Jump to content

CHAT NOW!

Enjoy the benefits of Premium today.

Share Your Loved One's Pictures

In our beautiful Gallery

Helping You Find Zen On Your Grief Journey

Back To Zen

Take Grieving.com on the Go!

Buy on Apple and Google Play
Scott A

Does Therapy Help?

Recommended Posts

foreverhis
On 5/6/2019 at 1:34 AM, chincube said:

Seeing people that he cared about not in grief, makes me feel sad and angry that maybe they didn't love him. She also asked me how do I think a best friend of his is grieving, even I never thought of that but in fact I know how is his best friend interpreting his grief towards my man.

That's a really good question.  I know without doubt that the friends and family closest to my husband are still grieving in their way and will always miss him.  I think part of why they're here for me is for him, to maybe show their love for both of us in the only way they can now.  His male friends, especially our best friend and his young adult son, who thought of my husband as a second dad-uncle-big brother-friend, have been almost desperate to "do" things for me around the house and yard.  Things that my husband would have done or was in the middle of doing.  It's like they're showing me they love me, but they're also working through their grief this way.  Our across the street neighbor, who was casual friends with us and who had much in common with my love, has been the same way.  I said to his wife one time, "Thanks for letting me borrow your husband today."  She told me she's happy he's helping, that she sees that it makes him feel better.  Both of them cook, so I've had some really lovely meals from time to time.  Not just while my love was ill or right after he died, but up to today because that's one thing they can both do to help.

It makes sense that a therapist would ask the questions we might not think of because the depth of our grief makes us focus narrowly while we're surrounded by mental chaos and fog at the same time.  I'd think a good therapist could help us find ways to see through some of the grief fog. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chincube

@foreverhis It has not been completely this way for me. His family mostly got back to normal within a week, even his best friend who grew up with him together and spent every single day together since a child, he also started behaving as usual laughing and joking around in a bit more than a week. I know it's their cultural thing, but I got angry at them privately and I couldn't really say why.

However, his best friend still keeps on calling me at least every other day - even after I told him he doesn't have responsibility to do so, especially if my crying makes him sad. With the therapist I started to think, maybe this is his way of loving me and expressing his grief - the moment he wakes up, he thinks of his best friend who's not there anymore, so he calls me instead. Even if when he does call he just talk pretty much nonsense stupid jokes, that was the way 3 of us used to interact anyway before my man died.

But I found that seeing other closed ones of his moving forward very quickly, makes my heart break... In a way I think maybe they did not really love him that much... maybe except his best friend.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC

It hasn't been that way for me either.  My husband's family was very dysfunctional...only three of his siblings came to his funeral, even his dad didn't bother even though offered a ride.  He was from a family of 11 kids, one preceeded him in death, only one lived too far away to come, his mom had already passed.  None of them ever called me again!  Well his dad did, a year later, badmouthing him!  I wouldn't stand for that, told him to call when he had something positive to say, he never did.  I wasn't notified when he died but learned about it years later.

Friends...they all disappeared and very quickly!  They came to his funeral, then were gone.  I tried calling them, they literally moved, left no forwarding.  Bizarre.  George would have been stunned to see how they all left me on my own.  No offers of help, no meals, no phone calls, nothing.

I am the keeper of George's memory, my family still remembers him with love, I am thankful for that.  He deserved better than he got from his friends.  He always cared about people, was there for them, had a real heart for those down and out.  He'd help the homeless, give people rides, food, etc.  I've never met anyone better.  He had the biggest heart I've ever seen.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
foreverhis
9 hours ago, chincube said:

His family mostly got back to normal within a week, even his best friend who grew up with him together and spent every single day together since a child, he also started behaving as usual laughing and joking around in a bit more than a week.

