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

@daniellemarie

Hello my name is Danielle.. I am new to this group I have been in the brain tumor PXA group for the past two years of my daughter Danica’s fight against cancer/brain tumor. She was 10 years old and passed in Oakland Childrens hospital January 28th 2019. It has been a nightmare and I am not doing ok at all. 💔😭

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Danielle, I am deeply sorry for the loss of your precious daughter. My heart breaks for you. Our circumstances are different, but I too am a mother who lost a child. A baby boy. It has been two and a half years now since my world was shattered with his death. It is as if everything you've ever known is horribly different. I feel like completely different person. Everyone experiences grief differently. For me, I have gone through incredibly dark times where I did not want to go on. I think being heard and expressing grief are important…so important. Thank you for reaching out to others. If you want, I will share with you some things that have helped me on the journey of heart crushing grief. It is still so raw and painful for me, the death of my baby. Being part of a grief support group, where others could relate to some of the emotions was a tiny help for me..realizing I wasn't the only one suffering with grief. Sending love and strength your way. Danica is a beautiful name

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@kristap31

Danielle, I am deeply sorry for the loss of your precious daughter. My heart breaks for you. Our circumstances are different, but I too am a mother who lost a child. A baby boy. It has been two and a half years now since my world was shattered with his death. It is as if everything you've ever known is horribly different. I feel like completely different person. Everyone experiences grief differently. For me, I have gone through incredibly dark times where I did not want to go on. I think being heard and expressing grief are important…so important. Thank you for reaching out to others. If you want, I will share with you some things that have helped me on the journey of heart crushing grief. It is still so raw and painful for me, the death of my baby. Being part of a grief support group, where others could relate to some of the emotions was a tiny help for me..realizing I wasn't the only one suffering with grief. Sending love and strength your way. Danica is a beautiful name

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@kristap31 thank you so much for writing me and offering support… i would love to hear some ideas and what has helped you. I am in the same feelings you described as not wanting to be here anymore. I want to go with her. But I have a 7 years son and a 19 year old daughter. I am constantly sick to my stomach and became detached. I am not me anymore as well. Danica was my special one.. I was ready to be a mommy with her.. she taught me love unconditional love strength and patience. She kept me grounded. I will never love anyone like I love her. I feel like I have nothing to look forward too.. I just hate life and my children are hurting as well as my family but I have nothing to offer. Life is so unfair. 💔😭

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@lioness

@daniellemarie I'm so sorry for your loss .Loss of a loved one is terrible but loss of a child I think must be worst since she was a part of you . My sympathy to you . If you can keep yourself busy with work or helping others this will make it easier for you its when your alone that is the worse . Been through this many times.

My husband died now almost 20 yrs ago and I miss him more today then I did then. Probably since I'm retired now and think of him more. I pray things will get better for you . Time heals but there is a grieving period you will go through with no time limit on this . With friends and talking to God if you do this will all help . Bless you

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@lioness thank you and I’m so sorry about your loss and pain of your husband. I try to stay busy but we are pretty well known here in Sonoma county. She was our “ Princess Warrior” here. She touched so many lives. This is a hard and dark time for me as well as my other children. They are hurting not having her as well as there mommy being detached and someone totally different. I appreciate the love and strength and positive messages from everyone 🙏🏻

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@contentandwell

@daniellemarie I just want to say how sorry I am about the loss of your daughter. I think that's a mother's worst nightmare. Not only is a loss of a dearly loved one, but it's simply out of sequence, not right. I wish I had some suggestions but I too do not how I could handle such a tremendous loss.
JK

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Thank you 🙏🏻

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@tmmmrlts

I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I lost my daughter in 2008. I also lost a granddaughter to anacephaly in 2009. Then I lost my husband this year. It is hard to lose anyone. But a child it takes a part of you. The only thing I can say is you take it day by day and sometimes hour by hour. I am so sorry for your loss. I am praying for you.

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@tmmmrlts thank you 🙏🏻 yes I find myself taking it even minute by minute. I never have experienced such a painful powerless lost feeling before besides my brothers passing in 2005. This is so much more 💔😭

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@IndianaScott

Hello @daniellemarie I am Scott and first I want to say how sorry I am to read of the loss of your daughter. I cannot imagine how difficult your journey is.

I lost my wife after her 14+ year war with brain cancer and I still struggle with the loss of her. The anniversary of her passing is coming up in just a few days. I dread it and find it difficult to adjust to my different life.

If I might ask, what’s your biggest challenge?

Strength, courage, and peace.

