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

@littleonefmohio

Hello and thank you for writing and asking us to share our experiences. I had so many losses so close together it was numbing I guess is how I will describe it, First I lost my fiance to lung cancer. I cared for him while he was sick. We had only been together for 2 years. I thought his family had accepted me but i found out later that was not true. Anyway, I watched him die the whole time thinking he was not dying. He was too young. He was only 56 and strong. He finished all his chemo treatments so I thought it was a side effect of the treatment. I was on the phone with rescue and telling them when he was in the background saying things are getting dark. I thought he needed oxygen. So I hung up and ask him. He shook his head no. (Graphic) He was throwing up blood and when he finally stopped I said "oh good glad you are done with that" I took the cup from his hand took set it down and was talking to him. I then realized he was not with me I thought. So I told him what he always said. " you are not done with me yet" and then "I love you" I was sure he said it back and that was the end. I was so calm on the phone and dealing with it all. I know God was with me. But when I seen the paramedics come in I broke down and yelled why are you not trying to revive him! That was my first. loss.

Second was my best friend from Jr. High school. We always kept in touch or found each other if we moved no matter what. I lost her to a boating accident. The canoe tipped over. I heard she made sure her grand children were ok and then was swept away by the water. I kept asking God to please find her. I finally heard "I have her" I knew God was listening and letting me know he had her but I knew she was gone.

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Thank you.

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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, Good to hear from you again. I'd like to see your flowers. Are you in Southern CA? Forget the name of the place you mentioned. I asked Mary if she'd like a steam iron for Christmas and she just looked at me. I got the clue. Sometimes I'm quick.
Hope your feeling better. "One day at a Time" was our AA slogan. What do we know about tomorrow?
Take care, and give me a heads up when you put your pics up.
Mark

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@badboys1965

I am so sorry for everyone that lost someone that they loved deeply. My dad has been gone since 2001. God i still miss him so much!! When he died, it was a shock to my whole family. Who would of thought he would die before my mother. My mother passed away three years later. She was in a nursing home for twenty-five years due to a stroke she had. My dad visited her every day come rain or come shine. I still am not over their passing away. They were good people. I still cry sometimes when i think of them and still have vivid dreams about them to this day. It got easier to deal with their loss with the help from my husband Mark who loss his mother a few years ago too. prayers for everyone who loss someone, Trudy

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@jimhd, When I made the last call to Mary I said, "I can't be mad at Mary!" But how about thoroughly disappointed? When you love and trust someone it just boggles the mind when they do something like that. I'm wondering if I'm angry and at the same time I do pray for them…because. I don't know! I guess everything will work out. It's just everything takes so long.
I really feel for all these people on this site who are in pain, lonely and really missing someone or many people. Some have long lists.
Just thinking and wondering.
Take care
Mark

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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, Me again! I forgot to tell you that the VA sent me a large kit of stop smoking tablets, patches and whatever. It's sitting right beside me on the floor. Expensive stuff but they send if for almost no charge, maybe a few bucks.
I suppose I ought to pick the pack up and pop a tab. I've tried it before but I really don't get it. Guess I'm still being stubborn.
OK, I'll try. You're making me laugh again. Thanks. Pushy much? LOL

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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, "10,000 to 50,000 people." I think Murphys is about 2,300, but up and down Highway 4 there are a lot of people not included in the count. In our whole county there's around 48,500 people and it's a fair piece of ground. I think Angels Camp on my other side is about 5,000 something. The other big town is Arnold which is up higher about 4,000 ft. and the population is about 3,800. This is a popular vacation area for the people down in the SF Bay Area.
A picture of my little place.
This is good therapy for me so I'm not really off track here.

IMG_0025

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@badboys1965

I am so sorry for everyone that lost someone that they loved deeply. My dad has been gone since 2001. God i still miss him so much!! When he died, it was a shock to my whole family. Who would of thought he would die before my mother. My mother passed away three years later. She was in a nursing home for twenty-five years due to a stroke she had. My dad visited her every day come rain or come shine. I still am not over their passing away. They were good people. I still cry sometimes when i think of them and still have vivid dreams about them to this day. It got easier to deal with their loss with the help from my husband Mark who loss his mother a few years ago too. prayers for everyone who loss someone, Trudy

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@muppey

I surely don't know everything about forgiveness. I've had to do plenty of it, and others have been gracious to forgive me. Self forgiveness is another subject entirely. I think that's the hardest. And you're right, Mark. Saying the words only takes a few seconds. Moving forward… just getting started takes me time. I'm afraid I get stuck in the process. Depression kinda slows things down.

Holding grudges is no way to live. As long as we hang on to them, we give the other person control over us. Knowing that is enough to make me quicker to forgive some people.

Then there's the notion of forgiving and forgetting. Sometimes it might be a good thing to forget, but sometimes it might be better to remember so we don't let the same thing happen again. Forewarned is forearmed. But remembering doesn't mean harboring anger or bitterness. That eats a person up.

Jim

20170722_101900

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@badboys1965

I am so sorry for everyone that lost someone that they loved deeply. My dad has been gone since 2001. God i still miss him so much!! When he died, it was a shock to my whole family. Who would of thought he would die before my mother. My mother passed away three years later. She was in a nursing home for twenty-five years due to a stroke she had. My dad visited her every day come rain or come shine. I still am not over their passing away. They were good people. I still cry sometimes when i think of them and still have vivid dreams about them to this day. It got easier to deal with their loss with the help from my husband Mark who loss his mother a few years ago too. prayers for everyone who loss someone, Trudy

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@jimhd, You said "remembering doesn't mean harboring anger or bitterness." I've been through the everlasting bitterness and don't want to carry any of that for another 40 years. Got a pretty powerful corrective measure over that about 6 years ago and I knew exactly what it was. Also explained this to the VA. One of the nurses followed me into the doctors exam room and asked me for more info about what had happened so I explained as best I could until the doctor came in.
I'll get there I know because I know, that's why.
One day I busted my thumb with a 20 ounce waffled framing hammer. It was funny because I was in a good frame of mind or something. I looked at my thumb and said "OK that didn't hurt." Wrapped it up with a rag and went back to work. Later I told the story to a preacher and he said, "You did not!" Really! Thought I did. I didn't use any profanity, just calm. Isn't always that way. Maybe I can get into a calm way. However if I ever get in contact with her again I won't put up with her jabbing me. Not going to take that any more. I gave to much lee way.

LIke your pic.
Take care, Mark

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@muppey

Over the years I've lost my grandmother, father, mother, and two brothers. Feb 1, 2018 my wife of 22 years disappeared from my life, she never returned from the beauty shop, the pain of being ghosted is incredible, I wound up in the hospital due to that where I went unconscious for 5-6 hours. The ER literally kicked me into the waiting room, maybe they thought I was ok but I didn't because I knew I was going under but they wouldn't listen. Just get him out of here. This took place sometime after 1:30 am. Time is messed up but my brother had just walked in the room and I had moved away from a little girl who sat by me because I didn't want her to get hurt…then I blacked out and woke up at 12:30, 5-6 hours unconscious.
I was well aware that my family members were dying. Brother Stephen lived in the Sierras and I was 150 miles away when I decided to go get him as I knew something was very wrong. I drove up there then back down to the Palo Alto, CA, VA hospital. They thought he was just a drunk but I told them he drinks a lot of coffer and sometimes a beer or two. I'm an AA alcoholic so I know some about that. Anyway turned out he had a large tumor on his brain which the doctors at Stanford Medical removed. Stephen lived another 2 years. Right before that my brother John died at home due to some in operable stomach thing. Doctors at UC Davis, CA, could not tell us what the problem was.
There is lots more but losing your wife and she's still living far away is something no person should go through. Does she just hate me? I know death but when it happens over a course of time and you're prepared for it it's not as bad as this.
When I knew Stephen was dying I did the same thing, drove up to the mountains and brought him back to the VA Hospital where the Doctors told me he was dying. They were good to him and placed him in a home in Palo Alto where he died within a few weeks. Miss him a lot. The end for now. Good to write this stuff down. Thanks!

