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About Cathyc

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  1. Oz, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. The photo shows him as a man so full of life! Its hard to believe someone like that is gone and it seems so unfair. Sibling grief is such a strange experience. Its different for each of us, but it hits us a lot harder than most people realize. Now that I have some distance from my own brother's death, I try to focus on living in a way he would want me to, as a way of doing justice to his memory. Time does not necessarily heal, but it does soften grief and the most important thing is to read, write, talk and share the experience. That's the best way to work through it. Thanks for sharing the photos too. Even though I didn't get to meet your brother, I feel a lot of inspiration from him!
  2. Thanks, Athos, that's really helpful advice. I am thinking about it now. The specific questions you are asking are helping me focus on the real vs. the idealized relationship I had in my head. Of course, in my head it would have been perfect! And its a good reminder, why would I spend time even thinking about someone who doesn't cherish me (let alone who wouldn't be bothered to ask me out somewhere). Really, I know its really immature at my age, but thanks for acknowledging my feelings and help me address them.
  3. Chin-up, I"m sorry you went through this and admire your resilience! Your horses are beautiful, too. It sounds like you're doing the right thing by grieving and moving on!
  4. HI Kayc, I am glad you had that love in your life! When I was younger I had a history of going for the "bad boys" and all the relationships ended badly. I am in my fifties and now it seems that all the "good guys" reject me for some reason. Then I feel like a teenager, mooning over them, wondering what I did or say wrong, etc. One guy told me he thought I was trying too hard and then the next guy I dated told me he thought I came across as cold (when I met him later as a casual friend I asked him). I guess when I met this current guy it made me realize how wonderful it would be in love and have someone love me back. But I'll get over it. At least I have some good friendships in my life and I remind myself to count my blessings for them.
  5. I can't think of much to add to this advice, except my heart goes out to you. I"m glad you are seeing a counsellor. I ditto the suggestion about the chaplain. I was with a family once who dealt with a chaplain when their daughter was in palliative care and he was awesome. The family were actually atheists and the chaplain didn't push religion at all. He was just there to provide gentle support.
  6. Thanks, Kayc, for acknowledging my feelings. Its so tempting to deal with this feeling by just rationalizing and hoping it will work out. Why did you give up on finding love in your life again? I hope that's not being nosy Please ignore it if you wish. I've never had a real love in my life and am in my forties.
  7. Does anyone else out there get deeply attached to someone and then fall into despair when you are rejected? This happened to me last week and I'm grieving the loss of a relationship that never even got off the ground. I only met this person a couple of times and we never even really dated, but he came across as my ideal guy so I built up a relationship in my head with him. He told me last week he doesn't want to even date anyone. I'm feeling depressed about it. Logically, I know I shouldn't feel this affected by it, but I am. I think its probably due to my father's death when I was young, but knowing that doesn't make it easier to deal with. Any thoughts, shared experiences, advice, etc. are welcome. Thanks in advance.
  8. Yes, when I feel my grief lifting and am tempted to feel guilty for not feeling said, I tell myself the guilt would only be applied if I forgot my brother altogether. Holding on to the positive memories and lessons learned through the grief process is honouring the deceased person in the way they want us to. Also, of course, trying to uphold the values they left us with.
  9. HI Smilingness, I am so sorry to hear that news. Its going to be very, very hard for you to deal with the loss of both siblings. Please keep us posted.
  10. Someone asked how we coped in the beginning and why people don't talk about it. I think for me it its because I didn't really "cope" in the beginning. I just tried to survive. I was in a fog. I remember telling myself I had to eat even though I didn't think I could hold any food down. I think the feeling of actually coping maybe sets in a bit later for some of us. Hollow heart, I agree some people stay stuck. But I think just the sheer fact that you are reaching out here tells me you won't stay stuck. You're actively thinking about what to do and that tells me that you will be able to create a better life for yourself. In the long run, I think you will find ways to meet like-minded people and bond with people you can trust. You sound like a great person and I am sure you will be able to do that. But in the meantime, all I can tell you for now, is hang in there and keep working on working through the grief.
