December 1, 2020 at 1:24 pm #13405
Welcome to a place to discuss the loss of a partner, family member, close friend or anyone significant in your life.
Everyone grieves differently. Your grief is as unique as your own fingerprint. However, while often immensely painful, grief is our natural healing process in response to loss.
Grief comes and goes, it can be intense and then manageable, predictable and then uncontrollable. It might be brought on by a recent loss or a historical one, be triggered by an anniversary or the dread of an approaching milestone.
This forum is a safe and emotionally supportive space. It is a place to be accepted and understood by others who can empathise with you. You can feel free to remember your loved one and tell us about your grief journey. Together we can learn to understand the changing nature of grief over time while sharing coping tools and ways to practice self-care.
September 27, 2021 at 2:09 pm #16305
Dear @mrgrief85, welcome to the forums. Our hearts are with you on the 10th anniversary of your wife’s passing. Here on the forums, we have spoken about the pain of anniversaries many times – and we know that no matter how many years have passed, the pain can be just as overwhelming as the first year. So, we’re glad that you reached out to us to speak your story and share your feelings.
You mention feeling ‘lost and alone’ – a common experience for those who have lost a spouse …it’s actually the most prominent cause of ‘emotional loneliness’… And caring for an ill spouse in the lead up to their passing often increases the risk of loneliness even further. Perhaps this was your experience too?
Understanding the risk factors can help to validate your grief and loneliness experience… and it might also be comforting to know that there are ways to alleviate the loneliness. One of these is connecting with understanding and compassionate people. Griefline has introduced the Care to Call program which connects anyone feeling lonely and isolated to a friendly volunteer who will give you a call once a week to chat about whatever is on your mind. If this sounds of interest you can register for the program here on our website; https://griefline.org.au/care-to-call
Our team will give you a call to chat about the program in more detail – so you can take it up now or whenever you feel ready.
Daniel, we’re sorry to hear that your grief is having such a significant impact on your life – only allowing you to be free of it around 10% of the time. We’re wondering what’s happening during that 10% of relative peace…and whether there might be a way to engage more in whatever you’re doing during those times? We would love for you to tell us more about this in your next post. And in the meantime, you might like to take a look at our article ‘Coping With Grief’ if you haven’t already. There may be some tips in there that you haven’t tried out yet.
We hope you’ll post again Daniel. We’re here for you always. 🌸October 24, 2021 at 12:58 am #16391SBSParticipant
So lost. I lost my adopted brother this week. while he’d been struggling with cancer for a while I’m still shocked. I live interstate (Melbourne) to him and my other brothers and haven’t seen them for two years cause of COVID so finding it hard to process that he’s just gone. I’m shattered and surprised that i am shattered as well cause we’ve hardly connected over the last 20 years. We lived parallel lives coming and going at life events. But i knew when he was dieing the other night, I woke up burst into tears and told him it’s ok to go know. I got the call in the morning from my other brother to let us know. My other brothers we’re able to care for him cause they live closer. I’m terrible at grief, it just really floors me. Ahhhhh yup that’s my story. I’ve been doing practical things like calling venues interstate for the wake and ringing all the COVID services to see what we can do. I still feel useless and so far away though. Thanks for listening.December 7, 2021 at 12:12 am #18532VM-MichaelParticipant
Hey SBS, So sorry to hear about your loss – and good on you for having the strength to reach out. So many can’t bring themselves to let out their feelings, or bear to think that others might witness their emotions, so I really want to just say props to you for reaching out.
Siblings can be especially hard to process because -while you might not even be super close- siblings often have lots more history than a mate… and it’s generally less expected than, say, losing a parent… even when they’re sick, like your brother was.
I lost my big sister to lung cancer in 2020 – just as Covid was starting, so I at least managed to travel to Wagga and say goodbye.
I cannot imagine how hard it must’ve been for you not to be able to do that for your brother – but the loss you instinctively felt at his passing speaks volumes.
I think I know what you mean about being “terrible at grief”… but not to worry, as not many are naturals at it – but you’ve really made a great start by reaching out like you have.
We’re here for you, mate.January 4, 2022 at 10:44 pm #19104KawiParticipant
I lost my mum April last year and couldnt travel overseas for the funeral due to covid restrictions and high ocst of air fares. I dont really think i grieved well, i keep telling myself a time will come when i can talk about it or even look at ther picture without this deeply and immensely hurtful feeling. I wasnt ready to sepak out about it but i am not coping very well so i have finally decided to seek out professional help. Not sure if its the right thing or if it will help but what i am doing is not working. I had already been dealing with depression since 2018 then this happended and damn its hard. I take medication to cope, my psychiatrist has been most helpful, but i woder if this is a short term solution.
