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Miss Ngu

Grief And Peri-Menopause

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I once asked in another post if anyone was experiencing grief while going through peri-menopause. Unfortunately, I got no response. I figured that other women in their early 50's (like I am) might lose their mother (or dearest, closest relative) during this process of change. I then looked online for some more information regarding this topic, and didn't find much. So -- I am sorry if this topic gives too much information, but, I need to write this. If there is "nothing new under the sun", then -- I know I am not alone, and someone else can relate.

The hormonal changes that are occurring are all mixed-up with my grief. My mother is not here any longer to help me and comfort me ((tears flowing...)) -- I am scared. Fear can be overcome, I know, but I have never been through such a life-changing event without my mother to help me though it.

Ok -- so -- I have never been pregnant. I never got to be a mother (other than to my cats -- not the same, I know). It's not for lack of opportunity, but, my body just never got pregnant. I am both happy and sad about this situation in my life. Never more sad than I am now that my mother is gone, and I am lonely for that mother/daughter closeness (if I were to have been so lucky to have that kind of relationship with my child).

I have only been late with my "monthly" three times: when my 57-year-old brother died (a little over 4 years ago); when my mother died (last year - May 12, 2011); and now, during the 1 year anniversary of her death (and this is the longest I have ever been "overdue"). The two pregnancy tests I have taken a week apart both show "negative" results. There is not much information out there to know if any of this is normal. Every woman has gone through this change differently, with different life circumstances altering the commonality of the situation.

I am ready for menopause, and to stop having to deal with the monthly situation. No matter, it is still, yet, another grief to go through, and the reminder that I don't have any children -- and -- that my mother is gone as well. As much as I tried to get close to my extended family (sister and brother's kids -- and their kids), I am just the Aunt. Seems the kids would rather type to me on the computer (if even that), as their sweet heads are usually looking down at their phone or game device. Not much closeness (in my opinion), but it seems that's just the way it is. Probably better that I didn't have children...

Feeling very on my own here...without my mother...

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I'm not quite there, but my wife is going through peri-menopause and recently lost her father. She has shared that it is difficult to know which emotions are triggered or intensified by which thing. I wanted to let you know that I had read your post and I am sorry to hear how difficult this is for you and I have witnessed some of this for my wife. Thinking of you.

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Hi pastmidnite, and thank you for your post. I really appreciate that you wrote to me. After 53 views to this topic, it is good to know that at least one person knows someone who feels as I do. When I search this topic online, what comes up is the grieving that a woman feels about going through peri-menopause. So, that isn't, obviously, what I'm looking for.

I agree with your wife that it is "difficult to know which emotions are triggered or intensified by which thing". Yes...that is exactly how I feel as well. Add it to the mix of the confusion that is my new life (without my mother on the planet).

It is very interesting to me (and validating in a way), to see that grief is so emotionally powerful, that it is physically showing-up for me in my body's cycles (from the timing of things).

My best to you and your wife, and my condolences for the loss of her father, your father-in-law.

Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone. It means a lot!

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Hi Miss Ngu,

I'm really surprised that no other females have responded to this question ?? I am also peri-menopausal, and it DOES affect the whole grieving process. I lost my Dad over 2 years ago, and I am still in a state of extreme, paralyzing grief. The fact that I am "Peri", makes everything 100 times worse, and especially right before my "cycle" , I cry all the time, but even more at that time !

I also have missed about 3 periods since my Dad died, I figured because my body was so stressed ??

I too wish that it would just be over with ! I am trying to get through it without anti-depressants, etc., but there's some days I just don't think I'll make it !

I wish I had some answers for you , maybe someone else will make a post that can help us ?

Was the 1 year anniversary tough for you ?? The 1st one for me was VERY hard, I really think it will be hard for the rest of my life :closedeyes:

Well, Thank-you for making this post, maybe more people will respond ?

Wishing you Peace and Comfort,

Jodi

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Hi Jodi, and thank you so much for your post! Thank you, also, for your surprise at the low response level to this topic as well. I know that people read the posts here more than they respond (even if they can totally relate), but it really is truly special, and feels so good when someone writes back.

As an aside...I must say, to those who just read the posts on this website (like I did for months), but don't want to post for fear of loss of privacy, please know that if you are careful with the information you put into your profile, and are careful with how you write you post (not using names or too many specifics), this site has been totally anonymous (which was my reason for originally not signing-up). And Marty is always there, reading every post, and making sure that any possible mean-spiritedness is addressed and diffused. I recommend writing-out, and sharing the pain with those of us who can relate. It takes a lot to figure out what you want to write -- and then -- how to say it, but, it's freeing in a way. Writing, and being in this "community" has helped me a lot, and I am truly Thankful.

