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Three Month Mark

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18 hours ago, AnnJ said:

I’m so glad I found this thread. It’s 3 months in two days since a man I was head over heels in love with died very suddenly and I’ve felt worse this week than ever and couldn’t work out why. I’d put it down to coming out of lockdown and things going back to normal but without him but now thanks to you guys I realise it’s normal. It’s complicated that I shouldn’t have been in love with him but regardless of the rights and wrongs I was, but it leaves me in a situation that there are not many people I can talk to about it

@AnnJ  You can talk to us here.  We understand.  It's not a piece of paper that defines the love and depth of a relationship, as you well know.  No judgment here and you're not the only one who has been in this situation.  I am very sorry for your loss, it's all the harder not having it recognized by society and not being able to share with people.  I do hope you have a close friend, a sister, someone you can feel free to talk to.
"Disenfranchised grief is a term that was coined by one of our favorite grief researchers, Ken Doka, about twenty years ago. He defines disenfranchised grief as, 'Grief that persons experience when they incur a loss that is not or cannot be openly acknowledged, socially sanctioned or publicly mourned'."

I found this article to be very helpful, I hope you will read it as it not only describes it but also tips/suggestions.  Note the links contained within it.




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  • 2 weeks later...

This topic is so pertinent for me. Mum passed away almost four months ago....Right when the lockdown began...so a lot of time was spent afterwards dealing with all the closures and changes to everyday life...ugh...grocery shopping took on a whole new perspective...and Mum’s death meant we could finally settle Dad’s estate and that became very very difficult due to sibling conflict. Looking back I see some of those things were distractions from mourning...but in the last few weeks I’ve been feeling so raw... I have reached out, I have a therapist and access to occasional virtual bereavement support...and good friends...but last week I had such dark dark days.... I rested a lot...huge urge to sleep in the afternoons...I didn’t fight that...let my body rest....I have a boyfriend but he has tons on his plate so not very available...And along with the surge of emotions (tears are not far from the surface...it’s like my membranes are super-thin...translucent...) is that we will have a private indoor funeral next month...I have concerns about keeping myself safe (I have an underlying health condition) so brainstorming ideas with friends about how to manage my attendance at the event....it’s hard with the pandemic adding a layer of anxiety...along with missing Mum so much...Dad died seven years ago and we had the funeral within 2 weeks of his passing and yes it was still shock so I didn’t have many tears then...but we had to wait for the ground to thaw to bury him so four months later at the burial I couldn’t stop crying...a cousin said with irritation «  why the tears? He is in such a good place »....and I thought « you have no idea, do you? »...anyway it’s good to have what I’m going through validated here...my therapist said to do lots of self-care... I try to go for a walk every day....and just do what I can each day, not more. Thanks for listening....

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7 hours ago, gg2b said:

a cousin said with irritation «  why the tears? He is in such a good place

I'm sorry for your loss.  It isn't helpful when people say inappropriate things to us when we're grieving.  They may not get our grief, not having experienced the same themselves.  They may not know what to say so they say some cliche, but honestly it's better they not say anything than to say the wrong thing, just show, up, care, be there.  He WAS in a good place, with YOU!

I'm so glad you have a therapist that is helping you.  So true, important to take care of ourselves as we are grieving, it helps us be at our best (well as well as can be expected) at a time when it's a real challenge.  I'm sorry you've had to wait so long to have a remembrance for your mom, this COVID just keeps making everything more difficult it seems.  (((hugs)))

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Thank you, Kay. I ordered one of the books listed in the book section of this website- The Color of Loss and Healing - and started coloring today. It is helping. I like that I can do a bit whenever I want, however I want.

 Today is the 4 month anniversary of mum’s passing...I went for an early morning walk (couldn’t sleep) and spent some time quietly by water, thinking of her. 
Sometimes I get a wave of « this all feels unreal »...and then it passes. I miss her.

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I used to like coloring, relaxing, but because my right hand is numb now I can't do it anymore.  I'm glad you found that book!

