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Still grieving?

E

Echo

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
11
Location
Yorkshire
I’m wondering if I am imagining a problem. My father dropped dead one day of a heart attack when I was 16 (I’m now 38 and old enough to know better!), and I had been very close to him - the pain was unbearable. This seems trivial compared to the things I have read from you all, but I feel I am still inappropriately in pain. I cry too easily when someone dies in a film or TV show. My mood changes throughout the day, from being content, to angry, to occasional euphoria and sometimes tears – I often cry while driving to work, and then manage to be perfectly composed when I get there! Am also a bit hypersensitive to noise. It’s not so bad it affects work (apart from a few angry scenes, where I feel I act like a child!), but most days I’m not on an even keel all day. I sometimes wonder if everyone feels like this in a way, and I should just get on with it, but life seems difficult every single day, and it's exhausting. I feel like a failure.
 
Ashami

Ashami

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
1,033
Location
The Wilderness
Hello Echo

:welcome: to the forum :)

A lot of what you describe reminds me of myself, as my moods fluctuate in exactly the same way. I recognise how you are feeling, and how you behave.

It makes sense that peoples moods fluctuate through the day but I reckon that for emotionally healthy people the fluctuations are probably a lot milder. I don't know though, because I suffer from depression and still grieve the loss of my sister 17 years ago. I have always felt that when you suffer that 'ultimate' loss, of a loved one, you walk through a door you can never return thru. It's a glass door, you can see people the other side but until they lose someone in the same way they will never share your world. I do believe that we can recover from grief, but life is never the same again and is always tinged with sadness in a way.

These are just my thoughts. It may be an idea to get yourself over to the GP, it depends really on how much you feel your mood changes affect your life. I guess the important thing is to listen to your instinct and go with it. There is no doubt that traumatic events in our lives can leave a lasting effect and grief is no less painful years from the loss if one has never reached acceptance, if the grief has never been resolved.

I have realised that grief is a very important challenge for us, as it brings to the surface our deepest fears and can provide very valuable lessons for those who use it as a basis for self-exploration.

And this forum is a great place to share with other like-minds, and can be a great help too :)
 
E

Echo

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
11
Location
Yorkshire
Hello Ashami,

Thank you for replying, and welcoming me. The glass door scenario sounds just right, and what you say makes me think maybe I've healed as much as I am going to. I think one thing is that I would like to be able to remember him without feeling the pain, but maybe I'm trying to crazily solve it rather than learn from it, and that's why I'm getting nowhere. Does that make sense? Can't see the GP understanding really. I think what you've said is actually more valuable. Am not sure how to use it for self-exploration - though I suppose we have to recognise the way we are now looking at life.

Thank you again - I haven't really verbalised these thoughts to anyone.
 
Ashami

Ashami

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
1,033
Location
The Wilderness
Hi Echo

Would it help you to express that pain you feel here, the painful memories? Is it the way he died that haunts you? Or is it more the loss you felt afterwards? I would be happy to explore these memories with you if you feel it would help.

I realised many years after my sister died that I was suffering from PTSD because of the way she died, and what I witnessed. It has been very difficult to see beyond those painful memories but what has helped me is my belief that life goes on, after death. I haven't always believed this but my sister helped me along the way. Now, when I think of her, mostly I see the vibrant, beautiful person she was for 95% of her life. The other 5% I keep, because they are written in stone in my library of memories, but I'm getting better at dealing with them when they arrive.

There is no doubt in my mind that talking about grief is part of the healing process-oh yes, and when you talk about trying to 'solve' rather than 'learn', I see these as one and the same. Being touched by death in such a traumatic way forces us to question everything, and I mean the big questions. The rug is pulled from under our feet and suddenly nothing feels safe anymore. We can ignore how it feels for a while but one thing I have learn't is that suppressed grief is not healthy.

