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I’m sorry for this being my first post. But I really am struggling. I wake every morning crying wanting my Mum. I’m 36, she passed almost 6 years ago her parents, my grand parents passed both within the last year, my other grandad passed away just over a year ago. I don’t know how to live anymore. I feel like I’m only existing for my children. I don’t know how to live anymore. I just feel so lost. How do I start to live again, how do I feel less lost. I have sooo many people in my life but yet I feel so alone. How do other people cope? I don’t know how to. 

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Dear Grieving Girl,

I am so sorry that you are hurting and struggling right now. You have had many losses in such a very short time. You are so young to have lost your mum and for your children to have lost their grandma. You ask how you can start to live again and I don't have an answer for you but I can tell you that for all the losses I have had in my life up to now I live hour to hour and let that be enough. I found that after those first few years of numbness I started to create memories ~ memories that even brought a smile to my face. Little things like cooking favorite holiday dishes or planting a tree in memory of my beloved Benji, a sweet Shipperke-Poodle, who died in too short a time after I rescued him. I journal and read and find out what is normal in grief. I allow the tears to come. I now try to honor my feelings and accept that it is OK to Not Be OK. 

We here listen and welcome you. It is good to share how we are or are not doing on this painful grief journey. We don't have answers for you but we are here to listen and support you. Sharing has made my grief more bearable. 

Anne

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Dear Grieving girl,

I am so sorry for your loss.  I am beginning to realise that feeling of being alone, feeling alone and lost is what happens when we're grieving someone important.  For me when I lost my mother, I felt not only heartbroken but I felt completely lost and alone.  I actually don't have many people in my life and live in another country and mostly I'm estranged from family.  My mother was all the goodness I had.  When she was gone, I felt like my roots had gone.  I didn't know where I belonged and there is no "home" anymore.  I still feel exactly the same one year on.  In fact its got harder as time has passed.  I see by your post that even though you have your family you still feel alone and its very hard to live again.  Reading that has made me realise we all have that same feeling in common.  Whether we have people or we don't, its an inner loneliness, like all the safety has gone.  for me its like living in the wilderness.  As Enna said, I take it day by day too.  I don't know what the future will bring.  Sometimes I feel will I survive this? what feels like a tsunami that has changed my life forever.  I don't know. I am changed.   I get up every day though and try to do the best I can.  I hope at some point I will have the strength to begin again.  I'm sorry for your loss and sadness.  Your words matter, your feelings matter.

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14 hours ago, GrievingGirl said:

I’m sorry for this being my first post. But I really am struggling. I wake every morning crying wanting my Mum. I’m 36, she passed almost 6 years ago her parents, my grand parents passed both within the last year, my other grandad passed away just over a year ago. I don’t know how to live anymore. I feel like I’m only existing for my children. I don’t know how to live anymore. I just feel so lost. How do I start to live again, how do I feel less lost. I have sooo many people in my life but yet I feel so alone. How do other people cope? I don’t know how to. 

My dear, you are grieving and as you have discovered, grief is hard.  I lost my dad (I was a Daddy's girl) when I was 29 and expecting my first child.  It's hard to lose them when we're so young, we weren't ready for them to be gone from our lives, we have so much to share with them yet!  Your feelings are normal in grief.  I lost my husband 12 1/2 years ago...at that time I felt I didn't want to live!  I didn't see how I could do a week without him, let alone the rest of my life!  I've learned, since then, to take one day at a time, and if that's too much, break it down into an hour or minute, whatever I can safely handle.  I've learned to look for good in each day.  I've learned not to compare because that is self-defeating!  So when I look for good, I can't compare it to the good that was before my husband died...he was my big joy, now I look for what I call little joys.  Joy is joy, no matter how big or small, it is in our recognizing it, acknowledging it, and appreciating it that the transformation comes.  Little joys for me might be getting to see deer or elk or the hummingbirds my husband and I loved to watch together.  It might be enjoying a wonderful cup of coffee with a friend.  Or a stranger holding the door open for me.  It might be a check in the mail just when I need it.  It might be my sister calling to see how I'm doing.  It's not the particular thing so much as our grasping it and recognizing it for what it is, something good that came our way.  

You have children, they don't wait for you, they are growing and one day will be on their own.  Enjoy them now while you can.  It seems many moons since my own were little, now they have families and jobs and are busily living elsewhere.  Today is your day to enjoy them.

You will continue to miss your dad.  I've learned to carry my grief inside of me, I coexist with it.  It's never gone, but it has evolved over the years.  I no longer sob tears, but I continue to miss my husband, and I will always miss my parents, grandparents, my niece and nephew.  One of my sisters life is tenuous, the days numbered when I have her.  Another loss, another grief to carry, but our relationship will always exist, so will our love, and the thing that carries me is the hope we'll all be reunited, never to part again

I read the above responses to your post and I glean from them the acknowledgement of your pain.  That is so important!  To know you are heard and understood and that others sit with you and acknowledge your grief.  This is a good place to come to.

The grief work we put in can be exhausting, but it's so important to put in the work.  I wrote this article based on my twelve year journey of grieving my husband.  I hope you find something in it that can be of help to you as well.

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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