I could use some help. Heavy psychology within.

prs97

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A call for help from the MLP community.

TL;DR version first: My wife's younger brother passed away last month. It sounds like the cause of death may now be ready for the family to learn but I have no idea how to handle this and am fearful as to the worst being yet to come.

Now the long version. I'll try to stay on the rails but today's not a good day.

About 6 weeks ago, my wife got a frantic phone call from her mom that something was wrong with her (much) younger brother who was living in Chicago. My wife then called a cousin of hers out there who broke the news to her that her brother was gone- went to sleep and didn't wake up and was found by his girlfriend. At that point, my wife & I jumped in the car, drove an hour to her mom's house to give her the news. Once there, my wife then had to call her dad with the news since he lives out of state. After that call, she then had to call her estranged brother on the left coast with the news. That's a task I wouldn't wish on my enemy and my poor wife was burdened with having to do it. Heavy stuff.

My wife, her mom, and I took care of all of the arrangements for the wake & funeral. Mom was adamant about bringing him back here to NY where we live & he grew up. This meant that the family & friends in Chicago didn't get much of an opportunity to say goodbye so we just went out there to go through his personal effects and attend a local memorial.

Here's where the storm clouds start to gather. Mom grew up in Chicago in a bad neighborhood and lost a brother many years ago to drugs at a young age. As a result, she was hell-bent on making sure her kids grew up far from the place and she ended up in NY & the kids all grew up here. Fast forward about 30 years, my wife's (much) younger brother was having trouble making ends meet here in NY & decided to move to Chicago. There, he met a nice girl and finally landed a good job. Seems like things were finally falling in place for him and then this punch in the gut.

While in Chicago this past weekend, his girlfriend informed me about a little packet that the cops found in his wallet at the scene. She pleaded that she never knew about this and I believe her. Now this makes me concerned that the worst possible scenario might be confirmed by the autopsy report. Now I'm fearful that the worst is yet to come. I'm worried about my wife and her family going into a total tailspin over this and a path of destruction that I have no idea how to handle.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance MLP.
 

rcole_sooner

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Thoughts and prayers sent.

We've been through this in our family. Just don't point fingers or place blame. Kinda water under the bridge.

The hurt will get less with time.
 

scott1970

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Not that this helps any, but be the rock for all involved. Listen to them, take any verbal abuse from them as a result of their anger and hurt, and don't lose your cool with any of them. Just be there for them. It may not help, but it may be what they need.

Also, I'm sorry you are going through this. I've lost family to drugs, and I've lost in-laws to drugs, so I understand.
 

Kamen_Kaiju

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that sucks man.

no advice,..be strong I guess.

Drugs suck.
 

Platte City Paul

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Aside from what Scott said above, I have nothing to add, man. Good luck with this. Whatever the autopsy reveals will come out, so there isn't any other option beyond being neutral and supportive.
 

Ed B

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Thoughts and prayers as well.

Ultimately all you can do is be there for your family. If his death is due to drugs there is nothing anyone can do about it. Adults are uncontrollable. Parents will always take the brunt for the actions of their children, but in the end this wouldn't fall on the parents.

I don't know enough to know for certain, but aren't the autopsy and toxicology two separate things? If so, maybe the autopsy could come back as heart failure, but not say why? If that's the case share that with the family. I wouldn't lie, but if the tox is suppressed it could be better for the family. It will only create sorrow and guilt. No one needs that. Sadly, it's a moot point. I don't mean for that to sound cold. Meaning that nothing can change the outcome. The idea that he went to bed and didn't wake up is so much better for everyone.

Good luck!
 

kevinpaul

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You are not a family consoler. The unexpected death of a young person is a tuff one for anyone to deal with. Keep to the simple stuff, like he is in a better place. He was called home. There is nothing new, nothing you can say that will help the sadness. Just try not to be clever or creative, keeping your mouth shut is golden. I have had to tell families that love one passed many times. Most questions I skip over. A 93 year old great grandmother died. She had cancer, a bad heart and smoked a couple packs of cigarettes a day. Her daughter said why did she have to die now? I had hundreds of smart ass things I could have said but I just shook my head. Shutting up is the best thing to do.
 

Travis19

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I am very sorry to hear about your loss.

I'm certainly not qualified to give advice on such a heavy topic; but as I see it, as a husband your job is to support your wife, regardless of how her family responds. It sounds like she's going to need your strength and support.
 

Fracture

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While in Chicago this past weekend, his girlfriend informed me about a little packet that the cops found in his wallet at the scene. She pleaded that she never knew about this and I believe her. Now this makes me concerned that the worst possible scenario might be confirmed by the autopsy report. Now I'm fearful that the worst is yet to come. I'm worried about my wife and her family going into a total tailspin over this and a path of destruction that I have no idea how to handle.

