an uncharacteristic way @ the medical examiner's office.  I snapped at my loving brother in law, and my youngest son's wife (who was shoving me aside to tell a clerk whom she had spoken to).  Typical of officious clerical types: I was called to window twice, and finally told my son's effects were picked up by the Osceola County Sheriff's dept. the preceding afternoon.  I remembered the name of detective on case who suggested we pick them up from morgue rather than send with body to funeral home???  

She seemed to enjoy her power by stating in a patronizing manner that "it was a homicide".  

To add to this, my youngest son's wife whom I barely know: have only seen twice before in the past five years, pushed me aside blathering on about names of people she had spoken to.  She and the clerk began chatting about names they had in common.

Before I was called to window, my brother in law, treating me like an idiot child, asked me in patronizing whisper if I had remembered to bring my driver's license.  Geez. I am a college graduate with 20 years as a librarian @ a huge public library.....not a 10 yr old.  I know officialdom needs ID proving I am Brook's mom.

My daughter, also on my nerves because of her scorn of food on menu @ restaurant where we met before trip to morgue. Her food quirk is and has been annoying for years.

  She is so work-oriented that she can barely sit still for 5 minutes without consulting her blackberry, and was in a state when she came in restaurant as her earpiece had broken.  Double Geez!!  The night before when family convened at my place, she was whining about missing her Pilates class.  

When it was clear I was not needed, I said "I'm outta here."  She drove me to apt.  I asked her to please leave and slammed door in her face.  Believe she was sneaking glances at the damn blackberry again.

The thing that happened today was my brother in law and son's wife making all decisions.  I finally shut up; it was very obvious my input was considered worthless.

Also, altho' the wife was bragging about running marathons, and having personal trainer 3 times a week (money), they will need financial help with cremation.  I will not help, not after today.  At 74 , with limited income from yrs @ library, it is totally out of the question.  I didn't go into the meeting feeling like this: if my brother in law and sis, who do have a much higher income than I, want to front the money.  Good.  My daughter wanted to take charge until I reminded her of fiscal responsibility.  That stopped her.

Sorry for the venting.  We are all grief stricken.  Dealing with it in individual ways.  

Right now, I know I have to take care of myself.  Altho' my older son is a worry, know I can't control him.  There is the possibility of another tragic thing; older son is troubled and very depressed.  He is suicidal, but won't consider getting help.  

I am calm now.  Will have to reclaim my spiritual self each day, to remember what is important, and pray I can overlook the petty things.

My best...

874521 tn?1424120397
OMG dear you have alot going on....yes trauma can bring on very unusual personality traits in those affected both during and children were teens at the time. and NO other family anywhere near us so all was on my shoulders. but again I stress your tragic events go much deeper than mine.
It is best to step out IMO and let these pushy ones handle arrangements both physical and financially, you are obviously in no position to do so and they are.....if they feel they should be in control than they should be responsible for all.!!!
You grieve in your own way that is your 'private' right and let no one take that away from you.
Ahhh the wonderful blackberry, I have a daughter married to one also. when I ask her to shut if off during a visit shes insulted, always saying its business!! yeah perhaps some of it is....some.
My thoughts are with you over the coming days, it will be hardest on you the mother if family gives you no special consideration....get help privately with a counsellor...believe me you will need it dear for your emotional health.
I wish you strength for this you will need your sleep, seek medical help with this for the short will get you through your ordeal.
bless you
686059 tn?1293837427
My very deepest condolences on the tragedy you and your family are experiencing. Your post has touched many hearts here and the violence you have experienced within your family in surreal and shocking. I would like to say that this was neither your fault of your families. You ex-husband has proven to be a violent dangers man and one day he will stand before God and be held responsible for his actions.

I have never experience such a tragedy, but I have experience the tragedy of losing 7 family members within an 8 month period, which included my beloved mother dying in my arms, a week later her brother in law, a week later, my fiance's father, so my wedding was postpone, mom, best friend who attended her funeral and service died 4 months after mom, my brother and wife loss a baby 2 weeks before Christmas, I loss my job and my beautify doggie boy Toby died of a heart attack. Death brought me and my family to our knees and I almost had to be hospitalized from the physical effects of grief. My throat would swell to the point where I felt I was going to choak and what I felt was real. What got me through was my strong faith in God. What has happened to your family was not of God, so please hold strong to your faith, because He will give you the inner strength that you did not know you had.

Right now, please surround yourself with good friends and surviving family members for the difficult days ahead. Yes, you can do this. It will be the hardest experience of your life, but you will be strong and God will give you that strength as He did me.

Also, it's important for the family to unite during this time. I know it's all surreal, but it will be more effective if everyone would just unite and put the squabbles aside to be able to get through was is ahead and the funeral home is to pick up your sons. I never heard of such a thing of the family picking up the bodies. That to me would be unfathanable at this time.

