Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

The Loss Of My Grandpa

Recommended Posts

I lost my grandpa on August 2nd, just a few days after his 82nd birthday (july 27) ...and I miss him so much. I went to be with him as often as I could and in the last weeks of his life, though it tormented me to see this dignified man, who i more often saw in suits and nice shoes - and now in only in a diaper.

the last days of his life, seemed to me characterized by only pain and being out of rightful mind. whether this was due to the beginnings of althzeimer's or the morphine, I'm not sure.

It's now been 2 months, I'd been telling people it was three as I somehow mysteriously entered this divide when I began my college career again after 3 years.

I do not want to fail in school (again) ...and this is a brand new school, a new major, a world of opportunities in this private, Lutheran school. I love it - absolutely. And yet, I feel so alone.

I have felt so alone, and I am also find myself running through the horrible fits of anger - right now - especially at my counselor who has guided me through the traumas of childhood and adolescent abuses, my own addictions to self-harm, as well as the difficulties of watching my mom go through a transplant and have a very difficult time recovering as she got a virus from the transplant CIV and made her very ill and had her hospitalized just a few weeks after her succesfful transplant of a kidney and pancreas....

anyways, i just feel so angry that she told me that she wanted to see me move through the process of grief and be doing well in school without depression and it makes me so angry at her. i don't know why she thinks it should be so easy ....or that i should be okay.

and i want to kill myself at times because of the deep loneliness that although i express and ask for some extra attention from friends - nothing they do seems to be enough. every little thing sets me off into fits of tears or a rage that is inexpressible lest I jeapordize my friendships. I just withdraw and leave because I can't handle this.

I don't see what the point is in some senses. And more than that, my faith is shaken in such a way that I call to question the very existance of a loving God - and if this is so, it robs me of all purpose. I don't want to doubt, and that makes me all the lonelier - I feel so isolated in this pain.

am i making too much of my grandpa's death? why am I so lonely?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dear Bethann,

There is nothing I can say to take away the loneliness and anger you are feeling in the face of your grandfather’s death. What I can do is to assure you that such feelings are absolutely normal, and give you permission – indeed, encouragement – to puzzle over the spiritual questions you raise. This is the stuff of grief, my friend.

Anger is one of the most common reactions in grief; it is only human to rail against the injustice of your loss.

You’re angry at the disease that stole your grandpa’s dignity, and at those who cared for your grandpa for failing to save him from his illness.

You’re angry at your counselor, too. On the one hand you feel as if she’s pulling for you and knows you’re strong enough to get through this, but on the other hand you fear she may be minimizing or discounting the magnitude of what you’ve lost when your grandpa died.

You’re angry at God for letting your grandpa get sick and die, and at life because it isn’t fair.

You’re angry at a situation that’s suddenly rendered you helpless and powerless, just when you thought things had settled down, you were happy, back in school and in control of your life.

You’re angry at your friends for being happy, who aren’t suffering as you are suffering, who haven’t lost what you have lost, who may be more fortunate than you and don’t even see it or appreciate it, who cannot understand what you are going through and who, when all is said and done, will go back to their lives as usual while it feels as if your entire life has been turned upside-down.

The following is exerpted from my book, Finding Your Way through Grief: A Guide for the First Year. I share it with you now (and with others who may be reading this), in hopes that it will help:

. . . When you’re frustrated and hurting, it is only natural to lash out and look for someone to blame. Being angry is a way of channeling energy, of making some sense of the pain. When we are protesting an unjust loss, we may have every right to be angry. Even if we know our anger isn’t logical or justified, we cannot always help how we feel. Emotions aren’t always rational and logical. Feelings are neither right or wrong, good or bad – they just are. And for some of us, feeling angry may be preferable to feeling the underlying hurt and pain of loss. . .

Anger is a powerful emotion that can be frightening. But feeling angry doesn’t necessarily imply that you will lose control or take your anger out unfairly on others. Before you can get through it, let go of the intense emotions attached to it and move on, your anger must be admitted, felt and expressed, if only to yourself. When you simply acknowledge feelings of anger to yourself or to a trusted other without actually doing anything about them, no harm is done, to you or anyone else. On the other hand, if anger is suppressed and held on to, eventually you may erupt like a volcano, you may internalize it and take it out on yourself (in the form of depression or anxiety), or you may misdisdirect it toward innocent others such as family, friends and colleagues.