It is said there is no right way to grief but how does one cope wiht losing the most important person in their lives? how do you fill the gap left? the everyday role that person played in your life?January 5, 2022 at 2:14 pm #19107
Dear @Kawi, welcome to the forums. Our hearts go out to you – losing your mum is so incredibly painful. We are glad that you have reached out to the community now that you feel ready to speak about your grief experience. By sharing your story you will hopefully find that there are others who empathise and have a similar experience. Nobody should go through grief alone…as grief expert David Kessler says “we are not meant to be islands of grief…we need our grief to be seen and heard.”
We are glad that you have good support through your psychiatrist and also medical support for your depression… but you are wondering if this is a short-term solution… considering you are in active grief right now we suggest let yourself do whatever brings you peace and allows you to function as close to normal as possible. Don’t expect too much from yourself and practice self-compassion.
There may also be some other coping strategies available to you which will help you to start processing your loss;
You mention not being able to attend your mum’s funeral and we are sorry this happened to you. Funerals and memorials are important rituals for saying goodbye. So, missing out on this can compound your grief. Maybe you could consider planning and carrying out your own ritual for saying goodbye?…perhaps you could write something about your mum & your special connection, read these words out during a little private ceremony all your own… you could plant a tree or flower; send a wreath/bunch of flowers out into the sea; set up a little shrine with some candles and a picture of your mum (if you can bear looking at the photo); invite a family member/friend or even a group of people that knew and loved your mum to share their stories as well your own (this can be on zoom if you are separated by distance) etc. Any one of these ideas or something more personal to you may help to give you some closure around your mum’s passing. And allow you to take on some other coping strategies to help process the grief like the ones listed in our ‘Coping with Grief’ article here on the Griefline resource hub; https://griefline.org.au/resources/understanding-the-symptoms-of-grief/
You also ask how to fill the gap and unfortunately, nothing nor no-one can ever fill the gap your mum leaves because she was so very special to you. Instead, we refer to Tonkin’s model of ‘growing around grief’ which suggests that though the grief stays with you, you can find ways for your life to grow around it and get bigger like meeting new people, trying new things, going to new places etc. We imagine your mum would really hope that you are able to do this. You’ll find some really good info on this concept here; https://whatsyourgrief.com/growing-around-grief/
We hope that you’ll take a look at these resources and let us know how you are travelling. We are here for you. 🌸January 10, 2022 at 11:09 pm #19115JBirdyyyyParticipant
Hi, I recently lost two of my best friends from anorexia and hyperpyrexia. Both of them helped me through some of the hardest times in my life and I truly believe that without them I would not be here today. I loved them so much and they were like my older siblings and I have no idea what I am going to do without them. I was in a car accident and both of them were involved. They saved my life and I wish there was more that I could do for them.January 13, 2022 at 11:48 pm #19170
Welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing your experience with us here. Our hearts go out to you for the multiple losses you have experienced in your life. There is a lot of trauma and grief in your story and we are sorry this happened to you. Your story speaks of so much love – the love your grandmother, Alexa and Jack gave to you and the love you returned. We feel sure you did everything you could for them. We also feel certain they would want you to live a full life that honours both yourself and them…
You wrote in a post that you dont know how you’ll move on without them so we want to share with you some guidance from Robert Neimeyer who is a renowned grief expert;
“How do we move forward in a life without them?
Ask yourself what might I do now that they would take pride in?
Sometimes the question of finding meaning in life is not answered with a single, grand answer; it comes in a hundred little instalments.
Ask yourself every day, “What is one small thing I can do today that would make them proud?” Then do that thing.
Perhaps it’s organising your study or wardrobe, planting a flower, venturing out of your home for a walk, lending a hand to a friend or neighbour…
Once you’ve achieved it reflect back on the progress you’re making and keep them updated too.”
Though they are no longer here in person, your connection with each of them will always remain. Coping with the loss of loved ones doesn’t mean you have to ‘accept’ the loss nor ‘move on’. Healthy grief involves developing a new, different and ongoing connection with that person.
By practicing ‘continuing bonds’ you can allow yourself to visualise, reminisce and daydream about your grandmother, Alexa and Jack. You might like to talk to them or write letters. Your grandmother helped you through a lot so when you are troubled or facing challenges perhaps think about what she would have done or even ask her …by taking on her perspective the answers might come to you.
It’s clear that you have come through some very difficult times in your life. You show incredible resilience to do this and a loving heart. Both of which are wonderful strengths. When we are grieving we often lose sight of our strengths but these are our superpowers for adapting to loss. So take a look at this article on our Resource Hub; ‘In Search of Lost Strengths’. It will help to illuminate more of your inner and outer strengths to get you through.
