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When will I stop feeling so numb?

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My dad passes away almost 8 years ago and 3 months ago I lost my mom. Since my dad's passing my mom and I grew very close. She was my best friend, my whole world. This past August we found out that the lung cancer my mom was told was gone, spread to her brain. She had brain surgery and bounced back like a true warrior. When February came I noticed she was starting to get confused again and she wasn't eating much so I took her to the hospital. At the end of March I found out it had spread to her liver and was literally told by her doctor "there is no light at the end of this tunnel." She came home on April 1 and passed away April 7. Nothing makes me happy. I am in a constant state of worry and I cannot cope with anything.  I miss her so much that i think my grief is manifesting into physical pain- my left shoulder has been killing me since she died. My family, who were all there when she was alive, have since disappeared and I am left to do this on my own. I have no parents, no grandparents, no support and I feel so lost and scared that I cant even breathe sometimes. I bounced back when my dad died because I had my mom...now I have no one and I dont know what to do. Will I ever be ok?

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Let me say that I am very sorry for your losses.

15 hours ago, SydneyDyane said:

Will I ever be ok?

That depends on the grief work you do.  I personally believe mindset is key.  It would be great if you would start with grief counseling.  Later on down the road you may want to attend grief support groups, but finding the right fit is essential.  It would be good if you would begin journaling...sometimes it helps to write out what you're feeling and later on down the road you can look back and see where you were and where you are now.  I even did art therapy.  It's good to express yourself, it's also good to know you're heard and understanding, what both grief counseling and grief support groups can do as well as these forums.  This forum saved me, seriously.  That was 14 years ago, but it's helpful to understand that grief has a beginning but not an ending.  It DOES evolve though.  The intensity of pain will lessen as we begin to adjust and learn to cope.  It will also be good for you to work on developing friendships.  That comes from finding others with commonality, you can start by joining groups, maybe church or a gardening club, join a gym, take classes, etc or even volunteering somewhere.  Getting exposure to others and putting yourself out there.  

I wrote this article about ten years after my husband died, both parents are now gone, also I'd lost my  grandparents, niece, nephew, sister, friends, pets, etc.  I have learned to live with grief.  I've been on my own for 14 years now.  Something in it may strike you today, something else later on, etc.


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.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • 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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Welcome, and sorry to read about these losses.  it's possible the new loss has re-opened whatever wound is lingering from the loss of your father.

On 7/25/2019 at 7:07 PM, SydneyDyane said:

i think my grief is manifesting into physical pain- my left shoulder has been killing me since she died. 

Not surprising.   After I lost my partner, both my arms ached, from the shoulder down to my wrist, and when I went to a bodywork and massage specialist, she told me that she believed we hold grief in our arms.  We also tend to store tension in the shoulders.  The left shoulder, to my way of thinking, is closer to the heart.  It kind of makes sense that your physical pain manifests as it does.  Mine finally eased but only with conscious grief work, and seeing the specialist.  Unfortunately she left the place she worked and I don't know if I will be able to locate her again.  Maybe you could consider seeing someone similar in your area to work on the tension in the shoulder.

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