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How to deal with sudden pangs of grief?

(22 Posts)
cwtchesandprosecco Mon 17-Aug-20 21:25:09

As the title says really..... how do you deal with it?

My mum died 18 months ago and this evening I’ve suddenly been overcome with a wave of grief (I think triggered by bloody Gilmore Girls of all things). I was fine, and then I couldn’t stop crying and now I feel like there’s an elephant sitting on my chest......

It’s blindsided me a bit so I’m guess I’m
asking if anyone else has experienced this and has any tips on how to deal with it? I guess I feel like I should be ok most days now.

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peakygal Mon 17-Aug-20 21:29:37

Firstly OP so sorry for your loss flowers I'm over 4 years into it after losing DH..I still have exactly what you described. Sometimes it lasts a few hours other times it goes on for days. It took me a long time to realise that this is going to always happen and to just allow it to happen. I used to try fight it and keep it to myself but now I explain to those close to me and they know to ease off and let me come round myself. Its a horrible horrible thing for anyone to go through but I now accept its a part of me as much as I wish it wasn't x

cwtchesandprosecco Tue 18-Aug-20 11:43:16

Thanks @peakygal, and I’m so sorry for your loss. I feel a bit more normal this morning. I think it was the suddenness that really shook me last night.

I suppose I’m just worried about it happening again in public or at work, I really don’t like people seeing me cry! And I think of my friends think I should be ‘over it’ by now....

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cwtchesandprosecco Fri 21-Aug-20 18:42:40

A hopeful bump for any other pearls of wisdom

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C305 Fri 21-Aug-20 18:46:20

So sorry for your loss OP😢 I don't really have anything helpful to add - but no one has the right to decide when you should be 'over' something (if ever!) so your friends need a word with themselves. Sending hugs x

Geppili Fri 21-Aug-20 18:54:12

Hi Op! I get it. My DM died nearly five years ago. We were very close. My DF died this year April 26, not of Covid. But we couldn't be with him because of covid. I get terrible overwhelming pangs now...for my mother. I have been at home everyday with my kids since March and I find myself triggered by the simplest of things. Like...peeling potatoes at the table and chatting with my eldest, mum and I did that all the time, until I took over the peeling! Another one is making a hot water bottle. She loved them and nearly always had them. I pour the boiling water in and I feel a hard knot rise and the tears come. Tell us a bit about your mum if it helps. smile

Ifonlyiweretaller Fri 21-Aug-20 18:55:34

We lost our dad 9 days ago and the funeral was yesterday. I honestly don't think I've even started the grieving process yet - there's been so much to sort out, so much support to give to others, that I've not had time for myself as yet. He is the first close relative I've lost, so am unsure how it's going to affect me. I've had moments of course, but suspect the worse is yet to come...

mycatisawesome Fri 21-Aug-20 18:57:21

I lost my DH 23 years ago but still get moments like these , I just go with it and it passes

Geppili Fri 21-Aug-20 18:57:33

Also, it is really early days for your grieving. After 18 months after my Mum passed, I was nowhere near as stable as I am now. My DM died totally unexpectedly as a seemingly ultra fit 73 year old. My DM died of pneumonia after endstage COPD, so we knew we were going to lose him. I think the worst thing for me is her fading memory and how much she is in me.

sunnysidegold Fri 21-Aug-20 19:02:03

I used to find so many little things triggering - a bit like @Geppili peeling potatoes, making hot water bottles.

I had a real think about it and changed my mindset. I thought that if I reframed it I could cope with it - certainly when in public. Now I think to myself, I'm so lucky to have these things remind me of you, I'm so grateful that I loved you and you loved me. These little things means I will never forget you.

I've had moments too when I think he wouldn't want me to be so sad. Other times inlet myself have a little cry.

I think at 18 months the grief is still very raw. For me it did ease with time.

I wish you well op.

StrictlyAFemaleFemale Fri 21-Aug-20 19:11:09

I allow myself to wallow for the rest of the day. When I wake up the next day I feel better.

StrictlyAFemaleFemale Fri 21-Aug-20 19:13:04

Oh and I listen to an episode of Griefcast. That makes me feel less alone and usually makes me laugh. It takes the edge off.

Griefmonster Fri 21-Aug-20 19:18:49

As others have said, let the feelings come. Don't hurry them away. Sit with it, wallow if you need to, rest, eat well and fresh air once you feel able to get up and out x I'm so sorry for your loss x

KipperSlippers Fri 21-Aug-20 19:21:41

My mum died 18 months ago too. And my dad 16 months ago.

I was close to both but especially so my mum, and it's just an absolute fucker. My only advice is to just go with it. If you have a bad evening or a bad day or a bad week, just give in to it (err as much as you can! No need for losing it completely in Asda or anything!) But be kind to yourself and remind yourself it's normal and you're allowed to feel like this. It's just trying to strike that balance between a grief attack and then wallowing in it - which I've been guilty of doing and it doesn't do me any good!

