Can Joy and Grief Live Together?

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, Nov 14, 2019

To all who participate in our Loss & Grief discussion group:

Recently a member posted, "I am learning that grief and joy can live together."

I've heard it said that life after a loss is like a railroad track. In other words, daily life is lived on one track and the grief and loss represent the other track and yet they run side by side. So while you are experiencing grief you are also moving forward with your daily life.

I was just wondering how are those of you have experienced loss dealing with those two tracks. How do you feel when you "get on with your current life."

Are you able to separate your current life with the remembrance of your loss?

My beautiful husband and I had many adventures. He died of COPD on May 22, 2011. This is the hardest journey I have had to do. He was a 3 war combat vet with CPTSD and we were enmeshed in each other. It has taken me these 8 years to move forward. After living in his culture for 32 years I not only lost him I lost the culture also. I still cry. But not as often. And the things that would cause me to cry are now special memories I hold precious. I've learned to love myself.

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@lshell

i LOST MY HUSBAND AND LOVE OF MY LIFE, TOMMY, AGE 71, ON MAY 21ST, 2019. THIS THURSDAY WILL BE 6 MONTHS SINCE HE DIED IN HIS SLEEP NEXT TO ME IN OUR BED. i WOKE UP TO HIS CELLPHONE ALARM RINGING THAT HE HAD SET THE NIGHT BEFORE, BUT NEVER MOVED TO TURN IT OFF. HE WAS ON HIS SIDE FACING ME AND HIS ARM WAS STILL UNDER MY PILLOW. THERE WAS NO WARNING…HE PLAYED TENNIS, GOLF AND POKER DAYS BEFORE, AND WE HAD JUST PACKED THE CAR THAT DAY TO MOVE FROM OUR FLORIDA HOME TO OUR VIRGINIA HOME FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS. THE DAY OF HIS SUDDEN DEATH CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER, BUT EACH DAY I FIND SOME SOLACE AND PEACE BY MIXING THE JOY AND HAPPINESS THAT FRIENDS AND FAMILY CAN BRING TO COMFORT MY GRIEVING HEART. I READ RECENTLY THAT YOU DON'T "MOVE ON" FROM YOUR GRIEF, YOU "MOVE FORWARD" WITH YOUR GRIEF. i ACCEPT THAT GRIEF, JOY, SADNESS, LAUGHTER, TEARS, HOPE AND MORE, WILL BE PART OF MY DAILY EMOTIONS FOREVER. I WOULDN'T EXPECT ANYTHING LESS, AS I LOVE AND MISS HIM SO MUCH. IT'S WHO I AM NOW, BUT I WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR THE 24 YEARS OF OUR BEAUTIFUL LIFE TOGETHER AND FOR THE TREASURED MEMORIES HE LEFT BEHIND FOR ME TO SAVOR, LOVE AND ENJOY.

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@Ishell I am so sorry for your loss. I am so glad you have so many memories to love.

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@amazingteal

My beautiful husband and I had many adventures. He died of COPD on May 22, 2011. This is the hardest journey I have had to do. He was a 3 war combat vet with CPTSD and we were enmeshed in each other. It has taken me these 8 years to move forward. After living in his culture for 32 years I not only lost him I lost the culture also. I still cry. But not as often. And the things that would cause me to cry are now special memories I hold precious. I've learned to love myself.

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What a great picture of your dear husband, @amazingteal! Your losses were definitely doubled as you lost him and also his culture. I can understand why this would take so long for you to begin your "moving forward" journey.

If you don't mind sharing, how long were you married and how did you adjust to losing his culture?

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Thank you all who have contributed to this discussion. I hope you realize just how cathartic it is for me to read these words. We recently passed the seventh anniversary of my father's passing, at his age of 96, from congestive heart failure. His mind remained sharp to the end, his body wore out. Every day I am reminded of him, and miss his counsel.
Ginger

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@hopeful33250

What a great picture of your dear husband, @amazingteal! Your losses were definitely doubled as you lost him and also his culture. I can understand why this would take so long for you to begin your "moving forward" journey.

If you don't mind sharing, how long were you married and how did you adjust to losing his culture?

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Thank you Teresa. We were married 32 years, a second marriage for both of us. As to how I adjusted to leaving his culture, it has been hard. There is such richness within. His home reservation is rural and we had to move to Spokane, WA for better medical services I was already away from the people. After his death, I started releasing the cultural items to appropriate people and places. To go back to non-native culture has been hard. I do not fit as I hold many beliefs and customs within my heart and spirit. And that is right for me.

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@lshell

i LOST MY HUSBAND AND LOVE OF MY LIFE, TOMMY, AGE 71, ON MAY 21ST, 2019. THIS THURSDAY WILL BE 6 MONTHS SINCE HE DIED IN HIS SLEEP NEXT TO ME IN OUR BED. i WOKE UP TO HIS CELLPHONE ALARM RINGING THAT HE HAD SET THE NIGHT BEFORE, BUT NEVER MOVED TO TURN IT OFF. HE WAS ON HIS SIDE FACING ME AND HIS ARM WAS STILL UNDER MY PILLOW. THERE WAS NO WARNING…HE PLAYED TENNIS, GOLF AND POKER DAYS BEFORE, AND WE HAD JUST PACKED THE CAR THAT DAY TO MOVE FROM OUR FLORIDA HOME TO OUR VIRGINIA HOME FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS. THE DAY OF HIS SUDDEN DEATH CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER, BUT EACH DAY I FIND SOME SOLACE AND PEACE BY MIXING THE JOY AND HAPPINESS THAT FRIENDS AND FAMILY CAN BRING TO COMFORT MY GRIEVING HEART. I READ RECENTLY THAT YOU DON'T "MOVE ON" FROM YOUR GRIEF, YOU "MOVE FORWARD" WITH YOUR GRIEF. i ACCEPT THAT GRIEF, JOY, SADNESS, LAUGHTER, TEARS, HOPE AND MORE, WILL BE PART OF MY DAILY EMOTIONS FOREVER. I WOULDN'T EXPECT ANYTHING LESS, AS I LOVE AND MISS HIM SO MUCH. IT'S WHO I AM NOW, BUT I WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR THE 24 YEARS OF OUR BEAUTIFUL LIFE TOGETHER AND FOR THE TREASURED MEMORIES HE LEFT BEHIND FOR ME TO SAVOR, LOVE AND ENJOY.

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My sincere condolences to you and your family. I hope the memories that you hold dear will carry you along.

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@karama

Not yet. I lost my husband only last week. I know I have to move on. Am trying very hard.

Karama.

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Condolences. Grieve at your own pace, one day at time. It okay to ask for help from friends/ family or professional help. Take your time.

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