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 Post subject: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:14 pm 
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I know recently several people have mentioned losing loved ones. Over time we've had several threads about loss but they were mostly specific (at least what I could find), and I don't want to revive a thread that might unknowingly open old wounds in the people who posted there in the past.
So I wanted to create a new one for people feeling loss of any type, fresh or old, people or animals or even relationships or expectations. grief is hard and maybe we can help each other get from one moment to the next.

someone forwarded this to me today
http://lifehacker.com/the-things-about- ... socialflow
and while some of it is specific to England, other things are universal.
i wish it hadn't taken me years to learn this:
Quote:
the biggest fallacy statement that gets bounded around is “time heals." You learn to live with it. One of the worst pressures was thinking that by a certain date, I should be healed. Time lessens the sting; but for the griever, it’s almost a prison sentence without parole. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to get up each morning and hope something gives you a glimmer that gets you through the day

on that happy note though, with time you get more tools and more skills. big hugs to anyone who's on the forum and feeling loss.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:44 pm 
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Yeah, I saw that Lifehacker article shortly after losing my grandmother and really liked it.

An interesting thing I've found is that a month later I generally feel fine day-to-day, but then something small will remind me of her and I will just completely lose it, and it will hurt way more than I thought it could. It really doesn't go away, the pain just sort of ebbs and flows.

Sorry to anyone else going through something similar.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Thanks for posting this thread. I'm kind of beyond exhausted. Had a tough counselling session tonight with a good chunk of it processing actual grief. First time I got to do it since nothing dramatic has happened since my last session. That's the first time that has happened since I went back to counselling in June.

I've decided that I need to channel some of my energy into doing something with my garden and make it beautiful since my Aunt liked flowers and gardening. Next spring I want to plant some roses but going to start by laying down some gravel and cutting down some hedges that failed to thrive and just look miserable.

Big *hugs* to everyone xx

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:18 pm 
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Thank you Torque. My father died when I was 10 (50 years ago) and our house was filled with funeral bouquets. Last week the fragrance from the floral area as I walked into my neighborhood grocery store emotionally transported me back to that time. I had forgotten it was the anniversary week, but my subconscious remembered. His death has been the greatest influence on my life, generally negatively, but I think that pain also led me to become a compassionate vegan.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:21 pm 
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Nebraskalaska wrote:
An interesting thing I've found is that a month later I generally feel fine day-to-day, but then something small will remind me of her and I will just completely lose it, and it will hurt way more than I thought it could. It really doesn't go away, the pain just sort of ebbs and flows.

Yes, this is true for me, too. Having lost my dad last month, I'm just now realizing how often he was/is on my mind, even though I'd go weeks or sometimes months without seeing him or talking to him. So many objects and memories are tied up with him, he's just, everywhere. I find that little things like food we both liked, dumb movie quotes he would repeat, etc. hit me harder than photos at this point.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:01 pm 
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I thought about making a cake for the last day of MoFo and realised if things had been different I would have been making a cake for a different reason. That was a bit hard, although today has been okay, considering.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Nebraskalaska wrote:
An interesting thing I've found is that a month later I generally feel fine day-to-day, but then something small will remind me of her and I will just completely lose it, and it will hurt way more than I thought it could. It really doesn't go away, the pain just sort of ebbs and flows.

.


This is exactly how my grieving process for my grandmother is going as well. "Thinking About It" I'm ok. Then something small will pop up and, eh, not so much.

Thanks torque for posting.


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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:55 pm 
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thanks for that, torque. :-)

for me, just a few days ago, a blue butterfly hung out with me for a good 5 minutes. (mom loved blue. everything was blue.) i don't think i had ever seen this butterfly ever before, but apparently it's common in this area. (eastern tailed blue) he was poking his proboscis all over my fingers. when it came time to just sit and observe instead of having him land on my fingers, i looked away for less than a second, and he disappeared. i would have thought it was all in my imagination, but i got photographic proof.

it did make me cry, but it wasn't nearly as painful as last month when it hit me how terrible of a daughter i was. :-( she didn't deserve that. at least she had 3 good kids before i came along.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:51 pm 
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Thank you Torque! I don't have any recent grief but I can go for months and then suddenly remember that I lost my aunt when i was 14 (12.5 years ago) and it's just pain over again. And a close family friend, I'll think of him and it just hurts to know that I'll never hear his laugh again. He was just one of those really special people.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:01 pm 
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I agree with things day to day are fine but then bam something happens. 20 years ago my uncle died and I took care of him for the last year and a half of his life along with my grandmother. The pain has lessened over the years but then the last few years, I occasionally get unreasonably angry because he died of a disease that is now treatable and doesn't mean inevitable death. It is so irrational but I am glad people are surviving with proper treatment, not that everyone gets treatment. My mom posted "happy birthday <my uncle's name> in heaven" the other day on facebook and it gutted me.

My grandfather's death was fairly sudden a couple years ago and that also took me a while to be ok day to day but then something always happens. Like I dreamed of him the other day or I think of things he said or think of things he did that will never happen again.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:02 pm 
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hugs, hugs, hugs to all who need them. I was having a rough time thinking about my grandma last week.