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@IndianaScott
Thank you… I think my challenges are being a mommy to my other kids and not liking who I have become since she’s past. I’m miserable and see no future or happiness 💔😭

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@daniellemarie

@lioness thank you and I’m so sorry about your loss and pain of your husband. I try to stay busy but we are pretty well known here in Sonoma county. She was our “ Princess Warrior” here. She touched so many lives. This is a hard and dark time for me as well as my other children. They are hurting not having her as well as there mommy being detached and someone totally different. I appreciate the love and strength and positive messages from everyone 🙏🏻

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@daniellemarie Keeping you in my thoughts

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@harriethodgson1

My daughter, the mother of my twin grandchildren, died from the injuries she received in a car crash. Three more family members also died. When I look back, I think of 2007 as the year of death. An author, this led me to write four grief reconciliation/healing books and dozens of articles. Writing can be healing and I encourage all grieving people to put their thoughts in words. You may read my articles on the Open to Hope website and The Grief Toolbox website.

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Thanks for the likes Colleen, John, and daniellemarie

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@lioness

@daniellemarie I'm so sorry for your loss .Loss of a loved one is terrible but loss of a child I think must be worst since she was a part of you . My sympathy to you . If you can keep yourself busy with work or helping others this will make it easier for you its when your alone that is the worse . Been through this many times.

My husband died now almost 20 yrs ago and I miss him more today then I did then. Probably since I'm retired now and think of him more. I pray things will get better for you . Time heals but there is a grieving period you will go through with no time limit on this . With friends and talking to God if you do this will all help . Bless you

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Thanks Daniellemarie. After multiple losses I turned to my occupation of health/wellness author. Writing books to help others helped me.

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@daniellemarie

@IndianaScott
Thank you… I think my challenges are being a mommy to my other kids and not liking who I have become since she’s past. I’m miserable and see no future or happiness 💔😭

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@daniellemarie I can only imagine how difficult this must be. You have to summon up as much strength as you can to move on and to be there for your remaining children. I know that's much easier said than done but I believe that if you manage to sort of fake it for a while that eventually it will pervade you and help to lighten your grief. I actually have tears in my eyes as I write this though because when I think about how I would feel at the loss of either my son or daughter, I know it would be unbearable.
You are going to really have to put a lot of effort in to moving on so your other children get the best of you too.
Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing. I will be praying for you.
JK

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@contentandwell

@daniellemarie I can only imagine how difficult this must be. You have to summon up as much strength as you can to move on and to be there for your remaining children. I know that's much easier said than done but I believe that if you manage to sort of fake it for a while that eventually it will pervade you and help to lighten your grief. I actually have tears in my eyes as I write this though because when I think about how I would feel at the loss of either my son or daughter, I know it would be unbearable.
You are going to really have to put a lot of effort in to moving on so your other children get the best of you too.
Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing. I will be praying for you.
JK

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Thank you and I know I just can’t stand the pain and guilt I have along with reality of not ever being able to touch her or kiss her again. The pain is just so bad. I feel for my 19 year old and 7 year too. They are the only reason why I’m still here. 💔😭

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@daniellemarie

Thank you and I know I just can’t stand the pain and guilt I have along with reality of not ever being able to touch her or kiss her again. The pain is just so bad. I feel for my 19 year old and 7 year too. They are the only reason why I’m still here. 💔😭

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@daniellemarie Do you think maybe seeing your Dr. for something to help you get through this time will help you ? Then friends and family just to talk to . But sometimes when the grief is so overwhelming you may need to have something from your Dr. to give you a little relieve . Your children need you they have lost also I hope you can keep going for them. May God be with you .

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Hello Danielle, I have been thinking about you and your family often. I mentioned that I could share some thoughts from my own grief journey, just want you to know that everyone grieves differently. So what may be helpful for me may be irrelevant for you. I have read a lot about grief and how our culture responds to grief. It has helped me have a framework for the craziness and helped me realize that a lot of the emotions I experience are normal for grief. Just knowing that the feelings were normal was strangely helpful.

Anger, feeling lost and purposeless, feeling you have nothing to offer your other children, feeling out of control, feeling guilt, despair…those can all be normal grief responses. Many who have not experienced intense grief just wanted me to be positive and happy. Those were not attainable goals for me. Happiness was certainly not something I could begin to imagine in the early months of grief. I had to focus on getting through each minute.

I am learning to change my expectations from people, even dear friends. All my relationships changed after the death of my child. Not all were lost, but all were changed. Grief affected every part of my life. At first I expected people to know how to support me, but often I was disappointed and felt more lonely than ever when support sounded more like people correcting me on being sad. That is not what I needed. Grief is actually a healthy response to loss, and many did not understand that.

