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Nicole-my grief journey

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Nicole-my grief journey

Looking for others who have had multiple losses of family members and friends in a brief period. I’m in my late 30’s, but don’t feel like it. I feel like a scared, sad, grief ridden child. I’ve lost two brothers and most recently my mother. And then I was caregiving for my uncle after my mom’s death and he too passed away from the same cancer. He fought it for several years. My mom found out about hers and only lived 3months after diagnosis. I’m finding it hard to cope. I have a therapist... I know standard grieving things like writing and expressing through art, meetings etc. I’m just looking to hear from others on how they’re handling their losses, life, grief. Or just random thoughts/ feelings. I’m single and my mom and brother were the closest people to me. My losses were traumatic ones were I was there for all 4 deaths. I’m grateful I was there to be with them, but at the same time I experienced a lot of trauma from it. I’m devastated. I feel lost. My mom and my brothers were my everything. One brother died from cancer at 33yrs old (lived 4months after diagnosis), my next brother died at 41 of accidental fentanyl laced opioids ( he never was able to cope with losing our other brother) and my mother died at 69 of metastatic cancer. I’ve lost several childhood friends in the last two years (fentanyl related). I had moved away at 19yrs old and had no idea that the opiod epidemic was rampant were I grew up until my brother and everyone in the community I grew up in started dying. Any replies are greatly appreciated. Thoughts of peace to all of you out there.

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Sorry to read that you have had so many losses. It is never easy no matter what the situation. I am 56 and I lost my husband 7 months ago to cancer. We found out Jan 10th and he passed away Feb 9th. In 2017 our family lost so many, in a matter of 3 months there were 2 deaths. One was from cancer and the other was from complications of asthma. There also were 4 friends that passed away in 2017 and it just seemed like every time we turned around we heard that someone else had passed. I am at the point I don't even like to answer my phone because I am afraid someone is calling to say another one of our group is gone, but life does go one whether we are ready or not. As for how to cope with all of this I will have to say I am a work in progress and for me the writing things has really been a help. I really wish there were some sure fire way to stop all the pain and anger and guilt that I have felt. One thing I think is important is to understand that it is okay to feel a wide assortment of emotions and that while some won't understand it, there are others that will understand completely because we are standing right there with you. I am including something I wrote trying to get people to understand.

 

A loved one got their angel wings and it has left a

big hole in my heart. So if I don't want to talk, please

allow me the silence. If I don't want to leave the house,

please allow me my solitude. If I strike out at you, please

allow me my anger. If all I can seem to do is cry, please

allow me my tears. It will take time for me to fill this

empty space left, so please be patient and let me

heal. One day the void that was left will be filled

                                                                                        with happy memories and my heart be whole again. KB

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Nicole-my grief journey

KatB,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for replying and sharing. I wish that we weren’t in this club together, but we are and it helps me to know I’m not the only one. I too am so sorry for your losses and what you face everyday with. Sending love and light out to you. To lose your husband, so quickly after finding out he had cancer and to lose your husband at all...is just gut wrenching heartbreak. I experienced that with my brother “S” and his wife and kids. They were soul mates and had a 4yr old, 2yr old and just built a family business. They were happy and excited about their life and then he got his prognosis. People say “It’s Like A Movie”. I say , “It’s not, because it’s really happening and not as romantic as in the movies. Movies makes things seem more romantic and clean, simple and like the grieving happens quickly and there’s a silver lining. With cancer in the real world, I feel  it’s different. Nothing can prepare you for such a blow like that. When our loved ones get a terminal prognosis and they don’t even have a chance to extend their life with treatment, there’s no time to even begin to process what we’re being told. We’re left feeling shocked, confused, helpless, loss of control and shattered dreams. Worried about each second, everyday worried it will be their last and trying to make them comfortable. And then, the big hole in our hearts and souls happens. We’re left trying to understand how and why. Why so much all at once. Why good people are taken. And losing everyone else that you lost...it must feel like the world went upside down. I feel that way about the phone. I also feel like, will this be the last text to them or from them. Because that happened with my mom and brother “B”, where they didn’t reply and it was indicator to get to them right away. I have to tell each person how much I love them and hug them every time I see them wondering if it will be the last time. I know that’s from my trauma. But also the reality I experienced. Yes, life keeps going. Others move on from our losses. People go back to their lives and they should. It just feels isolating after people stop calling or checking in. Or that they sent a casserole or card the first week and then say let me know if you need anything (when I have no idea what I need and could never ask). So they check mark it off their list that they helped and move on. They mean well, but obviously haven’t felt grief on this level and so it goes...Except for a couple friends who show up consistently and I’m grateful for them. Especially with my dad falling apart. Today was his first birthday without my brother “B” and my mom. He was with my mom since he was about 17 and now he’s 72. I was the only one with him today besides my moms best friend. The only brother I have left and his wife and kids didn’t even come over to share a quick visit and slice of cake. They have left him and I alone since she has passed and barely say anything to me. It hurts. I don’t understand it.

