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  #1  
Old 05-28-2017, 08:43 PM
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Default Son got sad news in prison

Hello everyone,
Most of this journey (son has now been in for 3 years) has been a day to day "adventure". Some good days, some very bad days. It started out mostly very bad days, but I can say those are getting less and the good days are becoming more frequent. I still feel like I'm holding my breath though, not completely confident that every day will be "event free".

This past week, I learned a close family friend lost his daughter. She was someone I was getting to know better, and I am very close to her parents. My son was also close to her father, being as he was his prior Scout Master for many years. This man inspired and helped my son to become an Eagle Scout. When my son was arrested, my friend dropped everything to help me, he picked me up at the police station (I had no car there and there were news crews everywhere). He made sure I had a place to stay, and checked in on me often. He was there at my son's sentencing and sentencing reconsideration, and has made the 4 hour trip to visit my son in prison.
My friend's daughter was only 38, and had 2 young girls of her own. My heart breaks for him.

I e-mailed my son 2 days ago to let him know, and he called me today. One thing I did not think about was how hard he was going to take it. He said, "Mom, I tried talking to friends here about it and I got NO sympathy for feeling any grief. A lot of the guys here have lost both parents and other family members, and told me that I'll 'get over it'." That made me sad.

I hate the collateral effects of being locked up. Other inmates have told my son to "forget the outside world, and just do your time." My son is fighting that advice. I try to keep him updated with what friends/family are doing, and I write often. He is facing at least 12 more years until he's eligible for parole, and I hope he can preserve his loving nature and his friendships during that time.

Thanks for reading my vent, I just needed to share this with other people who truly understand my frustration as a parent.

Tatonkawia
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:50 PM
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I'm so sorry for the loss of someone you called friend. It's painful regardless of the circumstance.

My husband lost his brother in his eleventh year of incarceration. The way he's talked about it was that he didn't have anywhere to go (at the time) but in with his feelings. When I met him he opened up a bit about it and now talks about it freely. But it's taken years. I think that level of vulnerability is hard for some inmates and it sounds like the ones your son has reached out to aren't able to go there. It's a big reminder that life out here is slipping by and some doors will be closed forever. It's less painful to not keep those attachments and suffer their losses.

I'm glad your son is talking to you about it. Maybe he can write a letter to her dad and relate some good memories of her in it. It's possible he could ask to speak with the chaplain, as well. They are trained to counsel in grief processing.

Last edited by miamac; 05-29-2017 at 09:36 PM..
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamac View Post
I'm so sorry for the loss of someone you called friend. It's painful regardless of the circumstance.

My husband lost his brother in his eleventh year of incarceration. The way he's talked about it was that he didn't have anywhere to go (at the time) but in with his feelings. When I met him he opened up a bit about it and now talks about it freely. But it's taken years. I think that level of vulnerability is hard for some inmates and it sounds like the ones your son has reached out to aren't able to go there. It's a big reminder that life out here is slipping by and some doors will be closed forever. It's less painful to keep those attachments and suffer their losses.

I'm glad your son is talking to you about it. Maybe he can write a letter to her dad and relate some good memories of her in it. It's possible he could ask to speak with the chaplain, as well. They are trained to counsel in grief processing.
Miamac,

Thanks for responding. Your suggestions are good ones, and I will let my son know to seek out the chaplain. He is writing a letter to the father. I know he wants to be a part of the healing process for this family, I'll be at a BBQ at their house tomorrow and keep him updated on how everyone is doing.

I'm glad your husband was able to talk about his brother with you even if it did take some time. It is hard to be grieving and not have an outlet for it. People are meant to be social and reach out to each other for help.

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Old 05-29-2017, 03:01 PM
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I am so very sorry. I second talking with the Chaplain.
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Old 05-29-2017, 03:46 PM
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Yes it's true that it's hard to grieve in prison. My son used to tell me that he grew so tired of having to keep up a tough face and not express any sadness when he was in prison. The inmate to whom I write lost his mom while he's in there. He did say that the deacon really helped him and listened to him, took him aside.

My sympathy in the loss of your friend's daughter. Hugs
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:46 PM
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I'm sorry for the sadness you're feeling. My aunt passed away while my son was serving part of his sentence. I hated telling him & he cried on the phone. She was so close to all of us & he had just written her a letter telling her to hang in there so they could see each other again. He was lucky to have some kind people in his group that talked him through it but he still has regrets. Reaching out to the chaplain is a good idea. I don't know how much help his counselor/caseworker would be. If there is any group that does prison ministry there, you might reach out to them.