Ok -- back to the topic...

When I think about it, I remember my sister went through missed periods for a bit when she was about 46, then, never got another one after our grandmother died (when she was 47). And, my hairdresser said that she went through the same thing when her mother died (it just stopped). So, Thankfully, I know that this can (and has) happened to other women.

I am now 45 days "overdue". This is kind of great -- although -- now, I'm not sure when/if "it" is will come on, and when I might be "fertile" (if that is still happening...). No schedule, so, I can't plan anymore around those days. A whole new experience -- and then -- this too shall pass.

New territory, once again, and my mom's not here to talk to. But, Thankfully, I have had a few very nice responses on this site, and also remembered some similar stories.

Mood-wise, I once heard a funny line about peri-menopause, "Her moods are swinging like Benny Goodman". This is how I feel. Up and down -- sometimes -- rapidly. It's hard to keep up with my own emotions. My husband is taken-aback when I bust out crying out of nowhere. Grief for my mother -- hormone changes -- who knows??

I have the medication Xanax for the really stressful times, but, it can be very addictive for some. I am not one for antidepressants, and I also don't want to take a pill everyday. I want to feel how I feel, no matter how awful. That's the human experience -- right? But, for the true anxiety-ridden times, I do feel better with the help of a half of a Xanax. If I took the whole pill, it'd be way too much for me. Be careful to anyone reading this if you have an addictive personality, as this medication can become addictive. I go to my doctor every 6 months so he can assess and refill the prescription if I need it. Some people seem to do well on the antidepressants, so, I wouldn't rule it out if you feel that this will work for you.

Thank you for asking how the 1st anniversary of my mother's passing went. It was rough (as it was also the day before Mother's Day). Now that almost 2 weeks have passed since, I can say that I feel a bit less upset than I did in the weeks leading-up to her anniversary. It's like a pressure building-up. I feel less of that pressure now, but, obviously, my body is doing different things. The pain is deep, as are the changes (both the changes of life without my mother here, but also the changes that are hormonally happening at this time in my life).

Jodi, your post, and words of comfort and concern are very helpful and healing to me, and I thank you.

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Miss Ngu, my dear, I just want to acknowledge your lovely statement about our site ~ thank you for saying it so beautifully.

As for your topic, I too have been searching the Internet for any information specifically addressing this matter of mother-loss coinciding with menopause, and will continue to do so until I find something worthwhile to post here. Meanwhile, I've also put out an alert to some of my grief counselor colleagues who've facilitated mother loss support groups, asking if they have and insights to share with us.

Just know that, even though we don't have an answer for you yet, your question has been heard, and we are working on it ♥

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Hi Marty, thank you for your post. Always good to hear from you.

Thank you, also, for your help in finding out more about this topic. SO many women must lose a parent or loved one during peri-menopause, and experience the extra-added emotional (and physical) confusion this brings -- don't you think??

I'm so Thankful to be able to come to this site, and connect with you (and others' here), to receive comfort, concern, and understanding, and read information that allows me to gain much-needed insight.

Looking forward to seeing what you find out.

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My dear Miss Ngu,

I've consulted with my HOV colleagues, and it seems that this particular question has not come up in the Mother Loss support groups they've facilitated ~ but certainly we all recognize and understand that when two or more major life events occur simultaneously, the experience of grief can be more muddled. Any major loss almost always includes secondary losses, each of which carries its own grief response ~ See, for example, Understanding Secondary Losses in Grief ~ and that is why it's so important to take the time to examine and explore exactly what you feel you've lost here, what those losses mean to you, and what you can do to manage your own reactions. In addition to learning all you can about what is normal in grief, I encourage you to read some articles and books specifically about mother loss and menopause. I believe such reading would help you to see that your thoughts, feelings and reactions are normal and to be expected under the circumstances.

One of the finest books about menopause that I can recommend to you is The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health During the Change, by Christiane Northrup, MD. If you click on the title, you'll go to Amazon's description and reviews. You can "Click to Look Inside" to read an extended excerpt from her book, and I've a feeling that that alone will offer you some reassurance as well as useful information.

