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

Thanks for the likes folks.

Hi Teresa …. great post! I have 2 totally different experiences …. I'll try to keep them short. I was an only child raised in a totally alcoholic home …. my whole maternal side were alcoholics. My mother always seems to hate me, be a problem to her, always in the way, and her favorite name for me was "you rotten little SOB." I hid a lot, got locked in closets, dragged to bars (not lounges … nasty bars) every weekend, and just generally was mocked and set up for ridicule every chance they could get. My father also was an alcoholic but had very little to do in my life …. I was "the great disappointment " ….. I should have been a boy. My mother died at 60 years old from alcoholism and esophogeal hemorrage, and my father died about 10 years ago from Alzheimers. Being the only kid, I was the one responsible for seeing that they were in the best place and got the best care. When they both died, I felt nothing ….. I did not shed one tear. I just went through the motions … I didn't know them, and they didn't care one whit about me. In therapy, after about 10 years, it came to me that my mother just did what was done to her … I saw her in my mind as a little girl with a tough Scotch woman as a mother raised in rural Cape Breton Island. That really softened me up quite a bit to her, but still no grief.
Ten years ago I got divorced, after a 40 year marriage to a Narcissist who belittled everything I said, did, wore. I thought it was "normal" as that was the way I was treated in my family's home. Well, during therapy and the reading of several books, I realized it was NOT good and NOT healthy for me. So, after 4 years of struggle to get him into marriage therapy, I realized he had not one good thing to say about me except I was a good mother. Now I'm not belittling that at all, but it showed he had no clue who I was at all. We got divorced, and all during this time – about 6 years of pain, I grieved, cried, couldn't believe he thought so little of me, and even had a breakdown. Thank God for a wonderful therapist who walked me through years and years of that terrible time, and for the Psychiatrist who helped me with the anxiety and depression. I now feel free, have moved near my girls (which has been tough in itself), but I have freedom for the first time in my life. I am NOT stupid, I CAN make my own decisions, and I WAS a good mother, as shown by my 3 kids.
abby

@amberpep

Hi Teresa …. great post! I have 2 totally different experiences …. I'll try to keep them short. I was an only child raised in a totally alcoholic home …. my whole maternal side were alcoholics. My mother always seems to hate me, be a problem to her, always in the way, and her favorite name for me was "you rotten little SOB." I hid a lot, got locked in closets, dragged to bars (not lounges … nasty bars) every weekend, and just generally was mocked and set up for ridicule every chance they could get. My father also was an alcoholic but had very little to do in my life …. I was "the great disappointment " ….. I should have been a boy. My mother died at 60 years old from alcoholism and esophogeal hemorrage, and my father died about 10 years ago from Alzheimers. Being the only kid, I was the one responsible for seeing that they were in the best place and got the best care. When they both died, I felt nothing ….. I did not shed one tear. I just went through the motions … I didn't know them, and they didn't care one whit about me. In therapy, after about 10 years, it came to me that my mother just did what was done to her … I saw her in my mind as a little girl with a tough Scotch woman as a mother raised in rural Cape Breton Island. That really softened me up quite a bit to her, but still no grief.
Ten years ago I got divorced, after a 40 year marriage to a Narcissist who belittled everything I said, did, wore. I thought it was "normal" as that was the way I was treated in my family's home. Well, during therapy and the reading of several books, I realized it was NOT good and NOT healthy for me. So, after 4 years of struggle to get him into marriage therapy, I realized he had not one good thing to say about me except I was a good mother. Now I'm not belittling that at all, but it showed he had no clue who I was at all. We got divorced, and all during this time – about 6 years of pain, I grieved, cried, couldn't believe he thought so little of me, and even had a breakdown. Thank God for a wonderful therapist who walked me through years and years of that terrible time, and for the Psychiatrist who helped me with the anxiety and depression. I now feel free, have moved near my girls (which has been tough in itself), but I have freedom for the first time in my life. I am NOT stupid, I CAN make my own decisions, and I WAS a good mother, as shown by my 3 kids.
abby

