Urgent

  1. LAST NIGHT AT 9 PM WE WERE INFORMED THAT MY 49 YO SISTER IN LAW DIED FROM EITHER ETOH POISONING OR ASPIRATION. SHE WAS A HORRIBLE BINGE DRINKER AND HER HUSBAND LEFT TOWN FOR A BUISNESS TRIP ON SATURDAY. THEY FOUND 6 EMPTY VODKA BOTTLES (HALF GALLON) EMPTY IN HER ROOM WITH HER. MY HUSBAND WON'T TALK ABOUT IT, MY MOTHER IN LAW IS CATATONIC WITH GRIEF. I AM A BASKET CASE. TODAY I HAVE TO TELL MY 8 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER(WHO ADORED HER AUNT) THAT SHE DIED. ANY SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO DO THIS? HOW CAN I BRING MY HUSBANDS FAMILY OUT OF THE SHELL? I COME FROM A FAMILY THAT TALKS ABOUT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING AT GREAT LENGHTS. I MAY BE BEING SELFISH BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE THE SILENT THING. ALSO ANY GEORGIA NURSES OUT THERE---WHAT ARE YOUR LAWS CONCERNING AUTOPSIES? IN THE STATE OF PA, ANY HOME DEATH IS CAUSE FOR AN AUTOPSY. I DON'T THINK THEY ARE DOING ONE IN GEORGIA, AS SHE IS BEING BROUGHT HOME TONIGHT. I WISH THEY WOULD, AS THIS WOULD BE CLOSURE FOR ALOT OF THE FAMILY. KEEP MY FAMILY IN YOUR PRAYERS, SHE LEFT A HUSBAND AND TWO SONS (21 AND 23) HER YOUNGEST SON FOUND HER. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.



    ANNE
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   aimeee
    Oh Anne! I'm at a loss to provide advice, but I did want to express my heartfelt sympathy. What an awful thing for the whole family to deal with. I'm so sorry. You and your family will indeed be in my thoughts and prayers.
  4. by   waggy-2
    Dear Anne,

    I am so very sorry for what you and your family is going through and will have to go through. Telling a child about a loved one's death is so very hard. I would be as honest as I could when you tell your daughter. However I don't think she's at an age to understand about ETOH and all of its effects, and why people choose to drink. You say your daughter adored her, and I'm sure it was mutual. I would try not to diminish that. Let her keep her positive thoughts, and when she is older, she will be able to understand more fully the ramifications of alcohol use and abuse. Hopefully in time the rest of the family will be able to talk about this issue. Maybe some couseling. I truly hope things work out well for all of you. Keep us posted. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Sue.
  5. by   canoehead
    I am so sorry.

    Maybe talking about it in terms of not using drugs would put it in terms that she has heard before, and open up the discussion as far as her aunt was a good person that had a hard time with a difficult disease. She will also be able to understand that everyone is very upset because dying from a disease that young was unexpected and not fair at all, but sometimes it happens.

    My heart is with you and your family.
  6. by   Zee_RN
    Oh, Radnurse!!! How horrible for you and your family. Oh, my prayers are with you.

    I would be as gently honest as possible with your daughter. They know; they hear things. And keep the wonderful memories of her aunt alive.

    (((HUGS & PRAYERS)))

    Susan
  7. by   radnurse2001
    I told my daughter yesterday after school. I explained that God needed a new angel....an angel that can draw. I gave her the option of drawing a picture to put in the casket with Aunt Deb.. She went back to the computer and drew Aunt Deb as an angel and she wrote her a short letter. She didn't want me to read it so she put it in an envelope and sealed it up. My 12 year old also wrote a letter to Deb that we are going to put in with her. My daughter did break down, but she seems to be doing better this morning. We will keep a close eye on her. She did ask my mom last night how Aunt Deb died, my mom told her that Aunt Deb was sick with a disease for a long time and her body just couldn't take it anymore, she was hurting too badly, so God came and took her home so she would feel better....Thank God For Mom''s!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, too much planning to do, hasn't hit my husband yet, I think he's trying to be strong for his mother. When I asked him about it he said he couldn't be selfish right now and he wasn't the one hurting the most. He said he hopes he never has to go through what his mother and father are going though right now. I think once he sees her, it will hit him hard and I will be there for him, that's all I can do....Believe me that is very hard for me to say, I am a control freak. Thank you for all your prayers and words of comfort.




    Anne
  8. by   kaycee
    God be with you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss. Take care and know our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Lynne
  9. by   Jenzee
    Anne,
    God bless you and your family! You will be in my heart and prayers.
    Jen
  10. by   st4304
    I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.
  11. by   thisnurse
    im so sorry radnurse
  12. by   donna6133
    radnurse,I dont know you but my prayers are with you and your family.take care
  13. by   hoolahan
    Radnurse I am very sorry for you too.

    One thing I can say, coming from a family of alcoholics, is that it is not unusual for them to not talk about it. It is "normal"for them to behave in a way that others may not think is"normal." These are the roles they have been in whether they are the drinker or not, everyone has their role to play and they don't know how to stop playing it. I think it is too soon to bring them out of their shell. But when your mother-in-law is less catatonic, or at the next family gathering, which will hopefully not be a funeral, find a nice picture of your sister in law, and get them to talk about a fun memory, or a good time during her life. Talk about the things she was good at. Just kind of slip it in. It won't happen overnight. But from reading Ann Landers and DearAbby every day, people do not want others to act like they shouldn't talk about their loved ones who are lost. As long as she doesn't think you are judging her dtr or her. She, and everyone in the family, probably feels guilty for not being able to stop her, even tho there is nothing another person can do to stop an alcoholic. When my dad died I told my pastor how guilty I felt for not seeing him more or calling him more (I was 16, and parents were divorced.) He said to me, Linda, he didn't pick up the phone to call you either. It is not your fault. I can't tell you how much those simple words helped me to not feel like a horrible person for the rest of my life.

    Maybe I am way off track and I certainly don't mean to sound preachy, but you asked, and from my personal experience, this is what I can tell you. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.
  14. by   CATHYW
    Anne,
    I am so sorry for everyone, especially the son who found his mother. How traumatic that must have been. I am a Georgia nurse, and strangely, autopsies are not required for unattended deaths here, unless the coroner feels that there is something legally amiss (i.e., homicide).
    Your husband and his poor parents-there is something just not chronologically right about parents burying their children, you know?
    I wish God's peace for the entire family-the peace that passes allunderstanding, for there may never be complete understanding of this situation.
    Cathy

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