Of course I don't know their cultural backgrounds, but my experience has been that our society does not handle death and grieving well.  So many people either can't or won't acknowledge that something has profoundly changed that they kind of ignore or gloss over this horrible loss.  One of the things that has bothered me boils down to the notion of "I don't know what to say or do; I'm really uncomfortable with grieving; I'm going to pretend everything is back to normal as soon as possible; I sure hope his/her spouse/partner will move on too."   What they don't or perhaps refuse to see is that there is no "moving on" or "picking up the pieces" or getting "back to normal" for us.  In general, admitting that death exists means admitting that we are all mortal.  That's something many people would rather not confront or be reminded of, so again they just pretend nothing has changed.  It's wrong and hurtful, especially to us.

I think in most cases that it's not a matter of people not loving as much, but simply not being able to deal with the loss.  Plus, this is the worst thing most of us here will ever experience.  No matter how much someone else loved our soulmates, they did not lose what we have.  They can't know what it's like to lose everything.  Perhaps his best friend jokes and acts as if things are normal because he is putting a facade over his grief.  Men especially have trouble dealing with emotions that make them feel weak.  He may also be trying to make you feel better, perk up your spirits, or just let you know that he is still there.  That he is still calling and checking in seems like an overall good thing, but you may need to tell him at some point that it's hurting you to feel as if others simply put your love out of their hearts and minds, and that you're not ready to joke and laugh just yet.

But of course, I don't know his family or friends.  For all I know, that's exactly how they may feel.  I'm inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt at first and assume that they're glossing over their grief because it's uncomfortable, rather than because it doesn't exist.

I wish we could all give you a big hug to help you know you are not alone in feeling this way.  Truly, you are not.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
foreverhis
2 hours ago, KayC said:

I am the keeper of George's memory, my family still remembers him with love, I am thankful for that.  He deserved better than he got from his friends.

It makes my heart hurt for you and George that both of you were treated like that.  You both deserved better, from life and from his friends and family.  You're right that we are the keepers of their memories.  For 35 years, my love and I lived our stories together.  Now it's up to me to make sure those stories, that history is not forgotten.  I often say to my love that he deserved so much better than life handed him.  Life is not fair, but the universe should be just.  I can only hope when it's my time that he is there waiting for me with open arms and open heart to let me know that it is. 

I do get what you mean about dysfunction, though not to that extent.  My husband was estranged from his parents for good reason.  They were not evil or anything, but their relationships tended to be toxic.  They both died before he did, but I suspect that the only contact I would have gotten from them would have been to ask me to give them back certain things or "What's in it for us" kind of behavior.  He was basically estranged from his brother, though his brother did send a nice get well card when my husband was in the hospital.  But I haven't heard one word from him since my love died.  No call, no card, nothing.  We're close to his sister and that relationship is intact.  She nearly died in an accident last winter, so it's been tough keeping in our usual contact, but we're there for each other.

I certainly have days where I feel as if everyone has gotten back to their lives without a thought for me or my husband, but in general we've been luckier than most because the small circle of family and friends we had are still largely here for me as much as they can be.  And I've started my "be more honest" approach with them.  Last weekend I told our best friends that I'm not going be a little puddle of self-pity, but I'm also going to stop putting on "the brave face" all the time.  I said I might even fall apart from time to time and am not going to hide that either.  They said that was good and yesterday, I got this link from them as a reminder intended to comfort and maybe make me smile a little:

https://www.facebook.com/elarroyoaustin/photos/a.219897351427151/2248151021935097/?type=3&theater

(I hope the hyperlink insert worked.  Sorry if it didn't.)

