Heartlight

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    http://www.empowers.ca/resources/resources.html

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    Female
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    Edmonton, AB
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    Father, Sister

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  1. Thanks for your post "Posted April 9, 2014

    Your style I think is very much like my own and you are really good at articulating your point of view with Facts embedded.

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  2. Thanks, Cindy Jane. I remember when you told us what your dad had said. It was good then and it's good today. Thanks for sharing it once again <3
  3. Hi everyone. Today is the worst day of the year for me. I have had a dislike-turned-hatred of Christmas since I was 12, about 30 years. Then, four years ago, my dad died on Christmas day. The first couple years after that, I grew violent at Christmas time. The sounds and sights of Christmas caused the desire to smash things. I never did, thankfully. I still hate Christmas but I'm not violent anymore. And I decided this year that I wasn't going to let my own negativity get in the way of my happiness. I know that sounds strange. But it did leave me open to being exuberant at times - I spontaneously organized the staff singing christmas carols to the clients where I work, because oddly enough, although I have always hated Christmas, I have always loved Christmas carols. I still hate Christmas. I hate that the entirety of this western society thinks I should find some meaning on this day - or find some alternate thing to celebrate: "festivus for the rest of us" is big right now. I just want peace. I want this day to just be a day off and I want to commemorate my dad in my own personal way and I don't want to have to explain, explain, explain my way through life Thanks for listening. I just needed to babble a little, to try and move some energy in me. Good luck and I wish you all peace, in your own way, for this season and the months to come. <3
  4. Hi everyone, It's been almost 7 years for me, for my sister, and 3 for my dad. I have changed but thankfully no one in my life expected me to be the same. There have been times in the last month that I've thought about signing in and starting my own topic looking for comfort, because the loss is permanent and affects me in different ways at different times. Today, I feel like I have a strength, compassion and a huge empowerment to live as a legacy for my lost loves. Tomorrow, I may feel weepy and lost myself. I have said and I will always say, the most important thing we can do for ourselves is be ok with whomever we turn out to be - in each moment. Sometimes, I can find great happiness. Sometimes, I feel the whimsical and playful girl I once was. But I know that the only reason I can do that (now, I couldn't for a couple years) is because I allow myself to have the sad times. I have a wonderful person who never makes me feel like it's wrong to feel so much sorrow. This allows me the freedom to feel happiness in the next moment, if it's available to me. It's a messed up journey, and I have determined it will be forever. But being at peace with our insanity makes us sane. Wishing you all peace. <3
  5. Hi Thomas123, (and warm wishes ModKonnie) It is a terrible thing that you've had to live through and blessings to your grandfather for making you eat. I am sure you are suffering from normal grief, survivor grief and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Each of these is a terrible thing to have to heal from and I can only imagine that the combination is crushing. Remember to always give sympathy to yourself, Thomas. That's the person who needs it right now. For instance, I don't know your mom but most moms would agree: no matter how angry she was that you didn't make it to the island that day, she would be blessing all the gods that ever existed that you were NOT there. That you still live is the greatest gift that can be given to your mom. I'm so sorry you feel such insanity ModKonnie is right, we welcome anyone who grieves. Read around and maybe there will be things that people say that help you understand parts of what you're feeling. When you want, express yourself here, let your pain out in your words. Most of all, be gentle with yourself. A year and a 1/2 is just a blink of the eye when it comes to this horrible loss you must feel. Find a safe place inside yourself to understand that you are exactly where you are supposed to be in all this. It is from this place you will be able to understand and accept all that you are feeling. One moment at a time. <3
  6. Hi Medic201093, I'm sorry no one has answered for the majority of the month, sometimes the spam leads us astray. As you know, it's very different for each person. Besides the pain of loss, it may be that your mother might feel guilt that she feels some relief that her mother passes after such a long bought of caretaking. And yet, she may not feel that. It is best to always just be open to whatever she may be feeling. With my own family, I found it really important not to be afraid to bring up the person we lost and what their opinion was about whatever we were doing or talking about. This made us be able to have moments of communion and make a space available for anyone who wanted to share more about how they were handling the moment. I also found it very important to have someone in my life who wasn't experiencing the same