  11. JMO, thank you for posting. Every time someone joins us, I learn a lot and i think the rest of us do, too. I'm further along my grief journey that some people here but still I come here to learn and sometimes to cry. One thing I can say for sure is that it takes a long time and a lot of thinking to deal with your feelings of sadness, guilt and anything else you feel. But its really worth it to keep at it, keep learning and sharing, and you always are welcome here. I have learned that sometimes its best to just feeling the feelings (ie. let myself cry or feel the depth of all the negative feelings). Sometimes its best to forget those feelings and distract myself with other things. Sometimes, it means writing, reflecting and thinking about my feelings so I can find ways to channel them. Only you will be able to work out your own rhythms over time (and it can take a long time), but do not under any circumstances try to be positive all the time!
  12. I just picked one picture of my brother to frame. When I look at it, i imagine what he would say to me to comfort me and what he would want me to do. I imagine him telling me that I can't turn back the past but I can take what I have learned and use it from this point forward. I try to live up to at least some of his ideals. Like you, I was the younger one and I think that brings a special guilt because we were always oblivious to what our older siblings did for us when we were younger and sometimes when we were older too. And I am very conscious that I was always a thorn in my brother's side. So, that, combined with my ungratefulness still dogs me. I would do anything now to bring him back and tell him I do appreciate his love and protectiveness toward me. And that I am sorry I didn't understand it at the time. I can just hear him saying now, "How could you understand? I didn't really understand it myself at the time either." I know for sure he would want me to live as full a life as possible. Sometimes I think the biggest betrayal would be to throw my life down the drain now that I know what I know. Another thing I say to myself for comfort is to remind myself that he did and said a lot of thing he regretted, too. So. we were both just being oblivious to a lot of things. I guess the difference is that I had a chance to learn from his death (just as he would have, if I had died first) and so I have a responsibility to him to use that learning while I am alive. Reading these sibling posts, i notice that we all have different relationships with our siblings and would grieve hard no matter what it was. if you were very close to them, saw them daily and were best friends, of course you miss your best friend. But if you weren't close, there is a huge burden with that. too, because you have extra regrets and guilt over the relationship. Obviously, one isn't worse than the other, but its just a commentary on our diversity and the fact that we all have strong reasons to grieve.
  13. Hi Virgo, We're just going to have the regular Christmas, but it was always small and my brother wasn't alway there to begin with after we grew up (he lived in another city). We're atheists so we didn't do a big Christmas to begin with. When I was younger, i always wished we had more of a Christmas, but now its a bit easier for me that we didn't. I still really miss my brother though. I will be thinking about him all day. I'm going to try to hold myself together for our parents sake today. Not to pretend nothing has changed but to appreciate the chance to be with them while the rest of us are still alive. I know what you mean about being part of a team and that team is broken. I feel that way too, especially for the first months. Its like I was always anchored to something and then link to the anchor broke so now I was adrift, totally alone and with no control over where I drifted. Its a scary feeling. I was getting anxiety attacks to the point where I threw up, and I even had a couple of full blown panic attacks. The feeling is indescribable, but it is like everything around that used to ground you is gone. Over time, though,I've come feel an anchor to the spirit of my brother, like he is still in my mind and heart. Because so much of what we did and talked about together and what he told me is now inside of me, not in his physical body. I still feel adrift and anxious at times but not in the extreme way. I've also learned through my counsellor I have an "inner centre" I can access. Its hard to explain but its like you imagine you have this inner place of calm and you can focus on it when you are upset or anxious, because it gives you strength. Took me months and months to realize it, though. So, again, hang in there. I will be thinking of you.
  14. Hi Virgo and others on this thread. I am thinking of you all today and over the Christmas season. So many people in our everyday lives have no understanding of what we are going through, nor do they know how to respond. How could they? For those of us who celebrate Christmas, this season is going to bring us down, but we will get through it. For me, what helps is the memory of my brother and the knowledge he would want me to hang in there, feel whatever I feel and know that in the future things will get better. I know he would tell me the best thing I can do in his memory is to make the most of my own life. He would also know I am not capable of doing that each and every moment and through each and every grief spell. He wouldn't say "Cheer up." He would say, "Feel what you have to feel. Do what you have to do but NEVER give up on knowing that your own life can eventually be a fulfilling one with huge amounts of happiness." Yeah, this is hard, but we can do it. Virgo, do you have plans for Christmas?
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