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
beaniele
My husband (47) went into sudden cardiac arrest and the CPR i administered until the EMTs came did not help. They worked on him for an hour but he did not come back. I am 1 1/2 years into this and I am still wracked by grief and regret. I talked to friends initially, but soon it became clear that I needed someone who could just focus on my ranting--i felt like if I didn't talk to someone I would take my own life. I ended up at a hospice place in our town that does grief counseling--it was with a counselor but she also mentioned that there were groups of people that had lost partners that I could go to as well--I knew I needed to go and get out of my own head. It helped a lot. The individual counselor set me up with some truths that since I got them early on prevented (too) much shock and bitterness later on. She said, 1: Grief rearranges your address book--meaning, people you thought were close will disappear. People you didn't think were that close will step up. THIS WAS SO TRUE and still is.
She also said, "you will idealize your husband, then you will demonize him, then you will regard things with truth and honesty." The whole pendulum swinging to the extremes. 
I also went to another counselor after about 8 months because people said I had PTSD, so I went to a grief counselor who does EMDR. Everything has helped, somewhat. I read a lot of books, like It's Ok You're Not Ok, by Megan Devine. and A Grief Observed, by CS Lewis. and many many others. I also participated in Megan Devine's writing course for grieving people, which helped me connect with other people suffering loss and I am still in  contact with them. 
I think therapy/counseling, talking to others who have lost spouses/partners helps a lot. Just knowing there are other people out there like you, who understand, helped an effing lot. After a while, a couple of weeks, I felt like friends and family were just "grief adjacent" and really couldn't understand what I was experiencing. It help to be with "my own tribe" so to speak, I knew they were my "go-to" folks. I still hold down my job, do stuff, still working through the paperwork, do things with friends, do things on my own, but I'm grateful I have people who understand from experience what I am going through in grief. 
This forum was a life saver early on, and still is. 
But therapy/counseling/grief support was very helpful to me, if only to get me out of my own head. 
Just my two cents. 
I am sorry you are having to be here--it is a "wild ride and a new road," as Emily Dickinson wrote. 
 
My husband died under the same circumstances, last Nov.

I have a grief therapist and a trauma therapist. I did the EMDR also. Yesterday she did the brain spotting which I think worked better for me.

We did not have a lot of friends, as we spent most of our time together.

There are family on his side that have done nothing, then his nephew has gone out of his way to help.

It is a long process, this grief. I hate that this is my life now. But, I only have one choice, to try and manage my life as best as possible. Some days I am sobbing and other days I make it through.

I am sorry for all our losses. Love, Linda

Linda

  • Like 3
  • Hugs 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC
10 hours ago, foreverhis said:

Men especially have trouble dealing with emotions that make them feel weak.

I know when George died, my son was in the Air Force and he called one day and said, "Mom, I don't know what's the matter with me!  I wake up crying, I cry at work..."  I said, "Nothing's wrong with you, Paul.  You're grieving.  Hopefully those you work with understand."
So many guys are raised with the idea that men don't cry/show emotion, my son was by his father who was Italian.  The only emotion his dad was comfortable showing was anger.  Fortunately, my son is learning different.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC
5 hours ago, Michelene said:

Grief rearranges your address book

It sure does!

I'm glad the EMDR was helpful to you.  Here's some links about it for those who don't know what it is...one of the articles I'd saved, the link no longer works, unfortunately.
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2016/03/in-grief-using-eye-movement.html
Also:
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2010/03/using-emotional-freedom-techniques-eft.html
https://www.healthjourneys.com/blog/ask-belleruth/have-you-heard-of-emotional-freedom-technique-eft.html

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC
4 hours ago, beaniele said:

I have a grief therapist and a trauma therapist. I did the EMDR also. Yesterday she did the brain spotting which I think worked better for me.

I'm glad you've found good professional help!  
For those who don't know what braqinspotting is:
https://www.lifechangellc.com/new-blog/2018/12/9/emdr-and-brainspotting-similarities-and-differences-in-processing-trauma

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Scott A
7 hours ago, Michelene said:

My husband (47) went into sudden cardiac arrest and the CPR i administered until the EMTs came did not help. They worked on him for an hour but he did not come back. I am 1 1/2 years into this and I am still wracked by grief and regret. I talked to friends initially, but soon it became clear that I needed someone who could just focus on my ranting--i felt like if I didn't talk to someone I would take my own life. I ended up at a hospice place in our town that does grief counseling--it was with a counselor but she also mentioned that there were groups of people that had lost partners that I could go to as well--I knew I needed to go and get out of my own head. It helped a lot. The individual counselor set me up with some truths that since I got them early on prevented (too) much shock and bitterness later on. She said, 1: Grief rearranges your address book--meaning, people you thought were close will disappear. People you didn't think were that close will step up. THIS WAS SO TRUE and still is.

