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actual effects of grief on your life

(28 Posts)
sippysoppy Mon 18-Sep-17 16:47:21

9 months in and in some ways am feeling the worst yet after losing my brother, the tiredness and the pains in my chest are back and I've started to re-live all the bad bits of his death again. I realise it's a long haul but when people say they took years to come to terms with a death, what happens in the rest of your life? I'm finding it very difficult to sustain relationships and friendships and especially work, I feel my life is falling apart and wonder what has actually happened to others on a practical level? is it better to try to keep going?

LittleHo Mon 18-Sep-17 17:35:39

Maybe try counselling?

I struggle with insomnia six months on but I think everyone is different. Do you have anyone to talk to? I find it helps to talk about my Mum.

I have also found that planning trips / something to look forward to and exercise help.

sippysoppy Mon 18-Sep-17 18:01:46

thanks, am really off the idea of counselling, my friend is a grief counsellor and some of the things she has said(obviously well meant) have really not helped much. we all talk in the family, especially extended family cousins etc really have been invaluable support, but I find it so hard to act "normal" all day at work-I just feel so sad and miss him so much, also he used to give such good advice, he really had my back, these things are irreplaceable and I wish I could turn to him like I always did

bellsandwhistles89 Mon 18-Sep-17 18:01:59

Its cliche but it does get better, not that it doesnt still hurt but it becomes more of a background noise.

My parents died about 8 years ago now and though I miss them it doesnt take up my whole life - saying that I do have anxiety about health and safety.

I would recommend focusing on the positives in life - if you think counselling would help then do that. It was easier surrounding myself with people who cared and they got me through. It is different for everyone though, you have to find something to get you through, there are going to be bad days, terrible days but it will get better.

LittleCandle Mon 18-Sep-17 18:08:06

It is great that you are talking. That is the way forward. For work, I used to find a false smile. It felt terrible, but people took it at face value and after a time, it began to feel less false and eventually it became a real smile. Grief is a funny thing and just when you think you have come to terms with it, it turns right around and kicks you in the teeth. I found that my old habits (I am a terrible creature of habit) helped me through the first year or so. Be kind to yourself and let others be kind to you as well.

Phillipa12 Mon 18-Sep-17 18:20:33

Life takes on a new normal and as time goes by you do find the good days outweigh the bad, anniversaries are actually ok its the build up to them thats not. I go through patches of deep deep dispair where i find myself irritated and short tempered with everybody and everything, i suffer with bouts of insomnia at my worst and its then that i realise that the clouds have desended and im wading through a very thick fog. Its my sisters and friends that i then can rely on, my friend told me that i cant expect to hold the sky up for my boys all the time and when im struggling they are there to take over and hold it up for me. Im struggling massively at the moment, its nowhere near an anniversary but it has just been world sepsis awareness day which is what my daughter died from, she featured in the Huffington post, and its the realisation that a 3 year olds death is more newsworthy than an 80 year olds death from sepsis that has hit me so terribly hard. At times like this you need to recognise that your struggling, accept help and be easy on yourself, it is ok to be sad, i do find exercise helps, i run everyother day its my me time my headspace time. Im sorry for your loss. Xx

sippysoppy Mon 18-Sep-17 18:25:20

oh phillipa, that must be so hard for you, yes I think realising you have to be gentle to yourself is important, I do find though that so many people don't understand....I was the same never understood after 6 months or so why people weren't feeing learned the hard way, with bells on. maybe it does make us better people in the end

BillBrysonsBeard Mon 18-Sep-17 18:27:42

I felt really odd the first year after losing my dad, I got weird pains and felt like I was living in a bubble where nothing would feel genuinely happy again. Everything nice was tainted. But it all changed on the year anniversary.. it felt like we'd got past all the 'firsts'. Life started to feel good again. But very much doubt it would be like that with DP or the kids.

Happyperson123 Mon 18-Sep-17 18:29:37

My heart goes out to you. I lost my mum and dad 4 years ago - it's a struggle. I try my best to think of the positive things and the fact that they would be upset to see me unhappy.

I also try to think that in the end death happens to all of us and there's absolutely nothing we can do about it.

I think it's still early days for your grief though. Glad you can talk it through with your family.

Hugs to you.

Talkedabout Mon 18-Sep-17 18:34:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Trampire Mon 18-Sep-17 18:34:56

I'm nearly 6 months in from loosing my dad. I do feel like I'm slightly loosing any sense of my day to day life.

