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

@hopeful33250

Hello @kathy4385,

I would also like to welcome you to our Connect community. I am glad that you have posted your feelings of loss and grief. You have expressed what you are feeling quite well and I see that you have insight when you reflect on the fact that caring for the foster children delayed your grief. That can happen very easily when another activity interrupts the grief process.

Please allow yourself to grieve at your own pace. Kanaaz offered some good suggestions for finding people to talk with, therapist, counselor, etc. Also you might look for a grief support group in your area. Aften funeral homes can give you good information about grief support groups nearby.

I look forward to hearing from you again. Remember, we at Connect, are here to support and encourage you.

Teresa

Jump to this post

@gman007, You said, " I would expect it to be less consuming after 22 years." I really don't get what you mean by that. Are you saying that because we were together for 22 years that it should be easier to get rid of her, or her me? Not being testy but I've always had this attitude that people aren't disposable at the wave of a hand. I've really had that thought for many years and
way before I met Mary, we even talked about it.
I know Mary has a lot of support with her family and her church people. It's also interesting to me that she burned her bridges well, including selling her car. Why would she do that? The reason in my mind is she was advised to do that in order that she couldn't change her mind and come back after a week or so, does happen. Her x husband Steve was a car salesman, very clever and sneaky, and I know he has been working on getting Mary away from me since 1998, just didn't think Mary would ever fall for his crap, she hated him! But those people are very persistent. I did my research as I was certain he is a sociopath, lots of evidence and I talked with my VA therapist about it. She told me she's dealt with some of them.
Thanks.
Mark

REPLY
@georgette12

Thanks to everyone sharing grief and loss stories. So my son died on August 2016. Just now I sprayed his cologne on my wrists . I also put a bit of his hair pomade on my hair the last few days. Does anyone do this stuff. I don’t discuss this with anyone as I understand they wouldn’t get this.

Jump to this post

@georgette12, I've been re-reading some posts because you people make me think and I appreciate it all. It's funny that I said something like I don't have any "things" which I've attached to. My confession is that I do have two things which I for some reason have held back on throwing out. My first wife made me a robe about 40 years ago, maybe longer. I've worn it for that long until this past year it became to worn out. Now it's hanging on my chair so I don't stick to the naugh-a-hide. Really was a great robe.
My other one that I grabbed without even thinking about it is Mary's robe. She wanted a man's robe so I bought one for her about probably 18 years ago.
So now I have Paula's robe and Mary's robe which I use when I get up during the restless nights and drink hot milk.
So there you go. I'm a guy and never even thought, "Oh, I'm going to save these robes." Funny it took me from Jan 26, to the other day when I was adjust the chair robe.
Take care!
Markl

REPLY
@georgette12

Thanks to everyone sharing grief and loss stories. So my son died on August 2016. Just now I sprayed his cologne on my wrists . I also put a bit of his hair pomade on my hair the last few days. Does anyone do this stuff. I don’t discuss this with anyone as I understand they wouldn’t get this.

Jump to this post

@muppey,
From muppey…taking time trips now. In post above I wasn't here on Jan 26, that's closer to the time when my friend Mezi talked to me about her husband leaving her, he ghosted her. Anyway I know Mary and I talked about poor Mezi. Mary must have been thinking of her great escape then and she concealed it well. I had no reason to suspect.
Wonder if I'll get some relief from this? Can't believe I was so trusting that I never questioned…I did confront her talk to her on something but was waved off.
Oh well…Time to go MGTOW. Part kidding, some things I agree with but some of the guys seem a bit far out and mean towards women.

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hello @harriethodgson1

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

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

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

Teresa

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250 I have my mothers winter coat,which I get so many compliments on, and her blanket she always stayed covered up with. My fiance love coo coo clocks. I have 3 of them. One of my step mothers collected salt and pepper shakers and I was happy that Dad ask me if I wanted them.

