Loss and Grief: How are you doing?

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, Jan 16, 2018

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

@kathy4385

I really dont even know where to start. I lost my best friend, lover and husband to liver cancer 2.5 years ago. Didnt really start to grieve till last year. As to, I believe having recieved 2 foster kids 6 mos after he died. So poured everything into the kids. and delayed my grieving, untill they left my home 5 months later. Then it was like I lost and was grieving all 3 at the same time. To say the least, Im not doing so well. My friends and neighbors dont understand, and say I push them away, (not what I wanted to do, or intended to do) just didnt know how to express myself. so ended up more alone, and felt abandoned. I am a christian, and have been studying all I can in the word about grief, depression, and loneliness. My family lives far away, I thought I had the church family, but feel I dont fit in anymore, and they quit reaching out cause they feel I should be over it by now. and they dont know what to do with me, I dont fit in any of the groups that we used to be in. All I really want is to feel needed, wanted, and to belong to something, cant find the new normal, dont seem to fit in, feel more alone in a crowd, so I just stay home alone. know that is not the answer either, but dont know what to do. Want to go home to be with my husband, and all the loved ones who have died before me. At times it seems the only answer. Just waiting to die of a broken heart. I get up each day, because I have animals to care for, so all I am living for now.

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jimhd, I've read your post's and seems like you've had a lot of bummer's with people too. I've always been guarded I guess, just can't stand betrayal. Seems like you've been betrayed a time of more. I know we are commanded to forgive and apologize to those who we hurt or if possible to those who've harmed us. I did apologize to Mary but those people won't pick up the phone so I left it on the recorder. I know their habits and I know Jon keeps his phone with him when they are all watching the tv. Been there many times. They are a bunch of hypocrites and liars. I know what I'm saying. They are perfect in their own eyes because they can go to the temple and baptize lots of dead people so they will pass onto Joseph Smith who seems to be more powerful the Jesus. It is very common for them to become liars because they are built on a lie and I have read some of their goofy, contradictory books, not all, it takes little to dismiss Joseph Smith if you even have a little understanding of the Bible.
Now I'm getting pissed again and so I should stop.
Thanks Jim. ps: I don't put all blame on Mary but I did trust her with a lot of my life's secrets and she blabbed them to her friend and she blabbed and it came back to me. That is wrong…period. I've not let one bad word out to anyone. I did explain what happened but just said, oh well, nothing I can do, just can't believe she would just disappear, poof, just gone, it really makes you feel like someone really hates you.
I guess I'll be here a while. Thanks again.

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@kathy4385

I really dont even know where to start. I lost my best friend, lover and husband to liver cancer 2.5 years ago. Didnt really start to grieve till last year. As to, I believe having recieved 2 foster kids 6 mos after he died. So poured everything into the kids. and delayed my grieving, untill they left my home 5 months later. Then it was like I lost and was grieving all 3 at the same time. To say the least, Im not doing so well. My friends and neighbors dont understand, and say I push them away, (not what I wanted to do, or intended to do) just didnt know how to express myself. so ended up more alone, and felt abandoned. I am a christian, and have been studying all I can in the word about grief, depression, and loneliness. My family lives far away, I thought I had the church family, but feel I dont fit in anymore, and they quit reaching out cause they feel I should be over it by now. and they dont know what to do with me, I dont fit in any of the groups that we used to be in. All I really want is to feel needed, wanted, and to belong to something, cant find the new normal, dont seem to fit in, feel more alone in a crowd, so I just stay home alone. know that is not the answer either, but dont know what to do. Want to go home to be with my husband, and all the loved ones who have died before me. At times it seems the only answer. Just waiting to die of a broken heart. I get up each day, because I have animals to care for, so all I am living for now.

