Jump to content
Forum Conduct & Guidelines Document ×

What does acceptance look like?


Ray D

Recommended Posts

  • Moderators

I am so sorry for your loss, the hardest thing in the world.  It helps to come here to read and post, a safe place where others get it and understand.
We welcome you here but sure wish it was under different circumstances.

Grief Process

This is not a one-size-fits-all, what strikes us one day will be different a few months/years from now, so please save/print this for reference!

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of its own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs)))  Praying for you today.

 

  • Like 2
  • Hugs 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Boggled

Rather than that word, "acceptance," I prefer "realization" or "recognition."   Some ways, it applies to the feeling that we just can't BELIEVE or UNDERSTAND that they're not in this world ... anymore.     How can they be gone, when my heart is still connected to them, and I'm still here???????  ... at least, I THINK that's one of those things we just CAN'T understand.   Kind of like we just can't really understand infinity.

That whole 5 steps idea was for DYING people, not for the people left behind, the GRIEVING people.  

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
1 hour ago, Ray D said:

and then finally learning he did not because he did not like needles. And that was when he had to give himself needles for leukemia. 

As someone who also fears needles, this truly breaks my heart. I can quite imagine the immense challenge and hurdle your partner had to undertake to finally get himself for a diagnosis. When my partner Tom was around, occasionally he would jokingly ask me if I had yet booked an appointment for a physical...knowing how long it had been since my last one. I procrastinated because of having to go through a blood test plus the poking and prodding. Being a healthy guy, my hesitation could kinda sorta be justified but it must have been tortuous for your partner sensing something was wrong. 

1 hour ago, Ray D said:

I feel as though there is much  more that needs to be done and worked through. Perhaps it was the caregiving or his not taking heed for quite a long time when I was telling him I thought he bad cancer

This is all to do with the processing that our confused, grief-stricken minds undergo. It's tumultuous for us...particularly in those early months because it's all that's on our minds morning, noon and night. And the processing is exhausting which is why we need sleep however we can get it. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
4 hours ago, DWS said:

As someone who also fears needles, this truly breaks my heart. I can quite imagine the immense challenge and hurdle your partner had to undertake to finally get himself for a diagnosis.

Well, on my 60th birthday, we planned a full day out. We went to the bank and as I was getting out of the car, he said he thought he had an accident. I told him when I came back to step out so I could look. When I came back he said he checked and was bleeding. We went right home and be went upstairs, in and out of the bathroom to the steps over and over again. At a point be said he thought there was something seriously wrong. I said "You think?" When be came down he said he thought his insides were coming out. When I asked what he was talking about, he explained and I asked if he bad saved any of what he was talking about. He said he had, he got it and I looked at it and told him we are going to the ER and it was a clot. He said some were as big as his two hands with fingers touching. We spent 12 hours in the ER and I prayed all day I was wrong all along and it was diverticulitis or something else other than cancer. He had a colonoscopy amd endoscopy  finally scheduled for the following week. When he we r in for that, there was a screen that told you every step and after it said the procedure started, and the clock said 8 minutes in, I had the most horrible feeling something was terribly wrong. I just knew it was cancer. When he woke and they sent me back, I knew. The doctor came in and I just started babbling about why it took so long for him to do something and the doctor was looking at me like I was crazy and he turned to Brian and said he had rectal cancer. Brian was shocked and I was not. He said they did not know the extent bc the tumor was blocking the camera. Brian and I cried. The doctor was grave and I knew it was bad. After that was the catscan. And so a few weeks after my birthday, the doctor called on Black Friday around 7 pm. I knew it was not good and be was worried Brian would see the results... metastatic liver and lungs and over 50 tumors in each. Every holiday after something happened. I feel like I will not be able to ever forget. He also died on his best friends birthday.  Of this is not allowed... please delete.

