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danitom
03-28-2007, 11:08 AM
Hello. I don't know why I feel the need to post this but for some reason I do. Maybe someone can give me some helpful words of advice because as of right now, I am not sure where to turn to help my daughter.

On the first day of kindergarten, my daughter met Chelsea. They INSTANTLY became BEST FRIENDS! We lived just around the corner from each other and they played together almost everyday. They took dance together and played t-ball on opposing teams. Chelsea started having shortness of breath, lack of energy etc.. in first grade. After many doctors and tests, she was diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (a terminal lung disease-although advances are being) at the age of 8. Just before her diagnosis, we moved about 30 minutes away but they still kept in touch and were BEST FRIENDS. Chelsea was on MANY meds and had to stop attending school and was "homebound" (teachers would come into her house and teach her) She went from oral meds, to meds administered via a port into her heart, to being listed for a double lung AND heart transplant at the age 0f 12. STILL, they were BEST FRIENDS!!! My daughter went to many of the doctor visits, she even went to NY (from Alabama) for two weeks with Chelsea and her family at the age of 10 (they went to see a specialist in her disease) When Chelsea was listed for transplant, she and her mom moved to Birmingham to be closer to the hospital (heart and lungs have a short time to be viable until transplant) This was about 4 to 5 HOURS away from her dad, brother, and my daughter. STILL, they wrote letters, talked on the phone, and my daughter went to visit Chelsea when her dad and brother went. On July 27, 2004 Chelsea got her new lungs and heart. Several months later, she was able to move back home and the two picked up where they left off with boys, movies, sleepovers,manicures,etc. Chelsea fought lung rejection off and on for two and a half years and on January 31, 2007 she passed away. I was at her bedside with her mom, dad, and nurse. We knew it wasn't going to be long because she went on hospice care at the end of December so my daughter and I spent every weekend in January with Chelsea and her family. I am not sure how my daughter is doing HONESTLY. Some days she seems fine. She will talk about Chelsea, laugh, joke and carry on and other times, if someone says her name or brings up ANYTHING about her, my daughter will get mad, go to her room, SLAM the DOOR and cry. My daughter turned 16 Feb.27 and her party was EXTREMELY hard. She visits the cemetary alot and is very particular about rocks and debris ANYWHERE around the site. My daughter is doing a speech on Primary Pulmonary Hypertension in her speech class. She also doing one to promote organ donation. She has told me that "people at school think it (Chelseas death) is "old news" but IT ISN'T" She has also told me that although she has other friends she doen't have anyone she can talk to the way she was able to talk to Chelsea. She said her other friends talk about stupid/meaningless things like what they watched on TV etc.... I am still in contact with Chelseas family and sometimes I am not sure if they need to know the truth about how my daughter is doing. When they ask I am not sure what to say.....they don't need the worry.....they have their 12 year old son to worry about. I am not sure where to turn for help or if help is even needed. The other night my daughter started gettin mad and I mentioned maybe she needed to talk to someone about it. She agreed she NEEDED to but didn't WANT to. My husband said he would make an appointment and take her anyway and she told him she would hate him forever and wouldn't talk anyway and IF she did it would be a line of BS just so she could get it over with.......not sure what to do there either.

Sorry this was so long........thanks for reading and caring.....

monarchsfan16
03-28-2007, 12:02 PM
I litterally JUST stumbled across this board, and your post hit home. I don't have experience with losing a current best friend but 6 weeks ago I lost my first best friend, completely unexpected. I'm 20, and the two of us, being next door neighbors, grew up together. She was 6 months older than me, and she, her slightly younger sister and I were the 3 muskateers for at least the first 10 years of our lives, and were still pretty close even recently. I can totally understand your daughter's comment of everyone thinking the death is old news. I'm experiencing that too. People seemed concerned about me for the first week or two after she died, but seem to expect me to be back to normal by now. A :hug: to your daughter. The pain of losing a friend is awful.
I don't have much advice because I'm sort of stumbling through all of this myself, but I'll tell you a couple things that are helping me, to an extent. Does your daughter have a journal? If not, I'd recommend getting her one. As time passes I find myself relying more on journaling to "let it out" versus talking to my friends because of that whole "this is old news" situation. I've also found it surprisingly comforting to listen to certain songs that remind me of Cassandra: songs she and her sisters and my sister and I danced together to at my cousins' weddings, or songs she used to sing in talent shows when we were little. I don't know why it's comforting, especially since the first time I heard those songs after she died I lost it (nothing better than crying when "Shout" comes over the PA system in the middle of a packed arena at a hockey game:rolleyes: ), but now that I've moved past that first time of hearing something it is comforting to me. If you do want to look for help for her, you might ask at her school for suggestions. You might even ask at her doctor's office for suggestions.

danitom
03-28-2007, 12:23 PM
Thank you for your reply and I am so SORRY for your loss as well :hug:

She does have a journal......I am not sure if she is writing in it and that REALLY drives me crazy!!! I know it is private to her but I WANT TO KNOW SHE IS OK!!! She keeps it at school I believe.