loss. Someone to whom my grief and my loss for that person was the only one that they knew. It validated my relationship and my pain because I didn't have to worry about whether they were having a different kind of pain (for the same loss). All in all, I have only known: help them understand whatever they are feeling is right and whatever it is, is important. I truly believe, having experienced it, that the only way to help ourselves is allow the fullness of our pain to exists without judgement. To allow our feelings to slow down our brain or our brain to slow down our feelings, whichever one needs the help the most in the moment. If our brain is reving up with questions or guilt, allow the love (that at first is experienced at pain) to slow that down to just feeling; or if the feelings are crazy and erratic, have the brain say soothing words inside to help slow down the craziness. If you see any of that happening from either heart or head, just be a soothing force. "Just be there" sounds like a platitude, but it is really the only thing anyone can do. Be there in full acceptance. Be a witness to whatever she's willing to share. Be real. The other thing to know is that there are two parts - grieving and mourning. Grieving happens and only the most significant act of will or the most traumatic self-preservation-shock can stop it. Mourning is expressing grief externally and helps the grieving process immensely. It may be telling a story and talking about your loved one or your relationship. It may be writing words or music or even cooking. Action taken outside of one's internal processing that allows the movement of the grief. I would also suggest encouraging that movement when you see times where that would naturally come up. Ask questions, even if it's uncomfortable to you. Mention how you thought your grandmother might have like a certain activity and maybe do it together. I hope this is of some help. My last suggestion is to remember to allow yourself to feel what you need. You will have a loss that may or may not be significant to you and it is also very difficult to see loved ones in pain. Don't try to take either of your pain away. Just be. I wish you soft moments in the days ahead. <3
  7. I'm so sorry about your dad William_Chen. I have never lost anyone to suicide so I can't even imagine the additional pain and suffering on top of the horrible ripping of sudden loss I remember the unable to breathe feeling. I remember the inability to live feeling. I took myself to a counsellor about two weeks after my sister suddenly died because I didn't know how to exist anymore. I only knew pain. From the moment my sister died, it was wrong for me to be in this world. I don't know the additional tearing of your heart you must feel from your dad deciding to leave so suddenly, but I wanted to send out a caring word. Don't breathe, if you don't want to, until you do. Don't listen to them when they say be ok, until you can. Be sad, miss your dad, be confused, be angry, because you are going to be what you are and there's very little that will change this first shock and deep, desperate reaving of your soul. Just hold onto yourself as if you were your dad... give yourself and your family the love that you want to give to him to help yourselves through it. I wish you and your family moments of peace and love. <3
  8. Dear victoria2998, I'm so sorry about your dad You are not wrong to be mad. It is so very natural for the hurt and grieving part of us to be crying out "what about me?" We so much want for someone to understand our pain, someone to see how important our relationship was, someone to see the ripping and tearing that happened to us when we lost this most important person in our lives. And, completely contrary to all that, if someone dares try to understand we get angry because they can't, they never could, never would they have even an inkling of the importance of who we lost or how we feel. Grief is insane. You are not wrong to be angry. You are very smart and understanding that you need something from her is a really good start. You both are so young to be experiencing this that it is very understandable to me that she wouldn't know how to help you. I think it's a very good thing that you've expressed yourself here because part of our process of grief is mourning... expressing our feelings, sharing them outside of ourselves. It's hard for adults who have lived many years and exprienced lots of life to be able to help someone grieve. Eventually, you may see that she is only being as she can be and forgive her, as you may eventually forgive yourself for your anger. You ask what should you do? It's hard but if you want this friend to help you, then you may have to be the strong one and start that process with her. She doesn't know what to do just as much as you. It is very ironic but sometimes the grieving person has to teach those around them how to help. It is hard and it is unfair, but in the end, it is more helpful then waiting for them to do something neither you nor they know what. If it were me, I would think about what I needed from her and then I would tell her. I would say, "I need to talk about my dad for a while and I really need you to just listen." and then I would start. Or I would say, "I'm having a terrible struggle today and I think it would be helpful if you could come over and sit with me, maybe listen to some of his music with me." or things like that. It seems very basic, but it is something you can do. It's not wrong for you to be angry. And it's not wrong for her to not have helped you as you wish up till now. No one knows what to do. Death is the hardest part of life and our living relationships can suffer terribly through our grieving because no one knows what to do. Young or old. Be patient with yourself. Understand what you're feeling is ok, at all times. Take each day one at a time and come back and share with us, if with no one else. <3