  • Sad 2
  • Hugs 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
12 minutes ago, shawnt said:
12 minutes ago, shawnt said:
13 minutes ago, shawnt said:

"Ray , my wife was very ill with cancer and the last 6 months were horrific. At the time I coped because I was her primary caregiver and she wanted to be home and I wanted to give that to her. After , I had to get over the trauma of that before my grief could be faced, all of the woulda, shoulda, coulda's and guilt because of the my perceived failure to do better for her. I needed help to end the circular thinking. Some of the help for PTSD may be applicable, it helped me. Unfortunately there are no short cuts in this path we are all walking and as far as I can tell no end, my sweet Suzy will always be gone but somehow I have learned to live within that reality. "

This brought me to tears because this is what has been so very, very hard.  I documented my journey on Facebook because at this age you realize there are so many things people do not talk about.  Been doing that for years because it annoys me that there are these unspoken rules...there are no Doctor Spock books for getting old and the differences between men and women and how we flip due to hormonal changes, etc.  It was odd some people reacted as I was doing something exceptional.  For me it could not or ever be enough. I AM traumatized by it all. And I have tremendous guilt.  I cannot get the images out of my mind.  I am angry I did not realize or see how close the end was at hand while others did.  It helps to know that this is not something unusual even if everyone's experiences are different, these feelings have much in common. 

I finally decided to just tell myself I did the best I could and I could not have done any more than I did.  I literally could not.  And I made sure he was comfortable.  The hospice people told me they would give him a pump for pain meds.  They never did.  Then they told me to crush pills and put them in a spoon with some water and suck it up in a syringe.  Then squirt in his cheek and rub.  There were so many pills and then they said just give him the pain pills.  But then his brain would swell or other things would go on.  So every hour for the last few days I crushed all of the pills scheduled as he was supposed to take and I delivered them.  His last night that weekend I fell asleep for three hours and woke to a groan. Up until that point that weekend I was sleeping an hour here and there.  I immediately got on it and knew it was his last day. I said so.   I still feel guilty for sleeping despite knowing we all must sleep.  A "friend" had come to stay the night for "support".  He was anything but and after Brian passed he said "Well that was anti-climatical".  That comment was confusing and traumatic and lead to the end of our relationship in short time as it became clear he was an absolute narcissist and I feel so guilty for having him over as he never shut up about himself and I only pray that Brian did not hear him.

Thank you for sharing.  Have had a productive morning and was feeling pretty good.  Then read this and as I said...to tears.  But now that I have purged this and my guilty feelings, I feel better and did as I was able to digest what you said and then share.  I know you and I did the best we could and we have nothing to feel guilty about.  Thanks so much for sharing and Suzy was blessed to have had you.  Hugs.  PS Having a bit of a hard time digesting everything and keeping up on it and responding.  Imagine that...too much help!

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Hugs 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
HisMunchkin
18 hours ago, JonathanFive said:

My sweetheart passed away December 8th, and on his following birthday I started to burn candles and buy flowers.  I've been consistently buying flowers and burning candles since than.  Crazy as it may sound, burning a ton of candles has helped me feel immensely better.  I will burn them everynight..  

I read somewhere that rituals to honor the loved one can help a lot. 

 

 

3 hours ago, Ray D said:

But now that I have purged this and my guilty feelings, I feel better and did as I was able to digest what you said and then share.

This is why this site is so helpful.  You will likely find someone who went through something similar who can empathize with what you're going through, as well offer insights into what has helped them.  It's also a great place to let everything out.  Hope you'll stay and continue to share as much as you wish to.  And do consider Shawnt's advice to get help with the PTSD? 

You have been through a traumatic experience.  Watching a loved one deteriorate is a very scary experience.  It still haunts me.  Sometimes I see images of my husband's face after he had passed.  Being the main caregiver can also lead to feelings of guilt.  I still find myself looking back and questioning my decisions.  Should I have done this instead?  Did I do too much of X and not enough of Y, etc?  I would apologize to him in my mind, and I find that kind of helpful.  I think the truth is, even if I did things different, I would still be questioning my decisions.  I think you, too, would have found something else to feel guilty about.  This is how lots of people go through after a death of a loved one.  I didn't even get to be by my husband's side when he passed.  The nurse called me and told me that he complained of pain and couldn't breathe so they gave him more morphine.  Then shortly after, he passed away.  I still feel awful with the thought that he was in such a state, and I feel awful that I couldn't be there (no overnight visitors allowed).  But that was how the events unfolded, and I will have to come to terms with that and just let go.       

