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

@lioness

@sadiesmom I'm so sorry for all the trouble you have had You are a survivor for sure dealing with alot in your life .The hardest would be your son taking his life. My nephew took his life it was extremely hard on his Mom the whole family then my other nephew drowned It just doesn't seem fair but it takes a very strong person to get through and you are . Just keep looking up Does meditation help you you said you have gone to different groups and medication maybe you just need arms wrapped around you Here,s a big cyber hug for you 🤗

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That's exactly what I need…..hugs, hugs and more hugs. Thank you for your kind and caring words. I am so sorry about what your family has been through. It seems as though some come through life "unscathed" and others get everything horrible tossed at them…..

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@contentandwell

@sadiesmom Your son really went through a lot,as did so many of the war victims. It’s horrible to think of what they must have gone through and seen. Is it typical for soldiers to be sent for tgree tours of duty? That seems too much to ask of anyone.

As his mother, you must have been worried constantly. It’s so sad that he made it through all of that and then took his own life.
JK

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That was what was so hard….he had endured the worst of the worst while at war but couldn't fight the demons once he got home. Yes, multiple deployments are very common in our military these days. He would get back to the states for 3 or 4 months (getting acclimated to being home) and then off he went to the other side of the world. He said when he got back no one really knows anything about war until you experience it..The only thing that gets me through the day is knowing he is in the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ and is finally at peace….I pray every day that I can join him soon.

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@grandmar

@contentandwell
Hi JK!
Age might have something to do with, but I'm not sure. I was a little older than you when I lost my mom.
I think part of it might be that if I did help or be with her during her recoup time, I'd have to face the reality that my mom was sick and that she was at the point that she needed me, her youngest, to take care of her. She wouldn't allow it! As a matter of fact, when she was recouping, she WOULDN'T ALLOW us to visit and she wouldn't tale to us on the phone until he voice got stronger. She was a proud woman!

My kids are great, too! Both are in the medical field. My son is a nuclear med technician. He took lots of science in college thinking he would become a doctor. My daughter is a social worker. Her career has been split between working with hospice patients and their families and now, with patients on dialysis. She has gotten to know the insurance route pretty well.

They decided that if we lose our minds (as if we haven't already, lol), my daughter will take us. If we are physically ill, my son will take us. Of course, we wouldn't want either one to take us, we rather be in a facility.

Let's hope we won't have to worry about who will do what and how they will react for a long time (I'm 64, my hubby is 68).

TaTa…..
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@grandmar
Your kids sound very well adjusted with a sense of humor! How nice. It sounds as if you raised them well. I'm sure you will enjoy your mind for many years to come.

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@hopeful33250

@grandmar
Your kids sound very well adjusted with a sense of humor! How nice. It sounds as if you raised them well. I'm sure you will enjoy your mind for many years to come.

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Thank you very much! They both do have a good sense of humor, especially my son. My daughter is a lot more serious; I guess that comes with working with people who are in hospice and with people on dialysis. But they are good kids, in spite of me!
I do hope you are right about my mind!

Thaniks
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@sadiesmom

That was what was so hard….he had endured the worst of the worst while at war but couldn't fight the demons once he got home. Yes, multiple deployments are very common in our military these days. He would get back to the states for 3 or 4 months (getting acclimated to being home) and then off he went to the other side of the world. He said when he got back no one really knows anything about war until you experience it..The only thing that gets me through the day is knowing he is in the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ and is finally at peace….I pray every day that I can join him soon.

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@sadiesmom Don’t look forward to joining him, you are still here for a reason.

I really hate to see you allowing your grief to control you. There are many things you can do to feel good again, like volunteering at some worthy, local endeavor. I spent time volunteering at a food bank sorting contributions. I had to stop because I was having problems with my knees and it was four hours of standing. When I was single I volunteered at a group home for foster children.