I was thinking about how when I was a child and I used to spend the weekend with her and my grandpa, she always made us these little tea parties. She had a special miniature tea set just for us, and she'd cut up bagels and put cream cheese on them. A few years ago before she died, she called me and told me she needed to see me. I live and work in a different city now, so I begrudgingly obliged and trekked to gram's apartment after work. She had gone out and bought a little tea set and had set us up a tea party just like when I was a little girl. Just thinking about how thoughtful it was brings me to tears now. And I was vegan, but she had put so much work into those little bagel slices with cream cheese, I ate them (and I'd do it again, if it meant not hurting grandma's feelings). Sigh. Little blips of memories like that come up as clear as day, and they hurt.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:47 pm 
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i didn't want to start a new thread for this, but last night i had a hard time sleeping (many different factors) and then when i managed to finally fall back to sleep, i had a slightly bizarre dream, at the end of which i had a conversation with my mom. right after i hugged her and said "i really do love you mom", i startled myself awake. i'm pretty sure i had stopped breathing. (i never sleep with my mouth open, and my left nostril was completely packed with snot, leaving only my right nostril that must have also gotten snotty.) the hug felt so real, and i distinctly remember not wanting to let go/wake up.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:04 pm 
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My dad has terminal cancer, and while he doesn't feel great, for the time being he can still drive and get around and visit. My sister flew up to spend time with him at great expense and inconvenience, expecting, I think, some big emotional scene where he thanks her for coming and tells her how important she is to him. And he just doesn't even care. Can't be bothered. Hung out for half an hour, looked completely bored, and then told her he would call her after his nap. She is just waiting around, waiting for him to ask her to come over and make him tea and watch jeopardy or something, and you know what? HE IS NOT GOING TO CALL HER. I am not close with my sister, but it guts me to see her waiting around and hopeful, when I know she is going to get crushed. I'm sorry my dad has cancer, it seems really painful and scary, but man, what a shithead.


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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:27 pm 
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if a lifetime of everything doesn't change us, it seems funny to think that death will, doesn't it? tough for your sister though, to want to do the right thing.

supercarrot, i've been thinking about your dream all day. i often have times when i am sure my father (and even more strangely since i never met him, my father in law) are nearby, whether in dreams or strange coincidences. i figure no matter what i can chalk it up to, at the very least it means i am remembering them, which for me is a good thing.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:08 pm 
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supercarrot wrote:
i didn't want to start a new thread for this, but last night i had a hard time sleeping (many different factors) and then when i managed to finally fall back to sleep, i had a slightly bizarre dream, at the end of which i had a conversation with my mom. right after i hugged her and said "i really do love you mom", i startled myself awake. i'm pretty sure i had stopped breathing. (i never sleep with my mouth open, and my left nostril was completely packed with snot, leaving only my right nostril that must have also gotten snotty.) the hug felt so real, and i distinctly remember not wanting to let go/wake up.


I had a very similar dream about my aunt over a week ago. No conversation though but a big massive warm hug that felt very real.

I'm so tired and frustrated of my family creating drama and causing mayhem so they can avoid grieving. It's making the whole thing so incredibly painful.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:13 pm 
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I am very glad you started this thread. I could definitely use support.
Grief is such a hard thing to deal with. People always tell you it will get better, but even years later it hurts. It seems like when i tell people i am grieving, the normal response is that it will get better. It doesn't feel better. The deaths i experienced as a child have such a great impact on me today. I liked the part in the article about time healing all wounds. I expected myself to get back on track with schoolwork a week after my aunt died. That hasn't happened, and i keep beating myself up for not being able to function. It is good to hear that this is okay. I'm not the only one, and there's nothing wrong with me for still being sad. I'm not weak or worthless or stupid because of it.
I developed post traumatic stress symptoms (not enough to be diagnosed as PTSD, but some of the symptoms are very strong) from losing people. It scares me. Life has already proven from me that anyone can die anytime. When my parents call me late at night, or i show up at home and there are a bunch of cars in the driveway, my first reaction is "who died this time?" After losing many people unexpectedly, it kinda got engrained in my brain that this is what happens. Now i expect it too much. If my boyfriend doesn't let me know he got home after work, my reaction is worrying that he's dead.
When i was in 4th and 5th grade there was a string on unexpected deaths. My 21 year old cousin died in car accident, followed by my grandfather literally a week later. The next year two more young cousins died unexpectedly. This past year has been very similar. My brothers friend, who he was with on New Years, died. My dog died of heart cancer. My best friend's dad died. Then my aunt, which has been so hard to deal with. I got very close to her in the year leading up to her death. I saw her lose more and more of her body functions, but it still felt like she would never actually die. Then she did.
Has anybody gone to any grief support groups or similar that they found helpful? I'm not sure if talking to people will help or just make me sadder. It's really hard for me to talk about it. Even posting about it here is hard. I just feel like such a downer. I don't want to be the person that makes anyone else realize how fragile life is. It seems like a better idea to internalize it, like it's some sort of secret so everyone else can go on being happy.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:47 pm 
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My mom is killing me... My grandfather died 2 years ago 2 days from now. She is on a posting spree on FB of pictures. Not that I don't enjoy looking at pictures but ugh.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:51 pm 
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no, annabazoo. don't keep it locked inside. stress is no good. even if the only thing you do is type here, it's better than suffering alone. <3
i am so sorry for all of the loss you've encountered. i can't imagine it. the last person i lost before mom was her mother 10 years ago, so i have no perspective at all. one person is tough enough, let alone multiple. if it hits you, let it out. nothing good can come of keeping it in.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:15 pm 
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Thanks, supercarrot. I have issues with addressing my emotions. I always feel like they're stupid and i wish i didn't have them, so i tend to shut them in and hope they will disappear. Talking about it here is a lot easier than speaking of it in person. Here, i can just type and type and type. I feel like i haven't gotten enough support from my friends. I know they want me to feel better, but no one really wants to sit and listen to me talk about my problems. It usually just turns into a discussion of what is wrong with their life. I know that i'm not the only one with problems, but i could really use someone to hug me and listen to me cry and talk about why i'm sad. I'm also having trouble with my boyfriend. It's bad timing because he's having health and financial problems at the moment, so it's difficult for either one of us to help the other out. Lately it just feels like he's given up. Like, i'm depressed and that won't change, so why bother even trying to help? That's sounds a lot harsher than reality, but i still feel like he isn't addressed how much i am struggling right now.

