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

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Loss & Grief group.

@thisismarilynb

Your comments brought me a smile today. I am calmer now. It was so cathartic to unburden myself to a person who just listened, didn't judge, didn't interrupt with questions and didn't make any kind of suggestions. She just wanted to know if I would be okay. And I am. Going ahead will not be a picnic, but I am starting. Starting on Wednesday I have 8 more physical therapy appointments. That will be the end of them. I am starting to shed that feeling of sluggishness. So a new beginning has started. Don't know yet where it will lead me. I am also conscious that I don't know how many more years I have left. I am 87 and pushing towards 88. Except for the hip I am in reasonably good health. I am sleeping better at nights. What a great help that is. So that's where I am. I want to acknowledge all the help and support I have received from the people in this group. I found you by accident, but what a wonderful accident it was.
Peace and love to all.

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Good morning @thisismarilynb So wonderful to read you are smiling!

Good luck with your PT! I know it helped me when I had my knee surgery and it was a godsend for my wife! For me they always felt like work, but also like work, I had feelings of great satisfaction of a job well done at the end of each session!

When I wake each morning I recall what my mom used to say to me when, in her later years, I'd call her on the phone and as "how are you feeling, today, Mom?" She'd always relay "Well, at my age I have the usual aches and pains, but if I wake up and nothing new hurts, it's a good morning!" It's how I conduct my daily morning "inventory" as I get to the kitchen to start the coffee pot and get our pup her breakfast.

Wishing you continued Strength, Courage, & Peace

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@IndianaScott

Good morning @thisismarilynb So wonderful to read you are smiling!

Good luck with your PT! I know it helped me when I had my knee surgery and it was a godsend for my wife! For me they always felt like work, but also like work, I had feelings of great satisfaction of a job well done at the end of each session!

When I wake each morning I recall what my mom used to say to me when, in her later years, I'd call her on the phone and as "how are you feeling, today, Mom?" She'd always relay "Well, at my age I have the usual aches and pains, but if I wake up and nothing new hurts, it's a good morning!" It's how I conduct my daily morning "inventory" as I get to the kitchen to start the coffee pot and get our pup her breakfast.

Wishing you continued Strength, Courage, & Peace

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Thank you. Having my last session of therapy. The groin area is still not feeling that good, but it is manageable. Right now I am having trouble getting my head around what I will do for the rest of my life. When my chores are done, it is too quiet and I still cry for him. I expect that will go on for some time. I am just trying to get through each day at a time.

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@thisismarilynb

Thank you. Having my last session of therapy. The groin area is still not feeling that good, but it is manageable. Right now I am having trouble getting my head around what I will do for the rest of my life. When my chores are done, it is too quiet and I still cry for him. I expect that will go on for some time. I am just trying to get through each day at a time.

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Good morning, @thisismarilynb Good to read your PT is helping! I have a few health issues that I also rejoice that they are staying in the "manageable" category and have given up on thinking I can live discomfort-free at my age.

My wife's birthday is coming up in two days. I have cried more this week than I usually do, but have come to embrace my tears as a sign of my undying love for my wife.

As far as the quiet goes, I do keep music on all day long! I'm not a big TV fellow, but I really love having music on. I find it a comfortable companion during my days, especially when a special song comes on and I am transported to my memories from long ago! I call it my "free travel"! This reminds me that my wife's and my song was the silly Captain and Tenille song, "Muskrat Love"! Weird, eh?

I agree with you that those of us who have lost a loved one face a new and different future. It's why I keep my "To Do" list going every day. I always want to know there is something for me to latch onto each morning. Some are tiny, like writing a note to an old friend, some are bigger, and most are mundane like cleaning projects, but they do help keep me going!

I hope the sun is shining on you today,
Strength, Courage, & Peace

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@IndianaScott

Good morning, @thisismarilynb Good to read your PT is helping! I have a few health issues that I also rejoice that they are staying in the "manageable" category and have given up on thinking I can live discomfort-free at my age.

My wife's birthday is coming up in two days. I have cried more this week than I usually do, but have come to embrace my tears as a sign of my undying love for my wife.

As far as the quiet goes, I do keep music on all day long! I'm not a big TV fellow, but I really love having music on. I find it a comfortable companion during my days, especially when a special song comes on and I am transported to my memories from long ago! I call it my "free travel"! This reminds me that my wife's and my song was the silly Captain and Tenille song, "Muskrat Love"! Weird, eh?

I agree with you that those of us who have lost a loved one face a new and different future. It's why I keep my "To Do" list going every day. I always want to know there is something for me to latch onto each morning. Some are tiny, like writing a note to an old friend, some are bigger, and most are mundane like cleaning projects, but they do help keep me going!

I hope the sun is shining on you today,
Strength, Courage, & Peace

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It’s so difficult to get over grieving. I didn’t lose a spouse but I have lost my family from childhood. I only have some second cousins left who all live far from me. I do have a husband and two wonderful sons but it still hurts so much losing the family I had as a child. Losing my husband of 34 years would be devastating.

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@healthyme246

It’s so difficult to get over grieving. I didn’t lose a spouse but I have lost my family from childhood. I only have some second cousins left who all live far from me. I do have a husband and two wonderful sons but it still hurts so much losing the family I had as a child. Losing my husband of 34 years would be devastating.

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Good morning, @healthyme246 I agree 100% with you about grief. The only thing I have come to believe is the loss is always with us because we loved so intensely! I've come to be OK with this view and embrace it as a way for me to cope with losses in my life.

I'm now the only remaining 'elder' of our family and that often gives me pause, but also helps me continue on each day as I celebrate that a bit!

Strength, Courage, & Peace

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I lost my wife of 47 years 9 months ago. It doesn’t get better. I forget that she is gone and then remember several times a day. The pain and agony of her loss is so hard that I break down each time all over again. I just make it through the day waiting for it to get easier. It never does. She was everything to me. I woke up every morning trying to think of something funny just to hear her laugh. She battled cancer for 8 years and it was a great honor to help her through her treatment.

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It is a year today since my brother committed a tragic suicide blowing up his home and rendering 3 houses flattened and 8 people homeless. I still have not dealt with the grief. This is freakin hard!

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@cajones

I lost my wife of 47 years 9 months ago. It doesn’t get better. I forget that she is gone and then remember several times a day. The pain and agony of her loss is so hard that I break down each time all over again. I just make it through the day waiting for it to get easier. It never does. She was everything to me. I woke up every morning trying to think of something funny just to hear her laugh. She battled cancer for 8 years and it was a great honor to help her through her treatment.

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@cajones So sorry for your loss and what a blessing to have been together for 47 years.

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@cajones

I lost my wife of 47 years 9 months ago. It doesn’t get better. I forget that she is gone and then remember several times a day. The pain and agony of her loss is so hard that I break down each time all over again. I just make it through the day waiting for it to get easier. It never does. She was everything to me. I woke up every morning trying to think of something funny just to hear her laugh. She battled cancer for 8 years and it was a great honor to help her through her treatment.

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Welcome @cajones. I was thinking of you today and thought I would drop a note. How are you doing today?

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