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Loss and Grief: How are you doing?

Posted by @hopeful33250, Tue, Jan 16 7:08am

When my dad passed away several years ago I lost my keys 4 times in one month, I would wake up at 3 a.m. several days every week feeling startled. Sound familiar? These are reactions to grief. Grief is a very personal experience – everyone grieves differently – even in the same family because the relationship of a father is different than that of a wife or a granddaughter. Unfortunately, often we grieve alone. Sometimes we don’t want to “bother others” with our grief, and sometimes friends and family tell us that we should be over it by now. After all the person we lost was ill for a long time or was very old and “it was their time” or “they are in a better place now.” Sound familiar?

Grieving is often described as the “work of grief.” It does feel like hard work doesn’t it? Grief can be difficult because of the many factors related to the loss. If the loss followed a prolonged, serious illness you undoubtedly did some “anticipatory grief work” prior to the actual death of the loved one. If the loss, however, was sudden, i.e., accident related, suicide, a result of crime, etc. the sense of grief is coupled with shock.

The relationship that you had with the loved one also affects your grief experience, i.e. was your relationship close or had it been strained? Do you feel guilt that you were not closer or do you feel guilty because you don’t feel you did enough to help while your loved one was ill?

Sometimes anger plays a part in the grief process. Did your loved one get poor medical treatment or a wrong and/or late diagnosis? Did your loved one not follow your doctor’s orders with regard to their health (diet, smoking, attention to meds or exercise)? All of these factors contribute to your experience of grief.

Also, some losses are not so evident to others. These would include a miscarriage or a stillborn. Sometimes these losses are not considered as relevant to others as the loss of a person who has lived a longer life. In the case of a miscarriage, others might not even be aware of your loss.

You may think of that person on anniversary dates (their birthday, date of their death) or you might think of them constantly. Unfortunately, sometime people say things that can multiply grief. Have you ever heard someone say, “you should be over this by now?” or “I had a similar experience and I’m OK.” Well, most likely their similar experience was not the same as yours. Thinking you should be over it might compound your grief with feelings of guilt or frustration.

Whether a recent loss, or a loss you experienced a long time ago, let’s talk about it. Whatever your experience, I’d like to hear your stories and together find a way to relocate that loved one so that we can experience peace in our lifetime.

Together let us support each other in our grief journey.

Teresa

REPLY

My mother just passed away this last weekend, Jan 13, 2018. I must not be handling it well cause all I want to do is eat chocolate and sleep. She smoked her entire life, and in the last 10 years got very little exercise. She had an office chair that she would roll around in in the kitchen. Rarely did she walk anywhere, only to the bathroom and bed. She had such a hard time getting enough air (COPD) and it scared her when she couldn’t catch her breath. I am about 3 hrs away for the last 18 months, so we didn’t spend a lot of time together, but we did talk a lot on the phone. Towards the end that was hard too cause you can’t breath you can’t talk. I kept telling her she needed to get up and walk, but she wouldn’t. So now at 57 I will never be able to talk to her again. Its not that she gave me such stellar advice, it was just that I had someone to listen to me. I have not made any close friends here (Rochester, MN) but I have people at work to talk to, but you have to be careful what you tell them too. I don’t want things spread all over the place. So I mostly talk to my little dog. He always has time to listen to me, his Mama. Mom and I both have depression. I hate this feeling of being alone. It is worse now. I cry at every little thing. Like I am not even taking my medicine. But I am. Is this crying, feeling sorry for myself. Is this how my life will be now. I hate crying, but some days I can’t seem to stop. My daughter said it best. She said it comes in waves. I have lived so long suffering with “waves” of depression, I don’t know if I a am strong enough to bear this too.

@punkinpie

I’m so sorry for your loss, @punkinpie. Thanks for sharing. Yes, tears are a healthy expression of grief – even though we may not be comfortable with tears they are still good for us. When we are grieving toxins build up in our body and they get released through tears. Here is an article from Psychology Today that discusses the health benefit of tears, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-freedom/201007/the-health-benefits-tears

On the third paragraph that starts, “Emotional tears have special health benefits” explains this phenomenon. Please take the time to read the article – I think you will understand what your daughter means when she says, it is best.

Keep sharing, and we will continue to support you.

Teresa

Hi, @djankord1, @wags, @tamara1967, @georgette12, @nanaand3js, @srounkle, @twobluelady, @ikampel2, @blindeyepug, @danybegood1 , @jerc15 , @roxie43 , @gagelle , @AgentDarien, @blessedforsho, @cehunt57, @carebear, @mkmenge, @elizabethzimmermann, @anon85319211, @Gray, @bobbielouise, @amberpep, @tabi , @margiery, @cdvidya, @liz223, @cnesselroad, @johndoe1, @chrissylou29, @missvee42 @IndianaScott, @emmur16, @sadiesmom, @cynaburst, @ashlandmom , @nativefloridian, @marylynette, @parus, @juliann, @missnanforever, @Liebchen50, @antessa, @dawn_giacabazi, @sarahjo, @shellwil and @jenniferjjjj. I would like to invite you to take part in this new discussion about grieving so you can meet other Connect members who have faced significant losses. This could be divorce; death of a loved one; loss of a job, home or health; loss of a loved one’s health; miscarriage or a stillborn child; loss of the life you hoped to live; or any other kind of significant loss that has impacted you.