Jump to this post

Amber, I can relate to not being wanted. I am the last of six children. I think the first one was absolutely wanted. My mother had three boys. First one, she thought was God's gift–she loved him soo much. Second child a boy, passed away at ten months. Very Sad. Third child a boy. My father was an alcoholic and was so mean when he was drinking. My mother had a girl whom my dad loved. Eight years later, another girl came along–she was hit by a car when she was a toddler. My mother took such good care of her, she adored her. Eighteen months after girl number two, I came along. She was not happy about having another child. Does a child know she is not wanted. She does when her father calls her the black sheep and she gets blamed for everything bad that happens. Scapegoat. My sister was born with beautiful curly hair–me? straighter than a poker. People would say: Isn't she cute, why she's darling, she's beautiful. EWWW, what happened to her (me)? Her hair. My sister could sing beautifully–I couldn't ever carry a tune. She's sing and everyone raved. I tried to sing. Ha Ha I even got kicked out of a kid's church choir. People laughed. I was so embarrassed. Mortified. Told I was ugly when compared to curly Sue. Well, when you believe something, you live with it. My mother loved my father all the days of their lives. They were married 56 years and passed at age 76. I begged her to divorce him. She said it wasn't that easy. She couldn't work at a job. Her legs were ropes of varicose veins. She had so many health issues. Anyway, I married a very handsome, I can't write the words on paper, person who never really loved me. When I was pregnant, he was never home, when he did come home, he had lipstick on his lips and face. Me, nine months pg and he comes home at three am, only God knows where he was. I could write a book about my horrible life and all my operations and illnesses. The only saving grace is, I believe in God and I will have a better life in the future. I want you to love yourself. You were not a mistake and neither was I. God loves you very much. We all do. That's why we are here. To share, to give you a virtual hug. Woogie

I lost my daughter on 3-4-2008 she was only 23. Everyone says God has his reason. Or she's in a better place or you should be over this. Etc.etc. I get so tired of people telling me this. I have actually stopped talking to people.
It's not easy to lose anyone. It doesn't matter how they passed away.
I also lost my granddaughter Aug 13 2009 after she was only 2 days old. She had anacephaly but she was a miracle from God she made noises moved her eyes. I thank God that we got to spend them 2 days with her.
There's not any special way to grieve everyone has there own way. And it doesn't matter how you lose them it's still hurts.

@tmmmrlts

I lost my daughter on 3-4-2008 she was only 23. Everyone says God has his reason. Or she's in a better place or you should be over this. Etc.etc. I get so tired of people telling me this. I have actually stopped talking to people.
It's not easy to lose anyone. It doesn't matter how they passed away.
I also lost my granddaughter Aug 13 2009 after she was only 2 days old. She had anacephaly but she was a miracle from God she made noises moved her eyes. I thank God that we got to spend them 2 days with her.
There's not any special way to grieve everyone has there own way. And it doesn't matter how you lose them it's still hurts.

Jump to this post

@tmmmrlts My sympathy to you this is a caring group

@tmmmrlts

I lost my daughter on 3-4-2008 she was only 23. Everyone says God has his reason. Or she's in a better place or you should be over this. Etc.etc. I get so tired of people telling me this. I have actually stopped talking to people.
It's not easy to lose anyone. It doesn't matter how they passed away.
I also lost my granddaughter Aug 13 2009 after she was only 2 days old. She had anacephaly but she was a miracle from God she made noises moved her eyes. I thank God that we got to spend them 2 days with her.
There's not any special way to grieve everyone has there own way. And it doesn't matter how you lose them it's still hurts.

Jump to this post

Hello @tmmmrlts While I am sad to read of your losses, your post rang many bells with me! I lost my wife after her 14 year war with brain cancer. I, too, grow weary of folks, perhaps well meaning, who feel no compunction telling me how I should be grieving. Likewise those who shower me with meandering, often misquoted verse, which do nothing more than make themselves feel better. My personal worst reaction is when someone tells me 'well, she fought a good fight.' Her fight was horrific, not good and no matter what I still miss her more than I can stand some days.

Loss, as death, is unique to each individual! I think the worst of it is folks who have experienced no loss, but have read somewhere of the artificial 'stages of grief' and tell me where I should be grieving at this point in time.

