Certificates are normally associated with the good things in life, achievements in particular. Our youngest son received his first Honour Certificate at school just 5 weeks ago, he stood proudly holding it up for the entire school to see. The smile on his face was priceless, as parents we were 'chuffed'. Four weeks ago the same son received a certificate at Auskick, he couldn't wait to bring it in to show his Dad who lay in bed, struggling to get a breath. Charlie ran to the bed, climbed up on the chair and held it up for his Dad to look at. His Dad couldn't see it, he was not able to communicate in any way at that time, not even a squeeze of the hand. I told Charlie to tell Dad about it anyway, because he could hear him even if he couldn't answer him. Three weeks ago I placed a "hole in one" certificate amongst other memorabilia displayed for Greg's memorial service. For the last two weeks I have been told that I need to provide a copy of the death certificate before I can update/amend records from his name to my name. Each day I have dreaded going to the letter box for fear that it would be waiting for me. The envelope with the certificate that I never wanted to see. Today I found out I have to 'apply' for the death certificate. I have to go in and hand over money and a completed application form so that they can give me a 'certificate' to confirm that the love of my life is dead. (I had wrongly assumed that when the death was registered that a certificate was issued automatically). Tomorrow, somehow, I will hope for the strength to ask for and receive 'a certificate'.
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Contributor
Hi Jill please remember you will not be alone when you go to get 'this certicicate'. We, as your friends, will all be standing silently beside you to give you the strength that you need. Thinking of you and the boys always Linda
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Jill, During these "unique" days of your drastically-changed journey through life, I hope you are doing well - as well as possible. May you be given as much comfort and love as possible ... you already have an amazing amount of courage and resolve. Just keep breathing ... and living ... John
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Hi Linda, Thanks, it was VERY HARD. Jill
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John, Thank you for responding. Each day/week is getting harder than the last, it has been four weeks today since Greg passed. Other people seem to be getting on with their lives (as I knew they would) but in a sense I need them more now than I did before. The adrenalin I was surviving on has run dry. I will try to 'just breathe'. Jill
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Hi Jill, I know that this is when you need your friends more and that this is when they move on a little. My good friend(who I have mentioned before) often used to just ring and ask if I had time for a coffee or just a chat. I tried to always make the time. She then was there for me when I became ill and has continued to be so. Just as you asked for help before, remember that those people are still there and maybe just need a little reminding. They may surprise you in how quickly they come to your aid. I can't imagine how hard receiving that piece of paper was for you. Take care of yourself and the boys. S
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Hi Samex, Thanks for responding, I know this subject is pretty confronting. I hear what you are saying about 'reminding' people, it's just really hard to ask, I feel like I would be asking all the time......these last few days have been really tough. I did mention to 3 mums on Friday that I was going in to apply/receive the death certificate, 2 couldn't run away fast enough and the third did offer to come with me, but she is the one I knew the least and I just couldn't take her with me.
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Jill, I'm sorry that people have let you down. Maybe the one you know the least may become the one you know better? Maybe she is willing to understand? I hope that things sort themselves out somehow.Wish we could all go with you. S
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I have been surprised who has stood up and offered help through all this. I now have a whole new group of friends who I barely knew before that just stepped up and said we are helping!! I feel like I have known them forever. Always here for you Jill xxx
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Hello, Jill. From your experience with the two friends who ran and from some of the comments, one of the more unpleasant realities of what you are enduring is on display. When confronted with pain and ugly reality, many "friends" run away. There are always exceptions, but in situations such as you are facing, as a general rule, it seems that the closer someone was to you before the life-changing event, the lesser they tend to be there for you with support. Who knows why? Maybe you are a reminder of what could happen to them ... somehow you scare them perhaps. The key is not to take it personally even though the rejection hurts. I suppose the best to do is feel for them that they cannot show some strength of friendship when needed most. I have been unemployed for 18 months here in the good old U.S.A., and one of the more painful things I have had to deal with is the fact that many people that I saw nearly everyday for 10 years could not even reach out to me after my job was gone. In fact the one who has been the most supportive of my is someone I met AFTER I lost my job. Now, I in no way am comparing my challenges to what you are enduring Jill. In fact knowing that what you are enduring must be so much more painful than what I am going through makes me feel for you and your family even more. May you be blessed with an overflowing abundance of love, courage, comfort and strength from many sources around you! Please forgive this rather long post. As always, Jill, just keep breathing ... and eventually the sun will feel a little warmer each day ... and the breathing will get easier and stronger each day ... John
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Firstly Jill sorry to hear of your loss. I have been reading through your blog and you and your sons have been through a very very difficult time. Also sorry to hear about your having to go through applying for death certificates and so forth at such a difficult time. It's interesting how people react. I'm sure it's out of awkwardness but it can be those that are less close that offer support whilst the closest ones don't. And it's a difficult time to go chasing people when one doesn't have the energy or feel why should I. But maybe a group email stating what type of support you need in this time could help. The leader of a support group I attend mentions that society seems to expect us to get over a significant loss and bereavement in about 6 weeks and that's when people tend to move away emotionally when of course loss and grieving takes a very long time. Anyhow hugs and thinking of you. DJ