Would like to take part..thank you

Hello @Liebchen50

Thank you for being willing to share your journey of grief with us.

Teresa

Well, since I’m the only one left in my family behind me, being an only child, I’ve been through this a good bit. Everyone is gone. I’m grateful for my 3 kids and at least they’ll have each other when their Dad and I go. I think I grieved the divorce the most ….. everyone else was pretty abusive, and even though he was a narcissist, after 40 years, it took me about 8 years to get passed that divorce.
abby

@punkinpie

My mother just passed away this last weekend, Jan 13, 2018. I must not be handling it well cause all I want to do is eat chocolate and sleep. She smoked her entire life, and in the last 10 years got very little exercise. She had an office chair that she would roll around in in the kitchen. Rarely did she walk anywhere, only to the bathroom and bed. She had such a hard time getting enough air (COPD) and it scared her when she couldn’t catch her breath. I am about 3 hrs away for the last 18 months, so we didn’t spend a lot of time together, but we did talk a lot on the phone. Towards the end that was hard too cause you can’t breath you can’t talk. I kept telling her she needed to get up and walk, but she wouldn’t. So now at 57 I will never be able to talk to her again. Its not that she gave me such stellar advice, it was just that I had someone to listen to me. I have not made any close friends here (Rochester, MN) but I have people at work to talk to, but you have to be careful what you tell them too. I don’t want things spread all over the place. So I mostly talk to my little dog. He always has time to listen to me, his Mama. Mom and I both have depression. I hate this feeling of being alone. It is worse now. I cry at every little thing. Like I am not even taking my medicine. But I am. Is this crying, feeling sorry for myself. Is this how my life will be now. I hate crying, but some days I can’t seem to stop. My daughter said it best. She said it comes in waves. I have lived so long suffering with “waves” of depression, I don’t know if I a am strong enough to bear this too.

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I am so sorry for your loss. Recalling from my own experiences…..it has been such a short time since your mother passed, and you can expect that the grieving is intense right now. Regrets are also not unusual either, but remember that we are all human and have made mistakes and though we can’t go back and change most things, we absolutely can move forward and live “this new day”. It has been many years since my husband passed away at a young age and I still miss him. The “sharp” pain of loss isn’t there anymore, but a degree of sorrow stays with me, and I am sure it always will. Within a short time after his death I made a determined decision to go back to work, see family/friends, and just keep myself involved. This wasn’t easy to do as I really didn’t have it in my heart to even leave my house – but I did, and for me it proved to be the best therapy to help get through a heart-breaking and life-changing loss. My thoughts are with you….

This grief thing is hell. There is no way to put it. I am terribly sorry for your loss punkinpie. My grief therapist reminds me that the first year we are usually in shock. The second year and thereafter we are often feeling some tough feelings. It is important to monitor who you allow yourself to be around. I lost a friend i had known for 40 years because she would not “allow” me to mourn my son.

@georgette12

This grief thing is hell. There is no way to put it. I am terribly sorry for your loss punkinpie. My grief therapist reminds me that the first year we are usually in shock. The second year and thereafter we are often feeling some tough feelings. It is important to monitor who you allow yourself to be around. I lost a friend i had known for 40 years because she would not “allow” me to mourn my son.

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@georgette12 You bring up a good point! Friends often do not understand the power of grief, do they?

Teresa

@amberpep

Well, since I’m the only one left in my family behind me, being an only child, I’ve been through this a good bit. Everyone is gone. I’m grateful for my 3 kids and at least they’ll have each other when their Dad and I go. I think I grieved the divorce the most ….. everyone else was pretty abusive, and even though he was a narcissist, after 40 years, it took me about 8 years to get passed that divorce.
abby

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Still working on this.

My thought on grief is that we all deal with thus in our “own” unique. It can help to have the support of others. Others cannot do the grieving for us nor, tell another “how” to grieve. Some deal better than others. Some can move on. Others may not be able to do so. We each grieve at a different pace. Grief can sneak up on us although we may believe we have dealt with the grief. For some there may be no end to the grieving.
Would that there were a simple solution.

@georgette12

This grief thing is hell. There is no way to put it. I am terribly sorry for your loss punkinpie. My grief therapist reminds me that the first year we are usually in shock. The second year and thereafter we are often feeling some tough feelings. It is important to monitor who you allow yourself to be around. I lost a friend i had known for 40 years because she would not “allow” me to mourn my son.

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Ain’t it the truth!?

@parus So true! Grief is a very personal experience. I’ve heard the process of grief described as a “lighting strike” rather than a straight line. You think that you have made it through grief and you are OK, then you feel zapped by hearing a song, or seeing someone who looks similar to the one who you lost and all of sudden you are in the midst of it again.

Teresa

I think guilt is a part of grief for those of us whose loved one died suddenly as in my son’s suicide or those of us who have had complicated or estranged relationships with the person who died.

@georgette12

I think guilt is a part of grief for those of us whose loved one died suddenly as in my son’s suicide or those of us who have had complicated or estranged relationships with the person who died.

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@georgette12 So true. I am sorry to hear about the suicide of your son. I still have guilt about my dad’s suicide. Grief is a complicated journey. Guilt seems to accompany grief.

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