  9. Hi sissy, (and warm wishes to ModKonnie) When I was in my worst grieving times, it was very helpful when people didn't hide from my pain because of their own discomfort. When people asked a question that was difficult for them (because of their uncomfort) but important to me, because it was about my relationship and my pain, those actions helped me to understand that everything I was feeling was right, that I didn't have to question my own questioning. I felt safe to exist in the pain that was the only way I could exist for a while. They knew that I had nothing else in my existence except learning how to struggle to live each and every moment with such unbearable pain. The people who helped me the most made me feel like whatever I needed to be in each moment was ok. There is such insanity in grief... and feeling like it's ok to be insane at times is the most amazing gift I was given. Whenever you feel you can, help him to understand that everything he is feeling and questioning is natural. Help him feel safe in his insanity. And I agree with ModKonnie to tell him about this site. I have seen it be helpful to many people on their journey. Maybe even reading some of the stories he will be able to understand some of what he, himself, is feeling. <3
  10. Hi MMartins, It's been a long time since you've written and I hope you get this. I just wanted to say first, I'm sorry for all the loss you are experiencing. The grief of losing someone is hard enough but then the times of feeling betrayed, of feeling frustrated because you cannot do anything about your questions and you cannot take action on the information you've been given must be unbearable at times. It seems like it would terribly compound the hell that grief is already My thoughts in this are very, very simplistic: people are only as they can be. We are such complex creatures and each of us has our past and subconsious reasons or taught morality for why we do things. None of us are perfect and, no matter what we think is the right way to think or what we would prefer other's morals and scruples to be, we've all even acted against our own a time or two in our life. I'm not saying this so to imply forgive what you can't even confirm about your husband, I say this to encourage you to remember the good parts that you got to experience with him, too. It's easy to be confused in the situation you are in, but even had he lived, and you knew that he had strayed outside the marriage, my advice would be the same: you chose him for a reason, allow yourself to not forget that. You saw a special piece of him that was only yours. And no matter if he was not perfect, you were right to believe that special piece was worth believing in. You Were Right. I encourage you to not let the actions of a confused and abusive man make you cut off your own feelings of love. The greatest thing we have in this world is the capacity to love, not the ability to receive love. Regardless of how a person treats us, it is our ability to return to the capacity of love that is our grace. Friend #1 and Friend #2 and anyone else may be correct in this shouldn't be done or that shouldn't be said but it has been done so there is no point in arguing over it. Take your steps forward finding how you want to express in this life time and slowly allow yourself to be the love that you are inside. Be friends with them if you want, because they too, are fallible. As are we all. My greatest point is be who you want to be and don't question that you are the best person to determine who that is. Love the best parts of what you had, without question, if that's what you want to do because in every person's heart, your husbands' included, is a small, innocent child that deserves that love. And you will always feel better, taking the path of love. <3
  11. Dear Azaelatree, I'm very sorry about your niece. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” is a quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt in a verbal statement in 1935. It is a concept that has been expressed as far back, in literature, as 1838 by American clergyman William Ellery Channing. I believe it holds true in this circumstance. It is only you who must be ok with your actions. If you have been in touch with your brother and you are ok with your communication with him, then you must learn what it is in you that makes this seemingly hurtful person disturb you so. It's a difficult thing, I am sure, to not be there if you want to be, but your reasons are practical. What the quote above means is that you could not be suffering this confusion and angst about your decision were you not unsettled in the decision in the first place. If it were me, and I was unsettled as you are being now, I would do what I could to find out why I was feeling the angst and then change it. If your brother has already reassured you, the rest is on you. Are you that terribly worried what others will thing? Are you feeling terrible on the inside because regardless of cost, you believe you should be there? Specifically find what the piece that is unsettled is and see if you can soothe that part of yourself. However, just to give you some outside