I'm suffering with insomnia.
I work from home, but it's quite a high demanding and stressful job where I have no team to pick up the slack. It's just me. A lot of the time I'm staring at walls during the day and then having to pick up the slack at night when I can't sleep. Not good really.
I've not seen my friends in months. At first I was fine and very gung-ho but after a while I withdrew. It's not like I hate their company, I just don't feel like chatting.
I'm eating copious amounts of junk food - crisps and cake. I can't be bothered to cook properly unless it's for the kids. This is all making look and feel bloody awful.

The only consistent things I'm doing is walking the dog every morning, where I see regular dog walkers. At these times I feel quite happy and chatty.

I'm hoping that I'll gradually feel better. I really think I need to start eating better and maybe then things might fall into place.

BelindaBlinked Mon 18-Sep-17 18:43:52

As everyone else has said, time is a healer.
My mum died nearly 3 years ago, it took me about 1 1/2 years to feel 'normal' again and not think of her all the time. Then I started to feel guilty that I wasn't thinking of her as much!
I found mindfulness worked for me. I started to really question life and what it's all about, but then I started to appreciate the little things that make life enjoyable.
I'm different to how I was before but that's ok.

I think the main thing to keep in mind is that grief has no time scale. It will take you however long it takes to feel ok again.
When you feel a negative thought coming on do your best to stop it in its tracks and replace with a happier 'what might my brother say that would make me laugh thought'. Do your best to keep your memories of him happy. Of course it's ok to have a good old wallow in your misery sometimes, just try not to make it a habit

Good luck.

Berrybakecake1 Mon 18-Sep-17 19:49:53

So sorry for your loss OPflowers.
My dad died 2 years ago and I'm still debated. It has impacted my life greatly.
He died suddenly 6 weeks before dd was born.
I find songs are the worst for me. I hated Christmas last year everywhere I went they were there reminding me of happy times and how we'll never have that again.
Family don't really help they're all selfish in they're grief and my OH doesn't get it when I'm melancholy just leaves me to it with a snap out of it attitude (yes I know he's a twat)
I keep hoping it will get better but I'm still waiting.

AlphaStation Mon 18-Sep-17 19:58:04

Those who passed on will always be with you, but it's important to focus on the positives in life and on the future, since it's there you're going to spend the rest of your life. A really good point made about the real smile, when smiling at others they smile back at you, and that helps. I lost most relatives starting at age 16 and for a few years, relatives just dropped off one after another. Now there's nobody left but me out of my biological family. You can add friends and get a new family, but it is a loss not to have any biological relatives. I've never had grief counselling (but maybe I ought to have had it) when mum died when I was 16, and it's much harder to get back on track entirely on your own, by yourself, without support. As someone said, it takes a few years to feel 'normal' again every time you've lost someone who was close. You tend to withdraw, and it hurts. Today I find it difficult when people disappear out of your life even for other reasons, e.g. sometimes people suddenly just ghost you and it can be a bit difficult. Friends and other people you've met and perhaps liked, and suddenly they're no longer around albeit technically not dead, just out of reach.

Megthehen Mon 18-Sep-17 23:51:43

It is hard...think losing a sibling is an underrated and profound loss. You lose an ally, someone who you expected to journey with during your life ... their absence is noted so often if they died at a young age. Miss my brother everyday and fight to stop myself remembering his suffering. Think of your brother's smile, his joy in life, what made him happy and know that he had this and your love.

LuckyBitches Tue 19-Sep-17 12:29:08

OP I'm so sorry that you've lost your brother. My lovely little brother died 3.5 years ago. Apart from the awful immediate shock of losing him, I think the 9 month period was the hardest because that's when I started to think I should be 'over it'. Obviously I wasn't, and it's helped me to accept that I'll always feel his loss.

Although to answer your request for practical tips. Have you tried medication? I didn't want to as it seemed like a betrayal of my grief, but it did make things easier; It sounds like you're (understandably) brooding on the circumstances of your brother's death. ADs will at least help with that, IME. I know it's artificial but whatever gets you through the night... it sounds like you're in a really tough place. Are you actually telling people how you feel? I know that those around us move on very quickly from our pain, but we still experience it. Keep talking here if you like, we all understand.