13 hours ago, gg2b said:

I miss her.


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Thanks Kay. Mum loved flowers and gardens so this book’s illustrations make me think of her, in a good way.
I’m sorry to hear that numbness in your hand gets in the way of coloring-and, likely other things as well...not an easy adjustment for you, I presume. 

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Thank you for this. Today has been so hard. My daddy died May 20, 2020, some days I feel so broken, I have 2 little ones and a my hubby. Im great ful for my friends and family. I ve read a few posts herw and have felt all of the things you all described at different times. At this point i cant sleep, I struggle with anxiety band depression. Im so drained. I have good days and awful days. Praying for you all and my self.

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@Jackie G Car I am so sorry for your loss...I lost my dad in my 20s when I was pregnant with my first child.  It was hard not being able to have him as a grandpa for my kids, he would have been a great one.  I told them stories about him so they could feel they knew who he was but I know it's not the same hearing of someone vs knowing them in person.

I hope you'll see the doctor for your anxiety and depression.  It's very common in early grief.  I finally got put on Buspirone (I have lifelong GAD but grief really exacerbated it) and it takes the edge off so I can cope.  I'm also on Trazodone 50 mg for sleep.  My kids are long grown and moved away, my husband has been dead for 15 years, both parents and a sister also, as well as a niece, nephew, friends, many pets.  My "soulmate in a dog" Arlie passed 11 months ago and my 25 year old Kitty 4 1/2 months later.  I've had 25 dogs and cats and never have I grieved one as I have my Arlie, even though I loved them all.  My heart aches each and every day for him and everything is a trigger.


You might also browse our Tools for Healing section. https://www.griefhealingdiscussiongroups.com/forum/29-tools-for-healing/

Wishing you peace and comfort as you travail this journey.

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Jackie, hang in there...take it a day, an hour at a time...even if you think you can’t...just a minute at a time...

I am sorry for your loss. I was gutted when my Dad died...he was my best friend in the family...still miss him, seven years later... I enrolled in a closed bereavement support group 6 months after he died and that really helped...My emotions were less all over the place after that...

I come from a family that has been marked by loss and complicated grief....took me a long time to realize that... I may not be finished dealing with all the layers, but for now I just take things a day at a time, can’t plan ahead much, I try to make sure the necessary stuff gets done...each day...no more than that....

Hope this helps...sending you courage....



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  • 3 weeks later...

It's now been 3 months since my mother passed, and today I'm a mess. 

My story is a bit tangled, but isn't everyone's? When I was 16 (I'm now 46), my father had a stroke. I helped my mum care for him when needed, but kept up my college, and then work. 10 years ago he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and he passed away 8 years ago. 

My mother's health started deteriorating a number of years ago, and 3 years ago I became her full time live in carer. She passed in May this year, from vascular dementia, after falling and breaking her hip. 

Both parents died peacefully in the same room in the house, with family around them which I'm eternally grateful for. 

I'm the space of 3 months, I've lost my mum, my two cats, and my home. I've moved in with my fiancé, whom I love and adore, but this flat is in the same area as my old house, and I pass the old house whenever I come back from the town. 

I know I can't move on until I physically move on... But with covid, nothing much is on the property market in this area. At this stage I feel like I'm going insane. It's groundhog day, every day. I'm going round in circles, treading water, and getting nowhere. 😟

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On 8/13/2020 at 12:59 PM, RachelC said:

I know I can't move on until I physically move on... But with covid, nothing much is on the property market in this area.

Since this is your reality, my dear, I encourage you to focus on what you CAN do rather than what must wait until later. Besides, you cannot move on from grief. No matter where you live, your grief will still be going with you, wherever you go, waiting for you to deal with it.

Might you use this time to learn more about what is normal in grief, weigh it against what you are experiencing, and discover what you might do to manage your own unique reactions? 

Here are some articles where you might begin:

Grief: Understanding The Process

Parent Loss: Continuing Their Song

Bereavement: Doing The Work of Grief

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44 minutes ago, MartyT said:

I encourage you to focus on what you CAN do rather than what must wait until later.