As for mother loss, below is a list of readings I recommend (you can look for the book titles online, at your bookstore or at your local library):

Always Too Soon, http://j.mp/IzJca3

Becoming Myself: Living Life to the Fullest after Losing Your Parents (Book by Shari Butler)

Does Grief End? Turning the Corner after Mother's Death (Article by Gemini Adams) , http://www.opentohop...r-mothers-death

Grieving the Death of a Mother (Book by Harold Ivan Smith)

Grieving the Loss of a Parent (Website)

Helping Yourself Heal When a Parent Dies (Article by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.)

How Do We Deal with the Empty Chair During the Holidays? (Article by Marty Tousley)

In the Letting Go: Words to Heal the Heart On the Death of a Mother (Book by J. Lazear)

The Loss That Is Forever: The Lifelong Impact of the Early Death of a Mother or Father (Book by Maxine Harris)

The Long Goodbye: A Memoir (Book by Meghan O'Rourke)

Losing a Parent: Passage to a New Way of Living (Book by Alexandra Kennedy)

Mama Quest (Blog by Lauren Muscarella)

Motherless Daughters (Hope Edelman Home Page)

Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss (Book by Hope Edelman)

A Mother Loss Workbook: Healing Exercises for Daughters (Book by Diane Hambrook)

Never the Same: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Parent (Book by Donna Schuurman)

One Woman's Journey: Recovering from Grief (Book on Mother Loss, by Ruth Forman)

The Orphaned Adult: Understanding and Coping with Grief and Change after the Death of Our Parents (Book by Alexander Levy)

Parents, Children, and Grief in Between (Article by Sherry Russell)

What to Do With Mother's Stuff? (Article by Sara Davidson)

When I Lay Her Down to Sleep: Love Letters to a Dying Mother (Book by Ann Wright-Edwards)

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Hi Marty, and thank you for all of the information you posted. I'm still amazed that there isn't more information on this specific topic, but I am enjoying what you sent. Yes, I can relate to a lot of what the Northrup excerpt shows, and look forward to reading and learning more. Many thanks to you, and your colleagues!

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I am 42 years old.  I had an emergency total hysto 3 years ago and am on HRT now.  I have always noticed there are things that bring on menopause symptoms for me.  If I have alcohol without having a good amount of water with it, for example, the night sweats are aweful.  My mother died on her birthday, November 13 2016.  My menopause went out of control.  I had hot flashes and night sweats and chills and nausea for a good month and a half.  The more upset I would allow myself to get, the more my body would respond with menopause symptoms.  I take maca powder everyday in my smoothies and try to keep my emotions as under control as I can.  Lately, it's not as bad...until I start to think of my mom...I still have trouble sleeping through the night, but have found melatonin works for that.  I looked everywhere online for info on grief and menopause, but I also did not find anything.  Perhaps people do not realize that they are having 2 separate reactions going on in their body and just think it's their regular menopause symptoms...

Anyway, thank you for starting this thread.  

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Hi Unboundstash, I am back on this forum, and thought I'd respond to you. I am glad you are managing your menopausal symptoms, and also glad that you wrote on this thread. I have been in full menopause since 2014 (three years since my beloved Mom's passing). I still get hot flashes occasionally, and agree with you that stress makes it worse. Yes, it was hard to go through such big life changes during a time when my body was also going through big changes, and still hard not having my dear Mom here to guide me through it all. She is, however, always with me in my heart (and my voice and mannerisms are much like hers).

May we keep gaining in our emotional strength, confidence, and good heath (with kindness and compassion) as our departed loved ones would want us to.

 

 

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...a little more, Unboundstash, as I re-read your post, I see that your Mom passed away recently. Please accept my condolences. Losing a treasured loved one (on her birthday, no less), and then going right into the holiday season must have been rough.

Right after my Mom passed away, my teeth went wacky, and I needed three root canals. When my husband's Mom passed away a few years ago, he had a bout of meningitis. I feel that the grief and strain manifested itself into some physical illness - like a bodily release of sorts.

I have been exercising and meditating to reduce stress, which has been very helpful for my overall health.

Sending supportive thoughts your way.

 

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On 1/13/2017 at 1:08 PM, Unboundstash said:

My mother died on her birthday, November 13 2016.  My menopause went out of control.

I am so sorry for your loss.  I had the opposite affect with menopause...when I was going through a painful divorce and grieving the loss of a dream, my menopause seemed to take a back seat, it was as if my pain was so deep I didn't notice the menopause so much.  I know everyone's menopause is different and some have it much rougher than others and I'm sure mine was milder than yours, but it's as if I couldn't focus on it because of what I was going through in my life was so overwhelming I could barely stay afloat.