Over to you........ :)
 
J

jamesdean

Guest
I’m wondering if I am imagining a problem. My father dropped dead one day of a heart attack when I was 16 (I’m now 38 and old enough to know better!), and I had been very close to him - the pain was unbearable. This seems trivial compared to the things I have read from you all, but I feel I am still inappropriately in pain. I cry too easily when someone dies in a film or TV show. My mood changes throughout the day, from being content, to angry, to occasional euphoria and sometimes tears – I often cry while driving to work, and then manage to be perfectly composed when I get there! Am also a bit hypersensitive to noise. It’s not so bad it affects work (apart from a few angry scenes, where I feel I act like a child!), but most days I’m not on an even keel all day. I sometimes wonder if everyone feels like this in a way, and I should just get on with it, but life seems difficult every single day, and it's exhausting. I feel like a failure.
Hi I dont think your story is at all trivial at all your have some real issues to deal with every and how you manage to hold down your job is increadable, well keep posting there is always some around for support mostly all of the time take care and :)welcome:
 
E

Echo

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
11
Location
Yorkshire
Am not sure what the real problem is now. Even though he died suddenly, he was ill for a short while before, and made his way back from work to our GP surgery before he finally collapsed. I was at school though, and my Mum and brother were at work. Did he know he was going to die - was he terrified, or was he just too ill to think like that? One really painful thing too, is that when he left that morning, I was washing up, and he passed behind me on his way out of the house, so I never saw him at all that day, and I can't even remember speaking to him. This destroys me dispropprtionately, and I feel like it qualifies me as a horrible person, though I can't really say why. I have been restless for a few years, and moved around a bit, never staying in the same job more than 3 yrs, until finally coming back to my home town after a failed relationship. I think I was trying to run away, but I know now you can't.

I found a really great book, called "You'll Get Over It" by Virginia Ironside. I've read a few bereavement books, but none have helped. This one is showing promise though.

Thanks both of you. My head feels a bit clearer because of you and this forum. I haven't really talked to anyone properly about it - I've never met anyone who really understands.
 
Z

zena

Guest
i was recently bereaved,and i find it comes in waves,to me what matters is the love as love neverdies. I too cry and become more upset at weepy films, or i turn over as i cant emotionally stand the upset it upsets me even more.
Greiving is a process that can go on for years it can come back and haunt you when you least expect something that reminds you and brings back the intense sadness and the loneliness that loss can bring. Greiving and the greiving process isnt a textbook process its personal to you, though not knocking virginia ironside, im sure she would agree. Nobody want to let go of the ones we love, but hopefully as time gets on, we can remember them with a smile on our face and the same love that we always had. You loved, you hurt dont feel bad about that with love zena
 
E

Echo

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
11
Location
Yorkshire
I know you’re right, and I’m sorry for your loss – the pain is much more intense at first, and you sound very brave. I thought at the time that the pain you feel is a testament to the person you are missing. Maybe I have just had the wrong idea about grief, because at the time, I seemed to be expected just to carry on as if nothing had happened, and I didn’t know really what I was doing. I have felt awful and wrong because it is still on my mind so much, and I can’t really talk to anyone about it. I think I am beginning to see that this is normal, and trying to suppress it all the time is possibly exacerbating it, and wearing me out. I'm sorry to have gone on so much about this - I still feel that I'm being too indulgent somehow, and others have much worse pain.
 
Ashami

Ashami

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
1,033
Location
The Wilderness
I know you’re right, and I’m sorry for your loss – the pain is much more intense at first, and you sound very brave. I thought at the time that the pain you feel is a testament to the person you are missing. Maybe I have just had the wrong idea about grief, because at the time, I seemed to be expected just to carry on as if nothing had happened, and I didn’t know really what I was doing. I have felt awful and wrong because it is still on my mind so much, and I can’t really talk to anyone about it. I think I am beginning to see that this is normal, and trying to suppress it all the time is possibly exacerbating it, and wearing me out. I'm sorry to have gone on so much about this - I still feel that I'm being too indulgent somehow, and others have much worse pain.
Once again, I know exactly where you are coming from. That pressure to adopt a stiff upper lip and bear your grief in silent stoicism, I know it well. I remember when a really tragic incident occurred in my village where two fishermen drowned. A year later one of the widows approached the local lifeboat crew to arrange a memorial service at sea. She was told that life goes on and she should move on herself...! I too have been told not to mention my dead sister.