Any ideas?


a rational person would conclude that since the person is deceased, does it really matter how they died ?
personal curiosity attaches the 'I want to know why"

hit by truck ?, aircraft vs aircraft ?, bad valve in the heart ?

of course your mother will likely 'go on tilt' if its a drug overdose
because it's a reflection on her

It's been a month, she can regrieve the death briefly
but there's certainly no need for drama

am I cold and callous ?, perhaps but as a society we handle
death like idiots
I had a 52 year old cousin die last July, we were very close
Discovered her death via FaceBook, how f'd up is that ?
The outpouring there was ridiculous, people she hadn't been in contact with for years saying how she didn't deserve this, and such a good person, too young to die. blah, blah
she died penniless and unemployed
I half heartedly expected it, she was full blown alcoholic
who wouldn't do the work to get / stay sober
Saddened ? yes, but I certainly wasn't surprised.
 

OHIOSTEVE

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My condolences on your brother in laws death. That phone call outta the blue cannot be described. The only thing I can add is that his life is much more important than his death. How he lived should be much more relevant to his family than how he died. Your role is simply support for your wife.
 

prs97

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Thanks guys.

As for the autopsy report being separate from the toxicology report, I have no idea how this works. I think everyone is thinking that the autopsy report will be cover everything and they want to know what the cause was.

Up until now, we've all been working under the premise that he went to sleep and didn't wake up and everyone is grieving over the loss.

As time has passed since the event, the family does want to know the root cause. Their thought is that if it's something genetic/health related, they want to make sure that everyone gets tested/treated, if needed. Given the conversation with his girlfriend, I'm fearful this search for the truth is going to lead down a very dark road.
 

Ed B

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Thanks guys.

As for the autopsy report being separate from the toxicology report, I have no idea how this works. I think everyone is thinking that the autopsy report will be cover everything and they want to know what the cause was.

Up until now, we've all been working under the premise that he went to sleep and didn't wake up and everyone is grieving over the loss.

As time has passed since the event, the family does want to know the root cause. Their thought is that if it's something genetic/health related, they want to make sure that everyone gets tested/treated, if needed. Given the conversation with his girlfriend, I'm fearful this search for the truth is going to lead down a very dark road.

If they're pursuing it, the cause is probably going to be unavoidable. Let's hope it isn't their worst fear and see how it turns out.

I think the longer it takes to get that info the better it will be for everyone. I doubt this info could hurt more than the initial shock of his passing. It may cause some guilt and re-open a wound, but let's hope it will be easier to deal with now that time is going by. At least I truly hope so. This sucks all around. We're pulling for a smooth outcome.
 

mdubya

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In my experience, knowing the truth is helpful in processing the loss, no matter how ugly or painful. Not knowing just leaves one in an endless loop.

Loss is part of life. It is unavoidable, no matter how unpleasant.
 

cybermgk

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I am going to be frank. The emotional impact, effect, trauma that your Mother in Law, wife etc, will and has incurred, is beyond your abilities to assuage. This is not a knock on you. It is beyond all of our capabilities to 'fix', 'lessen', 'assuage', etc.

You need to be there to support your wife. Only you can say how that would manifest best, as I don't know her, how she copes, and what she needs in that situation.

But, it is obvious you have real concerns. And, just because this is beyond your capabilities, doesn't mean, there is nothing that can be done to help them.

My suggestion is to talk to them and suggest your wife, and particularly, your mother start counseling to help them manage their grief. Through them (counselors), they can also be directed to additional support, lie support groups of people that have/are also dealing with similar 'worst case scenarios'. If your Mother in Law is religious, those counselors may be right at her church. If not, this IS something you can do to help, seek out providers for them. I suggest you help them get started BEFORE the possible 'worst' comes to light.
 

acstorfer

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My thoughts go out to all his friends and family.
 

OHIOSTEVE

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The autopsy and tox report will be seo
I am going to be frank. The emotional impact, effect, trauma that your Mother in Law, wife etc, will and has incurred, is beyond your abilities to assuage. This is not a knock on you. It is beyond all of our capabilities to 'fix', 'lessen', 'assuage', etc.

You need to be there to support your wife. Only you can say how that would manifest best, as I don't know her, how she copes, and what she needs in that situation.

But, it is obvious you have real concerns. And, just because this is beyond your capabilities, doesn't mean, there is nothing that can be done to help them.

My suggestion is to talk to them and suggest your wife, and particularly, your mother start counseling to help them manage their grief. Through them (counselors), they can also be directed to additional support, lie support groups of people that have/are also dealing with similar 'worst case scenarios'. If your Mother in Law is religious, those counselors may be right at her church. If not, this IS something you can do to help, seek out providers for them. I suggest you help them get started BEFORE the possible 'worst' comes to light.
Yep..... One of the worst things they will hear is that someone KNOWS HOW THEY FEEL. Just listen..... I have a friend of mine who came here after Jake died. He sat here... Thats it. If I wanted to talk he listened. If not he sat and watched TV. Other than here he was the most helpful. You cannot fix it... You can distract but thats about it. There is a mental stigma attached to a drug death. The general public is numb to it by now but your wifes entire family will be trying to figure out where they went wrong. They will be trying to assume blame. Some will be dramatic and try to assume victimhood. Let em.. Just take care of your wife. If you haven't, read through the thread I posted here about my sons death. Some of the posts from the people here were right on and I believe applicable to your situation.
 

prs97

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Thank you for the feedback. I really appreciate it.

My apologies if this is digging up things for all of you chiming in to help.
 

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