Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

Its One Year Today

Recommended Posts

Well We have made it to the one year mark! My dad died last year on August 8. For the past year we have been able to say.. last year this time dad was doign this.. or last year this time he was doign that. No more.. we can no longer say that. I am not having that hard of a day. Its rough because reality has been forced on me again. Yeasterday was hard. all day I kept thinking he was here last year .. he was breathing he was actually in this world. When 2:42 hit last night I sobbed.. i knew he was gone for good. As of that time he was no longer breathing and had slipped away. He died so suddenly. He was 55 years old and has a massive heart attack. All the day before he died we spent in the hospital woorried and scared. In the back of our minds thinking he would be fine after all he was made of steel. After he died I kept thinking how could this have happened? How coudl we have been so unprepared. I never thought in a million years he would actually die! But as of today I know its real. It happened and there is no changing this. I miss my dad more than I could possibly explain. If he were gone away somewhere I would not miss him this much. I get this big lump in my throat when I think about him being gone. Even after living a full year dealing with it I am still in shock. I want so bad for time to go backwards and erase the pain in my heart. It has changed me. I am not the same person I was. I am now me - fatherless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dear Susan,

Since you have just passed the first anniversary of your dear dad’s death, the fresh pain of grief may have re-surfaced for you. Please know that this too will pass. You have survived one of the most challenging years of your life. As you well know, it has been (and will continue to be) a difficult journey, but you have come a long way.

As the intensity of your pain lessens with the passing of time, I hope that you will continue to look to your memories of your dear father to bring you comfort. You can also look forward to new opportunities and experiences, recognizing that going on with your life does not lessen in any way the love you have for your beloved dad. Always remember that death may end a life, but it does not end a relationship, and the relationship you have with your dad will remain with you as long as you keep his memory alive in your heart, until the very end of time.

Please know that we’re all thinking of you, and sending our warmest regards and best wishes to you.

I also want to share with you (and with others who may read this) the following article which I hope you’ll find helpful:

After the First Year – Then What?

“Time heals,” many people say. It may. It may help to dull your pain. But the medicine of time, taken by itself, is not sure. Time is neutral. What helps is what you do with time.”

– Rabbi Earl A. Grollman

The first year of bereavement brings raw pain, disbelief, the agony of reality and many other deep emotions – emotions many of us have never experienced or at least not to the same depth. The time period after the first year is usually not quite as pain-filled as all the firsts were. Although we may be a little better, often we are not nearly as healed as we would like. It helps to understand this next period and to learn some skills for coping. It is most helpful if we lower our expectations of ourselves, work on our grief and hold on to HOPE. Remember, grief is different for everyone. It is like fingerprints or snowflakes: no two are exactly alike. Everyone grieves differently, so don’t compare yourself to others or place yourself on a timetable.

Some of the following suggestions / observations may help you:

•Be aware of becoming critical of yourself, either consciously or unconsciously, due to unrealistic expectations.

•A different level of reality may hit you. You usually no longer deny the death, but now face the reality and its long-term implications.

•If the death was unexpected, some say that the second year is even more difficult.

•It may be the time to struggle with new life patterns. You may have handled grief by overactivity and excessive “busyness.” If a previous style of grieving has not been helpful, it’s time to try new approaches, such as becoming more active in a support group; finding telephone friends; reading about grief; developing coping skills; becoming determined not to get stuck in grief; doing your grief work; holding onto hope.

•It is vital to find a friend with whom you may talk. This is the one significant factor that prevents people from sliding into deep depression. You can find such help in a support group.

•Carefully consider the normal grief reactions. One or more reactions may be giving you trouble, such as anger or guilt. If so, recognize the reaction and work on it. Don’t push it down or ignore it.

•Other events in your life may also be adding to your grief (trouble with work, family members or friends). Realize this happens to many grieving people and it does complicate your grief.

•You may or may not cry as often as you did at first, but when you do, realize it is therapeutic. Don’t fight the tears. As Jean G. Jones says in Time Out for Grief, “cry when you have to – laugh when you can.”

•Physical symptoms may become more acute (stomach disorders, headaches, sleeplessness). Have a checkup.

•Insufficient sleep plagues many bereaved. It may be helpful to give up all caffeine and alcohol. Physical exercise helps you to relax and makes you sleepy.

•Check frequently that you have balance in your life – work, recreation (including exercise, hobbies, reading), adequate rest and prayer.

•Don’t be alarmed if depression reenters your life or appears for the first time. Depression is normal and its recurrence is also normal.

•Your grief may seem “out of control.” You may feel as if you are “going crazy.” This is common to bereaved people. It is important to realize that grief work takes time – Much more time than you think it should. Be patient with yourself.

•Be aware of a lowered self-esteem. You might think to yourself, “I don’t like the person I’ve become.” Often it is the unrealistic expectations you may have of yourself to be handling your grief better – no doubt you are doing better than you’re giving yourself credit for.

•You often hear, “Time will heal.” Yes, time does soften the hurt a bit, but mainly it is what you do with time: read, talk, struggle with your reactions, get help when you become stuck in a certain place, be gentle with yourself, lower your expectations, build a pleasant time with family and friends, pray to your loved one.

•It helps to consider that your loved one is happy – free of pain and hassles – that you’ll be together again. Also, if you died, would you want your loved ones to mourn deeply the rest of their lives? You would want them to enjoy life as much as possible, and your loved one wants this for you as well.

•Pride may be one of your greatest stumbling blocks. You may think that you should be doing much better – you may not want to acknowledge that you need help.

•Vibes from friends may openly or subconsciously be, “Shape up – you must be over it by now. Get on with living, etc.” You not only experience the death of a loved one, but you feel abandoned by friends and even family. Find others to talk with who understand. These friends may come from those who attend your support group meetings.

•Loneliness may seem to engulf you as you look ahead to a life without your loved one. Find new friends, worthwhile work (support groups always need help with phoning, mailings, research, etc.) and connect with friends from the past. Pleasant memories can help, too.

•If you feel guilty, it must be acknowledged – not suppressed. Really look at the “if onlys.” Hopefully you and only you will be able to say to yourself,”I did the best I could at the time – so did my loved one.”

•WHY? If the “why” is bothering you, ask it again and again until you can come to terms with it. You may never know why. It may remain a mystery that you choose to let go of. When you can, concentrate on your choice to get better.

•Realize that anger may be at yourself, God, the person who died, those in the helping professions who did not seem to understand or help. Acknowledging your anger is the first step in releasing its power over you.

•Don’t expect too much of your family. They, too, have their hands full of grief.

•Consider even though you are struggling with grief, you would rather have had the time with your loved one than not to have had that person in your life at all.

•Set realistic goals for the future – realistic is the key word. Pinpoint your most acute concerns. Think of all possible solutions. Choose one solution at a time and implement it.

•So many of us have been brought up to be independent: “I’m going to handle this grief myself.” We find it difficult to ask for help. Yet we need help. Asking for help from caring people can make a big difference in your working through your grief. Force yourself to reach out for help.

•Often, when we slide back into the pits, we panic. We hate the feeling. Irrationally we feel that we will remain there. It is important to realize that you’ve been in the pits before, and will be again, but you WILL GET BETTER.

•Be a fighter against giving up and becoming stuck in grief, as 15% of grieving people do. A determination to work through grief may be one of the common denominators of those who recover. It is up to you.

-- Author Unknown

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...