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

@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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@littleonefmohio,
There's more to that but I'm not upset at the hospital. The Privacy Officer chick tried to get me to reveal the xray chicks name but I didn't want to get her fired. Instead the Privacy chick said she'd send a memo through out the hospital. They actually stood to face a payment to me up to $150,000. Could use that but I don't want to be vindictive which I think demeans a person. Gossip can do that job for me…Hah!
Got a letter from her and she include the memo which is a HIPAA list of do's and don'ts which states pretty clearly that what the xray chick did is punishable to the hospital.
I'm satisfied with that.

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A few pictures of my perennial/vegetable garden area.

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@jimhd

A few pictures of my perennial/vegetable garden area.

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@jimhd, Thanks Jim, I'm jealous. Always wanted flowers and veggies. My well will go dry if I attempt to water a veggie garden, even laid down a drip system with a timer but no good. I posted a picture of my place and it shows a fenced off place 14'x14'. I thought I could do with a small garden and needed that fencing, still not good enough. Would cost 8-10 thousand to drill a well so I make do with my old shallow well.
I'll put up a pic on why I needed the fencing.

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@jimhd

A few pictures of my perennial/vegetable garden area.

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@muppey And still in velvet!!!! They can destroy a garden quickly. Nice capture. Thank you for sharing!

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@jimhd

A few pictures of my perennial/vegetable garden area.

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@jimhd How delightful. My thumbs are turning greener

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@jimhd

A few pictures of my perennial/vegetable garden area.

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Wow — just gorgeous, @jimhd! What nice talent you have!

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@jimhd

A few pictures of my perennial/vegetable garden area.

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@parus,
This conversation is making me smile again, thanks to all.
I've got another picture when there were more than twelve bucks munching in my yard. Then you look around and there are more laying down but hard to count. Landlord is a hunter and was impressed. I don't hunt.
Hey greenthumbs, I can enjoy other things other than a garden. I've got 9 walnut trees, pear tree, an old plum which produces some but not munch, nice blossoms though. All my stuff is growing by itself. Used to have potted plants on the deck but with four years of drought I couldn't even afford to water them, had to haul water from two miles away. Got an army surplus water bladder built for helicopters but I found an old trailer which can handle 250 gallons of water, gotta drive slow but the jeep is strong. Brother Steve gave it to me.
And I'm all out of cigars, but got a nicorete lozenge going.

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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, I had to read that again. I've had run ins with a few preachers over the years and they can be kind of unkind. Anyway that comment is funny. Thanks for another laugh.

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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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I went back to doctor today because of the panic attacks. She gave me Xanax to take as needed which is great because I did not want to be on anything long term. Thanks for the prayers God knows I need them.

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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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Could someone please remove me from this conversation.  I don't know why I'm receiving all of these emails.  I have tried to remove myself without success.

I would so appreciate it.  This is the second time I have reached out for help.

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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@littleonefmohio, OK, call me weak, I just got back from the store where I bought five cigars. Fat ones. I've been sucking on those nicotine lozenges and that's no fun. Not a candy sucker either.
Don't follow my example, this is the first day. I hope you're able to stop smoking.
How's the heart ache doing? You doing any better? These things hang on for far to long. How do you get a loved one out of your mind along with missing them?
Still hurts here but it's getting more like spring and the pear trees trying to blossom.
Today I got an email from Mary's sister, it was nice, they find and rebuild really rare old house trailers. It's kind of amazing because Dan snoops these trailers out and when he gets there the things are sometimes partly buried and total wrecks. He brought one to a Murphys show at a fancy winery so naturally we went to see the thing. It was amazing what the guy did on that trailer. What got me is the thing had a littleone log wood burner just tucked up and fire safe.
I replied to them and told them I wouldn't be going down to Lodi for their next show in April, not supposed to drive and it's to far for me.
Anyway I'll keep your stop smoking in mind. And I will not promise I'll stop, but I will say I'll try. To much money anyway.
Take care!
Mark

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@jimhd

A few pictures of my perennial/vegetable garden area.

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@parus, When I first got here in 98 I planted a few mellons. I'd noticed the hippies had great plans with a huge water system and grape stakes and they abandoned it all. Anyway I looked at that and thought I'd do a small plot without fencing. Everything was fine until things got ripe. Went out there one morning and just naked vines stretching out like a goofy octopus, with no suckers.
What?
Take care!
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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@missy4396 If you go to the bottom of the email you will find an "unsubscribe" link. However, you will need to "unsubscribe" from each discussion group from which you receive emails. Give that a try.

Teresa

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@jimhd

A few pictures of my perennial/vegetable garden area.

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@muppey

I put up the fence for the same reason, as well as to keep the dogs out. I learned that the 5' fence wasn't enough to keep the deer out, so I added some 10' t-stakes and ran a few strands of barbed wire. Trouble is, the gophers and voles still wreak havoc, both in the garden and in the lawn out in front of the house. It's an ongoing battle.

Our well was lowered to 110' a few years ago, but I can only run one sprinkler at a time. I don't want to pour more money down that hole, so we try not to ask more of it than it can deliver. I have around a dozen soaker hoses in the garden and flower beds – more than a dozen, and run a low flow of pressure to them. Too much pressure makes them become fountains. Using soakers instead of sprinklers helps keep the weeds down. Weed barrier cloth and mulch help, too.

My landscaping goal is to make it lower maintenance and less irrigation. And deer repelling. They love roses, so I only have one, a climber, and have fencing around it. I have to have fencing around the orchard, as well. Deer have done serious damage to a few of the trees.

We have a real problem with ground squirrels, too. I spent a lot of time in the spring and summer trapping them. The locals call them sage rats, but they're technically Townsend ground squirrels. They make big holes in the pasture, and I'm afraid a horse or cow will step in them and be injured. Often when a horse breaks a leg it has to be put down. That's a substantial financial loss.

Well, the sun is shining, so I should probably get outside and do something.

Jim

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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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pumkinpie I'm sorry for your loss I lost my grandma last year in october 2017 she smoked all her life too she had cancer for 5 years and her and I would share stories and laught or cry over the years sometimes we didn't get along but we was very close she was a strong woman I keep waking up at 3 too 5 am every morning for the first time I last night I slept a good few hours got up at 8 am. I hope God heals you too.

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