perspectives on dealing with loss... my sister died the day before my niece, her daughter's, birthday. My niece had birthday plans. She decided she was still going to go out. This did not mean she didn't still grieve, this did not mean she didn't feel the depth of pain we all did. She made a choice to go and get drunk. Not what many of us would have chosen but we didn't begrudge her her choice. Another... my Aunt didn't come up for my dad's funeral. It was quite disappointing to us, the children. But her sister, my mom, decided she was not going to be angry with her sisters for not coming. It was winter and it was a long way. They COULD have made it and we, the children, didn't understand because we would never have stayed away; however, it was square between them and so we let it go. Don't look at the person who is doing the gossiping. People who are your friends, who know you, who care about you, will see the gossip for what it is. And never try to understand that person - if you are not a vile gossiper, you will never be able to. But you can accept that she exists and move on to not letting her affect you, without rancour. Instead, just look at yourself and see what it is that you need to do to be settled in your own decision. At least, that's what I would do. Again, I am very sorry for your family's loss and that you have this drama associated to it. <3
  12. Hi again, Imp. What a beautiful, precious memory you have. When I was writing in another thread, I had tried to put myself in my sister's position if it had've been me. I can only imagine the added pain of having such innocent memories tearing at your broken heart. But truly, the only way I have found to get through grief is to honor it. Even if it's a delayed honoring. The first Christmas after my sister died, I went home for Christmas. I didn't want to be there, I was still suffering terribly, as I'm sure was everyone. I didn't let anyone see my difficulty but every moment that I was alone, the tears burst from me within seconds. That was three months later, about how long it is for you, now. I did a lot of crying. I still do. Now, I can think about my memories and not necessarily have that overwhelming, instant wave of pain. Sometimes they still come, but much of the time the memories are accompanied with feelings of love and gratitude. And it feels good now to talk about the good times we had with my mom and other sisters, about my dad and sister. I remember the first time that that happened. I was surprised and so very relieved that we were able to laugh about something that we had laughed about with them and would have continued laughing about, if they were here. There really is no help for us, you know. There is only compassion for ourselves and as much as we can muster for others. After my dad died, just a few years after my sister, my mother disconnected from the world. She sunk into a depression that we were unable to do anything about. Her doctor finally hospitalized her. I completely understand but it is terrible and horrible that we have to watch their pain, plus have our own pain. My mom lost her brother when I was young and I didn't see any grief from her after. I saw fear and anxiety before because she got a call that he was across the country in hospital and with no brain function; the doctors were calling everyone to come and say goodbye. I saw her pain before but she didn't share it with me after. She shared some of her understandings... like, years later she told me that one day, about a year after her brother died, she didn't think of him and when she realized that, she felt horrendously guilty. I was very grateful for that knowledge later, after my sister died. Because it was part of preparing myself for the understanding I was going to be required to give to myself - if it every happened, I didn't have to be guilty. Mom talks now about what she's going through with grief for my dad, how things she learned years ago were helping her to not be feel guilty now, like her continued anger at him for leaving her. I mention all that because as much as you don't want your children to experience your pain like you're experiencing your parents' pain, there may be a time when you might want to gently include them in your honoring or your learning just to prepare them for what they will, eventually and gods willing, have to go through someday. Just a perspective point which, like anything I say, anyone is free to ignore. Another thing that was helpful to me was the four counselling sessions that I had. I had 4 sessions over the first 2 years. Besides the fact that I went because there was something I couldn't move through (for example, once was severe panic/anxiety attacks), there was also true relief in it to be able to express the depth of my pain with another human being, one where I didn't have to hold back anything. Of course, they didn't hold me and comfort me like a friend would but I knew that they weren't going to judge me and I wasn't going to cause them pain so I could really, truly allow my confused, messed up and broken soul to show through. They were there just for me and that was so important. If you have anyone in your life where you can do that, I highly recommend it. Mourning, or the expression of our grief or the sharing of our relationship, is so important. The best way I can describe it is that it validates our loss which, really, validates our soul. Highfalutin words, I'm sorry. I just remember that terrible terrible time for me and want to give you as much as I can. I know it doesn't take anything away, I just always just hope that there might be little things in what I say that might help someone help themselves in those crazy, unbearable moments to allow them to survive to the next crazy, unbearable moment. <3