Another thing I tried was art. Absolute crap that I'd never show anyone, but it was a way of telling my story that seems to have helped. I like looking at it sometimes too.


cmwlocal76 Tue 19-Sep-17 22:02:40

Just try and take each day by day. I lost my fiancé, my daughters dad 2 days after she was born. It was very sudden & unexpected. My whole world collapsed. I'm six years in now. I don't think that there are really any answers to getting through it. I really couldn't tell you how I did. I believe that with being a mom I had no alternative. Someway you will learn to cope with the way you feel but my biggest advice would be that if you are struggling talk about it. Don't keep it bottled up inside. Don't pretend that your ok if your not. If you feel you can't talk to a family member or a friend then maybe look into counselling. Sometimes talking to a stranger is better therapy. Grief is a long and lonely road in which there is no time scale. All people are different. Xxx

OuiNonOui Tue 19-Sep-17 22:09:19

OP flowers

The 31st of October will mark 1 year since my brother committed suicide. I've actually been feeling fine the past month or so but as the anniversary is coming up I don't know how I'll feel.

Things were so raw at the beginning I could barely leave the house.

whatisforteamum Tue 19-Sep-17 22:28:22

Hi I'm sorry about your brother op.Everyone else that has lost someone too.Dad died nine days ago.I'm not sure when the greif will hit x

Plumpcious Wed 20-Sep-17 00:27:44

I don't have any practical advice but your posts struck a chord with me - one of my cousins died 9 months ago and he had lots of siblings. Even within your own family you can sometimes feel alone and isolated with your thoughts and it's a strange thing that there are strangers not that far away who are feeling similar because the nature or timing of their loss is very similar to yours.

Your posts prompted me to send out a message to my family tonight with a hug for when they feel down. I've received some appreciative messages back so I hope you can take some positive energy from knowing that your posts helped to generate expressions of love in another family who are also grieving for a brother. A <<hug>> for you too.

LaughingElliot Wed 20-Sep-17 00:35:30

Nine months on is still very raw. I find every bereavement different but 9 months is no time at all. It feels as though the world moves on and leaves you stuck, bogged down in grief.

I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I feel as though it never gets better, you just sort of learn to live with it a bit more comfortably most of the time.

sippysoppy Wed 20-Sep-17 16:14:47

thanks everyone, and plumpcious, that is something really lovely to hear. sometimes its just good to know many other people have walked in my shoes somewhat, I keep panicking that I should be "over it" (which is what a lot of people think) ,I think the big lesson here is starting to be kinder to myself

Kahlua4me Wed 20-Sep-17 21:26:15

I have found that those who have expected me "to be over it by now" have never lost anybody signicant. I don't mean that to sound rude to them but they have only experienced grief from a distance as it were.

My mum died in an accident whilst on holiday just over 2 years ago and I am still struggling to accept. We used to talk at least once every day and she really was my best friend.
There are times when I feel on more of an even keel but life events such as holidays, Christmas, dc going back to school after holidays etc will trigger my pain. My DD has just moved up to secondary school and that has hit me hard.

For the first year at least, it seemed as though the shine and light had disappeared from life. I went through the motions but nothing was exciting. I was also very tired as had to work so hard to care for dc and ensure they were ok.

My grief seems to come out as a physical pain and I get convinced that my heart is going to stop.

Counselling helped me last year, not grief counselling as such more generalised but it gave me space to organise my thoughts and plan what I can do.

I also found that talking to my lovely dh, family and friends has helped and I am open about how I feel and don't hide it away. I have one particular friend who I ring now whenever I would have rung mum, to share something dc have done, talk about gardening etc and that has helped to close to chasm.

I am sorry for your loss.

Kahlua4me Wed 20-Sep-17 21:27:33

Gracious, sorry that's so long!, think I should have checked it first!

LadyGagarden Wed 20-Sep-17 21:50:51

Sorry to hear about your loss OP. My brother died too, it will be 9 years ago in October. We were both in our twenties so for me, while day to day coping gets easier, it is bigger things like seeing all his friends turn 30 on Facebook or them getting married, having kids which hurts these days, just so much he missed out on and the unfairness of it. Also the fact that he won't see my DDs grow up etc.

Like you, I found maintaining relationships hard and people who haven't been through it just don't understand-lovely at first but don't appreciate just how long it takes to feel 'normal' again and lose patience. I do think some of my ongoing issues are post traumatic stress related (his death was quick and unexpected and happened in the same year that I had DD1 who was diagnosed with a disability at birth) and that can make the grieving process take even longer. I hope you are ok.

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