Find something that interests you and lend a hand. You will feel good afterward and may make some new friends. You need to have something to feel good about.
JK

Liked by lioness

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@sadiesmom It is difficult when we sink this low to see hope or even think about things getting any better. Is there anyone you can talk with-even a grief counselor. You are praying you can join your son soon. Is there a minister?? I realize taking the initiative seems overwhelming. Is there family or friends? there are times we do need help with our grief. Coming here is a start. Maybe you need more. Checking your area for grief counselors would be a start. You are not responsible for what happened to your son. Try to honor him by getting some help.

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You may find comfort and hope in two reliable websites, https://www.opentohope.com/ and https://thegrieftoolbox.com/ I write for both of them. These websites helped me in 2007 when four family members, including my daughter, the mother of my twin grandchildren, all died. Open to Hope also has a radio program and a television program.

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@harriethodgson1

You may find comfort and hope in two reliable websites, https://www.opentohope.com/ and https://thegrieftoolbox.com/ I write for both of them. These websites helped me in 2007 when four family members, including my daughter, the mother of my twin grandchildren, all died. Open to Hope also has a radio program and a television program.

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@harriethodgson1
I just took a look at thegrieftoolbox.com and was very touched by the posts. Thanks for letting us know about it.

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@parus

@sadiesmom It is difficult when we sink this low to see hope or even think about things getting any better. Is there anyone you can talk with-even a grief counselor. You are praying you can join your son soon. Is there a minister?? I realize taking the initiative seems overwhelming. Is there family or friends? there are times we do need help with our grief. Coming here is a start. Maybe you need more. Checking your area for grief counselors would be a start. You are not responsible for what happened to your son. Try to honor him by getting some help.

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I have tried everything. I did connect with an excellent grief counselor from church but she got a boyfriend and moved away. I was devastated. I recently joined a Compassionate Friends group but most of the members are couples; moms and dads who have each other to lean on. Being divorced, I don't have that. I always feel like the "fifth wheel" in these situations. I see them holding hands, husbands comforting their wives with their arm around them and there I sit….alone. There are times when I would pay for a hug….literally. Even those of us who grieve the loss of a child don't really know what to do for someone like me. I need a real connection but in seven years, haven't found that. No support from my family. My daughter lives an hour away and she rarely even mentions her brother. I know she is grieving but in a different way. My sister told me one time that I was making losing my son "all about me". WTH? I am his mother. I still recognize his birthday (which no one else ever does), I still think about him every single day. I think about the love that he missed out on by not marrying, having children, grand children…..all of the things we assume will happen in our lives, don't. My daughter doesn't have any children, nor is able to have any. I'm never going to be a grandma, which is excruciating. I have tried volunteering in the schools but they keep putting me in the office to help the secretaries when I really want to work with the kids….It's not for lack of trying and putting myself out there. I have done everything and anything I can think of to find some kind of purpose in this world. But I haven't been able to do that. I am desperately searching, praying, and hoping for a real miracle….I don't know how much longer I can do this.

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@sadiesmom

I have tried everything. I did connect with an excellent grief counselor from church but she got a boyfriend and moved away. I was devastated. I recently joined a Compassionate Friends group but most of the members are couples; moms and dads who have each other to lean on. Being divorced, I don't have that. I always feel like the "fifth wheel" in these situations. I see them holding hands, husbands comforting their wives with their arm around them and there I sit….alone. There are times when I would pay for a hug….literally. Even those of us who grieve the loss of a child don't really know what to do for someone like me. I need a real connection but in seven years, haven't found that. No support from my family. My daughter lives an hour away and she rarely even mentions her brother. I know she is grieving but in a different way. My sister told me one time that I was making losing my son "all about me". WTH? I am his mother. I still recognize his birthday (which no one else ever does), I still think about him every single day. I think about the love that he missed out on by not marrying, having children, grand children…..all of the things we assume will happen in our lives, don't. My daughter doesn't have any children, nor is able to have any. I'm never going to be a grandma, which is excruciating. I have tried volunteering in the schools but they keep putting me in the office to help the secretaries when I really want to work with the kids….It's not for lack of trying and putting myself out there. I have done everything and anything I can think of to find some kind of purpose in this world. But I haven't been able to do that. I am desperately searching, praying, and hoping for a real miracle….I don't know how much longer I can do this.