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2011panc,
I just re read your post above. I think you don't understand me at all. I've never thought I was superior to anyone. The rescue was romantic. Mary bragged about it a lot but I was just happy we met. I have never brought it up at all that I can recall…Like I saved you now you owe me. That's not how my mind works. I do something and no one owes me anything, my mind does not work that way. I do something like get cut in a knife fight, long story, in our Army barracks I didn't run to anyone and complain. It was with the Old Black Panthers, which is another thing I dealt with at the VA. The next morning after the fight the guy who almost bashed my head in was a line cook doing eggs, he just smiled and said "How you want your eggs." Sunny side over.
I could have made a stink about it and had the guy who cut me arrested and thrown in the stockade. I just wanted peace. The first sergeant was a really great guy, he was also black, but he called a formation on Monday morning and made it clear to all that there was no racial incidents in his battery. I still had about six months to go and there was peace, at least until I was gone. I was surprised when I was leaving that a couple of black guys came up to me to shake my hand and said they were sorry I was leaving. What did I do to deserve that? Two black guys from Chicago I got along with, not buddies but agreeable to each other. They were all full of knife fight scars, but they were good guys. They also were very protective of my number one canoneer, his name was Private Canon. True. He was a little guy and Moore and Turner took him under their wings. There's another story about a big fight I had to break up as I was Charge of Quarters that weekend. One black guy attempted to stab Canon. Moore and Turner found out and a fight proceeded. Big guys and when I had to wade through about twenty black guys I was a little nervous. The room was upside down and nothing in place. I told Moore and Turner to leave Hahn alone. They agreed and that was that. I put Canon in my bed because the door was visible from the First Sergeant's desk. I had to stay awake all night so I watched over him.
Got off track but I'm not really vindictive nor am I mean. Just don't betray me when I pour my heart and soul into you Mary. I didn't withhold from talking or sharing anything from her. Together we work through some of my problems and faults not all but things take time and trust. I trusted her she betrayed me. She knows all my secrets and she used all that against me and blabbed it to her Mormon son, x husband and Melchizedek Priest, Traci her girlfriend up here, her Bishop, and who knows. Should I just go, Oh Well that doesn't bother me?
Sorry but it bothers the hell out of me. Now they can all slam me and feel great about themselves. I think it's evil and they think they are superior as they are working to be GOD.

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@kathy4385

I really dont even know where to start. I lost my best friend, lover and husband to liver cancer 2.5 years ago. Didnt really start to grieve till last year. As to, I believe having recieved 2 foster kids 6 mos after he died. So poured everything into the kids. and delayed my grieving, untill they left my home 5 months later. Then it was like I lost and was grieving all 3 at the same time. To say the least, Im not doing so well. My friends and neighbors dont understand, and say I push them away, (not what I wanted to do, or intended to do) just didnt know how to express myself. so ended up more alone, and felt abandoned. I am a christian, and have been studying all I can in the word about grief, depression, and loneliness. My family lives far away, I thought I had the church family, but feel I dont fit in anymore, and they quit reaching out cause they feel I should be over it by now. and they dont know what to do with me, I dont fit in any of the groups that we used to be in. All I really want is to feel needed, wanted, and to belong to something, cant find the new normal, dont seem to fit in, feel more alone in a crowd, so I just stay home alone. know that is not the answer either, but dont know what to do. Want to go home to be with my husband, and all the loved ones who have died before me. At times it seems the only answer. Just waiting to die of a broken heart. I get up each day, because I have animals to care for, so all I am living for now.

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@jimhd Jim:

"Selective forgetfulness" probably has some advantages! Thanks for the smile.

Teresa

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@hopeful33250

Hello @harriethodgson1

I’m so glad that you shared “linking objects” with @georgette12 and the rest of us in this discussion. Yes, linking objects are very special things that bring us comfort.

My dad loved photography and had won several awards in photography shows. So after his death, I was able to take a couple of his framed photos and placed them on my walls. His photos are my “linking objects.”

I’d love to hear from others about their linking objects. What do you keep or use that helps link you to your loved one?

