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

@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,
Glad He could help. It really does exactly what I said. Guys will never understand some things. Just the way it is.
I keep looking for your posts. It's ok if you write me rough. I'm a man and can take it…if your gentle with me.
Take care!
Mark

@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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@kathy4385
Someone out here in California knows exactly what you said and it's a sad day when it happens. I've not been in your particular situation but close enough that I really do understand.
One guy basically called me a liar one evening. He didn't think my little story, which included a woman, an x husband, me, and a gun was true, just "BS". Last time I dated her, she wasn't divorced yet, she didn't tell me that part.
I'm not a liar so when I tell you I was there I could write a long post and bore you, slam the preacher, the church and the others involved, but that wouldn't help. I wrote a poem a long time ago titled. It Hurts When They Steal Your Dreams Away. (got angry one day and burned a of of stuff)

It's wrong to steal anything whether it's tangible or intangible. Your car is tangible, your heart is not, your dreams aren't and your hopes are not tangible items. People steal them anyway and think nothing of it. That's where the heartache comes from. Betrayal of trust is just mean and you have every right to cry over it.

If you want to take your mind off of your troubles for a while. Get a job running one of God's Nebulas. Think you got trouble now? How do you manage a star? Don't ask me, but these Nebulas are birthing stars all the…for a really long time. How to build one. Let's see, a couple of Googolplexians of oxygen, plus a table spoon of baking soda. Yikes!

(Googlepexian: The worlds largest number with a name. A "1" followed by a googolplex of zeros. Googolplex: The second largest number with a name. A "1" followed by a googol of zeros. Googol: A large number.)

When you get done with your first one I want an invite to the Star Warming. That'll be HOT!

Years ago some chick wrote me an invite to the 40th, 8th grade reunion. When I opened it a lot of Stars and Stardust fell out. Then she signed it xoxoxo. (hint)
Took me years to figure out what that meant.
It took a woman to tell me. Hugs & kisses…etc. Pretty sure I still have that invite.
Goodnight.

@gemmax

I lost my brother who was also my best friend. He was my touchstone. The one person that I could always count on to be honest with me, to be calm nd helpful since I am ill. I tought I had handled my grief and then a couple of months ago, it hit me like a brickwall.

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@sunnymygirl
Thanks, nice! It's like we are all little creators here. What's bigger than a little love?

@gemmax

I lost my brother who was also my best friend. He was my touchstone. The one person that I could always count on to be honest with me, to be calm nd helpful since I am ill. I tought I had handled my grief and then a couple of months ago, it hit me like a brickwall.

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@2011panc,
Was it dark down there? Nice to hear from you some more. Far out? That's an old hippie thing. Glad you're enjoying the sunshine. I've been trying to take little walks around the acres here and sometimes up the road. I've never been a walker, a little hiking but mostly my Jeep. Now I get to walk behind the mower. The grass is growing big this year. Where'd that drought go? Belay that! Don't need more drought, water needs hauling to my house when that happens. Money too, they haul the money out and let me haul the water. I pay them?

Funny listening to the wild turkeys out there right now. Those Tom's are the biggest show offs…ain't I pretty? What's that all about? Women are pretty in this world and in Turkey World the guys are. Fun to watch them though. All the turkey chicks get on the outside and watch, who's gonna win the prize. LOL. Strange a bunch of birds can make you laugh. Ever seen a flock of Robbins after munching on a pyrochantha bush. The berries are fermented and the birds are stoned and can't stay on the wire. My Dad used to go out back and laugh his head off. Used to be hundreds in a big drunken bird goof. We never see videos of that stuff on tv.

@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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Hopeful, I was given Gabapentin by my Neurologist years ago when I first went to him. It really helped with no side effects that I was aware of. It stopped my stinging entirely. I tried increasing my dose to help with my herniated disc pain, but no help there, so now coming back off to a small dose. No problems at all. Good luck!

