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How to deal with grief

(13 Posts)
Phoenix69 Fri 13-Nov-15 06:41:01

Not sure if this has been posted before but this response to the question 'how do you deal with grief' helped me. On the 19th it will have been 3 years since my wife died and talking with my daughters has meant that we have been able to come to terms and live with the loss.

>Alright, here goes. I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents.
I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to "not matter". I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.
As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.
Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too. If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.

pinktransit Sun 15-Nov-15 22:13:30

Can I use this please? I'd love to share with my partners sons on Facebook, because we're all stil at the 100 feet tall stage x

Crapgaz Tue 17-Nov-15 00:16:59

I've just lost my son..I can't write much as I'm finding it very difficult..but this is the first thing I have read anywhere that has made me think about a future.Thank you.

Phoenix69 Tue 17-Nov-15 17:22:23

It was shared to me on Facebook by a friend whose partner committed suicide 30 odd years ago. even though she is now married with kids, she found this useful.

There is a future and it can be bright. It's understanding that these waves of grief that can come from nowhere or be triggered by random events are perfectly normal.

Please feel free to reuse however you would like.

Lottapianos Tue 17-Nov-15 17:26:37

Its lovely, and an excellent description of grief IME. I'm at the point where the waves are only about 10 feet high, I can usually see them coming and I'm much more confident that I will survive them. Its a very comforting thought to know that the waves become easier to bear over time

Kimmie2015 Sat 28-Nov-15 22:50:28

How are you doing crapgaz? I also lost my son. It's still so overwhelming & raw. My husband & I are still in the "100 ft waves" as his death was only 2 months ago. Thanksgiving was almost unbearable. It seems like I cannot imagine a future now. Nothing feels normal & I find myself wanting to stay in bed & try to sleep away all my grief but that doesn't work & I wake up being angry that I'm awake. I am a Christian & try my best to have faith & hope but it's very very hard to cope with. I do believe that time may help ease this misery but for now it seems like a far away distant place. I pray that we can both find some peace in the days/months/years ahead but for now I can only take one minute at a time.

Kimmie2015 Sat 28-Nov-15 22:57:17

Thank you for posting this Phoenix69.....I'm still in the 100 ft waves dealing with my sons death. He's only been gone 2 months & it's still so very very difficult...

Crapgaz Mon 30-Nov-15 00:18:31

Hello Kimmie2015, my son has been gone nearly 2 months too. Things are terrible, I'm having constant replays of the last time I spoke to him before he was rushed to hospital. My wife and I are truly very sorry for your loss..why, why is this happening? I am also a Christian, but before this happened I was already angry with God because of other problems I have had in my life..problems that seem like nothing now.I have started to pray again. I pray that you have strength to keep going, please take care of yourself.

Phoenix69 Sun 13-Dec-15 19:49:32

My dad died a month before my wife died so I am now 3 years down the road. The first 2 months I was angry, lonely and filled with grief couldn't see what the point was I was in shock at the speed of the death - 9 months for my dad and 2 weeks for my wife. It wasn't until this last year that I felt the waves of grief had become bare able and now I have learnt to live with the grief and every so often something will trigger off a moment of grief but it is now only a moment.

HilaryA38 Tue 22-Dec-15 22:25:34

Hi I recently came across this list of books about grief, it's a real mixture, but maybe useful for anyone here x rathertoofondofbooks.wordpress.com/2015/10/10/riffle-books/

Kimmie2015 Fri 25-Dec-15 01:33:00

Phoenix69 I am so terribly sorry to hear of your loss of Dad & wife!!
The holidays are very hard for us as our son always loved Christmas. I couldn't think of decorating nor putting up a tree this year. My family is at a Christmas dinner but I chose to stay home. I know I should've went & got out a bit but just can't bare the thought of the questions & talk about his death. I truly appreciate your reply. It does help to know others have walked this path & survived & can now give hope to us. God bless you & I hope you can find the peace to have a Merry Christmas!

Kimmie2015 Fri 25-Dec-15 01:36:55

HilaryA38 Thank you very much for sharing the link to the books. The reading truly helps me to deal with all the different emotions I feel & to know they are "normal". I pray for you to have a Merry Christmas! God bless you!

Kimmie2015 Fri 25-Dec-15 01:51:29

Crapgaz
Just wanted to check in with you to ask how you & your wife are holding up during this holiday season. It's terribly hard for us. Christmas is definitely a tough time & we can't celebrate nor even think of decorating nor exchanging presents. We're just trying to get through it & praying the new year will bring us all some sense of peace, comfort & hope. Our world is still upside down at this time & I expect yours is too. Just know someone out here is thinking of you both & praying God will give us strength to endure. God bless you & hope you can find a glimmer of a Merry Christmas!!!

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