She has her "songs" as well. Chelseas wish was that I HOPE YOU DANCE by LeAnn Womack be played at her funeral. She wanted everyone to know that was what she wanted for them.......To live life to its fullest, to DANCE!!! My daughter has that on her Ipod and other songs to remember Chelsea.

Here is a poem that maybe you will like. I hope so......it was written by one of Chelseas friends and read at the graveside.

YOU CAN SHED THE TEARS BECAUSE SHE IS GONE
OR YOU CAN SMILE BECAUSE SHE LIVED
YOU CAN CLOSE YOUR EYES AND PRAY THAT SHE WILL COME BACK
OR YOU CAN OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE ALL THAT SHE HAS LEFT
YOUR HEART CAN BE EMPTY BECAUSE YOU CAN'T SEE HER
OR YOU CAN BE FULL OF LOVE THAT SHE SHARED
YOU CAN TURN YOUR BACK ON TOMORROW AND LIVE YESTERDAY
YOU CAN REMEMBER HER AND ONLY THAT SHE IS GONE
OR YOU CAN CHERISH HER MEMORY AND LET IT LIVE ON
YOU CAN CRY AND CLOSE YOUR MIND, BE EMPTY, AND TURN YOUR BACK
OR YOU CAN DO WHAT SHE WOULD WANT:
SMILE, OPEN YOUR EYES, LOVE AND GO ON

monarchsfan16
03-28-2007, 12:52 PM
That poem is beautiful. The song I find myself listening to all the time is Only the Good Die Young. Cassandra used to sing that all the time when we were little. Scary in a prophetic sort of way. I still can't bring myself to listen to the songs that were played at Cassandra's funeral or her mom's for that matter. Her mom passed away in November. She'd been like my second mom when we were little, since I was always at their house if they weren't at mine, and our families were very close too. That poor family has been put through the wringer.
I will tell you, I don't think my mom knows the honest truth about how I'm doing. I think she thinks I'm doing better than I am. I'm in college, and living in the dorms, so it's easy to hide. She and I are extremely close, so I know she worries about me all the time (even when situations are normal), and I just don't want her more worried about me than she is on a normal everyday basis. And from talking with a friend that lost a friend back at Christmas, the situation is the same with her. So although it's not good, I don't think it's unusual that you're having a hard time knowing whether or not she's ok. Heck, I honestly don't know whether or not I'm ok. I've had days where I was reasonably close to my normal state, and days where it feels like the world is crashing in around me. It's hard to figure out. So I can only imagine it's even harder for my mom to figure out

danitom
03-28-2007, 02:21 PM
I appreciate your reply and it makes me feel better that you understand the situation about not really knowing how my daughter is. Honestly, sometimes it makes me mad that she won't talk to me. I was there with her the whole time. I took her EVERYWHERE, I went through it too......I guess I don't understand WHY she can't talk to me. I know she is only 16....I guess we all have "stages" we need to go through to deal with something so terrible. I would love to offer any help to you that I can. Just to listen, maybe it is easier to get things out here on the boards. If I can't help my own daughter maybe I can be of some comfort to you. THANKS for sharing your story with me.

here is a picture of my daughter and Chelsea from January 13, 2007.......

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l105/danitom/chelnik76001.jpg

Lizzy2
03-28-2007, 02:23 PM
When I lost my Dad 9y. ago I went to a Grief support group, maybe something like that would be a good way to get your DD comfortable with the idea of seeing someone? It really helped me. My group was totally facillitated by other people grieving, there was no doctor/therapist and it made me feel like I had someone to share with not like I was getting therapy(which I was in a way but you know what I mean). Please call her doctor. She is still not legally in charge and you are responsible for her care. She may say that she will "hate you forever" but I seriously doubt that. She needs some help.:grouphug:

monarchsfan16
03-28-2007, 06:42 PM
I guess I don't understand WHY she can't talk to me.
It may litterally be that she just isn't ready to talk. I know that for me, even 6 weeks later I can't put my emotions into words. I've got one friend who will tell me, "I think you need to vent, go for it", but I can never figure out WHAT to vent. Sure I can say that I'm overwhelmed, or that I'm doing alright or whatever, but I can't figure out most of it. And even when I can figure stuff out sometimes it's easier to put things into written words, rather than spoken words. Because your daughter spent so much time watching Chelsea go through this illness I'm sure there's A LOT that she's trying to grasp. I can't begin to imagine it. For me, my friend just collapsed and was gone. That was it. There was no emotional stuff leading up to it; I just woke up one morning, started reading AIM away messages and came to her sister's that made it clear that she'd died. And that was that.
I'm sure there will come a time when she WILL want to talk to you. If she doesn't realize now how much you've done for her (let's face it, how many 16 year olds see their mom as an ally? I didn't. My sister doesn't.) she will very soon. And I'm sure that her not wanting to talk has nothing to do with how much you've been there for her. I suspect it has more to do with the emotional nightmare she's living right now.

safetymom
03-28-2007, 07:32 PM
Grieving is hard for everyone. I know when my husband died my kids all dealt with it differently.

I just mentioned that I was always there if they wanted to talk. They all had moments where it was very hard to deal with. We did a lot of talking, taking walks, etc. Time passed and they all are doing OK. We just realized that certain things and moments would always remind us of him. It is the passage of time that was the great healer for us.

danitom
03-29-2007, 08:52 AM
Thank you all again for your care and concern. I was glad to find this place..... it seems hard to find a message board for dealing with a loss. My daughter is doing a speech today on Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. I know it wil be hard for her. :grouphug: THANK YOU ALL :grouphug:

on a brighter note, our family is going to Disneyworld on April 13th for the first time!!!! :cool1:

Deesknee
04-03-2007, 12:43 AM
My only suggestion is to continue to make herself available. I was very reluctant to go to a physcologist after my brother died, but a grief conselor sounded less "crazy". And I was 34 years old at the time. Maybe like another post said a grief group may sound a little more appealing. My condolences to you and your DD.

Mackey Mouse
04-03-2007, 07:00 AM
Grieving is so difficult and we can through so many different stages. I can only equate it to the loss of my parents and it was not good. I did not think I would ever get over the loss of my Mom, but I did and it did take some time. Now I remember only the good things, not what I watched her go through in the hospital, although I can bring those pictures back, I tend to remember her with my children, at holidays, her laugh, and my childhood.

I say give her some time, be available as the previous poster said, and if you see it getting to the point that she is keeping to herself and not interacting with other friends and family, then I would ask her to talk to someone. It is still pretty fresh in her mind and may take some time..

Sending hugs to both your daughter, you and monarchsfan16, it is so difficult to lose a loved one. Keep up the good work monarchsfan16, sounds to me like you are on the right track.

danitom
04-03-2007, 11:17 AM
Thank you all again!! :love:

Paull117
04-10-2007, 05:05 PM
This is so hard at this age. My best advise is find grief counseling, or have someone ready to talk to her. Let her make that choice though.

I don't want to sound crass, but she is lucky she got to spend time with a good friend and had plenty of time to say goodbye. I lost my best friend in high school do to a car accident 2 weeks before I went to college. The first 6 months where the hardest, eventually time passed and now I don't grieve anymore. Now I can talk about it but back then that was tough.

Paul

danitom
04-11-2007, 09:11 AM
This is so hard at this age. My best advise is find grief counseling, or have someone ready to talk to her. Let her make that choice though.

I don't want to sound crass, but she is lucky she got to spend time with a good friend and had plenty of time to say goodbye. I lost my best friend in high school do to a car accident 2 weeks before I went to college. The first 6 months where the hardest, eventually time passed and now I don't grieve anymore. Now I can talk about it but back then that was tough.

Paul


THANK YOU Paul for your reply. I am sorry you had to go through such a terrible loss as well. I don't think you sounded crass at all. I know they were lucky to have been able to spend so much time together although I don't think they ever really said goodbye.......that just wasn't the basis of their friendship. They never even really talked about the fact she was sick. I think that is one of the reasons they were SO CLOSE. My daughter was one of the few who didn't treat her any differently than any other teenager. It wasn't like she was in denial her friend was sick, they just chose to keep things "normal". If my daughter wanted to know something relating to her friends health, she would ask me to call her friends mom. That way the "DISEASE" never entered into their friendship. My daughter seems to be doing OK. Her friends dad said he is going to take her to dinner and they are going to have a LONG TALK about Chelsea. She doesn't want to but I think she will and it will be good for both of them. It is nice to hear that although it will be a long, hard, road, someday she will be able to have the memories without so much of the sadness. :hug:

beachgrl001
04-12-2007, 11:07 AM
It's been almost 21yrs since I lost my best friend, (met in 4th grade) lost her when we were 16. Unlike your daughter I was not able to say goodbye, my BF's death was violent and tragic. Maybe your daughter can take some kind of comfort in the fact that she was able to say goodbye. There have not been very many days that have gone by that I have not thought of My friend, how her life would have been, how she would have looked when she "grew up" ect. What helped me alot I think was to stay in touch with her family. I am acually best friends with her younger(by 2yrs) sister. Your daughter will get through this she sounds like a really strong person and it sounds like she has great parents that love her very much. It takes time :goodvibes

disney kid at heart
04-12-2007, 01:19 PM
Hello. I don't know why I feel the need to post this but for some reason I do. Maybe someone can give me some helpful words of advice because as of right now, I am not sure where to turn to help my daughter.

On the first day of kindergarten, my daughter met Chelsea. They INSTANTLY became BEST FRIENDS! We lived just around the corner from each other and they played together almost everyday. They took dance together and played t-ball on opposing teams. Chelsea started having shortness of breath, lack of energy etc.. in first grade. After many doctors and tests, she was diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (a terminal lung disease-although advances are being) at the age of 8. Just before her diagnosis, we moved about 30 minutes away but they still kept in touch and were BEST FRIENDS. Chelsea was on MANY meds and had to stop attending school and was "homebound" (teachers would come into her house and teach her) She went from oral meds, to meds administered via a port into her heart, to being listed for a double lung AND heart transplant at the age 0f 12. STILL, they were BEST FRIENDS!!! My daughter went to many of the doctor visits, she even went to NY (from Alabama) for two weeks with Chelsea and her family at the age of 10 (they went to see a specialist in her disease) When Chelsea was listed for transplant, she and her mom moved to Birmingham to be closer to the hospital (heart and lungs have a short time to be viable until transplant) This was about 4 to 5 HOURS away from her dad, brother, and my daughter. STILL, they wrote letters, talked on the phone, and my daughter went to visit Chelsea when her dad and brother went. On July 27, 2004 Chelsea got her new lungs and heart. Several months later, she was able to move back home and the two picked up where they left off with boys, movies, sleepovers,manicures,etc. Chelsea fought lung rejection off and on for two and a half years and on January 31, 2007 she passed away. I was at her bedside with her mom, dad, and nurse. We knew it wasn't going to be long because she went on hospice care at the end of December so my daughter and I spent every weekend in January with Chelsea and her family. I am not sure how my daughter is doing HONESTLY. Some days she seems fine. She will talk about Chelsea, laugh, joke and carry on and other times, if someone says her name or brings up ANYTHING about her, my daughter will get mad, go to her room, SLAM the DOOR and cry. My daughter turned 16 Feb.27 and her party was EXTREMELY hard. She visits the cemetary alot and is very particular about rocks and debris ANYWHERE around the site. My daughter is doing a speech on Primary Pulmonary Hypertension in her speech class. She also doing one to promote organ donation. She has told me that "people at school think it (Chelseas death) is "old news" but IT ISN'T" She has also told me that although she has other friends she doen't have anyone she can talk to the way she was able to talk to Chelsea. She said her other friends talk about stupid/meaningless things like what they watched on TV etc.... I am still in contact with Chelseas family and sometimes I am not sure if they need to know the truth about how my daughter is doing. When they ask I am not sure what to say.....they don't need the worry.....they have their 12 year old son to worry about. I am not sure where to turn for help or if help is even needed. The other night my daughter started gettin mad and I mentioned maybe she needed to talk to someone about it. She agreed she NEEDED to but didn't WANT to. My husband said he would make an appointment and take her anyway and she told him she would hate him forever and wouldn't talk anyway and IF she did it would be a line of BS just so she could get it over with.......not sure what to do there either.

Sorry this was so long........thanks for reading and caring.....

My prayers go out to you and your daughter. Getting her into a therapist will be the best thing, for even though she says she won't talk, they will eventually open up. It does take awhile. My grand-daughter was acting the same way when her dad deserted her. Finally her mom got her to a therapist and she is finally letting the pain, anger etc. that she has felt and held inside for 7yrs. And she will forgive you and husband for getting her the help once she is able to let go of all the pain.:grouphug: