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

I like the way you put it. I agree we all need to grieve in our time, no one can tell us how its right for us. I lost my husband, best friend almost 3 yrs ago, and its still very hard for me to face each day. Those who are telling me to get over it have never lost a close person, or ones who have lots of family or friends support. They truly dont understand. I have chosen to stay away form them. You need to do what works for you.
Prayers for the paperwork thing. Also for you in your grief. God Bless.
Kathy

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@littleonefmohio

The first one in 2013 and I still have problems with it and my girlfriend was 4 months later in 2014 I believe. Then I lost my mom 7 months later in 2014 I have guilt from that because I was living out of state when that happened and I feel I should have came home sooner to be closer to her. Even though I called her every day it was not enough for me. When she was in hospice my sister said she may not come back because of some bad blood between her and someone else in the family. It just got my blood boiling because of where we were at and what was going on. I made a smart remark that she may not have to worry about it because the way mom was breathing she probably won't be with us much longer. I kick myself in the butt for saying that to this day. It was wrong because mom probably heard me and I feel so bad about that. I guess the guilt of me not being close to her and everything else that was going on.

Then my step dad died 5 months later in 2014 I was not close to him because of the past but still I hated to know he was suffering. Don't like to see or hear anyone suffering no matter what happened in the past. He had called me before and wanted to come live with me because the other kids where trying to put him in a home. I could not take him for one because I was and still raising my grandbaby and two because there is no way I could let him live with me. I sound just like my mother and I believe he wanted to be with me because of that and I am so much like my mom.

In between those losses I started raising my granddaughter in 2014 also. I believe God gave me her to help me cope with all these losses and of course for other reasons. I finally realized I need to come home because of other relatives getting up in ages and I wanted to be close to them and other family members.

I returned back home to Ohio in 2017 I was caring for a friend of the family because he lived close to me and needed someone to help him. He also had lung problems. So I went to meet him and found out I could help him some. He was very nice and enjoyed my company and coming by. He had just lost his daughter to heroin and was hurting badly for losing her. He was very nice man with a good heart. I was so glad I could help him the short time I could but I hated to hear he had passed on. He was suffering terrible and you could tell he was afraid. I lost him last year.

Just so many losses so close together.

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Ahh, @littleonefmohio believe me they know when they are going. Your mom knew. So your slip up in front of her about her breathing was nothing she didn't know. Stop beating yourself up on that one. Go read what you posted, but put one of the others names in place of yours. What would you think? Wow this person obviously loved their mom. They did so much for her. I read what you wrote and am in awe of your resilience. It gives me hope that I too can get through this time.

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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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So well said, Thanks,
Kathy

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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 Regarding forgiveness. Somewhere along my lifeline I learned the phrase, "forgiveness is a virtue — and a goal"! For me, forgiveness, like love and a decision; it is what I do, not what happens to me. Forgiveness became easier for me when I learned that it is for me, not the one I am forgiving. It eases my mind and helps me let go of the pain associated with that act. As was said to me, "the person you forgive has no difference to their life, they don't care, they may not even admit that they were responsible." I have accepted these ideas and the have eased my emotional and spiritual soul. Thank you for letting me share.

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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 know also the pain is real, and some days are better, especially as spring comes, as I love being outside. I have experienced the anxiety, chest pains often thinking heart attack. But also know I have a very strong heart. I enjoy talking to people who are there and have been in my shoes.
thanks for the prayers
Kathy

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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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Thanks

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@IndianaScott

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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I agree, whenever you loose something or someone that has been a part of you, you suffer separation anxiety.
good thought.
Kathy

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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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Forgiveness feels so good. Once you practice this you feel so good. I even say I am sorry before person feels offended by me. We cannot begorgiven if we do not forgive.

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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 Thank you so much for sharing about your yard. I absolutely would love your yard! The fact that you live 'in the boonies' is also something I like. I love daffodils, but have not been able to get them to grow in my townie yard. I have spent hours planting bulbs with not even a shoot showing up. I have other plants that are doing well, so once in a while my husband buys me daffodils. We used to pull lots of volunteer elms. When we moved in the entire street had elms in their yard. It seems that when the houses were built there was a gas station that gave away an elm sapling for every fill. It was great until dutch elm disease hit our street. Then one yard after another lost their trees. We replaced ours with fast growing maples. I love the maple leaves when they turn in the fall.
I was raised on a dairy farm and now own part of the first 40 acres my great grandfather settled. I intended to build there until I realized that my husband just cannot make the transition to country living. That is okay, we have a wonderful home where we are and are quite comfortable.
I share your love of coffee, but do not take in that much caffeine. I put about 1/4 cup of coffee and top it off with hot water. I just like the taste but not the jitters I get from too much caffeine. No smoking around me, however. My father had bad lungs all his life and developed emphysema before he died. Watching him lose his freedom by being tied to an oxygen source was tough. Watching another friend waste away from lung cancer was just as hard.
Love Creek Rd, how appropriate that used to be for you and how ironic now! Have a blessed day and I hope you feel better.