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Hello, Jill. It has been a little while since you posted. Just a quick note to say that someone is thinking of you and your family and wishing you well. I'm sure the "haze" continues ... with good days and bad days. As time goes on, gradually the good days will far outnumber the other days more and more. In the meantime, Jill, just keep breathing ... one moment at a time ... just keep breathing ... Be well! John
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Occasional Contributor
Hi Jill Getting a piece of paper to say someone has died and is no longer physically with you is a real hit in the guts. But having to pay for it, is the ultimate low. Here in Australia, they are issued about 2-3 weeks after the person has passed away. It costs nothing money wise but emotionally it is so real. You know they are gone but to have strangers write it down and now there is a record of their death that others dont really care about but you. Someone has that job of issueing death certificates. How sad that is-I reckon anyway. To write they are dead and then to write the cause- that is for me worse to see that. This are personal feelings I had when my dad died 2 months ago. I was there with him but to actually see it in writing just digs it in more. As John Denvers song says :some days are diamonds, some days are stone" Well I think the diamonds days will not happen for a while but they WILL happen. ONe day,sometimes one hour at a time. Margaret
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Hi Margaret, I live in WA and I have no idea what happens in other states of Australia but can tell you with confidence that there is a fee of $44 to obtain a death certificate in WA. In normal circumstances where a funeral director is involved, the funeral director would 'register' the death and get the next of kin to complete the 'application' for the certificate and I imagine it would just seem like another piece of paperwork that is signed. The fee would get added to the other expenses and therefore would not be as 'obvious' amongst the overall costs. Our situation was different as Greg had donated his body to the University of WA's School of Anatomy for medical research. As a result the Uni 'registered' the death but they don't process any application for the Death Certificate, hence why I had to do it. I am looking forward to some diamond days, cos most of them feel like stone right now. I hope that your 'diamond' days are coming more regularly, like you say, one day/one hour at a time. Jill
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Hi DJ, In a couple of hours time it will be 6 weeks since Greg died. I have definitely noticed the phone calls/emails etc dropping off over the last couple of weeks. I have done the group email thing but like you say, the energy levels are so low and I feel like I am asking for help all the time. It's just getting harder. Thanks for the hugs! Jill
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Hi John, It has been a while since I posted here, I'm feeling a bit reluctant to share as I feel that I will probably be too much of a 'downer' for others at the moment. The days are getting harder with the reality and permanency of life without Greg. Little things act as triggers and the overwhelming sense of sadness descends like a cloud enveloping a mountain. The moments of sunshine through the cloud are rarer than I would like. I did just type a lengthy response, but somehow a 'glitch' in the system meant I 'lost' the message and entire website, and I don't have the energy to type it all again.........perhaps it was a sign that I should shorten my reply! Anyway, it is late and I am feeling very drained so until next time.....thanks for thinking of us....it does help. Jill
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Like I said, I'm having problems.........now the system is posting the same reply 3 times!!!
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Hi Jill Yes it is hard and with low energy and being emotionally shattered as well there's not much else that you can really do about asking and telling people what type of support you need except via the group email thing or alternatively phone calls which gets too much. It's like how often can one reiterate what their needs are and how they want people to respond and support them. And it's harder when the person grieving feels one has to help others cope with their grieving and thus hold back on being honest about truly how they are coping. The other day I had a friend who's never made the effort to come down to visit me inspite of many visits from me prior to cancer nor send a card send me an abusive email berating me for not keeping in touch. Anyhow it's a very difficult time you are going through and hoping as time goes on that the sunshine becomes more and more. Hugs again DJ
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Occasional Contributor
Hi jill I am in New South Wales and yes maybe there is a fee somewhere for my dads death certificate but I have not seen it. So maybe it happens here also. It was one item I did not have to think about. I found that after my dads death that for a while, maybe 2 weeks, no more, people did phone or send cards, or ask me at work, how I was, but after that it all stops. Do they think that the sadness stops after 2 weeks and I am ok? well I am not. I cried last night for him, just something came into my head and I cried for a few minutes and really felt the loss of him not being here anymore. It has been 9 weeks now for me, and even though I did not feel especially close to him, I do miss him. Even miss going to visit him which I use to put off till I really had to go. I use to get annoyed cos he would not come to visit me at my place and expected us to go and visit him all the time. He became a bit of a hermit after my mum died and I feel I have become a bit like that too the last few years. I work full time so that had helped I think get through some of the hard times not just with my dad but my marriage ending also. Sorry I am rambling but it it all part of healing-sometimes life just rolls from one sadness to another. The sadness will be there for a while Jill. It is better for me, the days are brighter, but for you, obviously you loved your husband very,very much and it is a new normal you will have to find without him. Oh by the way, your computer problem sent through quite a few emails to me but that is ok. Just cyberspace making sure that your words got through to someone. Life goes on Jill, cry if you want, laugh if you want, dont hold back the emotions, you need to grieve and for as long as you need. Write again if you want. I am a trainee counsellor and want to help if I can. But I will talk to you as someone who is in sadness also not with just counselling ears. Margaret
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