  • Sad 3
  • Hugs 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
5 hours ago, HisMunchkin said:

 I still feel awful with the thought that he was in such a state, and I feel awful that I couldn't be there (no overnight visitors allowed).  But that was how the events unfolded, and I will have to come to terms with that and just let go.       

 

  • Hugs 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

The Friday before Brian passed (which was.Monday), the nurse said that this day could be the day. I was not ready for this. And I wanted to know how I would know.  She went through a very long discussion about the signs and then said, "You probably won't even know. Most people are.not awake when they die. About 70 percent of the time they die when you are asleep. Somehow they seem to know." I was mortified. There was about 9 beers in the fridge we brought on his "RALLY DAY", the Tuesday before. It was about 10 pm and I called.l a friend who likes to drink beer in the evening because I don't drink alone. Actually dont drink hardly at all bc COVID attacked and damaged my pancreas. I ended up drinking all the beers and stayed up all night because I did not want him to die alone amd was awake when the nurse arrived in the am. So I understand and am so very sorry. 😞 

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2
  • Hugs 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

I wasn't allowed to be in his room when they worked on him, the memories of them working on his heart and the look of panic in his eyes when they hauled me off and locked the door to the ward are a horrid memory.  I found a chaplains room and was praying when four of them came towards me down the hall...they didn't say a word.  I screamed, "NOT MY HUSBAND!!!"  My screams could be heard everywhere.  There was a huge Thunder & lightening storm amidst a quadruple rainbow, my sister captured it with her camera...the moment he passed...I wasn't aware of it at the time but saw it when my daughter came to get me...we drove the hour plus home in it.  I told him, "Oh George, you made quite an entrance when you entered heaven!"  He would have chuckled at that.

The image she sent me only captured three of the rainbows but she said there'd been four there, a couple were real faint.

061905-7.jpg

  • Sad 3
  • Hugs 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Boggled
On 6/10/2024 at 10:34 AM, Ray D said:

I realize he is gone but I have not been able to accept that realization nor do I want to. I feel as though there is much  more that needs to be done amd worked through.

I keep reading book after book.   On grieving, but also the kind of books I can't talk about in this "Loss of" section.   

  • Hugs 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

I just ran across a couple of grieving books with poems in it, I'm going to give it to my friend that lost her young grown son last year.

  • Like 1
  • Hugs 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
On 6/8/2024 at 3:14 PM, Ray D said:

One week from today will be 3 months since I lost the most important person ever in my life . A partner and the best friend I ever had. The one who stood by me more than anyone ever. 

 

I lost my sanity and my law practice around 2011... A long slow descent into a disabling world where most executive functions were failing and could not put two pieces of paper together after some family members took everything from me. A terrible loss and betrayal where the only person who remained  was B who stood by me all these years until cancer took him.

I was the caregiver and he died here and for quite a while it did not seem real. As with many, people have disappeared for the most part and the loneliness has been unbearable.

 

The truth is he IS gone and a memorial service is slated for 6 22 24. I realize acceptance is the only thing that will free me although I know I will forever miss him. But what does that look like? I have been dancing around these stages and slipping back and forth. I want to feel good about the good times again . Thankful the pain is gone. Move forward from the paralyzing grief. Stop taxing others. 

Thanks for letting me share and look forward to your thoughts and experiences. PS... My first post.

In answer to your question.....   I don't know I don't think I have accepted it and never will.  I just have had to learn to keep moving forward.   You can accept it all you want it is not going to take away the pain of all of the memories, longing to be together, all of it.   Grief is multi faceted.  You think you got a hold on it one minute and the next your a mess.  

Hope you come back and it is not your last post.  We all learn, heal etc... from each other.  I find this forum to help even through the tears of not just myself but others.

