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Can We Die From Grief?


Aquarius7

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Lately I have been really feeling like this is going to kill me. The losses, the emotions, the sadness, the grief, the mourning, the reality of it all, the tragedy of it all and the repercussions of it all.

Can we die from grief? I think so. I know of(not personally) at least one person (about 44) who got cancer less than a year after losing her daughter (18 years old). She just never, ever recovered. The grief and sadness took their toll on her. Then suddenly she was sick and died. Also, the death of her daughter distanced her relationship between her and her husband (it was their only child). He did everything he could to help, but she wanted no part of it. Then she was dead.

I know of another couple where the husband died (about 98) and his wife (about 78) died just less than a year later. He was everything in the world to her and his passing left her little to live for. I am wondering how many people this happens to. I really feel it could happen to me because I really cannot take this much longer. Lately, I have even been having occasional physical aches and pains which I think are related to the grief of it all.

Has anyone else known of experiences like the ones I have mentioned. Does grief kill? I think so.

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As much as I hate to say this, I think so. I'm just being perfectly honest here. My uncle died 37 days after his wife of 50 or 60 years died. I will always wonder about those circumstances, even though his family said he died of a broken heart.

One thing I've heard on more than one occasion is that loneliness is just as bad for a person as smoking. Well, we know smoking kills. Apparently loneliness isn't much better. Since I alienated all my friends (except for one) during my dad's process, I guess I am feeling pretty lonely. I am no stranger to spending holidays alone, and this year I simply must volunteer. I already do at two places weekly and can't tell you what therapy it is for a person - like an instant anti-depressant.

At any rate, I know grief can't be controlled, but we can add things to our life to make it more bearable - like volunteering. It really does work and has literally saved my life.

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My sister is recovering from breast cancer. Her doctor said stress is bad for recovery. She and her hubby fight alot. She told him she won't play those games/she can't. Stress is bad for many things and health is one. I agree with someone said volunteering helps. It does take you out of introspecting too much. I have to admit that I have health fears now that he's gone. Cause I'll have to be alone to go through it alone. Not alone really, my family would insist I move home to Fla and be there in mass for me. But alone in the sense of your partner. My health fears are not for surviving the illness. Not afraid of death either. Just want to have things settled and my dogs to have a home. They are 12 now. I won't adopt any more.

You're feeling more of a mental angst than a pysical symptom. It's the what ifs. Live each day/one day at a time. Don't think too far ahead or in the past. It helps. LindaKay

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yes we can. My brother in law's mother died shortly after his father (I mean in the space of days) and they could find nothing that had actually caused his mother's death. His parents had been together for years and were very close, so we think she died of a broken heart. Equally, many elderly people when moved to a different residential home against their will often give up their will to live.

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No. Of course, not to say that people with existing illness or in extreme cases some elderly don't die within a certain time from the death of one they loved. But the vast majority of us get better. If you feel overwhelmed with sadness, do something, anything, to get your mind off sadness. Put together a puzzle, go to work, call a friend, get on a grief site and talk, anything and you'll feel better. When things overwhelm you, think of the situation reversed. Would you want the one you lost to lose all hope or would you want them to be happy again? When I feel sad, It's usually because I'm feeling sorry for myself. For me, I try to limit my sadness for Don not being on earth any longer, and not giving in to feeling sad for me because I am on earth and can experience life. And when I feel sad for Don not being with me any longer, I hang on to faith that he is truly in a better place. Nancy

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Nancy, thank you for your post. I think any one of us can find anecdotal evidence to support the notion that grief can be fatal, but that does not mean it is true. In a very real sense, life itself is fatal, since none of us gets out of this world alive. We're all destined to die some day. The challenge for each of us is to decide how we live until we die. Every person on this site is engaged in the struggle to reconcile ourselves to our losses, make some sense of what has happened to us, and find reasons to go on.

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I had to see my cardiologist after the love of my lie died. He told me about a large percent of his patients (and other doctors as well) see the partner have a heart attack or stroke within 3-6 months. The gieif is so intense we don't take care of ourselves. I speak from personal experience. Didn't take my heart or choloeteral meds or anything else. Ate junk if I ate at all. Went bonkers trying to make sure the house was in perfect order and tried to get all the paperwork in order "in case I died". The doctor said SLOW UP. Get out meet people joing groups volunteer. Nothing I am interested in, but I am going to give it a try. Yes, I think we can die from grief. I have seen it many times also. SO take care of yourself. If possible take sometime off and go visit a friend or family in another state.

And post. Pour it out. I am finding I can say things here I can't tell my closest sister. I was closer to Sheryl than to any other person ever in my life. Now I don't have her to talk to. So now, when I am driving, instead of fighting tears so I can see to drive, I pretend she is in the other seat and I talk to her. I used to pretend Jesus was in the other seat and talk to him. That works also. And journaling. I am trying that. SOmetimes I get so mad I am underlining, yelling on paper, scribbling as fast as I can with no puncuation. Let it all hang out. Best of luck, We are all in the same boat here and you are safe in pouring out your heart.

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