It helped me to express my grief and let my anger out in ways that did not hurt myself or others. I wondered for awhile why I felt such intense anger, and I think for me it was the feeling of being completely out of control. The most precious thing was taken from me, and I could do nothing about it.

I tried a few different grief counselors/therapists, but I have yet to find the "right" one. The ones I heard from told me to do yoga and focus on the positive…that didn't cut it for me. I have heard from others that you have to find the right one. What did help was being part of a group of women who shared similar loss. Those shared experiences helped me realize I am not the only one struggling with the loss of a child. I still hope to find a therapist who will be helpful in my situation. I hope that you can find someone to connect with as well.

I didn't like the idea of "moving on." Another grieving mom talked about "moving forward with the loss." That resonated with me, as I didn't feel I was leaving my child's memory behind, but moving forward with him in my heart. I remember you said Danica taught you so much about life and love, and she is part of who you are. Her story continues through you.

It has been two and a half years since my son died. Moving forward has not come in clear ways or even by me seeking it. It has come in thousands of tiny steps, interactions, thoughts, grief work, talking, journaling, expressing all the hard stuff, and recognizing perspective on grief. Nature has helped clear my mind in the chaos.

I will give one bit of advice. Try to be kind to yourself. Grief is exhausting and hard to carry. Try to give a lot of grace and forgiveness to yourself. You don't have to be something now. Just take care of yourself. In time other things will fall into place.

I am wishing you so much love and strength!

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@kristap31

Hello Danielle, I have been thinking about you and your family often. I mentioned that I could share some thoughts from my own grief journey, just want you to know that everyone grieves differently. So what may be helpful for me may be irrelevant for you. I have read a lot about grief and how our culture responds to grief. It has helped me have a framework for the craziness and helped me realize that a lot of the emotions I experience are normal for grief. Just knowing that the feelings were normal was strangely helpful.

Anger, feeling lost and purposeless, feeling you have nothing to offer your other children, feeling out of control, feeling guilt, despair…those can all be normal grief responses. Many who have not experienced intense grief just wanted me to be positive and happy. Those were not attainable goals for me. Happiness was certainly not something I could begin to imagine in the early months of grief. I had to focus on getting through each minute.

I am learning to change my expectations from people, even dear friends. All my relationships changed after the death of my child. Not all were lost, but all were changed. Grief affected every part of my life. At first I expected people to know how to support me, but often I was disappointed and felt more lonely than ever when support sounded more like people correcting me on being sad. That is not what I needed. Grief is actually a healthy response to loss, and many did not understand that.

It helped me to express my grief and let my anger out in ways that did not hurt myself or others. I wondered for awhile why I felt such intense anger, and I think for me it was the feeling of being completely out of control. The most precious thing was taken from me, and I could do nothing about it.

I tried a few different grief counselors/therapists, but I have yet to find the "right" one. The ones I heard from told me to do yoga and focus on the positive…that didn't cut it for me. I have heard from others that you have to find the right one. What did help was being part of a group of women who shared similar loss. Those shared experiences helped me realize I am not the only one struggling with the loss of a child. I still hope to find a therapist who will be helpful in my situation. I hope that you can find someone to connect with as well.

I didn't like the idea of "moving on." Another grieving mom talked about "moving forward with the loss." That resonated with me, as I didn't feel I was leaving my child's memory behind, but moving forward with him in my heart. I remember you said Danica taught you so much about life and love, and she is part of who you are. Her story continues through you.

It has been two and a half years since my son died. Moving forward has not come in clear ways or even by me seeking it. It has come in thousands of tiny steps, interactions, thoughts, grief work, talking, journaling, expressing all the hard stuff, and recognizing perspective on grief. Nature has helped clear my mind in the chaos.

I will give one bit of advice. Try to be kind to yourself. Grief is exhausting and hard to carry. Try to give a lot of grace and forgiveness to yourself. You don't have to be something now. Just take care of yourself. In time other things will fall into place.

I am wishing you so much love and strength!

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I can not thank you enough for your advice and how much I can relate to what you have said. First I feel so angry because I robbed of my happiness my reason and I could not do anything to save her. Secondly I feel like I have nothing to look forward to in my life. I feel so lost and chaos. I am just trying to get through second by second minute by minute. I also have not found the “right” therapist yet either. I will most definitely look into the “groups” when my son goes back to school. I just don’t know which way my life is going and who I am becoming or when… I am also going through a divorce on top of my loss of Danica. I’m drained and tired. I feel like I’m out of my mind. Thank you so much for being here for me and allowing me to pour my life’s hardships and problems out. Talk soon 🙏🏻💜

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@daniellemarie Just checking in today to see how you are ?I know it will take a long time to feel again but hope you can see some blue sky today KNow we are here for you

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