@jbirdyyyy – we hope you find these resources helpful and comforting in some way. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are feeling. We are here for you. 🌸January 23, 2022 at 10:56 pm #19253kimberleydayParticipant
I lost my grandmother three weeks ago, which has impacted me profoundly. Growing up, my parents were quite dysfunctional and my grandmother stepped in and was essentially the parent figure that neither of my parents really were. Losing her has felt like losing a parent. I feel orphaned, in a sense; my parents have essentially cut off all our other relatives and I feel a deep sense of loneliness. In addition to losing her, I feel like I have lost a sense of home, a sense of roots, a sense of family.
Her health deterioration and hospitalisation were withheld from me by my parents–until three days before she passed. This resulted in me not having sufficient time to make it home and see her before she died, which felt cruel. She died while I was waiting in hotel quarantine for my PCR results to come through.Indirectly, my parents had denied me a chance to say goodbye to her one last time. I spent the rest of the 14 days in hotel quarantine waiting to be released in order to attend her funeral.
There are moments were the grief is extreme to the point of hyperventilation, but most of the time it is a heaviness and a sense of stinging pain that I carry with me at every moment. I’m not sure about where I’m at–I am functional most of the time, but feel disconnected to reality, numb, and empty inside.
February 2, 2022 at 10:58 am #19551
- This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by kimberleyday.
Dear @kimberleyday, a warm welcome to the forums. Our hearts go out to you for your loss and the suffering you’ve endured in the lead up and afterwards. Your words are so raw – I’m sure there are many here in the community who identify with an extreme physical response to the loss of a loved one. It can be a confusing and frightening reaction, but the reality is that we ‘feel’ our emotions in our muscle and nervous systems first, which then sends a signal to our brain to create the ‘emotion’. Most of us haven’t experienced something so overwhelming before so we resort to disconnection and numbness as a form of self-preservation.
As we say at Griefline – everyone has their own unique way of grieving. Whatever that is – its OK. Trust in your own grief response – it’s a natural, adaptive way of integrating the loss of your beloved Grandmother. Try treating yourself with compassion, perhaps even curiosity. Your body is telling you where the pain lives …and also where the healing can take place.
It sounds like you endured some destabilising experiences as a young person. This is not something any child deserves to go through. And your grandmother sounds like an incredible lady – stepping in to give you the love, security and nurturing you deserved. It’s no wonder you have such a deep connection with her. And though you feel like her passing also means losing a sense of “home, roots and family”, remember that your connection to your grandmother can never be broken. Over time you can learn and integrate ways to nurture and draw strength from this enduring bond.
Not having the chance to say goodbye and being forced to live out those first weeks of acute grief alone in quarantine is cruel. Perhaps David Kessler’s quote “she died with all of your love” is re-assuring…all those years of love you shared was with her at that time. This is not to diminish your experience in any way and like you say, you are also grieving profound secondary losses which may be compounding your grief. That’s why we’re really glad you reached out to the forums for support. Sharing the burden of grief is a key coping strategy and a pro-active way to start your grief work.
Kessler says there are 2 goals of grief work. Firstly, figuring out who you are in the world without your grandmother. Secondly, coming to understand your changed relationship with her. It will be a long road and it will take time, but you can do it. We suggest arming yourself with a toolkit of coping strategies to support you through the ebb and flow of grief. Perhaps you could start with some of the self-care tips discussed in our article ‘Tools for Rest and Relaxation’ here on our Resource Hub; https://griefline.org.au/resources/rest-and-relaxation/
There are also some excellent coping strategies in our article ‘Coping With Grief’ here; https://griefline.org.au/resources/understanding-the-symptoms-of-grief/
@kimberleyday – we hope these resources are helpful. We want to convey to you that we are here for you at Griefline and would like to support you further here on the forums. So let us know how you are travelling. 🌸March 30, 2022 at 12:45 pm #20200katbParticipant
Both my parents died last year, within 12 weeks of each other. Both were in their 8Os. Mum’s death was sudden and unexpected. I’m sure Dad died 12 weeks later, having lost the will to live without her. Grieving them was hard, but we were locked down and it allowed me plenty of space to let out tears etc.
Now, 6 months later, my mother-in-law has died. Like my mum, she was taken to hospital and died without regaining consciousness. I was transported straight back to that night. I can’t believe how fragile I am at present – tears are flowing at all sorts of things. I suspect the layers of grief are just too much. My friends and co-workers all get it, which is good: I don’t have to explain myself. My manager told me she didn’t expect me this week, so I figure it’s a chance to get myself right. When I return to work, I’ll have extra duties and pressures as, in addition to my usual job, I’ll be acting manager. I also feel like I’m not doing much to support my partner, who needs all the support he can get.
I did make an appointment with a doctor for a mental health plan. I didn’t get counselling before, but feel I need it now. The doctor’s appointment was cancelled. Now I’m not sure what to do, I’ve only got 1.5 days left. Any suggestions?
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