I wish there was some sort of formula to tell me how long it will take before i am "better." I'm worried i won't be able to finish the semester, but i am putting off getting help in hopes that i will heal soon.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:57 am 
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hang in there annabazoo. i agree with supercarrot that getting it out can help you a lot. it sounds like you're in school, do you have access to a counseling center? the good thing about talking to a professional is that they are paid to listen to you so you don't have to feel like you said, like you're bringing other people down.
if you don't, you might want to call a hotline like the Samaritans, ostensibly it's a suicide hotline but they are also people who can just listen to you. i know when my life was a real hole in the ground i called a few times because i also didn't have anyone i could tell how bad my life was, i was afraid to say it to anyone because i was trying so hard to hold my shiitake together. but i did really need to get it out. in the meantime, i'm glad you can let it out here too.

daisychain, i hear you on the family causing drama to avoid grieving. we still have some of that in my family and i can see it about to happen with my husband's family. not cool in so many ways.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:42 am 
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Annabazoo, I know what you mean about not getting much support from friends. I think it's difficult for people who haven't experienced much grief themselves, or also some people are really uncomfortable with their own and other people's emotions but it's tough when you want to get a bit of comfort and understanding but don't really feel there are friends who will offer that.

I went to a couple of meetings of a support group for people who had lost children under a certain age, or late pregnancies, and it was helpful in terms of practicalities, e.g. how had other people dealt with funerals, and it helped me to know they were there, but I only went to a couple of them. Sometimes people going on about little angels is extra grating to a grieving atheist, and you don't want to be ungracious so you just have to sit and let it wash over you, but on the whole I was glad to have gone and to know that unfortunately I wasn't alone in my experience.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:42 pm 
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Dropscone, i agree that it's hard for people who haven't lost someone to understand. When i tell someone i'm depressed because my aunt died, and they respond with "Yeah, i'm really stressed out about a project i have due" it becomes apparent that it won't do much good to talk to them.
I do have access to a school counseling center, but i haven't had the best experiences there. Like the time i walked in crying and was told that everyone was busy and got sent on my way. I get it, you're busy, but how about a 'Hey, hope you feel better! here's a tissue." I should just make an appointment and go for it. It might make me angry, but at least i will have time to talk and cry without feeling like a burden.
I'm going to visit my uncle (my aunt's husband) tomorrow. I wish i had more time to visit him, because i'm a whole lot more worried about him than i am for me. He dedicated all his time towards taking care of her, and now he is alone in the house. He hasn't gone back to work yet. I want to be able to support him as much as i can, but i can barely take care of myself so i don't know how to help him. I still feel like a kid, but a kid surrounded by adults who also don't know what to do.

About the dreams: the best dreams i have ever had were ones when i was playing with my now-deceased puppy. It hurt when i woke up and remembered he isn't here, but it was a good feeling to know i can still hang out with him in my dreams. A family friend got me a really cute book about dog heaven after Ringo died. It had a part about the dogs coming down from heaven every so often to check on their human pals. I like to think my dreams were Ringo's way of coming to hang out with me, especially since i never had dreams about him when he was alive.

Thank you for all the support! The PPK has been so great to me.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Annabazoo, do make a counseling appointment! If the school dept. continues to suck, see if there are other community resources and support groups you can tap into. Also, try to exercise and eat right. Pushing myself to go on walks, do deep breathing exercises and meditation all help me bring some balance back to my life.

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Meditation has helped me a lot. I usually do a few minutes of positive thinking every morning, telling myself today will be okay. Next week i will get to start up yoga again!

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 Post subject: Re: support for loss and grief
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:29 pm 
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if you have the resources to make some food, i'm sure your uncle would appreciate it. even if it's just a batch of cookies.

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