I love what you have said about being a work in progress. I am going to say that about myself too because it’s true and a positive way to continue going forward. I am going to share what you wrote in you last paragraph of trying to help people understand how to help us. It’s exactly how I feel and what I need. Truly grateful for you replaying and helping me!  Thank you

hugs, 

Nicole

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Nicole,

If anything I have shared helps you in any way I am thankful for that. I have found that sharing stories and thoughts help me get out some of the things I am feeling. When I read what you said about some family members not making an effort to be with you and your dad on his birthday it just hurt my heart. Please tell him that I said Happy Birthday and that I will be praying for him and for you to be able to find some peace. I have two daughters and one of them made room in her house for me to come and live with her and my other daughter finally called me on my birthday on the 3rd of this month after not speaking to me for 3 months. You would think family would not treat you that way. I decided that I would try and not let it get to me because I already have enough to deal with right now.

 Also when I was reading thru your message I remembered something I had written but had not put on my computer and I want to share it with you because I think you might understand this just a bit more than some.

When you lose a loved one your world is turned upside down and there are so many emotions to deal with. People don't know how to treat you for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. I wish they could understand that you don't need them to have all the answers. It would help if they just let you know they are thinking of you and if you need someone to just listen to you talk they would be willing. You have lost one important person and you don't need other friends and family leaving you alone so that you feel like you have lost them too.

Hugs for you and your dad,  Kathy

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Pam@Ilovemybeagle

Hello StreamingTheLight

I have had many losses last year 2018. First my beloved father passed in April, and then my canine soul mate in July, and then on my birthday this past October my best friend, my mom passed away. 

I have cried everyday for the past 300 days and I feel dead inside. I have been a caregiver to my parents for the last 10 years and wouldn't have changed a thing. I love my parents so deeply and I was so truly blessed to have such loving parents. I look to my dog for support but I no longer have her as well. I have a good husband and a wonderful son, but it's not enough. I go through life now and empty shell. The pain is so unbearable at times. I miss them all so much. I know everyone tells me that with time, things will get easier. Right now that isn't the case for me. Just knowing I am not alone, and that there are others that share in the same kind of grief and with sharing their stories does help. I am so truly sorry for your losses and for the many others that are going through any type of grief. Hoping we will all come through the other side of all of this with some sort of peace. 

Hugs to everyone.

f2aa57a1bee04bf70d9c81974043f3d6 (2).jpg

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Nicole-my grief journey
On 2/14/2019 at 7:48 AM, Pam@Ilovemybeagle said:

Hello StreamingTheLight

I have had many losses last year 2018. First my beloved father passed in April, and then my canine soul mate in July, and then on my birthday this past October my best friend, my mom passed away. 

I have cried everyday for the past 300 days and I feel dead inside. I have been a caregiver to my parents for the last 10 years and wouldn't have changed a thing. I love my parents so deeply and I was so truly blessed to have such loving parents. I look to my dog for support but I no longer have her as well. I have a good husband and a wonderful son, but it's not enough. I go through life now and empty shell. The pain is so unbearable at times. I miss them all so much. I know everyone tells me that with time, things will get easier. Right now that isn't the case for me. Just knowing I am not alone, and that there are others that share in the same kind of grief and with sharing their stories does help. I am so truly sorry for your losses and for the many others that are going through any type of grief. Hoping we will all come through the other side of all of this with some sort of peace. 

Hugs to everyone.

