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Delayed Grief?


bev

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Hi Im Bev from England and Im 42......I have a slightly unusual problem I think.....

Almost 5 years ago my dad aged 65 died.He had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and was dead 3 weeks after his diagnosis.My mum and I were with him as he died and I told her to hug him just before he died (I have years of experience nursing dying people so I could recognise the moment ).

Two days before this happened my sister had a baby boy ......the day after his birth we were told that he has Down syndrome......and then shortly after our dad died the next day, my sister took me to one side to tell me the results of the babies heart scan.He had major problems and would probably die too.All I could think was how could I have 5 healthy children yet my sister not have one? (having said that I have had 2 miscarriages ).

Well I took on protector role for my mum, sister and children , the eldest was just 13 at the time. I made myself so busy and helpful , did all the practical things like arrange the funeral etc ,had mum live with us until she felt able to cope alone at home.I went to my sisters the first weekend she was home and totally organised everything for her......looked after everyone but me.....(my sister and I both have husbands but both were totally at a loss what to do !!!!!!!! ) I tried soo hard to make everything as good as possible in terrible circumstances.But I had no time to grieve for me.

We had a very difficult 4 months with the little one then he had life saving surgery.It was touch and go but he survived !!!! Hes now nearly 5 years and delightful...he has multiple problems but we love him unconditionally and thank God we could keep him in our lives.

Well a year after dads death one of my best friends(42) told me she had about 4 months left to live (shed battled cancer for 5 years) and then shortly after that another friend(40) became terminally ill with cancer .They died 5 weeks apart.I nursed my best friend for the last 2 weeks of her life and after her death looked after her 2 children before and after school for her husband.Shed not wanted me to do this as she thought it was enough I had my 5 !! But everyone else whod offered help let her husband down so he asked me and I did it for about a year and a half.I was only too happy to help.My friends courage had been an inspiration to me ! But once again it meant I was being busy and useful rather than dealing with my own grief feelings !

Just over a year ago I met a remarkable young man from germany online.We became soul mates, best friends .I even went to Germany to meet him and some other friends.Well, from the start I had a fear Id lose him cos I couldnt belive hed really love me ! (as friends) well the more time went on the more this fear grew until it became a totally irrational obsession that he no longer liked me and that Id lose him.Well I did some really stupid things that hurt him and....yes......I did indeed lose him ! Self fulfilling prophacy !

Its seems as tho my loving him and fear of losing him brought out all this unresolved grief from these previous losses!!! But my brain couldnt cope well with so much emotion so it became a real problem to me !

Im totally devastated now......I feel completely to blame for losing my best friend because I behaved stupidly because Id not grieved properly in the past ! And what hurts most is that I hurt him so badly !! I just cant forgive myself ! I dont know what to do.....at times Ive felt like killing myself as the pain of all of this is too much....but how I could I take away my pain to give it to everyone who cares about me? not least this young man...

I wrote him a letter to try to explain that Id become 'strange' because I was 'ill' but its not so easy to explain these ideas to a non native english speaker !! I find it all confusing enough myself !!!

I was always the strong one .....everyones rock !! now Ive totally crumbled !I just cant imagine that things will ever be normal again for me ......I tell me.....at least he isnt dead (unlike my dad and friends)....hes still alive and happy....but I cant stand the thought that he'll no longer be part of MY life through my own fault ! Its like one loss too many for me !

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hello, bev. i don't really know where to begin to try to help you...you have already dealt with so much. or at least you lived through it...i guess the real problem (from what you've described) is that you HAVEN'T actually dealt with these many losses. by doing so much and being there for so many others, you created a busy and constructive distraction from your suffering. i am sure you were doing these things out of the goodness of your heart (and it seems you have a very big one) but in the meantime focusing your energies outward delayed your processing of the pain of your loss. have you looked into some sort of counseling? you will hear over and over again that there is no time table for grief...maybe you have put off dealing with the reality of your grief until you were strong enough to handle it, maybe that time is now? my situation is much different as i am 34 and this is my first real experience of death. my dad died on june 9, 2003 after a 13 month battle with stage 4 inoperable colon cancer. i certainly haven't had the emotional stress and strain that you have, but you do have my sympathy and my prayers and hopes that you will find your way through this dark period. possibly a call to a bereavement and loss center would be a good place to begin your journey back...in the meantime, keep posting. i am thinking of you. ~alice

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Thanks for that Alice........your words are so kind

I am seeing my doctor and will be having counselling.....there are sooo many issues I need to adress....

I have heard from my friend and hes sad too and wants us to be friends again so all is not lost ......we just need to take things slowly and I need to work hard to deal with all I avoided !

Im so very sorry for your loss too.....its something we just cant imagine until it happens to us.....and so hard to see a loved one ill......Im thinking of you too and wish you strength to get thro this difficult time......Id say it does get easier in time......but hmmmmm Im not a good advert to say that !

I will remember you in my prayers too....its soooo helpful to know we have the thoughts and prayers of others with us ! Hugs Bev

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  • 1 month later...