She also said, "you will idealize your husband, then you will demonize him, then you will regard things with truth and honesty." The whole pendulum swinging to the extremes. 

I also went to another counselor after about 8 months because people said I had PTSD, so I went to a grief counselor who does EMDR. Everything has helped, somewhat. I read a lot of books, like It's Ok You're Not Ok, by Megan Devine. and A Grief Observed, by CS Lewis. and many many others. I also participated in Megan Devine's writing course for grieving people, which helped me connect with other people suffering loss and I am still in  contact with them. 

I think therapy/counseling, talking to others who have lost spouses/partners helps a lot. Just knowing there are other people out there like you, who understand, helped an effing lot. After a while, a couple of weeks, I felt like friends and family were just "grief adjacent" and really couldn't understand what I was experiencing. It help to be with "my own tribe" so to speak, I knew they were my "go-to" folks. I still hold down my job, do stuff, still working through the paperwork, do things with friends, do things on my own, but I'm grateful I have people who understand from experience what I am going through in grief. 

This forum was a life saver early on, and still is. 

But therapy/counseling/grief support was very helpful to me, if only to get me out of my own head. 

Just my two cents. 

I am sorry you are having to be here--it is a "wild ride and a new road," as Emily Dickinson wrote. 

 

Thank you, I know exactly what you mean about grief rearranging my address book. I'm fortunate in that some friends and even casual acquaintances have gone out of their way to help.  My biggest problems are I'm not an open person emotionally and have an extremely difficult time sharing emotions with those who know me.  Thus the outreach for therapy.  I've made a couple calls and maybe will have a session soon.

Honestly, this forum is helping more than anything right now.  Thank you all.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC
10 hours ago, Scott A said:

Honestly, this forum is helping more than anything right now.  Thank you all.

 

That's how I felt when I went through it, and I was fortunate, the site I was at had a professional grief counselor, I've learned so much from her over the years.  It's hard when we have a loss of this magnitude and we're starting from ground zero, we don't know beans about grief! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
foreverhis
15 hours ago, Scott A said:

Honestly, this forum is helping more than anything right now.  Thank you all.

Absolutely agree.  I was lost, floundering around and basically alone last fall.  My friends and family had mostly gone back to their normal routines and I didn't want to be "a burden."  I hoped to find ways to cope, but I also found a community of people who welcomed me as "one of us."  That I also found validation for everything I was feeling, thinking, and doing was the biggest help of all.  That I can come here and rant or question or converse on an ongoing basis still helps almost more than anything else.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ColIeen

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, five weeks is very little time especially for someone who was so important in your life.

For me therapy definitely helped. Unfortunately I still believe I still feel the same amount of grief and pain but it has only been 6 months now for my boyfriend took his life and I do feel like I've learned to cope a little better from then- the first few months were definitely some of the hardest.

I know what avoiding feelings is like - I enrolled in a full-time course to distract myself and it works until I'm out of routine with semester breaks then I begin to find my emotions harder to deal with and painful memories find their way to the front. These are the times I knew I needed to contact my therapist and honestly it definitely helped me, following these sessions I'd be able to sleep without an hour cry without that severe tension in my chest.

Therapy gave me a place to really share my feelings or sometimes just to talk about him to share stories, It was strangely nice going there having someone know and understand of all the loses you have had and encouraging you to heal.There were some things that maybe I wanted to keep a bit more private from my family and friends which caused me upset or I wanted to hide away how hurt I was at times because I didn't want to bring my family down and having a place to go to week by week to sometimes just have an hour long cry, I believe really did help me. I may have gotten lucky getting a therapist who was very understanding and really lovely. And honestly, in my own way I'm not a very trusting person, it takes me a while to open up but after a few sessions I realized this was someone I could trust and someone that genuinely wanted to help make me feel better. The unfortunate truth I was reminded of was often was there is no quick fix and you just have to keep grieving I do have to go through all the emotions which again are unique in every case.  I don't know if therapy would be helpful for everyone and the first sessions are the most painful having to live through everything that happened during that time and retelling the story is so hard and draining but knowing there's someone you can say anything to that's burdening your mind really helped me.