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So sorry for all your loses. I know it is not easy. Losing your wife like you did is another story. I never had that happen to me so I do not know how to respond to that. I cannot believe the hospital did that to you. Does not sound like a very good place.

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@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 lost my mother too in 2014 and its so hard especially when you deal with depression too. I am 57 also and I do not know about you but the older I get the more I cry it seems. The guilt and sadness you feel all the time. The alone feelings were my worse, or is my worse because I constantly feel alone even though I am not, as I use to call her every day and now nothing. Prayers for you.
What kind of fur baby do you have? I have a Morkie, Zozo, who is 14, and 2 Huskies, Zeus and Dolly. They are 3 and 4 years old, I think..

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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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@muppey I live in Ohio. I was in Alabama for 10 years I think it was, and moved back because I missed my family. I now miss the warm weather in Alabama. I hate the cold but my family is more important to me.

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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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@muppey Funny you should mention the stop smoking stuff. I am doing the same thing but I have the patch. I have been doing great for 2 weeks not smoking now I am having panic attacks. I get mad at myself because I have tried this several times and the panic attacks come back no matter what I try. I tried Welbutriun and after a month it made me mean and I am not a mean person at all. So back to doctor soon to get something for these attacks and then try again. Good luck with yours. I hope it works for you because I know who much better I feel when I don't smoke. God Bless

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@badboys1965

I am so sorry for everyone that lost someone that they loved deeply. My dad has been gone since 2001. God i still miss him so much!! When he died, it was a shock to my whole family. Who would of thought he would die before my mother. My mother passed away three years later. She was in a nursing home for twenty-five years due to a stroke she had. My dad visited her every day come rain or come shine. I still am not over their passing away. They were good people. I still cry sometimes when i think of them and still have vivid dreams about them to this day. It got easier to deal with their loss with the help from my husband Mark who loss his mother a few years ago too. prayers for everyone who loss someone, Trudy

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@muppey

I remember hitting my thumb and finger once, and didn't say anything. A man who was there with me said, "I bet there are times when you wish you weren't a minister!"

Jim

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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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@littleonefmohio, Should have guessed…it's in your name there?? On the smoking I'm wondering if I can do it. I'm still trying to wrap my head around what happened.
Another thing is I don't want another seizure experience and I know I'm giving up another 'friend' which comforts me. OK weird. But it's also weird waking up in the ER. I do have anti-seizure meds so I hope that's enough.
AA warned us not to try everything in one go. "Smoke if you need to and stop when you get better!"
Don't know why every thing gets all screwed up in such a short time. I've read other peoples situations and mine isn't near theirs. But it is my problem so it seems important to me and maybe no one else gives a hoot.

Hope you have success in quitting. I've been thinking about this for a good while now even way before the roof caved in.
I'll say another prayer for you, might become a habit as I'm doing that for my x, not that I want her back here to much lying.

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@badboys1965

I am so sorry for everyone that lost someone that they loved deeply. My dad has been gone since 2001. God i still miss him so much!! When he died, it was a shock to my whole family. Who would of thought he would die before my mother. My mother passed away three years later. She was in a nursing home for twenty-five years due to a stroke she had. My dad visited her every day come rain or come shine. I still am not over their passing away. They were good people. I still cry sometimes when i think of them and still have vivid dreams about them to this day. It got easier to deal with their loss with the help from my husband Mark who loss his mother a few years ago too. prayers for everyone who loss someone, Trudy

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@jimhd, Now that's funny Jim. "…wish you weren't a minister?" Thanks for the funny. See you can do it!

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@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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@amberpep, Just starting on this divorce trip. The sheriff never got my signature when he served me. I reviewed the law and it states that a signature is needed for the serving. However it's all no fault in CA, so I won't need to go to court or anything. The clerk said just do nothing, that's the fastest way to get rid of her.
The serving for signature can be done via, certified mail or a process server and of course the sheriff. Sometimes people get angry and up here where help is like 30 minutes away, I think they prefer a deputy do the serving instead of a little girl.
I've just been passive about all this because that's the way it is. I told my wife that I can be mean but I prefer to be nice. That was several months ago.

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