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@sadiesmom

At Connect, we cannot make medical diagnoses, however, it does sound like you are suffering from Complicated Grief. I would suggest that you seek out another professional counselor who can help you. It sounds as if you have tried a lot of self-help methods, but you undoubtedly need more professional help. Here is some information from Mayo Clinic's website about complicated grief,
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/complicated-grief/symptoms-causes/syc-2036037.
Also, here are some YouTube videos that address the topic of Complicated Grief,
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=complicated+grief
I urge you to seek out a professional psychologist and/or psychiatrist for help with your grief. You deserve a better life and I'm sure your son would agree.

Will you schedule an appointment with a professional?

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@sadiesmom I know after my father's suicide and all of the friends and family were gone I was not even allowed to mention my dad. I know how difficult that time was and how alone I felt. It seemed like everyone was getting on with their lives and as though no one cared. That was in 1975 and little was known about helping the survivors. It was like what he had done was wrong and selfish. Yes, I was hurting in ways no one could understand. It felt like none cared and that his choice was like he was weak. He was not!!!
I cannot imagine how it would feel to lose a child in this way. The best I can do is a cyber hug and cry some with you.

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@sadiesmom

I have tried everything. I did connect with an excellent grief counselor from church but she got a boyfriend and moved away. I was devastated. I recently joined a Compassionate Friends group but most of the members are couples; moms and dads who have each other to lean on. Being divorced, I don't have that. I always feel like the "fifth wheel" in these situations. I see them holding hands, husbands comforting their wives with their arm around them and there I sit….alone. There are times when I would pay for a hug….literally. Even those of us who grieve the loss of a child don't really know what to do for someone like me. I need a real connection but in seven years, haven't found that. No support from my family. My daughter lives an hour away and she rarely even mentions her brother. I know she is grieving but in a different way. My sister told me one time that I was making losing my son "all about me". WTH? I am his mother. I still recognize his birthday (which no one else ever does), I still think about him every single day. I think about the love that he missed out on by not marrying, having children, grand children…..all of the things we assume will happen in our lives, don't. My daughter doesn't have any children, nor is able to have any. I'm never going to be a grandma, which is excruciating. I have tried volunteering in the schools but they keep putting me in the office to help the secretaries when I really want to work with the kids….It's not for lack of trying and putting myself out there. I have done everything and anything I can think of to find some kind of purpose in this world. But I haven't been able to do that. I am desperately searching, praying, and hoping for a real miracle….I don't know how much longer I can do this.

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@sadiesmom I am proud of you for continuing to try. Knowing that you will never be a grandmother is one area of extreme heartbreak for me also. I wanted a large family but was only allowed two children. One child is handicapped in multiple areas and will never have a child. The other is dealing with emotional issues and also will probably never have a child. So I don't expect to expand my family with grandchildren either. I have been borrowing for many years and continue to do so. My solace is the children of nieces, nephews and friends. Some other options might be volunteering at the library, playground supervisor or classroom assistant, or teaching children at your church. Working with children can be so fulfilling. Hopefully you find something soon. Blessings.

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@2011panc

@sadiesmom I am proud of you for continuing to try. Knowing that you will never be a grandmother is one area of extreme heartbreak for me also. I wanted a large family but was only allowed two children. One child is handicapped in multiple areas and will never have a child. The other is dealing with emotional issues and also will probably never have a child. So I don't expect to expand my family with grandchildren either. I have been borrowing for many years and continue to do so. My solace is the children of nieces, nephews and friends. Some other options might be volunteering at the library, playground supervisor or classroom assistant, or teaching children at your church. Working with children can be so fulfilling. Hopefully you find something soon. Blessings.