I'm hoping that you will be able to share the good memories to help you all heal.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:53 AM
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My husband lost his mother while he was incarcerated.
Its difficult.
I didnt hear anything from hubby about fellow inmates not being sympathetic.
Maybe because it was his mom who passed.

Im sorry for your friends loss. And Im sorry for your son as well.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:55 PM
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I'm sorry for the sadness you're feeling. My aunt passed away while my son was serving part of his sentence. I hated telling him & he cried on the phone. She was so close to all of us & he had just written her a letter telling her to hang in there so they could see each other again. He was lucky to have some kind people in his group that talked him through it but he still has regrets. Reaching out to the chaplain is a good idea. I don't know how much help his counselor/caseworker would be. If there is any group that does prison ministry there, you might reach out to them.

I'm hoping that you will be able to share the good memories to help you all heal.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm sorry to hear about your Aunt. How hard that must have been on your son. I wish that counseling/therapy was a requirement in prisons. Even if someone doesn't think they need it, its a very difficult thing to live segregated from society friends and family. It does a number on people mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Something we all should think about as most are eventually released.

I was able to comfort the family yesterday at the BBQ, and it was so good to spend time with them. I brought art supplies for the girls and they both drew pictures of themselves with their mother. It hasn't sunk in for them yet that she is gone, and I know they'll feel the effects of their loss for a long time to come. I'm writing to my son a few times this week to let him know what is going on, so he can at least feel a small part of it.

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Old 06-06-2017, 01:21 AM
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When my son was first incarcerated, it seemed like every visit I had some bad news or at least negative news to provide. From my arm surgeries needing PT to being disabled, his dad being sick, his grandmother breaking her hip at age 96, and so on. It reached the point that at each visit, his first comment was a request that I tell him the bad news immediately.

The past 16 months things had been going ok without me having bad news. And, I gained weight, which he thought I had gotten too skinny. Then my mom, his grandmother, had a heart attack, cancer discovered, and she died - that was April. May, upon my sister's and my return to our respective homes, my sister has breast cancer and they are going to need to remove the right one. Since my son is on the opposite end of the state, all of these events were relayed by phone or letter; I couldn't make a trip up there. When these things happen, I can't hide it - he always knows something is wrong. I suspect he is sitting on a lot of emotion right now.

As Tatonkawia said in her original post, the collateral affects of being locked up are hard to deal with.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizlizzie2 View Post
When my son was first incarcerated, it seemed like every visit I had some bad news or at least negative news to provide. From my arm surgeries needing PT to being disabled, his dad being sick, his grandmother breaking her hip at age 96, and so on. It reached the point that at each visit, his first comment was a request that I tell him the bad news immediately.

The past 16 months things had been going ok without me having bad news. And, I gained weight, which he thought I had gotten too skinny. Then my mom, his grandmother, had a heart attack, cancer discovered, and she died - that was April. May, upon my sister's and my return to our respective homes, my sister has breast cancer and they are going to need to remove the right one. Since my son is on the opposite end of the state, all of these events were relayed by phone or letter; I couldn't make a trip up there. When these things happen, I can't hide it - he always knows something is wrong. I suspect he is sitting on a lot of emotion right now.

As Tatonkawia said in her original post, the collateral affects of being locked up are hard to deal with.
Lizlizzie,
I'm sorry you have had such a constant stream of bad news to share with your son. I can only imagine what hearing such news is like for someone in prison. Prayer is a powerful thing, and I think it may help your son to know he can pray at any time, and God is listening.

I just rented a movie called "The Shack", not sure if you've heard of it. I knew it had a religious theme to it, and I was thinking of getting it when I got a letter from my son last week, saying he had just watched it. They put it on the Prison channel there. He said he was moved to tears a couple times and was glad his cellie was asleep lol. Anyway, that prompted me to see it and it had a powerful message. One thing I took from it is that God is right there with us when we are suffering the most.

I hope you take some peace and comfort from knowing you and your son are NEVER alone in your sadness.

Tatonkawia
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:55 AM
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I have bad news about me now and though I'm going to have share something (not sure what yet), I don't plan to tell him the entire story just yet.