Suggestions for Coping with Anger

•Recognize what you were taught about anger as a child and how that may affect the way you experience and deal with anger now.

•Seek to understand what’s driving your anger, resentment or disappointment. Examine whatever expectations you had of others that were not met. What did you expect that did not happen? Were your expectations reasonable? Were others capable of doing what you expected?

•Discover ways to discharge the energy of anger in appropriate, non-destructive ways that will bring no harm to yourself, to others or to property. Find a safe place, space, activity and time where you can let your anger out through

- physical exercise: sports, brisk walking, pounding pillows, chopping wood, digging holes, scrubbing floors.

- hobbies and crafts: painting, pottery, stitchery, wood working.

- music: blowing a horn; pounding drums or a piano.

- writing: keeping a journal; writing a letter and tearing it up.

- talking: finding someone you can talk to, without feeling judged or being told you’re bad because you’re angry.

- reaching out: asking others for the support you need, rather than expecting them to know.

•If you’ve decided your anger with another is justified, you can choose to deal with it by

- confronting the person constructively with what happened and how you feel about it.

- realigning your expectations, accepting the person’s limitations and seeking the support you need elsewhere.

- leaving the relationship.

•If you think you’re in danger of hurting yourself or someone else, if you’re feeling as if your anger is out of control, seek professional help at once.

– Source: Finding Your Way through Grief: A Guide for the First Year, © 2000 by Marty Tousley, RN, MS, CT, pp. 24-26.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

Well, here I am after more than 4 years. I first came in here to talk about the loss of my grandfather and how angry I was about it. I can't believe I found this place again. I re-read my post and remembered coming here and all the hurt and anger that I felt. The pattern of my thoughts were just repeating the same angry mantra over and over - how could God take my grandpa and allow such indignity? Where was grace?

I will say that now, almost 4 years later, I am doing really well. I have made so much peace with his loss. It hurt on the day that the 4th year of his passing came around, but a lot less. I don't think that this was time as much as it was forgiving and beginning to get some distance from the grief.

I am facing my mom's illness at this time. She has 50% use of her transplanted kidney. Yet, she is doing well. I am stressed by the thought of it, but somehow, I'm in a different place. Perhaps it's because I know that my faith in Jesus Christ carried me through my grandfather's death. I have a different outlook now, not that this is without pain.

I have now graduated college and am working as a consultant for a private college for just over a year. I feel a pride in how much I've accomplished. It isn't just the accomplishment of my first career, but that I moved forward and gained a deeper understanding of who I am.

My grandfather meant a lot to me. I will never forget him, and I am not afraid to talk about him and the things that he did. I was remembering how one day he told a story about Mark Twain and was laughing so hard that he was in tears. The rest of my family was laughing too because he was laughing so hard that he couldn't talk. When the story came out, it just wasn't all that funny - but it was still such a heartfelt laugh and I'll never forget it. I encourage others that are currently going through the horrible pain of losing someone recently to remember those good times.

For me, I allowed the pain of death to overshadow the good times. It's hard to remember good when the grief is so fresh...but there has to be a way to move through it.

I am so glad for my experience here and getting such wonderful encouragement. It came at a time when I really needed it. I just wanted to drop by and encourage you all that the thorn of grief does ache less and less. It is not really time - I would hate to say that to someone. I hated it in my situation. Time doesn't heal all wounds, but processing and talking through the pain with others does a lot.

I was at a point where I was ready to end my own life, and I am glad that I didn't. I have witnessed the birth of two new nephews, the marriage of my brother, the news that my brother and his wife are now expecting, my sister's recent engagement, my parent's 35th anniversary. These are a lot of milestones that I would have missed had I not talked through the pain and processed how angry I felt and how much despair I had.

With warm and heartfelt thoughts for all that are going through a tremendous loss. And Marty, thank you for all that you do.


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...