My wife and I were married for 41 years so I have taken to responding to anyone who tells me how I should be handling my grief "Thanks, when she's been gone for 41 years and 1 day, you can offer your advice on how I should be grieving."

I hope you stay strong and have a solid, strong day!

@IndianaScott

Hello @tmmmrlts While I am sad to read of your losses, your post rang many bells with me! I lost my wife after her 14 year war with brain cancer. I, too, grow weary of folks, perhaps well meaning, who feel no compunction telling me how I should be grieving. Likewise those who shower me with meandering, often misquoted verse, which do nothing more than make themselves feel better. My personal worst reaction is when someone tells me 'well, she fought a good fight.' Her fight was horrific, not good and no matter what I still miss her more than I can stand some days.

Loss, as death, is unique to each individual! I think the worst of it is folks who have experienced no loss, but have read somewhere of the artificial 'stages of grief' and tell me where I should be grieving at this point in time.

My wife and I were married for 41 years so I have taken to responding to anyone who tells me how I should be handling my grief "Thanks, when she's been gone for 41 years and 1 day, you can offer your advice on how I should be grieving."

I hope you stay strong and have a solid, strong day!

Jump to this post

I lost my daughter to a car accident. She was going to be a pharmacist. She had about a year and a half left. And the guy she and her boyfriend were riding with decided to do a u-turn and a diesel hit them. Killing my daughter and the driver. She was the happiest person it didnt matter to her if you was rich or poor. She always treated everyone the same. There are songs or anything that reminds me of her and tears come and smiles come. But the love I have for her and the pain of losing her never stops.
People are afraid to talk about her, but I love it because it reminds me of how sweet she was.

@tmmmrlts

I lost my daughter to a car accident. She was going to be a pharmacist. She had about a year and a half left. And the guy she and her boyfriend were riding with decided to do a u-turn and a diesel hit them. Killing my daughter and the driver. She was the happiest person it didnt matter to her if you was rich or poor. She always treated everyone the same. There are songs or anything that reminds me of her and tears come and smiles come. But the love I have for her and the pain of losing her never stops.
People are afraid to talk about her, but I love it because it reminds me of how sweet she was.

Jump to this post

Most of the time I ignore people when they say stuff about getting over it. But sometimes it's hard to bite my tongue. But I will keep what you said in mind.

@IndianaScott

Hello @tmmmrlts While I am sad to read of your losses, your post rang many bells with me! I lost my wife after her 14 year war with brain cancer. I, too, grow weary of folks, perhaps well meaning, who feel no compunction telling me how I should be grieving. Likewise those who shower me with meandering, often misquoted verse, which do nothing more than make themselves feel better. My personal worst reaction is when someone tells me 'well, she fought a good fight.' Her fight was horrific, not good and no matter what I still miss her more than I can stand some days.

Loss, as death, is unique to each individual! I think the worst of it is folks who have experienced no loss, but have read somewhere of the artificial 'stages of grief' and tell me where I should be grieving at this point in time.

My wife and I were married for 41 years so I have taken to responding to anyone who tells me how I should be handling my grief "Thanks, when she's been gone for 41 years and 1 day, you can offer your advice on how I should be grieving."

I hope you stay strong and have a solid, strong day!

Jump to this post

Thank you and you stay strong. They just dont understand it's not something you can just turn off you just learn to live with it.

@jakeduck Are you under water ?saw it pouring there

@lioness

@jakeduck Are you under water ?saw it pouring there

Jump to this post

@lioness
Rain? Sunshine and blue sky here. If we’re lucky we may get an occasional storm when we get get some mist or maybe some sprinkles. I haven’t see real rain since my visit to Texas. I live in Modesto. South of Sacramento. We seldom get the brunt of a storm. If we get a quarter inch of rain the paper says “Major storm hits valley.”
Jake

@tmmmrlts

I lost my daughter on 3-4-2008 she was only 23. Everyone says God has his reason. Or she's in a better place or you should be over this. Etc.etc. I get so tired of people telling me this. I have actually stopped talking to people.
It's not easy to lose anyone. It doesn't matter how they passed away.
I also lost my granddaughter Aug 13 2009 after she was only 2 days old. She had anacephaly but she was a miracle from God she made noises moved her eyes. I thank God that we got to spend them 2 days with her.
There's not any special way to grieve everyone has there own way. And it doesn't matter how you lose them it's still hurts.