Have any of you NOT told your son/daughter info?
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:44 PM
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I think we all have our fears and when our kids are sent away for a short or long time. Life continues to go on...good and bad, really bad things happen!
I know for our family, like many, we have had our share of heartache. As we all know having a son in prison only makes the bad times even worse. We lost our youngest son to an accidental drug overdose almost 3.5 years ago. (His death will haunt me forever...)
The first 5+yrs., our middle son was,...and still is in prison...it was the one thing I dreaded the most, that something would happen to his younger brother, and then it happened.
To this day I can only imagine how our son in prison feels about not being on the outside for his brother. I often wonder, and even imagine, how life would be, had all that had happened with our middle son not have happened. I know it's pretty pointless to keep pondering.
As time goes on we all age, things happen....now it's my parent's that are starting to develop complications as they get on in their years. I hope and pray they will both be here once my son gets out of prison 1/2020.
I no longer take life for granted.
It seems at times the collateral damage is endless but then I have to remind myself that I am only looking at my life in my prospective and not God's.
I know what's happened has happened because of my son(s) own free will. I also believe that God has a plan and a purpose even thou I don't understand.

trauma4us not knowing what you are going thru or faced with...I'm praying for you!!!
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:52 PM
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I have bad news about me now and though I'm going to have share something (not sure what yet), I don't plan to tell him the entire story just yet.

Have any of you NOT told your son/daughter info?
Trauma4us,
I'm saying a prayer for you, I hope whatever it is, you have support at home and if not can seek out counseling for your sake.

I will admit there are things I haven't told my son, to shield him from too much worry. If I was truly ill, in my opinion, I would feel better telling him than keeping it from him but we are very very close and he would figure it out anyway, hearing my voice or seeing me in person.

In the past, when I've held back information that he eventually found out (when I broke down on the way home from a visit and then was unable to visit for a while because the repairs were so expensive)...he was crushed when he found out. He said, "Mom, why didn't you TELL me?" After that.....I promised myself I would not hold back information.

I am not telling you what to do, and I don't know what it is you need to share (partly or not), I'm just sharing my own experience. I think it depends on your relationship with him and how you feel he would handle the information. Would he seek counseling, or ask to speak to the Chaplain? Does he have anyone he could confide in? Are you able to tell him in person, and see his reaction? I would weigh all of those scenarios.

May God see you through this process and bring you peace and clarity,

Tatonkawia
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:45 PM
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My son also got sad news last Sunday (7/9/2017) as he is in prison also. My father passed, liver and pancreatic cancer. He was 86 and he and my son were pretty close. I have also seen the movie "The Shack" and it is a wonderful, powerful movie. I have and always will believe that God is always with us, good or bad. I am sorry so much hurt has come to your son while he is in prison. My son has had his share also, I have had neck surgery, and about to have surgery on both shoulders and he will probably not be out before hand. Just tell you son to Pray and keep the faith because God not only hears us, but knows our hearts.

Quote:
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Lizlizzie,
I'm sorry you have had such a constant stream of bad news to share with your son. I can only imagine what hearing such news is like for someone in prison. Prayer is a powerful thing, and I think it may help your son to know he can pray at any time, and God is listening.

I just rented a movie called "The Shack", not sure if you've heard of it. I knew it had a religious theme to it, and I was thinking of getting it when I got a letter from my son last week, saying he had just watched it. They put it on the Prison channel there. He said he was moved to tears a couple times and was glad his cellie was asleep lol. Anyway, that prompted me to see it and it had a powerful message. One thing I took from it is that God is right there with us when we are suffering the most.

I hope you take some peace and comfort from knowing you and your son are NEVER alone in your sadness.

Tatonkawia
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:52 AM
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Welcome to Prison Talk and condolences on your Dad's passing. I hope your son is able to deal with the loss from prison. I don't know if it is possible where he is, but he may be able to get a reasonable furlough (no chains, no armed guards) to attend the funeral.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:56 AM
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Welcome to Prison Talk and condolences on your Dad's passing. I hope your son is able to deal with the loss from prison. I don't know if it is possible where he is, but he may be able to get a reasonable furlough (no chains, no armed guards) to attend the funeral.
In some prisons the inmate can be taken to the funeral home, but in my state, they are taken when no one else is at the funeral home. They also must pay for two guards to accompany them and for the cost of transporting them. It can cost thousands.
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