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Grief And Strange Thoughts / Depression

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I'm struggling to convince myself that what I'm going through is normal.

My Grandma passed away at the end of November. Basically, I walked in to her palliative care room without being told she had already passed away (I expected to see her to say goodbye, tell her I loved her...)

The shock of seeing her without being warned or prepared (the nurses said later they 'hoped to catch us' before we went into the room) and my sadness at the loss has had a really big effect on me. In retrospect I'm not sure I would have even gone into the room had I been given the choice. I've never seen a deceased person before - let alone a beloved relative. I've also never experienced the loss of someone close before. I have a really small family.

Since then, I've been struggling with strange thoughts which have caused me to really question my sanity, feel detached from reality, be really emotional and over-analytical of my thoughts, and just trying to process what death is, and the knowledge that we are all mortal.

I've also been having some images of myself being violent in my mind which I'm hoping are a direct result of the experience (I call them 'daymares').

These thoughts have escalated to the point where I sometimes actually believe that I'm capable of violence, or the thoughts trick me into thinking I WANT to be violent.

(I don't FEEL like I want to do these things, and I've certainly never had to physically stop myself - it's like my mind has its own agenda.)

This is in direct and total opposition to the me I know, love and am familiar with - I'm normally loving, empathetic, and generous - without question.

I feel so lost. These thoughts make me loathe myself - because of their content and the fact that I can't control them.

I'm having therapy, as well as doing my best to keep the communication lines open with my family and partner, although it's been quite difficult.

It would help me so much to hear from others who have had 'strange' thoughts, whether as a result of grief or depression.

I just need to not feel so alone....

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My dear friend,

I’m so sorry for your loss, and I can only imagine how shocking it must have been for you to enter your grandmother’s room only to discover, without any warning or preparation, that she had already died. Even when we think we are prepared and know what to expect, we still find it very difficult to take in the death of a person we love. Death is one of those facts of life that we find easier to acknowledge with our brain than with our heart. And even though our intellect says, “Yes, she has died,” the rest of us will still be trying hard to deny it.

It seems to me that what you are experiencing now is that painful period when grief is felt most intensely and your reactions are most acute. You are confronting not only the reality of losing your grandmother, but also your own mortality, and you are in the process of absorbing what all of this means. That is why we say that mourning is a process, not a single event.

You have entered the painful but necessary period that grief expert Therese Rando describes as a time of angry sadness: “There are extremes of emotion . . . It is an overwhelming, confusing, and frightening time as the mourner experiences types, intensities, and vacillations of emotions that make him unrecognizable to himself, afraid of who and what he will become, and fearful of losing his mind. The individual tries to maintain psychological equilibrium by alternately avoiding and approaching the material as he attempts to process it and work it through . . .”

It’s good to know that you are seeing a therapist to help you through this confusing and difficult process, and we’re pleased that you have found your way to this warm and caring place. I hope that soon you will hear from others whose experiences are similar to your own, because I think you’ll find it very reassuring to discover that you are not crazy, you are not lost and you are not alone.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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  • 5 months later...


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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello, I read your post and although I haven't been having thoughts of myself being violent I have been having very grotesque and disturbing thoughts and then after I have the thought I immediately fear they are going to come true. I recently had a friend and her four year old daughter die in a car crash and I'm so scared of everything now. My sister took her three children to the beach and I panicked until she called from the hotel because it was four hours on the road and my friend had her accident literally a quarter mile away from where she had just left. Every time I close my eyes to sleep or while in the shower or if I day dream, or more appropriately as you referred to is a "daymare", I envision my life without my husband, children, mother, siblings, or nieces, etc. I think about my friend's husband and how alone he must feel. I feel horrible thinking these things and like I said I get so scared that because I thought it, it will happen. I'm not a professional and our loss is very different, but I just wanted you to know you're not alone when you're having these "daymares". And just because we're thinking horrible things doesn't make us horrible people. Actually I think if death did not bother us at all and we moved on untouched by our loss then we'd have to be less sensitive and caring. It's our sensitivity, empathy, and love of those we've lost that is making our minds wander. THe fact we're having these feeling proves we are caring and sensitive to not only our own feelings, but the feelings of those around us and those involved.

I hoped I made you feel "normal".... smile.gif you know what I mean...



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