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

@gman007

@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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gman007.
Really don't paint them all the same but when a person is subjected to the strange behavior of some of the preachers out there it can affect your life a lot. It can even cause a person to just not attend a church group anymore because they are treated unkindly. When they say things they can be mean and I just fade away from them. Don't need it.
Sorry if I upset you, and don't mean to do that. What bothers me is that I've seen people give up and become Atheist just because of what people do to them. I'm pretty sure they don't want to go that route but they just don't see anything kind.
I'd like to get more info from you if you'd like.

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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 I disagree that linking objects are not associated with divorce or the end of a relationship. The grief of a breakup is not much different for me than the death of a person. With either one I can no longer access the warmth and support of that person or relationship. I have linking "objects" from my divorce that I will never part with, those are my children. Even though the marriage did not work and I have learned my part of why, I forever cherish my children and am grateful for that marriage if for nothing more than giving me these loving souls. I probably have other physical things, but whatever I save is pertinent to something I learned.

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I think, especially in these types of conversations, it's important for us to remember we are each unique. In that each of us are individuals complete with our own differing needs, points of view, beliefs, and personal situations which influence our views of life, perceptions, and our beliefs.

One is not correct just as another is not incorrect. Our views and lives are like art … some folks love Picasso while others love Monet. One is not good art while one bad. There are just different views and we each have our own tastes in art.

Likewise we each grieve in our own way and for our own personalized reasons. As I have continued in my own journey with grief I've come to more fully realize, now more than ever before, how individualized grief is.

Just my two cents, plain.

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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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@muppey I have had you continually in my prayers since I first found your posts. I hope each day is getting a little better for you. In response to the card and picture from your marriage that "Mary's got them now so what?" She may have the items but you have the memories. Your descriptions also bring to mind some questions. Is the little girl walking toward or away from you? Is there a sense of security or looming by the trees? And the donkey, did Mary provide any "saving" for you? Did she amuse, comfort and engage you while you were together? You do not need to answer these questions, but I would appreciate you considering them. The answers may bring insight that you did not have before. As always, Blessings to you.

Liked by muppey

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Well said Scott! Well said.

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@gman007

@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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@gman007

Thanks for the observation, Gary. Absolutely, I shouldn't paint the church with a 12" brush. My experience has been that only one percent of Christians behave badly. The other 99% make it a joy to assemble together as a church family. It's unfortunate that the church is sometimes judged by the actions and attitudes of a few. The same thing applies to pastors and other leaders. Media, both print and social, seem to focus on the 1%. The same thing is true with the treatment of politicians and elected officials. It's easy to lose sight of the majority who do their job well, with dedication and integrity.

I'm a firm believer in the importance of the church as a force for good, whether personally or societally. I've missed very few Sunday worship in my 67 years. Church family is for me a tremendous support system.

I think that it's appropriate to paint with a broad stroke the picture of the church as a group of unrighteous people. (Romans – There is none righteous, no not one.) We're all subject to making mistakes. It's pretty much a universal condition, Jesus being the lone exception. But in the Father's eyes, we are loved and seen as righteous through the righteousness of the Lamb sacrificed for our sin.

Since none of us is righteous, there's certainly no room for looking down on others as less than, or as unforgivable.

More sermonizing.

Time for my appointment with the therapist. I'm going to be talking with him about the frustration of losing access to pain meds.

Jim

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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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Of course it makes sense, Just remember that God will meet you where you are. Thru all this, I have learned that even thou everyone has abandoned me, God hasn't, in fact my relationship with him has gotten closer.
Kathy

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@gman007

@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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gman007, It's like I said above…."OK! Like I said, I'm learning things from you people. Thanks for the clue." When I say that I'm not being funny or sarcastic. In the past I've asked people, mainly family, what do I do to people that gets them so mad at me? No one has been able to answer that for me, and that's part of why I always wind up alone. Of course there is the occasional family visit and today I ran into a young lady friend I've known since she was 4 I guess, and she just got ghosted by her husband. She asked me to call and said she'd drop by. So maybe there's hope for me??? Nothing romantic going on here it's we've been friends and she boarded her horse here for 2-3 years, and etc.

