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Grief Healing Discussion Groups


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    Silver Spring MD

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  • Date of Death
    April 2 2019
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  1. It is probably not a good idea to share too much of your story with his family members. But if they are preoccupied with their own loss, and difficulties processing it, they will likely appreciate your presence in their lives, and not notice if you are struggling. Hopefully that will help you, on balance.
  2. Dear Maggie Ann, A few words for now, as I process your post. I do hope you can find as much support as possible. Coming here was the right things. Therapy is supposed to be confidential, so hopefully you can find a therapist somewhere. It's good that you have your recordings. If you did not delete them, your WhatsApp chats can be backed up and dowloaded. You were very wise, and fortunate, to have built good connections with his family. They are his immortality. I personally found great comfort in communicating with his wife and kids, which is very infrequent as they live overseas. I hope that continued contact with them can eventually bring you some comfort.
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/24/well/doulas-death-end-of-life.html The may be my post-retirement career.
  4. Tamera, You are a compassionate and articulate person, managing your pain with grace and courage. Your words help me alot. I too feel privileged to have been the person my friend chose to love and comfort him through his terminal illness.
  5. Well, does his guilt provide you an opening of sorts? Can you reassure him that Anette loved him anyway (if this is true), and then segue into some shared memories?
  6. Arrived 3 days ago to begin the volunteer duty. Three hours into it, before orientation was even completed, we were all sent back home. The organizers say that we should consider ourselves on call. But the word on the street is that they are subcontracting out their operation, and it is unlikely we will be called back 😔.
  7. Hello Everyone, As always, I am grateful for this forum and the support I get here. I have some news that, for a change, is uplifting. Not long after my gloomy post on April 3, I received a lovely message from my friend's family. They shared a memory, and said that he continues to be a part of their everyday life. It was heartwarming. The other thing is that, in 10 days, I am headed to the border for a 5-week volunteer stint with unaccompanied migrant children. I have no idea what awaits me there, but I can hardly wait. Sending good thoughts everyone's way.
  8. Dear AnnJ, Thank you for your post, and your encouragement. Sending a big virtual hug to you too! It appears that our situations have many common elements, and the opportunity to share is perhaps the clearest pathway to healing. I can't say how much I appreciate this site that has connected me to so many compassionate and understanding people.
  9. Today marks two years since the death of my soul mate, and I have made only marginal progress in moving on. The only positive thing to report is I am feeling less sorry for myself, and better for him because of his relatively good death. It was swift (heart attack), and he was at home, surrounded by family, his cognition and dignity intact, one step ahead of the cancer end staging curve. No hospital. No drugs. No life support. No morphine drip. No DNR dilemma. He always said he was not afraid of dying, only of suffering. Well, his wife said he did not suffer in his last moments. I, however, remain in the throes of complicated grief. Nobody else on this planet is mourning him the way that I am. I am still tormented that we were out of contact on his last day. Not for my lack of trying. But he was -uncharacteristically -offline all that day, after communicating as usual the previous day. Something happened after his typical good night signoff at 11:30PM (his last), and whatever it was kept him offline, and his friends in the dark. Well, that was his privilege. I hope he was not in pain. I hope he was tending to the business of preparing to die, in his own way. I have repeatedly read that it takes a lot of strength to make this transition, and people have to withdraw so they can devote all their energy to it. I have to believe this is what happened. His family told me a bit about his last day, and he apparently was conscious, though did not engage much with them. But, they did not sense that he was shutting down, and his death surprised them too. Quite possibly I may be the only person with that clue. Messaging his friends was his lifeline, and he typically messaged me all through the day. So something cataclysmic must have happened that propelled him overnight from business as usual the previous day into shutdown mode -but I will never know what. My other big problem is the aloneness of it all. I had several brief and infrequent contacts with his family overseas, during the first year after he died. These encounters, both electronic and in person, were sincere, nourishing, and seemingly much appreciated by them. His wife even took me to his grave. But now his family members seem to be moving away from me. They have read but not acknowledged my most recent communiques. While I cannot imagine their grief, they do have two mourning advantages that I do not share: each other, and the legitimacy to grieve openly. My connection to them, however infrequent and constrained, helped me feel connected to him, or his memory, and losing that is like another death. I got alot of support from my closest friends in the first few months after his death, but they don’t understand why I cannot move on by now. Of course, the pandemic has not helped. For me, he’s still “here, living and vivid and unforgettable forever” (the quote refers to James Dean). I worry that I am becoming addicted to mourning. Like in the French Lieutenant’s Woman, where the doctor says of Sarah, “She is addicted to melancholia as one becomes addicted to opium. Her sadness becomes her happiness.” But if I don’t mourn him, remember him, who will? Thanks for listening.
  10. “There all the time without you: and ever shall be, world without end.” (James Joyce)
  11. My late uncle, who was an eminent architect, took up coloring intricate patterns after losing his wife (my aunt). He got alot of comfort out of it.
  12. In a month heavy with memories of my late friend (his birthday, our last meeting in person) I challenged myself to write a 100-word vignette. The tone of his email was optimistic, despite the grim news it contained. “If you come to Europe, let me know. It would be good to see you.” The evening of my visit to his country coincided with a lunar eclipse, that was obscured by the cityscape. The universe gifted us another occurrence six months later. We viewed the blood supermoon apart, together: After midnight in my time zone, before dawn in his. As the redness crept along the disk, the harsh glare of his cancer dimmed, as it too receded briefly into Earth’s shadow. (Photo credit: NASA)
  13. Separation BY W. S. MERWIN Your absence has gone through me Like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.
  14. I hope this gives you some comfort. After all, lighting a candle is one of the way that we remember our loved ones. Last year, the final night of Hanukkah coincided with my late friend's birthday. I realized it when I saw all 8 candles lit, it was overwhelming.
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