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How do you find strength when coping with grief alone?

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Home Forums Loss of a loved one How do you find strength when coping with grief alone?

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  • #21436

    Dear Community,

    Hoping the act of simply writing this post will help the topic title! Like everyone here, I am experiencing deep grief over the loss of my anchor, my confidant, my supporter, my beautiful mother 2 months ago from lung cancer. Just when I thought I was getting ‘over it’, my husband’s bladder cancer which we endured/survived last year has returned to his lungs. Whilst it’s early days, the prospect of losing him as well is too much to bear. So rightly or wrongly, I write the below as a coping piece should his prognosis get worse so I can deal with it. (Having said that, the journey with cancer and what I perceive to be the issue is also a type of grieving even if they survive!)

    I recently read Susan Sandberg’s book “OPtion B”. She lost her husband suddenly and wrote the book to help other through the grieving process.
    Her points are good-in line with many other people’s writing on the subject. However, most of the important healing exercises, involve people. She has a massive network!
    I on the other hand, live in a rural community with no kids of my own (2 step children in their 20’s).
    No family in the state I live in. Husband’s family (Mother and Brother and my husbands’ kids) are useless with a capital U. The whole family is on the spectrum so not a hell of a lot of support to be found there, we barely speak to eachother. My father (no real relationship) is also on the spectrum/emotionally defunct. Friends are fewer due to Covid and my remote location so I dont see them very often. I also stopped trying with so many as my Husband gave me such a full life and I thrive on deep, meaningful connections which rules out so many people!

    My issue is, I feel utterly alone and helpless with the prospect of being alone or simply without the 2 most important people in my life. The friends I do have and my interstate sister-in-law on my side, seem too busy with kids, work, etc that I don’t even feel I can tell them of my grief and my husband’s news. I think it’s common to feel you are a burden to people if all you seemingly do is cry and be ‘down’. (Nina Simone said it better!) I certainly feel this and more acutely when I do open up to someone and then….nothing. No follow up. I see a therapist once a fortnight for an hour but that’s hardly a comfort for the time in between. I had to give up my dream job during Mums decline and subsequently have lost any sense of joy and hope. Finding it very hard to motivate myself to exercise, be creative (was a painter) as there is nothing and no one I can find to make me feel any more than ‘just okay’. IS everything up to me to fix?

    In addition to the socially-motivated healing practices of: making connections, ‘getting out there’ and seeking comfort from your ‘circle’ etc , Sandberg also talked about finding new purpose and gratitude as well as envisaging a bright(er) future. Maybe It’s all too sudden to think about conquering these things but I feel these are near impossible and just make me angry. The only real support and joy I had in life-my mum and husband are now in the balance, I have no clue where to find new reserves of these life giving elements. Maybe I’m too selfish to want to help others in this emotional state, be grateful for the ‘times we had’ and think of a bright future?? AM I missing something? She makes it all sound so achievable. Is it just my thinking that is the problem? Or is it just f^^ing hard doing it solo? What else can make you feel better when you feel, in your soul, alone and blank?
    I’m only 41 and thought this was going to be the best decade… I could really do with some ideas as to where and how to find strength.
    Thanks everyone and apologies for the long winded story!..

Viewing 3 replies - 11 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #21557

    Hi Kate, and everyone grieving. Thank you for being so open and honest, I appreciate that so much, there’s quite a few of here who have no other avenue to express themselves, and would go quietly crazy if we felt like the only one going through this. I joined this forum to connect with others, maybe even sort of journal, because I know even if you don’t receive replies, there are people sitting at home reading and silently wiping their tears alongside us.
    I remember so many long nights at the children’s hospital, just sitting silently beside another parent underneath a tree, just trying to breath, sharing a look, or a quick conversation, that only those who know, understands.
    I might ‘dump’ a lot of songs in my thread, but I have no doubt many resonate, with many xx


    Dear Kate,
    thank you for your response and I see that so many are reaching out through their pain to yours …..and as dear Moon says we just know others are sitting beside us here….sometimes/most of the time truthfully I’m so damn depleted I can’t even string my thoughts together enough to come on here and respond so please understand (I know you do) if it takes me a while, actually I’d been writing over a few days and then lost it all somehow, so had to try and remember!!
    Thank you so much for asking about connecting, I have filled out the form so I suppose wait and see…..hopefully we can talk soon…
    A week of no washing!! Try my house not cleaned at all since, I just go outside and weed then I don’t have to feel guilty and mad….that’s how it is when you’ve NO family that cares…
    I’m so sad that so many of us here have similar situations when it comes to lack of family support, it just makes it impossible to function as you can just feel so invisible and especially your beloved person that everyone has forgotten , I find that really disturbing, I just feel like screaming it’s an outrage….
    I know what you mean ,as many here will also say ,we don’t have anything to give and that’s okay because it’s honest, I was also thinking as I read the saddest tales here, seems to me that we have been the givers forever and now we need help!!HELP!! I understand asking makes us feel tragic and it’s true, I am so tired of what I feel is badgering people for attention and care, or just some thoughtful kind word, which may just pick me up in that moment, just makes me feel more hopeless than I already am…..and then I see all these bereft people here giving to each other , the kind words , and encouragement ,we so need to try to trust again ( trust shattered by grief then by other people who just don’t understand….I actually read somewhere that this is a second grief (it’s a thing), which only redoubles our pain….
    Our horrific pain, is the deepest love and I’m finding it impossible to bare.
    So for today much kindness and care to you all


    Hi @teew
    Thanks for reaching out! Seems we are all in a similar boat with the lonliness, otherwise we wouldnt be here! That is so true about having people you can talk to about ‘stuff’ but you can struggle and feel isolated in your grief state. I went to see a friend yesterday and just couldn’t tell them. I just wanted to leave. So I ate cheese and left. Good friends will come to recognize that you are struggling and to let you come to them when you need but a true friend will know what you need. Everyone is just too busy though-thats all i hear. BUT! I have this forum!! I love your idea of making art for special friends and family. I will try harder at that. Do you make NFT’s?? You also sound quite young judging by your comment about ‘fellow 18yo’s’. Had you not said that I would have thought you far older. You have seemingly ‘handled’ your fathers passing incredibly well (That is not a glib statement). Your words and sentiments are very mature and I am in awe. Well done you!
    Big hugs or handshakes or whatever you need! You are not alone either.

Viewing 3 replies - 11 through 13 (of 13 total)
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