  • Sad 1
  • Hugs 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
On 6/18/2024 at 12:46 PM, Bou said:

In answer to your question.....   I don't know I don't think I have accepted it and never will.  I just have had to learn to keep moving forward.   You can accept it all you want it is not going to take away the pain of all of the memories, longing to be together, all of it.   Grief is multi faceted.  You think you got a hold on it one minute and the next your a mess.  

And about "moving forward," I used to think "HOW??"   "Toward WHAT??"  But just by BEING IN TIME, time moves forward on its own and you do too.  

The first step for me was getting over being lonely.  At first, that was HUGE.  

But as other people have said, in some ways it's better to be alone than around other people, who can give temporary sympathy but can't really "get it," can't understand the magnitude or depth of this loss.   At this point (2 years after), I have contacted my one woman friend and can visit her if I want, and there's a group of 4 or 5 people I meet with once a week, so IF I have to reach out (for what??) there are at least a couple of possibilities ... but there's not much help there.  Really, this site is where I come when the super-grief/sorrow/pain/heavy-heartedness hits, and somehow reading y'all's comments helps, not a lot, and no perfect answers, but it helps!

I took in a pregnant momma cat in the winter of the first year, her kittens are now a year old, all different personalities, they seem to need to touch me, really want me to pet them!  why?  but observing the actions of the different cats and their different personalities has a kind of diverting fascination.

And diversion itself, helps, gives your mind and heart a break!   Whatever you find diverting!  I bought a "tongue drum" and bang on it and follow the extremely simple 1-2-3-4 play by the numbers little songbook that came with it.   :)  And I read novel after novel which I've done all my life, but your attention becomes absorbed in the novel which is diversion in itself.  oh yeah, and PICKING what novel to read, is a way to manage your head IMHO.    Well, here YOU are, YOU pick!    and live by your choice;  and if you don't like what the novel is doing to your head, find a different one.   :)  I guess it's the same with movies and TV ... and everything you choose.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
2 hours ago, Boggled said:

And about "moving forward," I used to think "HOW??"   "Toward WHAT??"  But just by BEING IN TIME, time moves forward on its own and you do too.  

The first step for me was getting over being lonely.  At first, that was HUGE.  

But as other people have said, in some ways it's better to be alone than around other people, who can give temporary sympathy but can't really "get it," can't understand the magnitude or depth of this loss.   At this point (2 years after), I have contacted my one woman friend and can visit her if I want, and there's a group of 4 or 5 people I meet with once a week, so IF I have to reach out (for what??) there are at least a couple of possibilities ... but there's not much help there.  Really, this site is where I come when the super-grief/sorrow/pain/heavy-heartedness hits, and somehow reading y'all's comments helps, not a lot, and no perfect answers, but it helps!

I took in a pregnant momma cat in the winter of the first year, her kittens are now a year old, all different personalities, they seem to need to touch me, really want me to pet them!  why?  but observing the actions of the different cats and their different personalities has a kind of diverting fascination.

And diversion itself, helps, gives your mind and heart a break!   Whatever you find diverting!  I bought a "tongue drum" and bang on it and follow the extremely simple 1-2-3-4 play by the numbers little songbook that came with it.   :)  And I read novel after novel which I've done all my life, but your attention becomes absorbed in the novel which is diversion in itself.  oh yeah, and PICKING what novel to read, is a way to manage your head IMHO.    Well, here YOU are, YOU pick!    and live by your choice;  and if you don't like what the novel is doing to your head, find a different one.   :)  I guess it's the same with movies and TV ... and everything you choose.

Time moves forward on its on and so do we...... no matter if we want it or not.  Thank you for all these kind words.  I can relate.  Sounds like you have become a cat lady.  Cats are interesting little things.  I too try to keep busy.  It is when I am not busy that the feelings all feel.   UGH

So what's a good read these days?  Something that will keep me interested but not too heavy on the brain. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
HisMunchkin
3 hours ago, Boggled said:

I took in a pregnant momma cat in the winter of the first year, her kittens are now a year old, all different personalities,

😍😍😍!!!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • 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.