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sharirouse

"Argued" About Loss

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Well it finally happened. I shouldn't really say it was an argument. It all makes sense now. I have this friend who I began talking to because I was lonely. Hes male and he helped with the loneliness of my dad. Well he grew up in Palestine (by Israel for those that dont know) for a good portion of his life. Well we were talking and we were talking about struggles. It started as teasing but turned into a type of argument. Since he's from a different country, he's gone through some traumatic events but when talking he basically belittled the fact that my dad died. He didnt directly say it so maybe I am being over sensitive but its how I took it. He knows its sad but since his uncle got stabbed to death, he didnt think it was as traumatic I guess. He kept telling me that I act like my life is hard when its a lot better than others. I dont think I act like its bad though, I do still talk about my dad but I still feel like I need to say outloud that he passed away. This guy never really seemed to understand my grief but now it makes sense. He doesnt understand that we come from different places. I can only imagine what he's been through but Ive grown up in the states and still struggled with the passing of my dad. I hope this all makes sense. I was pretty hurt. I mean, we arent fighting but he still made me mad. 

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Shari, my dear, I think it's difficult enough describing to anyone else exactly what your loss means and how it feels to you, much less trying to describe it to someone whose culture is so different from your own. I suspect that, from your friend's perspective, we Americans don't know struggle at all, when compared with the rest of the world. But as I mention in this article, When Grief Seems Insignificant by Comparison, it is useless to compare one person's loss with that of another. That's why we're always emphasizing the fact that grief is unique to the person experiencing it ~ because so many factors are involved: age, gender, personality, relationship to the deceased, previous experience with loss, and all the rest.

I once had a friend whose father was in his nineties, very frail and obviously growing old, but still relatively healthy and alert for a man his age. My friend would talk endlessly to me about how she was going to feel when her dad died. Since my own father had died already (and several years before), it was all I could do to "be there" for my friend and to keep my own thoughts and feelings in check. After all, I would think, "She still has her dad, and my own father had died suddenly, unexpectedly, and way too soon ~ and I am without him now and I still miss him terribly. At least her dad is still here with her! Can't she be grateful for that?" But I kept those feelings to myself, because I knew my feelings had nothing to do with how she was feeling about her dad. She just needed me to listen. Sometimes, because of who they are, where they come from, where they are in their own lives and what they're dealing with, our friends may not be capable of seeing things from our perspective. If you choose to do so, you can forgive your friend for that, as it may not be his intention to hurt you. But if you find that you cannot get past your anger, then you might consider having a talk with him to let him know how his lack of understanding felt to you.

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That's very true. And that probably is what he thinks and it upsets me to think that he believes I didnt struggle. I finally told him that we are from different worlds and pain is pain. I expected to hear something to this extent when my dog passed because "she was just a dog" but never with my dad. I told my roommate about it and she keeps reminding me that he didnt say what I think he did. But you are right that comparing the two is useless. I didnt even mean to go that route but he likes to push my buttons LOL I have struggled with him not understanding grief for awhile but I need to quit trying to make him understand and keep my feelings in check, like you did. I should forgive him but I think eventually I will have a talk with him. I have been struggling on what to do with him because he helps with my loneliness of my dad, but he upsets me lol. Another problem for another day!

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Shari,

If he knew how to communicate effectively, he would realize that he devalued what YOU have been through by saying others had it worse.  The truth is there's a lot of people in the world that have it really bad but that doesn't make us feel better  by comparison, nor does it take away any of the pain we go through with our grief.  The proper way to address someone who is grieving is to listen, acknowledge, not compare, and be there for them.  Period.  It seems like sometimes the more someone talks to us, the bigger the hole they dig.  I hope you can take what he's saying with a grain of salt and let it go, but realize he's probably not the one to turn to for comfort.  Have you tried a grief support group for people who have lost parents, siblings, etc. that meet together?  It might be of some benefit to you.

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Thats very true. He definitely is very bad at it lol I turned to him for comfort and then I started liking him and omg. What a mess. I do need to just take what he says with a grain of salt. I definitely think he was digging a hole. He's the wrong person, I told him I wouldnt talk to him if he started to make me feel worse. And I havent really found a group for that but I havent looked. I have a friend in my program who's dad died awhile ago from cancer but shes the type that doesnt talk about it. I do think I need to try. Although I have more time now and maybe I can finally write about it. Ive been really wanting to paint. Although i think i focus on the problem with this guy than my grief, if that makes sense.

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Sometimes it's easier to distract ourselves than deal with our grief, after all, it's painful so we want to avoid it.  But after all is said and done, it's still there, staring us in the face, waiting for us to deal with it.  I think it'd be helpful if you could find a group, help you feel understood and validated, and maybe even make a new friend through it.

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Thats so true. And I know you guys have said that before because I know Ive mentioned that Ive hidden from it before. Hmm. Thats true. Do you have any ideas on how to go about finding a group? As of right now, the only idea I have is to go and google it lol

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As I mention in this article, Look to Your Hospice for Grief Support, your local hospice organization may be one of your best sources for bereavement information, comfort and support. Use Google and / or the Yellow Pages and call hospitals and hospices near you. Ask to speak with the Bereavement Coordinator, Social Worker, or Chaplain's Office. Many hospitals and hospices provide individual and family grief support to clients for up to one year following a death, and offer bereavement support groups to the general public at no cost.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization maintains a database of hospices for each state in the United States.  To search for a hospice in your own community, click on Find a Hospice Program.

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Thank you Marty!! I had been struggling with depression early this month, to the point of wanting to throw away my degree and had been talking to my grief counselor. Since Im moving back to Farmington, I think it would be cool to try to see if there was a group there. 

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I hope you find a good group there, and don't throw away your degree!  You worked so hard for it, when your dad passed it was so hard to finish, but you did it and I'm sure he's very proud of you for persevering when it was such a struggle.

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Me too! She (grief counselor) may know some people I could talk to if anything. And thats what my mom told me. I was terrified for rotations as I am basically working as a lab person for the last semester of my degree. I talked to him while I was sad and that helped, as well as crying to my mom. Im feeling a lot better thank goodness. Im not sure what it was but it was an intense sadness. They come out of nowhere!

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