@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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Bless your heart! I think I get what you’re saying. You’re get up and go laid down on the job. You’re among people who don’t judge, I won’t ever tell u to get over it, and your among people who are feeling a lot of the same things you feel. We have to never give up, put the best you have into each day, love those pets, go for walks, take baby steps. Some days I have to fake my way through the day. We can do this, it may take us awhile but we can do this. I think about us all on here daily. Sunnymygirl ❤️

@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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Antidepressants cause weight gain and hair loss. I know from experience. When you are depressed, walking your dog seems to be out of the question. Just leaving your house is monumental. Talking to your dog is actually wonderful therapy. However, after a while, you have to force yourself to get out, mingle with people even if it is going to a store and being nice to the clerk. Going to church, joining a church, joining a women's group at church is great for your wellbeing. I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. We don't know what has happened to another person, perhaps you have more in common than you know. God bless you.

@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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Thanks, @liz223

Yours is the second good report that I've heard, so I might give it a try.

Teresa

@gemmax

I lost my brother who was also my best friend. He was my touchstone. The one person that I could always count on to be honest with me, to be calm nd helpful since I am ill. I tought I had handled my grief and then a couple of months ago, it hit me like a brickwall.

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@muppey — I grew up in Marin County, and our house had pyracantha bushes in the yard and glass sliding doors on the same side of our home. We sure buried a lot of birds we placed in shoeboxes who ate the berries and then hit the glass doors.

@kathy4385

I am glad that you continue to post on Connect. Your feeling of abandonment is certainly understandable. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. Just too many losses, isn't it?

Keep looking for ways to be active and find enjoyment where you can.

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

@gemmax

I lost my brother who was also my best friend. He was my touchstone. The one person that I could always count on to be honest with me, to be calm nd helpful since I am ill. I tought I had handled my grief and then a couple of months ago, it hit me like a brickwall.

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@muppey I don't know what you are referring to when you ask if it was dark down there? I can't seem to find the post you are referring to. Yes, far out is a hippie left-over phrase. I never considered myself a hippie, although I am familiar with the time frame and language.

I am quite happy to have sunshine and warm days to enjoy after a long, cold and icy winter. Mostly I am glad to be feeling better. It seems my mood is mirroring my physical well-being. I would never wish for drought, it is so hard on everyone and everything. I am glad not to have to haul water like we did when I was a child and the household well failed.

Thinking about wild animals in general, the males are attention getters and more flamboyant. I have always assumed it was to draw attention away from the females and offspring to assure their safe-keeping and perpetuation of the species. Isn't it too bad that humans don't always follow that pattern? I say that out of my own experiences, when the men that were supposed to protect and provide for me failed completely. I'm sure you can understand in reverse.

I was going to try to post some photos, but I haven't figured out how to get them from my phone to my computer yet. I was enjoying my "buds" lol. I am glad to hear you are continuing to reach out. Continued blessings to you.

@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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@hopeful33250
Teresa, I tried Gabapentin a few years ago and again a couple of months ago. I didn't like the cognitive side effects.

Jim

@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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@kathy4385

I pastored a church in a town of 247. Shopping and doctors were 3 hours away. The local Methodist Church service was earlier than ours, and we attended there just to be able to sit in a pew. When we moved away, we went to the local church for 8 years, but I couldn't stay any longer because of the pastor's negativity. It was dragging me down, and I told the pastor how much it was affecting me, especially because of my depression. We go to a good church now that's 30 miles away. There are probably several other good churches locally, but I preferred to stick with the denomination I'm ordained with.

Change is hard. And having problems within the church is even harder. Be patient and don't make any quick decisions that you might regret later.

Jim

@gemmax

I lost my brother who was also my best friend. He was my touchstone. The one person that I could always count on to be honest with me, to be calm nd helpful since I am ill. I tought I had handled my grief and then a couple of months ago, it hit me like a brickwall.

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@2011panc,
Sometimes I get my post's mixed but I thought you were the one writing about trying to dig your way out of the water barrel with a plastic shovel. Hard thing to do. Anyway I understand the idea and how dark some days are. I was just luring you into posting to me again.
I need all the attention. LOL

@gemmax

I lost my brother who was also my best friend. He was my touchstone. The one person that I could always count on to be honest with me, to be calm nd helpful since I am ill. I tought I had handled my grief and then a couple of months ago, it hit me like a brickwall.

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@lisalucier ,
That's why they say "Don't drink and fly!" Poor birds never hurt anyone. Sure was fun watching them though. I get Robins around her in the Foothills but nothing like we'd get in Burlingame.

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