  13. Oh dear Imp, I'm sorry I completely understand your anger. I understand the feeling of selfishness. I just finished writing in another thread how difficult it was for me to be around my family when my sister died because I knew that everyone was experiencing their own loss but I needed someone to understand MY loss. When my sister died, I searched and searched the internet and there is very little that talks about the uniqueness of losing a sibling. Finally I found a woman psychologist who wrote that sibling loss is thought of as less than parental, child, spousal loss but what has to be realized is that we expect our siblings to be with us into old age and never, ever consider their possible loss. Ever. They just seem to be a part of us that is truly taken for granted (in the best possible way, of course). My first memory of life is my sister singing to me. I spent the next 40 years with the entirety of my existance on this planet, from my baby years to growing up and becoming me, with her intwined in my soul. Tell me how that is not as impactful as all those other losses, right? <sad smile> So yes, rant here. Not only will you not hurt anyone but we welcome your rant, we know it's important. I can imagine how deeply you need to be heard because I was once there. I hear you and it's ok. It's the worst time ever. Allow yourself to express here as much as you need to. And be gentle with yourself for all that you're feeling. Being gentle with yourself, more than anything, will help you be able to be gentle with them, outside of yourself, too. <3
  14. Hi Evergreen, I'm sorry you've had to experience this loss, for yourself and your husband and family. I want to give you as much as I can but do remember this is a female perspective and, by all accounts, men express differently. Not feel differently, but sometimes express differently than women. Also, I am only one person and others, I am very sure, have a different experience. For the first, horrific, shocking, horrible, remain-in-my-mind-as-trauma-for-months moment that I was told that my sister died, I had a friend who was my savior. I didn't have to be strong and experienced an instant shattering of my soul. I wavered between inability to do anything and strong for others for the first couple weeks when I was with family. Once I got home and away from all that was my family and my history and my sister, there is nothing that anyone in my family could have done that would have helped me. I wanted to be alone because it's was very, very hard for me to grieve around people who were suffering the same loss. I have learned since how to softly share my grief with my family but at first, I had such a great fear that my suffering will hurt them more; plus the loss of MY relationship, this piece of myself that was part of my whole world and whole understanding of who I was, was mine and I didn't want to share it with someone who might invalidate it - unknowingly, of course, and completely reasonably... because they lost something that was just a precious to them. The things that gave me the most relief during the first year and a half of tortuous grieving was when someone was there for me and only for me. Someone asked me about my relationship. Someone asked me about my sister and I didn't have to share her with anyone, she was all mine in those moments, my relationship with her was the most important right then and there. Someone allowed me to have the fullness of my pain without justification or question. I've learned so much in the last seven years, with the addition of my dad dying in that time. I've learned that the best thing that anyone can do for anyone (besides physical chores and such when that can't be done initially) is to be an understanding witness to their grieving process. It is so simple but it is extremely hard to see someone you love in such pain. I had another friend that a year ago, was there for me when I had a real downturn. A year after my dad died, six years after my sister died. Had a crazy, crazy day and couldn't calm down. I texted a friend and said I was freaking out and he came and held me while I cried. That's it. Didn't try to change me, just let me feel safe enough to break down. And I did and fifteen minutes later, I was better than I had been for weeks. That was the only time I ever had to do that but I was insanely grateful that I knew there was someone in my life that it didn't matter if I was crazy and just let me be what I had to be. I guess the point I don't know if I'm getting to with all this crazy female reactions is: he's going to be what he's going to be and, from my experience, the best that it can be for us who are within tortuous grieving is the knowledge that there is someone outside of ourselves who is ok with us being exactly how we are, no matter what it is. It's still very early for your husband. These are the early, crazy times so he's exactly where he's supposed to be and I think it's wonderful you are looking to see the ways that may work for you to help him know that too. The other thing I was thinking is that there is a lot of people who are experiencing grief and loss who worry about whether they should be feeling a certain way or worrying about the thoughts they're thinking. This happened to me too and I devoured the internet. Not that it was much help but it's a search