Damien "Joey" Joseph Kam

Damien "Joey" Joseph Kam
February 11, 1965 - August 28, 2009

Honoring the great Memories...

Damien's Memorial Plaque was installed January 16, 2010. It is located in the Garden of Reflection Memorial Book. Inquire at the mortuary office if you are not sure of the location, and they will give you directions.

Pacific View Memorial Park
3500 Pacific View Drive,
Corona Del Mar, Ca 92625


One day we'll disappear together in a dream

However short or long our lives are going to be

I will live in you or you will live in me

Until we disappear together in a dream


Damien's Memorial Plaque

Damien's Memorial Plaque


If you would like to contribute to Colin's College Fund in Damien's Memory:

Send a check to:

College Savings Iowa

P.O. Box 55119

Boston, MA 02205-5119

Reference #450079529-01 on the check

Or if you use Online Bill Pay you can issue a check as referenced above.

For more information regarding this type of account please visit: https://collegesavingsiowa.s.upromise.com/

A special thanks to Judy, Cyndie's Cousin, for putting together Colin's college fund.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The 7 Stages of Grief ...

There are basically 7 stages of Grief that a person goes through when they lose a loved one. They are:

1. Shock & Denial
2. Pain & Guilt
3. Anger & Bargaining
4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness
5. The Upward Turn
6. Reconstruction & Working Through
7. Acceptance & Hope

I've been thinking about these stages a lot lately, as I try to move forward ... I say "move forward" as to opposed to "move on" ... there is a difference and I am in no way near the latter. So for me, thus far, it has kind of gone like this:

1. Shock & Denial - Shock I've most definitely experienced. Right from the beginning, and lasting maybe 3 months. I think it's a way your mind "protects" you at first, and allows you to get stuff done. There's so much to think about in those first few weeks and months. As for Denial, I've never experienced it, and being 6 months + out, I don't think I will. I believe this is mostly due to the fact that I was with Damien when he passed away, holding his hand. I saw the doctor remove him from life support, and felt his heart stop beating. There was no way for me to deny what had happened. It is only occasionally in my dreams that I see Damien, "here and now".

2. Pain & Guilt - I've most definitely experienced this. The guilt of wishing I was a better wife somehow, that I could have predicted what was going to happen and have spent more quality time with Damien, instead of worrying about the household chores, etc. To take back any arguments over the years. But I think that's fading a bit now, which is good, because it is a horrible feeling. The pain continues on, some days being worse then others. But when it comes, it is a deep heart-clenching pain, indescribable to those who have not felt it before.

3. Anger & Bargaining - This is a new one for me. Somehow I thought I would sail past the anger part. But it showed up yesterday for the 1st time. I didn't even recognize it at first. I was trying to play a DVD, something I hadn't done since Joey passed away. But I was eating my lunch, and just wanted to unwind a bit while Colin was napping, and there was nothing good on TV. I put the DVD in the player. Then I couldn't figure out how to make it play. Which button was it to change from the cable to the DVD? Could it really be that hard? Apparently, especially when your head isn't completely "here" anyway. I tried everything. Then the TV went to snow, and I couldn't get it back. So I fell apart, right there on the floor. Sobbing uncontrollably, wondering why I couldn't fix something so simple. I was angry that I was alone, and the person I would normally rely on wasn't here to help me. I was helpless. And angry. And messed up. Over the television. If someone would have walked in on that, they may have thought I was crazy. I know I'm not, and it's part of the process. So after about 20 minutes of "calming down", I called AT&T, and they kindly walked me through the very simple steps of how to play the DVD. At this point, I would add a sub-category of this stage of grief, called "Loss of Control". That's exactly what it felt like. As for Bargaining, I've never felt that, and probably never will. I know it doesn't work. That's just my logical mind taking over.

4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness - Yes, yes, and yes. That's what I'm really in right now. Lots of memories, sadness, and that feeling of being alone. I'd been with Joey for almost 10 years ... it's a difficult adjustment. And so it continues.

5. The Upward Turn - not really yet. Little glimpses of it here and there, but that's all for right now. I know Damien would want me to be happy again. That just seems a long ways off.

6. Reconstruction & Working Through - beginning this stage, just barely. Trying to organize stuff and do the necessary things to keep life moving. There are still things that are difficult for me to deal with ... like his car, his clothes, etc. Not ready just yet, and that's OK.

7. Acceptance & Hope - not there at this point, although I do find that I have some "hope" for the future. I think a lot of that comes from wanting to give Colin a great life. I do find some positive things to focus on. Or I try at least ...

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