Very wise advice!  I am sorry for your losses and all you have been through with them and commend you for being so vigilant and caring with them.  Not easy, I know.  

Have you seen a grief counselor?  If not, you may want to give it a go, perhaps it could help you with dealing with the memories associated with that house.  One thing I have noticed with grief is in the beginning the memories are so painful!  But eventually the pain begins to soften as we process our grief and the memories bring us comfort and a smile.  I know when my husband first died, 15 years ago, I'd put his pictures up, take them down, depending on how it affected me, as we tend to do what brings us comfort.  Finally, they were up to stay.  Long before now the memories now have good association, all excepting memories of that weekend he died, that is.  It loosens it's edge.

There are exercises to help us as well, you might want to address them with a grief specialist.


I have often heard the old adage, time does nothing for us in and of itself, it's what we DO with time that makes the difference, and I think this especially applies in grief processing.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Rachel, 

First let me say that I am very sorry for the loss of your mother, and the losses associated with that. You do have a lot on your plate - the heaviness of it all comes through in your post. I went through a really hard time 3 months after my mom died this past March (she had mixed dementia which included vascular) and I found it so very hard to get through each day. 

I am really touched by the fact you were your mom’s full time caregiver. That’s huge! So much of you went into that, it’s really significant. I know I grieved losing bits of mom along the way as she deteriorated- but there were also some special moments. 
All that may be lost right now in the deluge of grief right but it is there...

I coped at the 3 month mark and beyond by doing small things each day to take care of myself- walks, coloring, eating simple but nourishing food, writing, talking with those around me who understand. Joining a virtual support group was really helpful.
I found I had a really low frustration tolerance- I’d blow up over trivial issues, which is most unlike my usual patient self. I just couldn’t handle much.  I tried to focus on the essentials (getting bills paid, medical appointments), and no more than that. I also couldn’t handle listening to any news, I put on soothing music instead. 

I hope this can help you a bit, along with what Kay and Marty have posted. It’s such a painful time, with everything feeling so raw. Take it slowly, as gently as you can....


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  • 7 months later...

Three months... Something about the threes. I lost my husband on January 4th of this year after he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the serious brain cancer that took John McCain, Ed Kennedy and Beau Biden. We found out in early August, and a few days later he had surgery that left him paralyzed on his left side and only some use of his right. They gave him a year. He got COVID, and as we now know, it likes to go to brain tissue in many people. It did not manifest so much as a cough, but sped up the cancer. I only had 4 months with him.

My brother and his wife have been wonderful; work, so understanding. My friends, so nice. 

 His side of the family, mixed bag. His stepbrother is convinced my husband stole money from his mom (he didn't). He's been adding to my grief and stress. 

Last week we finally got some small items and my husband's old Jeep over to the stepbrother. I wasn't expecting the void of the empty driveway.. My husband is gone. His belongings are also going, slowly. 

I felt very hopeless and unable to cope this week. Now I get why. I've been seeing a therapist, my doctor, gone to a grief group, meditating, playing music, eating healthfully sometimes, less healthy other times. Doing mostly the right things. And damn if I didn't feel right back at the beginning and hopeless and unable to deal with the trauma of it all.

Thank you, all, for reminding me this is a long saunter, and not a 100 yard dash.




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@Sandy D  Your husband looks a kindly man, I am very sorry for your loss.  I'm glad your job is understanding and you have friends staying by you.  I'm sorry about his stepbrother.  This is a long hard journey, it has a beginning but no ending it seems.  It's been nearly 16 years for me...and I hadn't thought I could live a week without him!  We slowly make our way through this, learning to cope, adjust to the changes it means for our lives...but there has not been one day I haven't thought of, missed him, and love him still.  He was my person!

I'm glad you found your way here, it helps to express yourself and know you're heard.  I'm also glad you're getting counseling and support.  All of the Grief Work we do helps.  You're already doing man of these!  

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.


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 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • 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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