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hello @harriethodgson1

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

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

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

Teresa

Jump to this post

@littleonefmohio

These all sound like lovely "linking objects"! Thank you for sharing that.

I look forward to hearing from you again as you share your memories of those who have passed.

Teresa

REPLY
@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.

Jump to this post

@muppey I get lost on these boards so I apologize for not responding earlier. I started smoking after I had the panic attack to try and calm me down. I will try around April 1st since I have something to knock those panic attacks away. Those nicotine lozenges are nasty, yuck! So is the gum so don't try it either..haha. I hope you make it so you don't smoke but if you don't you don't . I have tried so many times and I always go back smoking. I do not handle stress very well so smoking is my crutch to handle stress.

REPLY
@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!

Jump to this post

@muppey

I appreciate your post, Mark. My loss was over 10 years ago and while it will never fade completely, it does not have the same intensity that it did originally. I'm glad that you are thinking about going to an AA meeting. That would probably be a good way to connect with others who can support you during this time.

You are working through many of the steps of grief right now, the more support the better.

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

REPLY
@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!

Jump to this post

@muppey Go to an AA meeting they may help you feel better but don't drive if its far. I sound like a mother grandmother I know sorry. This board does help me because I have someplace I can go to "let it all out". I have more I could let out but not ready yet for that.

People cannot just dismiss things like grief and a loss such as yours where they just leave, I agree. Prayers to you. Sorry typing this brought up a memory I did not want to remember. Got to go.

Liked by Lisa Lucier, muppey

REPLY
@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!

Jump to this post

A friend of mine, a bereaved mother and grief author, thinks we grow into our grief. It becomes part of us. Today, 11 years after my daughter died, I understand what she means. In her book, The Courage to Grieve, therapist Judy Tatelbaum says we can make good things from grief. I tried to do this and wrote seven grief recovery/reconciliation books. Helping others helps me.

REPLY
@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!

Jump to this post

My therapist and I decided I needed group counseling, so I picked this for my group therapy. Thank you so much for this site. I’ve been reading these stories and they help me not to feel like I’m an island unto myself.

I lost my sister in November 2017. We were very close. She wasn’t only my sister she was my mentor, best friend and confidante.

I’m trying to not be angry over her passing, I know anger is part of grief, but ( I’ll call her Sally) Sally had been really ill for years. Congestive heart failure was the illness.

I’m working to get through this loss with dignity, because that’s how Sally would want me to do, I’m trying to be strong for her children and keep my other siblings tight in my life.

My question is how to not be angry at her for dying and leaving me behind. Yes, I know it’s childish, it sounds like it to me also, but that’s where my anger and irrititability comes from. I thank you for listening to my rambling story. Thanks

REPLY
@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!

Jump to this post

Most people believe anger is part of grief, but I didn't get angry in 2007 when my daughter (mother of my twin grandchildren), father-in-law, brother, and the twins' father died. I did get angry, however, at some of the things people said to me. Your anger may come from losing such a close companion and mentor, and fear of what the future holds. I wondered if I would still be the same person. This is my 11th year without my loved ones, and I realize I'm the "new and improved" model of who I used to be. Multiple losses made me more grateful for the miracle of life and a more empathetic person.

REPLY

Anger does seem to be part of our grief. I lost my son and alone physical activity seemed to help somewhat. Don't be ashamed of your anger or try to bury it. Face it and try to work through it. It will pass in time. Bless you!

REPLY

Hello @liz223

Your words, "Face it and try to work through it" reflects a courage in the face of anger/grief. This is important. I appreciate your sharing those thoughts.

Teresa

Liked by Lisa Lucier

REPLY
@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!

Jump to this post

Hello @sunnymygirl

I am glad that you chose Connect as your therapy group. I'm pleased to have you contributing to this discussion. As you read the posts from others I'm sure you will find strength and support.

Your sister sounds like an exceptional person. If you are comfortable doing so, can you share some memories of her?

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

Liked by Sunnyday, muppey

REPLY

Thanks for the like @hopeful33250

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.