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Hi All, 

i don’t drop in often, but since discovering this forum about a year and a half ago, it’s very presence has been an enormous comfort for me. It is strange the way grief can leave you feeling alone—exactly at a time when that can hurt the deepest: your greatest time of need. So, my guess is that many of you can relate to that feeling of just knowing there is a place to come to—even if you don’t often do so!—where others voice what is going on in your own heart and mind. It is immensely calming and tremendously supporting. Thank you.

It has been an incredibly difficult 10 years. Unfortunately, on top of a pretty incredibly difficult life, full of loss. Things have never felt “normal,” as i viewed it around me through the years, and I’ve spent a lot of time feeling pretty alone and dealing with grief when possible, only, and without much guidance or sense of understanding/support. When my Dad (whom i had a challenging relationship with) was diagnosed with cancer in ‘08, i felt i could truly navigate it all, with therapeutic support. If it had just been that, i likely could have. My kids were teens; I’d had a solid (2nd) marriage for the most part, for a decade-plus, and the kids’ dad (first marriage) was doing alright, it appeared. By Oct ‘09, I would learn how wrong my assessment of my life had been! Ten days before my son turned 18, I found my children’s father after a suicide attempt. 

Im not sure how to describe what happened to me after that moment. I don’t remember anything for about 3 hours that day. Then numbness. For months, even as i scrambled to keep us together. Their father survived his attempt; my father succumbed to the cancer less than a year later, though. And in the in between, my second marriage unraveled before my eyes. Not long after, my son moved out of state for college, and i cried in his bedroom for 3 straight days, without stop. Weeks later, my 16 year old and i moved into an apartment across town, and my absolute fracturing and disintegration began in earnest. Every significant man in my life had left. Not that my history supported my finding relationships with stable, available men, to begin with, but, i mean, they were literally gone. All of them, including my support—my partner of 13 years—in Work, play, and life, as well as my son; first born, and my dad and his dad, too. Even tho only one left by death, all of them—every day presence in my life, previous, were irrefutably disappeared; no metaphorical speak here. 

As my subsequent reaction indicates, it wasn’t only these few events, but so many more, unresolved, unacknowledged incidents and paradigms of my life—from growing up in a foreign country and never feeling i had ‘home,’ to multiple dysfunctional family dynamics; from too many suicides in my life starting in my teens (that Number currently stands at 14 as of June ‘17); and all the way to several years of family & schoolmate bullying in grade school. Even having to give up a beloved pet because of a move at 8 years old—the whole barrel of monkeys crashed down on me and i just started running, as fast as i could. To stand in it felt more alone than i could handle. There were honest moments i was certain i was losing my mind, but i didn’t realize worse was coming. 

Terrible choices and worse consequences ensued for a few years. When an incredibly bad boyfriend choice, in the first place, betrayed my trust in ‘13, i became suicidal, myself. The knowing how that effects my kids was what saved me, as well as strapped me into sometimes-unbearable pergatory. I cried every night, through the night. I isolated. I drank. I also worked a menial job interfacing with the public, which was absolute torture with my heightened anxiety, in new situations. Until, it wasn’t. Looking back at that time, is hard. I also have some of the most wonderful snippets of memories, too. I clung to every moment that wasn’t tinged with shades of loss and despair, like making my way across monkeybars, rung to rung to rung, until i found my way through it and onto the couch of my therapist. I still see her today, and it is still changing me into who i am.

I have worked through much, yet i do still have my moments. I see the effects of it all at times, in my penchant to withdraw, perhaps a little too much sometimes.  Yet, in these darker times, my art has flourished, and I’ve set on a new career path I’m excited for, which is a downright miracle, to me. <—- And, In this way, there is deliberate changing of thought patterns. And, i am aware, just now, that despite some mornings, like this one, when i wake up with a jolt of panic, and look out the window, unsure what day it is or if i am still ‘in it’ or not, there are but few genuine moments of true despair and helplessness, that were my only reality just a few years ago. I am so grateful. 

Grief, though, IS a reality that never goes away, even as the thoughts are redirected and replaced, and i learn to navigate my feelings through it. My own personal creative births in the form of my art and new ventures, that have come from the darkness and ashes of loss, seems like a good physical manifestation of the inner grief process for me today. It feels to me like a balancing act of sadness, which brings a sort of joy, or perhaps, peace, on its heels, if i can make space for each as they appear. Like a see-saw, or a teeter-totter, there is rhythm to it, and I’m sure it is uniquely my own. If i can step back (not run away!) and observe the whole of it, and even see its wholeness in light of The Human Experience, as i feel each emotion in a moment, it develops clearer meaning, now, too. It has simmered passion in me for speaking about and generating awareness of the current culture’s tendencies to leave little room for anything but Happy!; Great!; I’m fine! and to look for opportunities to listen or merely sit with someone experiencing loss. It isn’t talked about really. Most are deeply uncomfortable showing up for someone experiencing it, and that can make it all that much more difficult to get through, as we all know. And, it’s ironic really because not one of us escapes this life without meeting grief on the road, often many times. 

I know first hand how incredibly crucial support is in the grieving process, and the personal devastation that can occur without it. I am so glad you are here and i was compelled to Google “multiple losses grief,” that morning, and click the link to Marty’s blog. You are helping so many. 

Thank you all, again. 

Peace and ཨོཾ་མ་ཎི་པདྨེ་ཧཱུྃ 🙏🏼

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Blessings to you, dear one, and from my heart to yours, thank you for sharing your story with all of us. What you've written here assures all of us how important these forums can be, even for those who just come here to read. I am so pleased to know that you found us, that what you encountered here was helpful, and that finally you've let your presence be known. 

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@Dee.  It's a reminder to us that we are all part of this greater community, even those we do not know are reading here, and have this connectivity with them.  I am sorry for the struggles of your life and yet I know that everything we go through shapes and molds us into who we are, developing us bit by bit.  I wish I could see your art work, I would imagine it reflects the depth of all you have been through, all you have learned, who you are.

I'm glad you've found your way here.  I first joined over 12 1/2 years after the death of my husband, the journey is rich with all I've learned here, and these dear people, Marty particularly, have been on it with me.  I am sorry for all of your losses...I find myself growing old alone...grace and peace be with you.

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Dear Dee, wow!  You have gone thru a lot and are obviously a strong individual!  God is with you and has held you up with His mighty right hand.  I am glad to hear of your process taking shape and that you have come out on the other side well.  Yes, grief is multi-faceted and  very difficult in all it's stages! The things we go thru that are tough help us to know how to help others.  I'm sure God will let you help others who are hurting and that even more will heal and repair your heart.  Thank you for sharing this, all of it, and God bless you!  I once heard that life is more of a train track than a roller coaster and that we always have both good and bad, but one or the other guides us this way or that, and in the end, they both create our destiny and purpose.  Help others, it will bless you too.  =)

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