What jimhd has gone through is very similar to my experience except he was part of clergy and I wasn't. Just one of my experience's is that I was trying to explain that there was a lot more to what is written than the things being said. After a while I was cornered into a 3 man trial. They told me that if I didn't stop talking about that then I am not welcome. So I left and was all alone again. It was another small town in CA.

These things compound to make a man crazy as the gossip starts and isolation and on it goes.

Don't mean to hurt your feelings because none of us needs that from another, and I apologize if that's what you perceived. I'm not a mean person but I can get defensive and lonely all in one stroke.

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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,
That was an interesting post for me because I came across this, "and after the fire a still small voice." Maybe the fire is trouble then a whisper. I'll clean my ears. Thanks.

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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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2011panc, Still say you write hard, but I can handle it. Thanks.

I've written that Mary got lost in the woods and wandered in the dark all night. The little girl in the picture looks lost and lonely, it's a black and white photo and the trees are looming over her and she's facing us. Later Mary sent the donkey card to me. I brought it back to the mountains and Mary had them framed. It just connected us together I guess. Her idea and my surprise.
People think that I held that whole finding her lost in the woods thing over her as a club. I never brought it up and never used it as anything other than I'd look at the pictures, which used to hang on an old pine cabinet close to my desk. Small house. If anything it was Mary who liked to tell people the story and I'd just let her because she liked to.
I thought it was kind of romantic and fun how the day went with us having lunch on the deck and talking all afternoon, and then I asked her if she wanted to call someone to pick her up or she could use one of bedrooms but I was sleeping in the sub basement, which had windows, wood burner, and an exit door. Not a dungeon. Mary chose to sleep on the living room floor.
I'd make I joke, "So I took her home and kept her." Like a cave man, but not really. Never said anything mean or, you owe me now clean the dishes because I'm such a great one.
Getting long but just one last thing. I've been in situation's where I've been able to prevent a tragedy, not often, but I've been in Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts, the Army, and not much after that, I tried to talk to a suicidal man but he wouldn't listen and died in Murphys at some old abandoned buildings. Then I helped his girl friend. It's my nature to help people, and I think lots of people do the same nothing really heroic, just being human. Sometimes it's a girl who was stranded because her battery was totally dead. She had money to buy a new one and I had a truck full of tools. I drove her to the auto store and returned her and fixed it. She invited me to her place but I was happy and declined. Another was a woman stranded with, a dead battery,…I could go on but I never called the newspaper and told them I was a f hero. I just did it. Landlord was stuck yesterday with a guess what, a run down battery, so I got his truck running and told him how to fix it better and he's been going back and forth all day today. He thanked me then called and said, Mark your jeep lights are on. Thanks Jim! Does Jim owe me? No, I'll pay my rent on time and that's it.
Hope you understand because people call me liar and stuff and it really hurts because I know I don't lie.

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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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@2011panc, My college English teacher, Mr.Harriman, great guy, but he once wrote on one of my papers…Mark how can you be so obtuse? Big red letters too. Still have that paper.
You wrote something that I really appreciate and wish I hadn't read past that. I'm sitting here now about 11:00 and getting ready to hit the sack.
"I have had you continually in my prayers…" No one in my life said something like that to me and I really don't know what to say but thanks. I think that's the end for tonight except to say that today has been one of my betters days. Hoping you are doing well, also that you have some great relief from your pain. So I'll say a prayer for you.

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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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@muppey and @2011panc

The growth of friendships, support and kindness are amazing at Connect. Thank you both for being a part of it!

Teresa

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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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I'm not sure why I keep getting all of these emails.  Could you please remove me from the list?  I have tried but I continue to get them.

Thank you
MH

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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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Hi — yes, you may unsubscribe when you receive any email notification a member has posted. Under "View and Reply" and the name of the discussion, you will find "Unsubscribe to this thread." Click on that, and you should be unsubscribed to the thread.

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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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I don't see the unsubscribe thread

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