So my advice right now is for the family and friends to put aside the attitudes, power control, etc and unite to make sure the next few days will be properly organized and handled. Please don't do this alone. Very important. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and please let us know how you are coming along. Judy

686059 tn?1293837427
also, right now, one moment or one step at a time ok. God bless.
1118884 tn?1338596450
Judy and Opus....
Thanks for sharing your experiences (your multiple losses is simply unreal, Judy): I can't imagine going thru this again and again and again. The blows to your body and spirit: must have been a horribly dark time.

But you both made it through. were alone through your ordeal.  I seem to do better staying close to my apt and being quiet, but today, after sleeping well: back on regular dose of Klonopin, I was back to strangely calm: feel Brook's spirit is happy and free.  I was, for a time, feeling normal.  Peaceful in my heart and mind.

Then i got a call from his long time girl friend: they had just reconciled the night before his death, after a break in an eight year relationship.   Her grief seeped over to me, but I still was able to be a sounding board, reassuring her that Brooks loved her dearly and always would.  After gushing nonstop for minutes, she hurriedly rushed me off the phone, as she was back at work and boss wouldn't like a personal call. All she really wanted was to get my daughter's phone number.  Oh well.  

I had an appt. scheduled with a therapist @ cancer hospital yesterday: cancelled as I felt it outside the immediate demands of the day.  My psychiatrist's office called in the new script for Klonopin, and were nice.

I got out several times today, at first feeling that calm: then ending up slightly faint and like I was losing feeling in upper body.  Also broke down in restaurant when waitress getting my lunch order asked how I was.  She is very warm, as well as a marvelously efficient waitress.

At shop, tried to find a bra to fit as I've gained  alot of weight over the last few years of being homebound: this is a shopping chore I've never enjoyed, so the large store and my grief must have combined to cause the faintness. It seemed like a panic attack on the way.   I drove home and fell asleep for four hours?!

Honestly, I don't know anything today.  Must be they don't need my signature.  David, his young brother must have done that, or the medical examiner is keeping the body longer than I thought they would.  Believe my sister, who called in morning, said his wife had called her.  He is unable to speak again today and his wife wishes he hadn't taken week off work.  Me too.  The others are getting on with it.  As I am retired, have to create diversions to restore normalcy.

I am listening to you.  Will seek help if I think it is needed.  Not sure unity will be achieved, but probably in bits and pieces.  If even two of younger generation grow closer will be a blessing.

Interesting thing: last night when I got a call from my youngest nephew's wife, a bodacious Hispanic girl, we chatted nonstop for half an hour: in complete synch.  I learned that her mom had gone through a very similar thing with brothers. I felt fine after call: told her not to interrupt weekend plans to come up to see me.  Now I wonder.  

So, I move forward one step at a time.  Feel outside time.  In an alternate universe.

Appreciate you both.  It is interesting that I take great comfort from your help.  In real time, I don't take much comfort from any who talk to me.

Best, Ann

686059 tn?1293837427
Ann, do not try to take on too much, let the family step in with what is ahead also, but please find comfort that your sons are a transition away and the last thing they would ever want is to see their mother and family grieving or in pain. I am a daughter without a mother and I would give my very life to have her back with me. I would trade my life for her's but it was not meant to be. If roles were reversed, I wouldn't want my beautiful mother to shed one single tear or grieve for me, because I would want to her to be in peace, live life to the fullest and know that I was just a prayer away. I know that one day in God's time, when He will call on you, your sons will come running to you from the gates of heaven and be the guideing light and show you the way.

Rest easy, it's going to be ok,one step at a time ok. We are here for you and let your family handle the funeral arrangements. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs, Judy
1118884 tn?1338596450
Judy, I am calm now about letting family take over.

My youngest son, his wife (whom I resented two days ago), and an old friend of family came by apt. today for me to sign papers necessary  to have Brook's body released from morgue for cremation.  I apologized for my behavior, and all understood.

The wife is a darling girl: said she can be bossy:). She just feels an urgency to get things done as both will return to work next week.  We had a laugh.  They do just want to take the burden from my shoulders.

Knowing a lovely place has been selected for a memorial, and a date set: week from Saturday relieves me greatly.  Also the reassurance that no one intended to keep me uninformed.

The old friend came along for support and to notarize papers I had to sign. It was gratifying to see what a good man he has become.  I am very thankful all three sons and my dead son kept in touch with childhood friends: a great support network for two sons who are left.

Thanks again.  My emotions are unpredictable.  Sobbing aloud today with of all people an employee of phone company?  I needed to get voice mail reactivated, so callers can leave a message.

You know how I feel, Judy: how I wish God had chosen me instead of Brooks.  I almost passed with kidney failure and Cdif following chemo treatment a couple of years ago.  Tho' I was told I almost died, didn't seem to care or really to believe it.

The only thing I am positive about is that I cannot judge or wonder why.  This is beyond our human comprehension, so I let it go.

My son who survived is filled with anger: my youngest is simply angry and somewhat frightened.  He has always been extremely shy and sensitive.  His dead brother usually took the lead in hard times.  Now he has Allison, who will see that he gets through the details, taking over in a time of great emotion for him.  He said he feels he is getting nothing done.  I told him to count all the little things, i.e., got shower today, dressed, combed hair, etc.

Love, Ann

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