I'm sorry you and Miss Ngu are going through so much and I hope it lessens for you both.

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In an attempt to get some insight into how I'm feeling I googled "grief and perimenopause" and it brought me here. Sometimes I feel very alone in my feelings. About the time I started having perimen. symptoms, I also started a journey with two parents with dementia. Broken bones, surgeries, rehabs, nursing homes, etc etc. My Mom died in 2011 after a 2 year long decline. I was newly married in Dec 2009. As an only child I felt consumed with this caregiving journey even though they didn't live with me. I feel like I never grieved my Mom's death fully because I went right from that to making sure my Dad was cared for, as he became a dementia patients who acted out, running away, etc. I was hoping I would be in true menopause by now but it just seems to elude me. I feel like I've neglected my marriage, consumed with hormones, grief, and trying to handle everything. I am also the main bread winner with alot of job responsibility. Can anyone relate? This perimenopause stage is making me nuts. I tend to keep things inside and not share how I'm feeling and then sometimes it seems feelings shouldn't feel so "big" and paralyzing. 

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52 minutes ago, twalkertf said:

In an attempt to get some insight into how I'm feeling I googled "grief and perimenopause" and it brought me here. Sometimes I feel very alone in my feelings. About the time I started having perimen. symptoms, I also started a journey with two parents with dementia. Broken bones, surgeries, rehabs, nursing homes, etc etc. My Mom died in 2011 after a 2 year long decline. I was newly married in Dec 2009. As an only child I felt consumed with this caregiving journey even though they didn't live with me. I feel like I never grieved my Mom's death fully because I went right from that to making sure my Dad was cared for, as he became a dementia patients who acted out, running away, etc. I was hoping I would be in true menopause by now but it just seems to elude me. I feel like I've neglected my marriage, consumed with hormones, grief, and trying to handle everything. I am also the main bread winner with alot of job responsibility. Can anyone relate? This perimenopause stage is making me nuts. I tend to keep things inside and not share how I'm feeling and then sometimes it seems feelings shouldn't feel so "big" and paralyzing. 

I can relate in that my wife went through some challenges with PCOS ( Poly Cycstic Ovarian Syndrome), Hashimotos,etc... missed periods, etc.  She was put on Birth control in her teens to help treat Acne??  In her mid  forties. We lost insurance coverage so we couldn't buy the medicines.  Within three months, she had regular cycle until her menopause in mid-fifties. 

I am doing  some personal health research that may be of benefit to you.  Check this out and do a search for Peri-menopause.

 

You are welcome here.  This place is a safe haven for all of us who grief our love ones.  Feelings are not always FACTS but they do have a purpose and can point us toward what we need to learn, heal, and grow. - Shalom

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Thank you, George, for that great response.

twalkertf,

You have certainly been down the road with a lot on your plate.  Self care is one of the things that's been so important for me to learn but I really didn't get it until recent years (I'm 64), it seems I was always busy tending everyone else!  Retiring helped considerably.  Working fulltime, having a family, it's a lot to balance, I hope you can take time out for yourself somewhere in that mix.  Asking for help when you need it is important too...no need to suffer in silence!  Playing a martyr doesn't earn us any rewards, it only makes others avoid us (not speaking of you, just something I've observed along the way).  My mom had stage 4 Dementia also (Lewy Bodies), so hard to watch their decline!  

Wishing you well on your journey...

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Hi twalkertf - First, please accept my condolences for the loss of your Mom. My Mom also passed in 2011 (May 12th). I am glad that your search on this topic led you here -- and led you to write. There are many views of this topic, so, I figure we are not alone. I don't have much insight into all of this, other than to tell you to hang on for the ride. Loss, grief, confusion, swinging moods, sweating (along with continuing work and marriage) -- so much happening all at once! Taking good care of yourself is essential (like how you would treat and nurture a friend - being gentle with your dear self) -- and remembering that this too shall pass (remembering that the stressors will change - and also to enjoy your time in life, as it is precious). I can tell you that you will love when your period finally goes away (and it will) -- but that too, is a loss. Another one to grieve - and to celebrate. I'm big on getting support, and I found that writing, and reading the many topics, in these groups really helps me. I am also going to see a Hospice bereavement counselor again, as I am moving through more layers of grief, and am hoping for more clarity and focus, now that my hormones are settling down. Sending you support!

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