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@sadiesmom Our church was asked for volunteers for the 1st graders to help them read it was very enjoyable maybe there is a school for this in your area

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@reibur1951

He was scheduled to see ENT Dr. today – had a Fiberoptic laryngoscopy (nasolaryngoscopy) it showed no complications /tumors on the inside of the throat & neck area. The swelling/ growth is a part of the lung cancer being treated this lymph node had shrunk but started to show symptoms again so its a step backwards – was taken off the the clinical study he was on BUT he got put into another – there will be chemo & Immunology together as before but only i chemo drug – Docetaxel (Taxotere) and Pemrolizumab which he has been getting 1st in combo with 2 chemo drugs and then since April alone – all other areas are stabilized or its just the Supraclavicular lymph node acting up for now The neck ct showed nothing new – have not seen the report as yet Blood test were done to get the stud under way – will have to go back for a biopsy of the lymph node which as asked but do not have to have really but suggested trying to stay positive and hope he does as well as he did on the other chemo – no real side effects except losing a little hair and some neuropathy in the feet…

Bracing for a cold night it went from the high 40's low 50's to 32 and to be lower… It rains most of the day. Time will tell… God will be with us and guide us… Nothing has been easy but so far have survived it a…..

Right now my mind is going around in circles.. while waiting for other things to come though hoping they don't go astray… just wishing for warmer weather so i can get things done in between trips to Indy… The syaing the "Best laid plans of mice and men…."

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Update – Hopefully winter is behind us but Easter is not passed as yet here in Indiana it can snow up a storm on that day…. – to be 56-70's today.

I am head to Indy with friend in about 2 hours – he had ct-scan on Thursday at Indy and this is to be his dr/chemo/immunology – not sure what is going to be going down – got e-mail of tentative results and it said the Game plan has again changed after only 6 weeks –

On Feb. 25 they add chemo back – Docetaxel but it must not be working as they had hoped..

He has had no bad side effects from it other than sleeping a a lot, some hair loss and his taste for foods are off; have noticed a lot of irritability he yells more at the dog barking and yells at him to "shut up"

He's had a muffled cough almost constantly too. BUT he still rides his bike down to the country store 10+ miles one way – has missed a day or two – generally the days of the dr/chemo/infusion when we roll into home aft 7-8 p.m.; last Thursday – when we got home from ct he oped not to go as was indy and on chilly side and said he did not feel like it.

Not sure what's goign on but will know something sometime after 12 noon our time But what ever will have to manage and carry on….. hope the van lasts out till after October 1st and nothing goes astray… Had planned to start clean-up here outside and start hauling the "junk- crap" off tot he scrape yard, ordered 300 feet of stainless steel Daren hose before starting to burn because everything have is second hand and wants to split wide open or pin holes…

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@reibur1951

Update – Hopefully winter is behind us but Easter is not passed as yet here in Indiana it can snow up a storm on that day…. – to be 56-70's today.

I am head to Indy with friend in about 2 hours – he had ct-scan on Thursday at Indy and this is to be his dr/chemo/immunology – not sure what is going to be going down – got e-mail of tentative results and it said the Game plan has again changed after only 6 weeks –

On Feb. 25 they add chemo back – Docetaxel but it must not be working as they had hoped..

He has had no bad side effects from it other than sleeping a a lot, some hair loss and his taste for foods are off; have noticed a lot of irritability he yells more at the dog barking and yells at him to "shut up"

He's had a muffled cough almost constantly too. BUT he still rides his bike down to the country store 10+ miles one way – has missed a day or two – generally the days of the dr/chemo/infusion when we roll into home aft 7-8 p.m.; last Thursday – when we got home from ct he oped not to go as was indy and on chilly side and said he did not feel like it.

Not sure what's goign on but will know something sometime after 12 noon our time But what ever will have to manage and carry on….. hope the van lasts out till after October 1st and nothing goes astray… Had planned to start clean-up here outside and start hauling the "junk- crap" off tot he scrape yard, ordered 300 feet of stainless steel Daren hose before starting to burn because everything have is second hand and wants to split wide open or pin holes…

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Hello @reibur1951

I am glad for an update from you. Yes, it is good that spring is just around the corner.

I know that hearing that the "game plan has again changed" can be confusing. I hope the information you receive from the doctor helps clear up your understanding and shows a new and better "game plan."

I will be thinking about you. Will you post an update when you are comfortable doing so?

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