that is very common. I was thinking that if you continue reading or writing in these or other forums, maybe share what you're learning with your husband. It's ok to talk about the knowledge of grief, even if he doesn't want to share his specific feelings. Just maybe gently tell him how you're learning about it and maybe there will be times he will be able to relate to something that helps his internal chatter. Finally, my grieving was made worse because I kept berating myself for not being able to be the person that I used to be. I started to truly get better because I finally realized that I am a different person and can never be that person that I was again. The world changes, and that includes you, when you lose someone that deeply connected to your soul. Instead, I allowed myself to have new preferences and new choices and new priorities and started looking at the world with the intent to find out who I was now, instead of trying to force myself to be the person that I was when my sister was alive. I finally realized that that was impossible. I have seen this realization come to almost everyone in their own way and for you to allow him the space and understanding when or if you see these types of changes would be a blessing. At least, for me it would have been, had I a spouse who was trying to support me. I hope this is even a bit helpful. Know that even though I am infinitely better than when I was in the first year and a half, I still had tears pouring down my face while writing this. Our loss never really ends, it just becomes different. I will always have deep sadness for my sister and dad, but now I can feel love again too. Be patient, with yourself even. Allow yourself to grieve how you need to, also, because there's really nothing that can hurry this along for either of you. <3 Edit: Since I wrote this, I've tried to put myself in my sister's shoes if it would have be me and she had to live with the loss of me. She is 8 years older than me and I am the youngest of 5. I am very privileged to know that when I first came home from the hospital, Traci's first thoughts when she saw me were, "She's mine." From that moment on, she did have a huge, huge part in raising me and making me feel ok no matter what I did or how I screwed up or whether I was down, etc. I can imagine that if Traci lost me, she would be plagued not only by the loss of our relationship, as I am, but she would also have all those innocent memories, those memories when she, in her young self, was pledging to always be the best sister she could for me. I can imagine that your husband, being the oldest, probably has much of these types of memories drowning him also. You can't change that. Just reach out a hand so he has something to grab when he's ready.
  15. Dear Joceannora, I just want to say that even if you feel very un-strong in the face of others seeing you that way, I too think you are immensely strong... just to have survived what must have been an incredible amount of turmoil so you could continue forward for your partner's legacy and your son's life. Even though I cannot understand that turmoil, specifically, your strength shines through in spite of what I can only imagine is a complete desire to breakdown into your own form of insanity. I also think you are a beautiful example of the reality of love. By this I mean you were put in one of the worst possible situations imaginable and your love for both of them is what has carried you through to this moment. It is so understandable to want that support, to want that counselling, because you have carried yourself by yourself for so long and with such soul-wrenching anguish. I really, really hope that what you read here or share here can give you that bit of support that you need to help you hold on, just for another little bit, until you can find someone that can support you in person. I also want to say that I agree with what you've said about the worry of mental health in western society. I have a nephew who has been in and out of jail since 16 and has a difficult time with his mental health, plus my sister who died was advocating the understanding of the change in mental health for addicts before she died. For myself, I like to participate in places that help people find understanding rather than just medication and frustration. For example, there are support groups and meetup groups that offer support and understanding for families learning about their mental differences and trying to find the normal within that. A truly industrious person could apply for grants to support the dissemination of knowledge, because it is knowledge and understanding and visibility that are needed just as much as meds, and I sometimes am sad that I am not that industrious person. I cannot even imagine what this has been like for you but more than anything I wish that you can understand that I wish I could be there for you, in whatever way you needed, to show you that whatever you're feeling, you are right for feeling it and you are a beautiful and strong soul for allowing yourself to exist for even one moment through this trauma and to please hug yourself and give yourself that honoring and acknowledging because you deserve to have the safety and freedom to breakdown in someone's arms who will tell you all of this and rocking you and saying everything your beat-up person inside deserves and needs to hear... You are right, you are beautiful, you are so strong, you are so right to be feeling like this, it's all awful, you're doing everything right and I'm so, so sorry... <3