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louisec

No one understands

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I feel that no one my age can possibly understand the depth of the pain I have to live with everyday. Grief is a burden; for every loss, it's like you must carry a heavy bag that no one can see. I am carrying so much pain and it takes so much for me even to get through the day and do even one or two things. I feel so isolated by grief because I have been forced to experience so much tragedy at a time in my life when it seems that everyone else has everything. I am so resentful of social media. I also feel resentful of people who have ignored my losses, people who I considered to be friends, and then it feels so heartless that they can't even address such a huge loss in your life. I see people having kids and getting married and having huge family dinners and their lives are so full, it makes me feel even more alone. I try to be grateful for all that I have, and grateful that I had such meaningful relationships to begin with, but losing them is tearing me apart. 

I lost my father suddenly and tragically when I was 26. While I was still trying to get back on my feet, my brother was diagnosed with a rare cancer. During that time, my mom was very sick but it wasn't until another 6 months had passed that she was diagnosed with advanced cancer. My brother died within 18 months and I am approaching the 2 year anniversary of his death. My mom is now in palliative care and I am caring for her at home. I cannot bear another loss and losing my mom is disconnecting me from myself in a way the previous losses didn't. My mom is my best friend, my guide, and has helped me cope with all the pain in my life. I don't know how I will face anything without her. I want to retreat and hide away from the world but I am also afraid this loss will harden me and take all the joy from my life. I want more than anything to live, and yet, I am paralyzed by sadness. 

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I am so sorry you are dealing with so many losses at once.  I understand how Facebook can make you feel even more disconnected.  I know how difficult anniversaries of death can be, so my thoughts are with you as you come up on this second year of your brother's.

I hope this article will be of help to you.  

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2016/04/in-grief-coping-with-multiple-losses.html

I also want to re-post something I wrote earlier, hoping you can take something away from it that will be of help to you. 
 

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 it's 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.
  • 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.

 

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