Jump to this post

Amen. Grief is like a river that flows on and on, sometimes tranquil and quidt, sometimes raging tothe point of making you gasp and wonder if you will survive the raging rapids of pain.

@jakedduck1

@lioness
Rain? Sunshine and blue sky here. If we’re lucky we may get an occasional storm when we get get some mist or maybe some sprinkles. I haven’t see real rain since my visit to Texas. I live in Modesto. South of Sacramento. We seldom get the brunt of a storm. If we get a quarter inch of rain the paper says “Major storm hits valley.”
Jake

Jump to this post

@jakeduck. No what you mean in Pa.we got storms not sprinkles Maybe it was another part of Modesto showed traffic driving through a lot of it cars splashing on either side Its sunny blue sky here also

@tmmmrlts

I lost my daughter to a car accident. She was going to be a pharmacist. She had about a year and a half left. And the guy she and her boyfriend were riding with decided to do a u-turn and a diesel hit them. Killing my daughter and the driver. She was the happiest person it didnt matter to her if you was rich or poor. She always treated everyone the same. There are songs or anything that reminds me of her and tears come and smiles come. But the love I have for her and the pain of losing her never stops.
People are afraid to talk about her, but I love it because it reminds me of how sweet she was.

Jump to this post

You bring up an important topic, @tmmmrlts. When we lose a loved one we still want others to remember them and talk about them. Even if it makes us cry because those are good tears and they are healthy.

So many times, people refrain from talking about a deceased person, not realizing how important it is to keep that memory alive and well.

I appreciate your bringing that up.

Liked by lioness, tmmmrlts

@woogie

Amber, I can relate to not being wanted. I am the last of six children. I think the first one was absolutely wanted. My mother had three boys. First one, she thought was God's gift–she loved him soo much. Second child a boy, passed away at ten months. Very Sad. Third child a boy. My father was an alcoholic and was so mean when he was drinking. My mother had a girl whom my dad loved. Eight years later, another girl came along–she was hit by a car when she was a toddler. My mother took such good care of her, she adored her. Eighteen months after girl number two, I came along. She was not happy about having another child. Does a child know she is not wanted. She does when her father calls her the black sheep and she gets blamed for everything bad that happens. Scapegoat. My sister was born with beautiful curly hair–me? straighter than a poker. People would say: Isn't she cute, why she's darling, she's beautiful. EWWW, what happened to her (me)? Her hair. My sister could sing beautifully–I couldn't ever carry a tune. She's sing and everyone raved. I tried to sing. Ha Ha I even got kicked out of a kid's church choir. People laughed. I was so embarrassed. Mortified. Told I was ugly when compared to curly Sue. Well, when you believe something, you live with it. My mother loved my father all the days of their lives. They were married 56 years and passed at age 76. I begged her to divorce him. She said it wasn't that easy. She couldn't work at a job. Her legs were ropes of varicose veins. She had so many health issues. Anyway, I married a very handsome, I can't write the words on paper, person who never really loved me. When I was pregnant, he was never home, when he did come home, he had lipstick on his lips and face. Me, nine months pg and he comes home at three am, only God knows where he was. I could write a book about my horrible life and all my operations and illnesses. The only saving grace is, I believe in God and I will have a better life in the future. I want you to love yourself. You were not a mistake and neither was I. God loves you very much. We all do. That's why we are here. To share, to give you a virtual hug. Woogie

Jump to this post

@woogie and @amberpep
I was touched by both of your posts. Sometimes loss and grief happens while we are living, when we don't feel welcomed or appreciated. You both make that point quite well. I am sorry for the sense of grief and loss you feel. You both show compassionate hearts and I feel that represents a gift to you. I'm grateful that you shared that gift here on Connect.

Please login or register to post a reply.