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So I was just wondering how people who have survived the loss of a loved one or the close loss of a loved one moved beyond that loss and found the positive in the situation to propel themselves forward?
A little background....
Naturally, I'm a VERY positive person. When the *hit hits the fan, I'm usually the one that can quickly pick myself up from my boot straps and sludge through the *hit to get back to good. The problem that I'm experiencing now is that recently I got clobbered with something so emotionally catastrophic that it's left me feeling like, "I want to live, dammit! I want to grab whatever positive of this *hitty situation and use it to propel myself forward to better things!"
The problem is, I just don't know how.
I don't want to dwell on the horrible things that I've seen or the horrible things that I felt. All that feels like to me is wallowing in my sorrow and that just seems like such a waste of time and enery.
Before my dad died, I was able to spend his last month with him. It was a gift and it helped me find good in my life after he was gone. I miss him dearly, but I now remember how great he was, not how awful his end was.
Fit, one thing that helped me was to find a way to give up the anger. All that red ball of rage does is eat you up inside--you have to let it go.
It helps me to do something creative and meditative, to get myself into a different headspace than I am in my regular day-to-day life. I use ceramics class for this. Throwing on the wheel helps me a lot, especially if I'm listening to music. I can sort of zone out, and I find that I come to some realizations during that time. Do you have any kind of creative outlet?
I'm sorry you're going through something so emotionally catastrophic... That can take a toll on anyone.
Everyone grieves in their own way. What's right for one person, may not be right for you... I agree with you that you shouldn't have to dwell on the horrible things you've seen or the horrible things that you've felt - but dwelling and grieving/handling it are very different.
Have you thought about maybe seeing a therapist? Sometimes they can help identify what you're feeling, and why, and help you come up with a solution in order to get through it. (By the way, seeing a therapist isn't anything to be ashamed of).
Life is full of bad things... but you need to remember that life is also wonderful and very precious. We aren't given long to live, so we need to make the most of it. I hope you find strength and can come to peace with the problems you face. <3
Personally, I find allowing myself to wallow (or whatever you want to call it) helps more than trying to hide away my feelings. And that's true whether I'm upset that I didn't get the job I wanted or because my dad jumped off a bridge. Letting myself feel whatever it is I'm feeling helps me keep going. Feeling guilty that I have emotions has never helped the situation.
A-Girl has a point. It's important to experience the emotions, so you can process them. Suppressing emotion isn't usually a viable long-term solution.
In time of extreme grief, I find things much easier if my focus is on helping others ease their grief.
Remember: Share happiness and all will increase their happiness. Share a grief and all will have less grief.
I'm sorry for your loss, Fit.
I've had my own, and found it's important to talk about it, and let people be there for you. No one can take away that pain or say some magical word, but they can listen and sympathize, and allow you to vent, cry, share memories of the loved one,and other things that can be very helpful.
You could think of ways to honor the person's memory, too..things that will allow you to focus on the good times. Maybe a special photo album, or some sort of memorial tree/plaque in your garden..any idea you have is just fine.
I don't know if you believe in an after life or not, but if you do..then ask yourself what that person would want for you. Would they want you to be suffering their loss to the point it makes you unhappy in your life, or would they want you to be okay?
Not that it's easy to pick yourself up,but sometimes the best way to honor them is to do just that. In your own time, and at your own pace.
I know that when I die, I don't want my loved ones to dwell on it or be miserable..it makes the thought of leaving them that much worse, you know? I'd want them to move on and just remember me in whatever way they do.
And I know..how much easier it is to say than to do. The mere thought of losing someone in my family makes me want to cry.
If you're really struggling with this, don't be afraid to reach out to a local support group or even a grief counselor.
I second seeing a grief counselor or a therapist - sometimes having someone who is paid to listen helps - makes you feel like you aren't putting too much pressure on your friends or family. And if you don't like the first one you go to, it's ok to keep shopping around - they aren't "one size fits all."
Fit - Feel your feelings. Find someone you can express your self to/with. Find a support group.
Most hospices have grief counselors and grief support groups. Locate a hospice in your area and find our about their programs. The hospice Iused to work for had grief programs that were open to anyone and everyone in the community.
Listening to other peoples stories is what's helped me not get sucked in. I allow myself to be emotionally invested in others.
I lost my Father and my brother and I'm about to lose my mother... a whole heap of other crap... but when it comes to having problems, I usually say to myself
"... me and the rest of the world."
For every horrendous story we have to tell, there's one worse someone else has to tell us. When the s*** storm is about to come, just hold on and keep moving forward, as you have been. If your eyes are open and your energy is light, good things will find you. This has been my experience at least.
Sending out Love and Light for you all.