Hello Bev

I have just read your first posting and you have had so much to deal with over the past few years I'm not at all surprised you are finally finding life difficult. You are now facing up to issues and that is very brave too.

May be keeping busy was your minds way of blocking the grief as you were not able to cope with it at the time

As you know from my posting on the other board I am feeling the same grief as you in that he is not dead, just not with me any more. I felt my lover was my soul mate too and the grief is devastating. I have kept busy with my 4 children over the years too though I have not lost my parents yet, I never grieved properly for my Grandad or cousin who died recently and I'm sure that is a factor in my depression too.

Its bad enough explaining depression and grief to someone english but it must have felt so frustrating attempting to get him to understand. I 've sometimes found it very difficult to get empathy from anyone who has no experience of these kinds of emotions.

I think is has been doubly hard for you too as you have been nursing those you loved and that must make it so painful.

Big Hug

I'm glad you have managed to maintain contact with your friend and that you can still find some hope for your future friendship.

I hope you'll let us know what's happened there.

Look after yourself and make sure you put yourself first more - though I know how hard that is with demanding family. I guess writing on this is a 'self' thing which is good.

Love 'n' hugs

Nicky A

PS I'm in England too and am 47

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Thanks Nicky..........it has been dreadfully hard........and we are still in contact but I think hes very scared Ill turn into the 'crazy' person again.....I cant give him any guarantees I can only hope he'll learn to trust me and believe in me again......the most frustrating thing is that he seems to be unable to believe whats happened to me...he just sees black and white......I did it to him.....he cant seem to think ....wow why would I do it?......there must be a big reason ......all he sees is I let him down....I guess its the age......all I can do is take it slowly and keep hoping hell see the old me again ! Its so very hard NOT knowing what to do for the best ! I keep thinking.....give him time and space......he hasnt totally abandoned me......he said losing me was the hardest thing.......well I hope he can see he didnt really lose me but I had to leave for a while to sort myself out !

I think Ive come to terms with the grief now........and its also emerged Ive felt lots of guilt over the years too.....oh well..one step at a time !!Hope dies last !

I hope that you slowly are feeling a little better......I feel for you sooo much......its been 12 weeks since this all came to a head for me....the longest 12 weeks of my life.....and maybe the hardest too ! at least I have some hope I can make amends....

BIG HUGS back to you.......thinking of you !

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Hello and wink.gif

everything you say seems to be mirrored in my feelings and situation . This grief business is very strange and the emotions so unpredictable and so life feels so precarious.

I think what you say about your friend is a male thing too - they have to learn about the gray scale so please don't take it too personnaly but keep going.

The most frustrating thing is wanting it to be allright yet it can't be for time and events have overtaken everything and changed it forever. That and as you say - not knowing - I've found that to be absolutely dreadful in these times of non communication for me, just not knowing how he is, what he thinks - i could go on and on for i suppose knowing would bring me a consolation of sorts and I'm not going to get that.

Your friendship has a chance to mend - don't loose that -- i'm sure you are doing all you can not to -- but even that can be wrong too. Why are relationships SOOO difficult????

I sometimes think I did things wrong in my situation but I'll never know what or when and I know I mustn't think like that.

Funnilly enough it's now 12 weeks for me too and absolutely no contact, nothing, an emptyness I didn't believe I could feel. My tears do not stop and there is a feeling that nothing I do is real.

I just started working again and I feel so detatched from reality as if it is all a dream and that if I go on long enough I'll wake up and be happy again with him. I'm only doing 4 hrs for 4 days a week in a shop and it is so strange being in an environment where no one knows ME.

It's just a distraction yet everyone says its good for me.

Time

Hell Time

Where does it go

How can it be so long - so long ago already?

How does one cope with anniversaries?

It's a special one for us next week and its causing me pain already.....

Keep on keeping on.

I'm thinking of you too

N

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  • 2 years later...

HI THERE,

I THINK I AM GOING THROUGH A SIMULAR SITUTATION MY GRANDMA DIED ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO I WAS EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD AND THE NIGHT BEFORE SHE DIED ALL THE FAMILY WENT TO SEE HER EXCEPT FOR ME. I COULD NOT BRING MYSELF TO GO AND SEE HER IN THE HOSPITAL. THE NEXT MORNING WAS CHRISTMAS MORNING AND WE RECEIVED A PHONE CALL IT WAS THE HOSPITAL CALL TO TELL US THAT SHE HAD PASSED AWAY AND I NEVER EVER GOT TO SEE HER ALIVE AGAIN. NOW BEING TEN YEARS LATER I FEEL THAT TORN APART FEELING INSIDE ME BECAUSE I MISS HER AND WISHED THAT I HAD DECIDED TO VISIT HER WHEN THE FAMILY HAD. I JUST FEEL THAT I AM ON A ROLLER COASTER BECAUSE I AM SAD ABOUT MISSING HER AND MY MOM DIED APRIL 2005 AND DAD DIED AUGUST 2005. SO MY EMOTIONS ARE JUST SO MIXED UP ALL THE TIME.

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