Teresa

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@muppey

I think that the "linking objects" thing has more to do with the loss, by death, of a meaningful and/or significant relationship. For many, it brings comfort. In the case of divorce, however, I'm not sure that this is as practical of an idea. Try to remember, @muppey, that this discussion covers all types of losses.

Teresa

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Yes, linking objects are associated with death and remind family members of their deceased loved one. Linking objects are not associated with divorce or the loss of a relationship.

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@kdawn32

Your needed, by those animals. I loved reading about how many you have. Thanks for caring for them. The night before my Mom died she suddenly got very concerned about the dog and was he going to be cared for, was he ok. Weird. We didn't know it was her time to go the next morning. I assured her he was fine. I brought him in to day good night to her. God is probably trying to talk to you, but darn aren't we humans hard of hearing when it comes to him.

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Thanks for the encouraging words, I know its the animals that have kept me going this past 2 yrs. otherwise I dont think I would bother to get up in the morning. I know spring is coming, and field work which brings me joy. I've been riding horse a lot this past 2 wks. Always a good time for me. I am really trying to listen to God, been faithful in my time with him, and my devotions, and reading the word, memorizing scripture. But I have to admit that sometimes He seems silent. And I am at lose as what I should do.
Blessings

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@jimhd, @muppey I understand much of what you are both saying but would like to make a suggestion. At times, it feels to me as if you are painting all church people with a broad brush, and that may just be my reading into your posts something not there. There are quite a few people I see (virtually) on here who get their greatest support from a church family or minister. Please don't take that away from them. I am a child of the church as we never missed a time when the doors were open. My Mom told me recently that she now thinks that her insistence on being there for everything when me and my brother were younger was probably not one of her best parenting moves. As an adult I have always been in church regularly until I got sick and have a fear of large groups borne of opiates`, but did not begin to have a true relationship with my savior until after I got sick and learned to let him drive the bus and become needy in His presence. I still try to take the wheel at times and it never works out very well. Our religious experiences are always very unique to us and in every person's past is a "pillar" of the church who turned out to not be and for some that is an entire group. Jim, like you I stopped for a phone conference and have forgotten where I was and what I was thinking, so maybe I can pick it back up later.

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@claf

My Mother is a narcissist. My bio. Dad died as a work related accident when he was 43. I was 14. My mom remarried a wonderful man that lost his wife due to car accident that occurred the same week my Dad died. I was 15. My stepdad was wonderful. After 46 years of marriage he died last Feb. at the age of 93. My Mom had isolated him as she had my bio.Dad. He became over the years very withdrawn and depressed but very caring to me. My Mom was EVEN jealous of our relationship. On we deal occasions she accused me of having an affair with him. He truly treated me with the love a father shows his daughter. She regularly screams at others even people who are to do services for HER. I only came through counselling this fall and winter understanding what she is. She totally is an overt narcissist. I am 63 my Mother is 86 and I am overwhelmed with grief in the loss of my stepDad and appalled at her treatment of him. She is a very heathy independent narcissist. I used to be her “feed” but I am now fodder. My younger 1/2 brother is her golden child. My sweet older bio. Brother is in 4th stage renal cancer and SHE is so cruel to him I CAN’T believe it.

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@claf and @muppey Isn't it amazing that people think God is that way. Glad you both know it is not the truth. My sister (who always talks about what a great Christian she is and how she never did anything wrong) got mad at my brother a couple months ago. She told him that because he had never gotten married (had a pretty long term engagement that broke up badly) that other Christians looked down on him. REALLY? My brother had a degree in Biblical studies from Multinoma Bible institute. I said did you ask her else was never married? Jesus still loves her, but really.