Seeing a therapist and/or going to a grief counselor to me feels like crippling defeat.
Here's the thing, this is about my dad. He went into the hospital in November for a simple surgery and just got out yesterday. During that time, he almost died and was on a ventilator for over 20 days. The guy has been nicknamed by all hospital staff as the "miracle man," and "Superman." When I talk to my dad he is so upbeat and tells me that this is a new chapter in our lives. That we should grab this horrible situation by the balls and learn the lessons it has dealt us and move beyond and forward.
When I hear that I think, "Hell, he's right! If this is how he is taking it, I should follow suit." And really, inside I feel the same way he does. However, I now have this crippling fear of the unknown. Where things used to be sooooo easy for me to do, now I second guess everything and feel like, "We can't be this lucky!?!?!" I feel like I need to find the meaning of why he survived when he was given only a 15% chance. I worry that his death is around the corner and these are the last moments so I better soak up every second of the positive and prepare myself for the time when he won't come back.
Sometimes, I just wish that I would get hit by a car and die before anyone I love dies so I won't have to go through the pain of loss. Selfish, I know...but the fear of being left behind and having to deal with such a crappy feeling is unbareable.
How do you move forward? How? Really? I will never be the person I was before. I will never be carefree again. Am I going to have to carry around this crap for the rest of my life? Am I going to have to let this age me emotionally?
I don't want to give into it. I want to say "Eff this!" And just go back to being normal.
But how? I'm too young for this burden!
agreed completely. i've found that if i try to just make feelings go away, i end up exploding. for me, it's best to let myself break down. cry. bawl. look like a pathetic mess when i'm done...but letting that emotion out makes me feel lighter after.
If this thread is about what I think it's about... I'm thinking perhaps time is the only thing that's going to make this easier/better.
Sending you love and light.
edit: I recalled your post a while back about your Dad after my first response.
I am in no way qualified to make this call, but is it possible that you are depressed?
Seeing a professional if you are depressed (or even if you are not) is not a sign of weakness. Strength isn't always being independent - sometimes it's knowing and accepting that you need someone else's help.
My brother went through a depression in the past year... I still believe that it is in part because he never completely dealt with my dad's death. I am so glad and proud that he went to see a therapist, that he got help, and now, a year later, he is so much better, so much happier. I can hear the difference when I talk to him on the phone, I can see the difference when I saw him over Christmas.
I don't think it's at all strange to go through a depression even though your dad is doing so much better. You had to face the possibility of his death and that is a very significant event to go through. It makes the fact that he will die some day that much more real. We all know that we will lose our loved ones some day, but that knowledge somehow never prepares us for it actually happening.
I can only reiterate that seeing a therapist is not a bad thing - it does not mean that you have failed or are weak, it does not mean that you are crazy. You are none of those things.
Please believe me... I know what I'm talking about. You will get through this. Things will be OK again. I know that's impossible for you to believe now, but we can get through anything because unfortunately we do not have a choice.
Don't get too wrapped up in learning something from this right now. Enjoy all the moments you have left and realize that at least you have some warning here. We can't take anything for granted because we can lose anything at any time. When these overwhelming feelings come, distract yourself. I was 12 years old when I lost my father and I had nobody to help me through it because everyone else were too indulged in their own feelings. You are never too young for burdens unfortunately. All you can do is be present in this experience and know that everything is going to be ok. It has no choice but to be ok. Your self defense mechanisms will protect you. Surround yourself with people that love you and if you're spiriling while alone, just breathe... slowly in and out... and keep telling yourself everything is going to be ok.
We should be doing this anyway. Tomorrow isn't a given... Embrace the time you have with him now. I worry a lot too... severe anxiety actually, and anti-anxiety meds help me deal with it. I have this unnerving fear of death, even though it's totally irrational and inevitable.
But, I really think you should look at your dad's "new" attitude as one to embrace and follow. Life is guaranteed for no one...
Fit: I don't usually do this but...
My father died, then my husband, then my mother.
Sometimes it just **** hurts. You cry until you are ready to puke, and then you recover, and then maybe you cry some more, and then you recover.
Maybe you have a drink of whiskey, maybe you write in a journal for three hours, maybe you just hug your dog or your kids - sometimes you plant yourself in the Lounge and find people to help.
**** one day at a time, sometimes it's one minute at a time.
What you learn is that there is no such thing as a life without pain. Pain is not permanent, though. If it ages you a little, so be it, it makes you stronger too.
And without a doubt, the more love you can hold on to, spread around, inspire in others, the less it hurts, and the better you feel.
Don't fear grief, honey, be grateful for the love that inspires it.
I love this. Thank you, Kathy.
bloody hell, mommagator. beautiful. you're beyond inspiring sometimes.