People are very afraid of death and don't know how to deal with a grieving person, leaving mourners in isolation and wondering what's wrong with themselves.

There is of course nothing wrong other than suppressed grief, and there is no shame in experiencing grief many years down the road. If more people expressed their grief in a healthy way, through talking, our world would be a much more peaceful and harmonius place, I think.

I believe it is also very natural to feel guilt after losing a loved one. We can feel guilty over the smallest of things and it can eat us up. We feel guilty for not saying goodbye, not saying 'I love you', guilty for not doing more, less, and then guilty for smiling again, laughing again. Perhaps it's just part and parcel of loving someone, love comes with a sense of responsibility for that person so when harm comes to them we inevitably adopt some guilt.

Please Echo, don't judge your pain by comparing it to someone elses. Your pain is real and equally deserving of support and sympathy :)
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Prolonged bereavement is a recognized problem. My mother suffered terribly after the very sudden death of my younger brother. It took her six years to accept that she needed help and sought it. We all of us in the family still miss him and I think that's normal, that's love. But when it does interfere with your life to the extent it overwhelms everything else then it's a very real and legitimate experience - don't feel for a second that it's less important than anyone else's experience. If it's your pain it's the most important thing. My mum started off with the GP and moved on from there through the system.

However you deal with it I hope you're treated with compassion and respect. xx
 
E

Echo

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
11
Location
Yorkshire
Thank you. I think I do need to seek some kind of help, or else still be in this position in another 22 years time! I really appreciate you all being here - you're fabulous! x
 
E

Echo

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
11
Location
Yorkshire
A couple of weeks ago we saw my Dad's cousin, who we don't see very often, and she told us about the lively family parties they used to have when they were young, and how my Dad enjoyed a good time, and had a good sense of humour. It's not much, but it was nice to hear it, and my brother said the same thing. I think I've been trying to forget about and put him behind me, as if that is the thing I should do. He never went away though, and now I realise I can still have him in my life, and indeed, there is no other way to do it. I don't know if this revelation is enough to see me through, but it's a start. So, now when I'm struggling with something, I'm going to think of him, and try to draw strength from him. I have a lovely photo of us together at Brimham Rocks a year before he died. It's a little blurred, but we're genuinely smiling and happy.
 
D

Dollit

Guest
That's a real step forward. I think one of the things that I had to learn early on when my brother died was that love doesn't die just because a person does and that it's good to keep loving, it means the relationship was genuine.
 
E

Echo

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
11
Location
Yorkshire
We are different people now as well, aren't we? We look the same, but the experience has changed us. I am not the person I was going to be when I was growing up.

I have been denying myself that love, as if I didn't deserve it because I thought I was acting like a stroppy, self-obsessed teenager that day, which was his last experience of me. Now though I am feeling the love again after all this time. Something else is different too. Lately I've been having these strange urges - (this is awful and scary!) - but sometimes I have felt like doing something violent, like throwing a hot drink over someone I am talking to, or once it would have been over all the food laid out in the canteen for the lunchtime period. I would never hurt anybody, and have never been in danger of actually doing it, but it has made me feel a bit desperate, as I certainly haven't been able to tell anyone about it! I haven't had these thoughts for a few days now though, so maybe something is healing. Do you recognise this at all?
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Everyone gets that feeling sometimes, born out of a inner frustration we don't recognize. It's not something that goes with a mental health problem it's something that goes along with being a human.
 
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