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My first Loss

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Home Forums Loss of a loved one My first Loss

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  • #29504

    I had never experienced someone close to me dying until my Nan died last year. She was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in November of 2022. She couldn’t receive treatment because of how old and frail she already was. Her diagnosis felt like a death sentence. But my Nan was calm about it, accepting even, as my whole life she had spoken about how she wanted to be with Jesus. I don’t think she knew how much she meant to me or how much she held my family together. My Nan died in May of last year. I have cried more since her death than I have in my whole life. I feel lost without her. I feel lost without her wise words or warm embrace. She always had this way about her that you’d just feel absolute peace when you were with her. She wouldn’t even have to say anything at all. There were times she didn’t even know what to say when I was upset or crying, so she’d just pray for me. She was the most Christian woman I had ever known. She trusted God with everything and was completely at peace with her life. She was even peaceful when she was diagnosed with cancer. The idea of death never scared my Nan because she knew whole heartedly where she was going and who would be there. She always knew there was nothing to fear. She had no fear my Nan, unlike me who worries about everything. I worry even more now that she’s gone. I worry now that someone else is going to die and I have graphic dreams of the people closest to me dying in the most horrific ways. I imagine what it be like, getting that call, that someone else close to me has died. I remember when we got that call the night my Nan died and the whole world stopped. Now I just feel like it’s going to happen again, that it has to happen again. I don’t know if that is because this is the first time I’ve ever lost someone close to me, or because I am just afraid. But whatever the reason is, I worry. I worry so much that it has taken over my life. I don’t sleep well because of these dreams, I text and call my loved ones often just to make sure they’re okay and I get worried when my family just leave the house. I don’t know if it will ever go away. This feeling of impending doom. I never felt like this before my Nan, but now it seems so real like those things could actually happen, because I’ve seen it happen now and my Nan didn’t even die suddenly, it was a long drawn out process of watching her waste away. I don’t know what is worse though; knowing their death is coming or being completely shocked by it. I watched my Nan disappear before my very eyes, she was still there but she wasn’t there all at the same time. She couldn’t talk anymore, couldn’t walk, couldn’t eat, couldn’t do anything. It seemed so quick too like she was here one day and gone the next. I wish I had asked her so many more questions, spoken to her more while I still had the chance, but I didn’t know, I didn’t know how quickly she’d fade away. I still miss her everyday even though some time has passed. I miss those times I spent with her and how my family used to be. She was the glue that held us all together, but now it seems like we are just breaking apart. We don’t get together anymore or see each other like we used to. When my Nan died it was like that part of my life was over; that my childhood was over and who I used to be was gone. I was forced to grow up, to face the realities of adulthood. I couldn’t just be that young, naive, delusional kid anymore. I couldn’t keep believing that my grandparents would be around forever or anything else I had previously believed. It saddens me how quickly time goes, how moments are over in the blink of an eye and I wish I had held onto those moments tighter, basked in their warmth a little longer. But I was naive, I thought I would always have that time, but now I realise that wasn’t true. I wish I could go back in time and relive those moments again. To really sit in them because I’d appreciate them so much more because of what I now know. I just wish I could see her face one last time; look into her eyes, hear her laugh, ask her about something that doesn’t make sense to me. Because nothing makes sense to me anymore. I feel lost, I feel broken, I feel battered and bruised. I guess that’s what I’ve learned. I’ve learned that grief is so crippling and for me it comes in waves, one moment you think your fine and in the next your sobbing yourself to sleep again. I still sob alone in my room at night sometimes. I still talk out to her in the dark, hoping that she hears me. I still miss her. I don’t think there’ll ever be a day I don’t miss her. I missed her before she was even gone. I missed the person she was before cancer took over her body. Cancer is fucked honestly and it ruined my life. I’m so angry at God or the universe or whatever for making her sick. I know eventually everyone dies, I just never knew it would hurt this much. It feels like I’ve been stabbed in the chest and this constant worry I now carry feels heavy and draining. I just want my life back, my family, my childhood, my innocence. I don’t want this new reality because it’s fucked. It’s fucked and I don’t want it. I just want her back, I just want all of it back. Because when I lost my Nan, I didn’t just loose her, I lost myself and I don’t know where that person is anymore.

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  • #29577

    Hi @taylalouise

    I just read your post. I wanted to say how truly sorry I am to hear about the passing of your Nan and the impact this is having on your life.

    It sounds like you had a very special bond with you Nan and her death has been a really traumatic blow for you. Even after an illness, the finality of someone you love finally passing away, can feel like a massive shock. To me, it makes sense that you are feeling overwhelmed and confused. These are very normal responses to grief and loss. You mentioned you have never cried as much as you have recently – what you are describing is also very normal. Even though it feels super uncomfortable, crying is a way your mind and body are expressing the experience and adapting to this new reality. It’s my experience that there is a time in the future where the pain is not so intense and this new reality is easier to bear. But of course, you never stop missing the person you loved so dearly.

    You mentioned some special times with your Nan and how she made you feel absolute peace. Sometimes it helps to allow yourself time and space in your day or week to remember the happy times you had together perhaps by looking at photos, holding a memento in your hand or reminiscing about her with other people. It’s a form of ‘continuing bonds’ that can be very healing.

    Reaching out on this forum and sharing your experience of grief and anxiety can be painful – but it can also be an opportunity to process some of these feelings, and connect with others who might be able to offer support. It took great strength on your part to do this.

    When you’re ready, you might also consider giving the helpline a call to chat to a supportive and friendly volunteer. You can call on 1300 845 745 between the hours of 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week. I wonder if it would also feel ok to reach out to your GP and explain what’s been happening, and the impact its having on your emotional and physical wellbeing?

    There are also some great insights and coping strategies on the Griefline resources page: Because you mentioned that you’ve been worrying a bit more than normal, the 5-Minutes of Bliss: Breathing and Body Awareness Meditation on the resource page could be a good one to try.

    Please know that there are many people that are here to support you. Take care.


    Hello @taylalouise, I am deeply sorry to hear about the passing of your beautiful grandmother. She sounded like an amazing woman and I enjoyed hearing about the special moments you two shared together. I can’t imagine how hard this is for you. I just want to acknowledge how much strength and courage it has taken for you to share your personal experience here on the Griefline forum. I also want to let you know that grief is a personal and unique experience for every individual and your feelings are completely natural. I lost a dear friend of mine a few years ago and I remember feeling completely shocked, as if reality were false in some way. I can relate to how you’re feeling this constant state of worry and panic. I’m so sorry you’re going through this and are feeling this way. Have you been able to speak to someone you trust about your experience? You can continue to connect with others by using the Griefline forum. It’s so important during this incredibly difficult time to connect with others who are going through grief and loss. You’ve taken a courageous first step by reaching out to Griefline. We’re here to listen and support you.

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