I had it last night. I'm idly doing my family tree and I caught sight of the word 'mother.' And my brain just went ' bloody hell! How can it be that my mum isn't here! This is insane' and all of a sudden I just couldn't comprehend it all, I couldn't understand how she'd died at the age of 69. (And an added complication for me is that she didn't need to have died - so that just adds another layer sometimes

I can only speak personally for this bit but what gets me back on the up again is to be thankful for the time we had and how lucky I was to have had her for 47 years. She saw all her grandchildren, one to adulthood, and I have no regrets. So that helps me. I wasn't always the best daughter but she certainly thought I was - and that's what it's all about for me. Maybe you could try similar for yourself - although I appreciate you're probably younger than me so your 'giving thanks for' stuff may be different

It's horrible but all we can do is carry on. My mum always used to say ' this too shall pass' (despite me always telling her it was the naffest thing ever) and well .. she's probably right

Rossaloony Fri 21-Aug-20 19:46:28

In no way as significant as your loss, But my BIL died of suicide very suddenly two years ago and sometimes out of nowhere the wind will be knocked out of me and it will feel like it happened yesterday. I'm trying hard to embrace and accept the feeling, even though in all honesty it makes me want to drink 3 bottles of wine and watch his memorial video on repeat. I try and refrain

LoseLooseLucy Fri 21-Aug-20 20:01:35

I’ve stopped trying to swim up for air when it takes my breath away, and just let the wave crash over me.
Grief really is the pits, sorry for your loss.

HathorX Fri 21-Aug-20 20:16:05

My wondeful dad died ten years ago after a really gruelling battle with stomach and brain cancer - horribly painful, and then he lost the power of speech too so his last months were torture.

Nowadays, my grief has mellowed into a gentle regret that he has not been able to see his grandchildren grow, and that I can't chat to him whenever I want.

Just occasionally I am still triggered by something and the tears come. Usually, when I'm listening to music on the radio and something he loved unexpectedly plays.

I don't feel there is any shame in still having these strong feelings of grief a decade after he died. I doubt I will ever fully heal, and that's fine. Life creates layers of love, happiness and sadness, like sediment building up at the bottom of a river. Occasionally a current stirs it all up, but then it settles again.

Be kind to yourself. Your feelings are your own, there is no timetable by which you are socially required to be "over it".

TheFaerieQueene Fri 21-Aug-20 20:18:01

My lovely father died 16 months ago. I sometimes feel huge amounts of grief, but my ability to cope is getting better. I find talking about him helps. But fundamentally grief is fucking horrible.

twins2019 Fri 21-Aug-20 20:31:10

Hello OP. I am so sorry for your loss.

I lost my darling brother 15 years ago. He was 21. He had lymphoma - diagnosed at 18. I had been at uni for 3 months when we found out. There was 11 months between us in age. He was the best friend I ever had - we were incredibly close, same friendship groups, same interests and my whole childhood is framed by my memories and love for him.

In the early days - and I am talking the first few years after losing our boy I was a mess. Throwing myself at life almost at warp speed - I got married, had a baby, took big life risks career wise - I was determined not to waste a moment. I wasn't dealing with my grief well or at all. Then it all caught up with me. I slowed down, got some help, talked a lot and started to process what had happened and the gravity of the loss.

I find him everywhere even now - little white feathers showing up on low days, robins popping by to say hello and songs from when we were young on the radio - knocking me sideways some days but in more recent years and more often now when a memory creeps up on me - they bring me joy. That really only did come with time and being very gentle with myself - grief is the price of love. That is something I read recently and it is the truest statement I have ever heard.

Be gentle with yourself OP, in time the bombs and pangs of grief that come from a memory or shared experience sneaking up on you won't sting as much - the pain you feel was earned, it is the price of the deep love that you had for your DM.

Inextremis Fri 21-Aug-20 20:34:37

My Dad died on April 23rd, 2019. I get huge waves of grief from time to time - and the other night when I was browsing through FaceBook, someone had posted a pic of a road close to Dad's home - one I used to walk down on my way to see him. It was like I'd been punched - I think I actually gasped with the sudden pain of loss.

I think it's natural and normal to have these experiences - and they do becaome less frequent and less severe with time (I know, my Mum died in 1986). I don't think grief, in its many manifestations, is something you can avoid, it's something you just have to get through. It does help to know that other people have similar experiences, though - and huge empathy and sympathy to those who have shared them here.

menofharlech Fri 21-Aug-20 20:53:50

I ride through them. I am also thankful for them as they make me recall the wonderful memories too.

cwtchesandprosecco Sat 22-Aug-20 16:37:59

Thank you everyone, I really appreciate you sharing such personal, and I’m sure painful, stories. It’s definitely helped me feel less alone.

I think I’ve just been a bit blindsided by this, the sadness is pretty constant at the minute and I just miss my mum in a conscious way I haven’t registered for a while. I feel like I need to acknowledge that and say it out loud but I have nobody to do that with. With lockdown I’m seeing friends less frequently and want it to be happy times, and nothing brings the mood down like dead mum chat.....

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