It's good for even discussing maybe things you consider silly but it helps you. Like for me every night I go to sleep I find the teddy he got me and say a good night to him which I found odd but really nice that my therapist encouraged this because it was something that helped me sleep a little better at night.

That's just my own experience though and again I think I was very lucky with my therapist - I have heard of others where it took a few goes to find someone that suited them that they felt comfortable with. Everyone heals differently and I hope you manage to find a way or some ways to help you along the healing process.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KayC

Colleen, 

I'm glad you got therapy, suicide especially can be hard w/o it.  They say at about six months is the hardest because shock wears off and often support dries up as other people go on with our lives...but for us, the grief and pain continues, for us...we never forget.  It doesn't stay in this intensity though, we get better at adjusting and coping, ever so gradual as to not notice it, but one day we look back to day one and realize our pain has lessened somewhat from where we were.

I'm so glad you got a therapist you can trust!  Your description is very helpful for those considering it so they can know what to perhaps expect.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff In Denver

It must help some people or the grief counselors and therapists would go out of business.  In my opinion - and I am not presenting this as anything beyond that, it can't help much in many cases.  When you lose the most important person in your life, nothing helps.   Okay, it might make you feel a little better to talk about it during sessions, but for me that quickly evaporated once I was home and the session wore off.

The only thing that would make things right would be for the only thing we want:  The return of the person who is not here physically.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Scott A
On 5/9/2019 at 7:52 PM, ColIeen said:

.There were some things that maybe I wanted to keep a bit more private from my family and friends which caused me upset or I wanted to hide away how hurt I was at times because I didn't want to bring my family down and having a place to go to week by week to sometimes just have an hour long cry, I believe really did help me.

I think that's what I'm looking for more than anything else...someone I can share things with I don't feel comfortable talking with or burdening family and friends with.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SBA
  On 5/9/2019 at 10:52 PM, ColIeen said:

I think that's what I'm looking for more than anything else...someone I can share things with I don't feel comfortable talking with or burdening family and friends with.

 

I guess that is my answer right there.  I need someone to talk to that I can tell about the guilt I feel, the loneliness and everything else that I don't want to tell my family and close friends, including how horrendous his last days were.  Thank you  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Scott A

I had my first therapy session yesterday.  It was ok.  I can't say I feel much better, but she did point out a couple things that helped with the guilt I was feeling so I consider that a positive.  I'll go again end of next week.  I'm willing to give it a few sessions and see how I feel.  If nothing else, it was nice to get off my chest a few things I didn't feel comfortable sharing with anyone else.  I know there's no magic fix, nothing anyone can say or do that will make me miss my wife any less, but at least I had a chance to share and that's a good thing.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chincube
3 hours ago, Scott A said:

I had my first therapy session yesterday.  It was ok.  I can't say I feel much better, but she did point out a couple things that helped with the guilt I was feeling so I consider that a positive.  I'll go again end of next week.  I'm willing to give it a few sessions and see how I feel.  If nothing else, it was nice to get off my chest a few things I didn't feel comfortable sharing with anyone else.  I know there's no magic fix, nothing anyone can say or do that will make me miss my wife any less, but at least I had a chance to share and that's a good thing.

Therapy doesn't directly make me feel better too, in a way I knew it, that the one thing that will make me feel better is impossible. But sometimes when my thoughts are all tangled up like a furious ball of string, at least therapy can help detangle a bit, hopefully to the state that I can make out which string is which. 

But sometimes therapy does nothing for me too. Like the previous couple of days I felt so horrible and couldn't remember a thing I did during the week, that I didn't even know what to say in therapy, I guess my therapist was frustrated too. 

So yeah, I think you're wise to try few times and see how you feel. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff In Denver

I admire grief therapists.  That has to be one very difficult job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This site uses cookies We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. and uses these terms of services Terms of Use.