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@kdawn32, You said, "I could use prayers…" I did and will. I've mentioned on this thread that sometimes, seems all the time, I upset people and find myself wondering what did I do this time. I also used to tell my wife that I'm not that strong, but I believe that in due time I'll get that strength, happened before and it'll happen again.

Grief in your case will last a long time and I know that. If you think I was dismissing your grief or anyone's grief I apologize a lot. I am happy and sad at the same time because a real live person decided to visit me. Sorry for myself, (sounds like John Denver's song) for losing my wife, but as another person said here, "you can't control other people."

When Mezi was here I started using my first wife's name, Paula, instead of my current x wife's name which is Mary. Caught myself after a time or two. Where'd that come from?
Little Mezi was putting up a strong front when I met her at the store. Then she came by my place and started talking and I knew she was hurting. She made a statement "Maybe he just doesn't like me!" I told her that she is very likeable, and she said "Really!" Yes Mezi.

Kim, you can go to the county and get a copy of your Dad's will. I did that many years ago. Can't remember if there is a copy fee or not. I think it's the county clerk, but if not they will direct you. Snooping and or removing documents is another disturbing thing which I don't appreciate.

This morning I hesitated in going to a site which delivers a daily brief for people. This is part of what the man wrote…"Have you felt deserted by God? Is your heartache more than you can bear? We may feel that God has dealt harshly with us, that He has allowed more than we can bear to come upon us. Life brings pain and discouragement to us all.
Cheer up! Rejoice!..(then) Let your heartache be eased by His outstretched arm of compassion."

That outstretched arm comes from other people if you and I keep our eyes open. It really doesn't matter if you are Christian or not. I've watched videos on tv where people have done incredible feats of kindness and courage as they risk their lives to save a person trapped by raging floods, burning cars and other stuff. No one asked them dumb questions as to their belief's, they saw a need and did it. It's a human thing.

The people here are great and I appreciate them because they allowed me to "vent my spleen" which is very cathartic for me, you, and everyone here.

Part of being strong for me is deciding I am, with help, but right now I feel very week physically, but I'm trying to get up. Like you said everyone is different. May be that you are all alone and that can be a problem but, what can I say. I told my therapist that I'm not interested in suicide. I want to get my strength back. I always go to long. May be that I am faking it!
I pray for you!
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, On the oxygen thing. Just a funny serious thing. My brother Phil was visiting his friends Dad when dear old Dad grabbed a cigarette. Bob and Phil told him he shouldn't do that. He was stubborn and with the oxygen running he attempted to light the thing and the oxygen blew. They were funny guys and Phil and Bob couldn't stop laughing at the poor guy. He had a black ring around his face when he pulled the mask off.
Seriously, don't do that.

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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
Hi again! Funny how we are so different. I shiver to think that I'd have to live in the city again. I consider the whole SF Peninsula a big city. From Silicon Valley to the Golden Gate.
Here in Murphys is fine with me. Not much work up here for me now that I'm no longer a contractor, that got real slow after all the carpenters got laid off in 2007. August of 2007 I came home and told Mary, "Honey, I think we're in a depression." So many trucks stopped going past my house. And so many contractors doing anything to make a buck. I had a good niche going because the other contractors would not look at a small job, then, all gone. Other things but that's to long.
I had some money back then so weathered it until about last May when I was trying to figure out, do I spend here or there. Oh well.
I kind of think that was one reason Mary left. Hard times come and whatever…!

I cheated on my mowing this year by using a lot of round up. I didn't think I'd have the strength to do it all. I was able to cut some paths so Jon and Mary could reach the rear door without getting their wet feet carrying her furniture out. Mower is still where I stopped.
I grew some daffodils in Montara, CA where I lived for about 15 years. Small place on the coast just north of Half Moon Bay, CA. One day I went to look at them and someone had helped themselves. All gone!
Mark

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