f2aa57a1bee04bf70d9c81974043f3d6 (2).jpg

Dear Pam,

Thank you. I’m so sad for your losses. I know all too deep the feeling of it being unbearable. Losing everyone you loved the most. I was the cargiver and strong one who dealt with corners, doctors, wound care, DNR papers. Being the witness for both. With multiple losses, trauma, PTSD, along with complicated grief and I am suffering. I hit the 7 month mark on losing my mother and one of my brother just before her. Both horrific situations. I’m doing my best to cope and use tools I’ve learned in therapy, but lately I am paralyzed by severe depression and battling whether or not to get medicated for it. I stay im bed all day, I can barely eat and all my thoughts are preoccupied with thinking about my loved ones, what happened and that they are really gone and that I have no one to rely on and I’m lost on what to do with my life and anxiety ridden a obout the future. I feel like no one wants to be around me and I need to be able to talk about the terrible things that happened so that i can move forward. It’s just too much for people when I start sepeaking about it. They give me that look of pity and sad eyes. They don’t realize that I’m not asking them to solve things, just lend an ear, to let me tell my story as many times as I need to to move forward. I also need there help in getting me up amd out the bed, to get groomed and get outside into the world amd restart my life. Whatever that life is going to be. I meed them to help me refocus and organize my life. I’m in a dark place with my grieving and need more support. They invite me to partys and want to celebrate and have fun. Crowds are hard for me and I’m better one on one at the moment, but they don‘t listen. They’re in their happiness of just living their regular lives because  nothing catastrophic has happened to them. I don’t fault them for that. It just makes  me sad. This is how people act and then are surprised by all the news on tv thag we see about suicide. Then when people see that, they comment “How awful, I wish they would have called me”. But in reality so many of us are reaching out and asking for help, but these people that get sad after someone dies, aren’t the ones who did show up for those friends, didn’t check on them to see if they were ok. And then, again they’re surprised by the deaths. Saying things like “what could we have done?”. It makes me sad and I feel alone. Everyday I wake up and try again to live. I haven’t been getting much done other than Therapy, acupuncture and sleep. I try to eat, but I barely can. I don’t know if that’s connected to the fact that my mom couldn’t eat and had an NG tube for so long...or if it’s the severe depression stopping me. I get anxiety a lot lately and it brings me down and spins me to panic. Anyway, sorry for the rant. These are just things I’m thinking of in this moment. I know we all have to choose life. I’m choosing life and to feel my feeling and move theough this until the rawness softens. It’s imperative and that’s what I’m doing. I just hope to pull myself up out of the confusion and mud and have better days. It’s so hard. My mom and brother were my best friends and the only unconditional love I had. It’s like lossing my legs and my heart. I am working on being my own anchor and figuring out my new life without them and what to do. 

Hugs, I’m so sorry you’re going through this too.

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Pam@Ilovemybeagle

Dear StreamingTheLight,

My heart goes out to you!!! I truly understand your pain and anguish. I also agree with you that we just need people to listen to us, no matter how many times we need to tell our stories. Please, please just reach out to us here and to me if you need to email talk. I feel that you get more sympathy and compassion with strangers than your own family and friends. Just this morning my husband feels that I should be in a better place by now. It hasn't even been a year since my dad passed, 7 months since my Heidi (beagle) passed and 4 months since my mom. There are the love of my life and I will miss the "I love you's" from them and the loving embraces. Knowing now that I have to go through the rest of my life without that is unbearable. I keep telling my self that they do not want my to go through the rest of my life feeling this way. I can hear my dad saying, "Pammy, it;s time to live your life now" But really, I don't think I know how. They have been a part of it every day since I was born. 

Please do not apologize for ranting....you are not ranting, you are grieving. Try to remember that they are right beside you . You just can't see them. We will all be together again one day. Right now we just have to carry on and make them proud. I know already that your mom and brother are very, very proud of you. Keep going and keep living.

Great big hug!!!

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Nicole-my grief journey

From the bottom of my heart, thank you Pam. You are right. They wouldn’t want us to go through the rest of our lives this way and I know that we won’t. We fill find acceptance, peace and joy again. I have had glimpses and I know there is more to come. I just need to trust that. We will find our way. I know that through my losses I have been able to help my friends that have experienced loss after mine and although I hate that they have to experience loss too, I’m comforted that I can help them in any way. I’m about to go to bed and I’m thinking about how blessed I am to have known such love like I had with my mom and siblings. In the last few days the universe has started to invite me back in to the creative work that I used to do before all of this. I am dipping my toe back in to it and I think it’s going to be very good for me in the way of starting a base to go from. I’m still up and down and cried at an Oscar party my friend had over the weekend, but that’s ok. I told my friends how I was truly feeling and they actually cried with me and I think understood more of why I’m where I’m at with my grief. It was cathardic. I hope this week brings you some smiles and many hugs and comfort. 

Nicole

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Pam@Ilovemybeagle

Dearest Nicole,

How I wish I was where you are at in your grief. I am truly glad for you that you are coming through the other side. Unfortunately, I wake up crying and I go to bed crying. I feel so sad and lost all the time. I feel left behind....I am trying, but I feel I have to fake being happy and putting a smile on my face  most the time. I just miss them soooooo much. My heart aches  and yearns for them. I miss their physical presence. I wish my mom and dad could talk to me. I wish I could see the gentle love in my dogs eyes again that she had for me. My head tell me the logical side of things, but my heart tells me different. 

I still have to go through my parents things at their house. I can't bring myself to do it yet. I just want to leave things alone for now. 

Thanks again Nicole for your kind words of comfort. 

Pam

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