Liked by muppey

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@kdawn32

I can't find who posted about "missing fostering kids". My friend is single she does respite care for kids. There are way to few homes/people willing to do respite care. No you often don't have the kids for a long time, maybe just a weekend are a few weeks, but it is really needed. It sounds like you have a lot of experience with fostering kids. Is this a place where you are able to help. It isn't something I can do, but I help out where I can like collecting back packs for her. Every kid that stays with her goes out with one for their things. I know things feel empty and with out purpose, but there is a reason your here. Mine was to take care of my parents but now they are both gone. I have no idea why I am still here either. I pray in time it will revele its self to me.

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Thanks she saw it and replied. She is on the list but doesn't get much call where she lives.

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@muppey I think "things" or trinkets, for some people, are used to say what that person can not put into words. However if the person on the receiving end doesn't communicate that way it is meaningless for them. So it all gets lost. The giver gets upset and the receiver is confused. So you might think about this the next time some one gives you something. Thank them for thinking of you. Say something like "is there a special meaning". A lot of us do tend to put to much attachment into "Things".

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@kdawn32

Your needed, by those animals. I loved reading about how many you have. Thanks for caring for them. The night before my Mom died she suddenly got very concerned about the dog and was he going to be cared for, was he ok. Weird. We didn't know it was her time to go the next morning. I assured her he was fine. I brought him in to day good night to her. God is probably trying to talk to you, but darn aren't we humans hard of hearing when it comes to him.

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@kathy4385 I also find that when I am really depressed or my pain level is increased, I seem to have trouble connecting with God. I know it is me, because he has not gone anywhere and when I find my way back, there He is. It would seem that we would draw nearer to our source of safety and security, but, at least for me, the opposite happens at times. The best I can make of it is that I am more medicated during those times and I have more trouble concentrating enough to feel comfortable in His presence. Don't know if that makes any sense or not?

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@kdawn32

Your needed, by those animals. I loved reading about how many you have. Thanks for caring for them. The night before my Mom died she suddenly got very concerned about the dog and was he going to be cared for, was he ok. Weird. We didn't know it was her time to go the next morning. I assured her he was fine. I brought him in to day good night to her. God is probably trying to talk to you, but darn aren't we humans hard of hearing when it comes to him.

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I think it makes perfect sense, and I can relate when I'm in emotional or physical pain. I'm not a clergyperson but I do believe the Higher Power doesn't desert us. But don't want to bring in personal spiritual views here too much. There is an expression that the Higher Power is in the silence. May we all feel completely well and soon. (whatever our personal beliefs). : )

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@kdawn32

Your needed, by those animals. I loved reading about how many you have. Thanks for caring for them. The night before my Mom died she suddenly got very concerned about the dog and was he going to be cared for, was he ok. Weird. We didn't know it was her time to go the next morning. I assured her he was fine. I brought him in to day good night to her. God is probably trying to talk to you, but darn aren't we humans hard of hearing when it comes to him.

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stressedmesseddepressed,
You have to do it my way!
Wow, stressedmesseddepressed is a bucket full. I'll have to go look for your post's, that's a lot of stuff.

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@kdawn32

@muppey I think "things" or trinkets, for some people, are used to say what that person can not put into words. However if the person on the receiving end doesn't communicate that way it is meaningless for them. So it all gets lost. The giver gets upset and the receiver is confused. So you might think about this the next time some one gives you something. Thank them for thinking of you. Say something like "is there a special meaning". A lot of us do tend to put to much attachment into "Things".

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Thanks kdawn, I'll consider what you say. There were two things that I really liked. One was a card I sent to Mary from San Mateo which showed a little girl walking a dirt road over shadowed with huge trees. It was cute and reminded me of our experience. The other was a picture of a donkey on a boat with a life saver on his neck with the words, "You saved my ass!" written.
Mary's got them now so what?

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@harriethodgson1

Yes, linking objects are associated with death and remind family members of their deceased loved one. Linking objects are not associated with divorce or the loss of a relationship.

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@harriethodgson1,
OK! Like I said, I'm learning things from you people. Thanks for the clue.

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