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Am I Really That Far Gone. . .


Babypod

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My husband told me I need to see someone because I am "that far gone." Is that the case or does he just not understand?

My entire life my Grandma would talk to my Grandpa and Aunt Mary - just little things around the house - like they were there when obviously they had passed away. It wasn't like she saw them or anything she just always said, I feel like there are here with me.

Well - the last couple of months that is how I have felt about Grandma - like she is here with me. I swear I feel her arm around me hugging me at times. When I go for my walks in the morning sometimes I feel like she is there with me - and I talk to her. I just feel her. . .

Well - I have this little memorial nook in my house. In it I have photos of my Grandma, grandpa, great grandparents and my mother in law. I couldn't find something and it ended up being in this little nook and I said, "Oh there it his, next to Grandma." When I picked it up I said, "Love you Grandma." and kissed her photo. My husband started laughing at me and telling me I am nuts. Am I?

He and I have very different faiths. He believes in nothing and I believe in the more Christian type of faith. I have been relying on my faith more and more since we lost Grandma - and he told me a few days ago that he didn't like how "religious" I am becoming. That upset me because he knew my beliefs before we got married and although I haven't been as open about my beliefs in the past as I am now - my beliefs haven't changed. Our children are at an age where they need to know God - so I believe it is important to talk about him in front of them (and he agreed before we got married that any children we were to have should know God - "It makes life easier for them.") He just thinks I am crazy. He things I am making stuff up about feeling her at times.

I don't know - maybe I am.

~Angel

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Angel, dear ~ Obviously you know your husband far better than any of the rest of us, so you're in the best position to know to what extent he understands and accepts the love you have for your precious grandmother and the depth of your grief. All we can do is reassure you that no, you are not "crazy," and your need to maintain an ongoing relationship with your deceased loved ones is well within the normal range of behavior for someone in mourning. It is true that in days gone by, such behavior was misunderstood (if not frowned upon) as evidence that the bereaved person was somehow failing to "move on" or "accept the reality of the loss." Nowadays, based on many years of experience and valid research, both with grieving adults and children, we know that maintaining a continuing bond with a loved one who has died is quite common, perfectly normal and in fact a very healthy thing to do ~ to the extent that grief counselors actually encourage clients to find ways to do it! When you think about it, memorializing the dead has gone on for centuries ~ think about the pyramids in ancient Egypt, for example ~ and consider that the entire city of Washington, DC is peppered with monuments to dead people! Having a "shrine" inside your home is a perfectly legitimate and wonderful way to keep the memory of your precious grandmother alive in your heart and call forth her presence in your mind ~ nothing "crazy" or "wrong" with it at all. Talking to your grandmother is fine, too. If you've read some of the posts in our other forums, you already know that this is a very common practice among the bereaved.

If you think your husband is open to it, you might consider finding a book about grief from your local library or bookstore and asking your husband to read it. Be sure to read it yourself first, so you'll know why you're recommending it. (Nothing worse than recommending an article or book we haven't read ourselves.) You could even highlight certain passages you'd like him to read, or read them to him yourself (if he's not a reader). You both might find this article to be helpful: Helping Another In Grief ~ it's an excerpt from the book I wrote for Hospice of the Valley, Finding Your Way through Grief: A Guide for the First Year.

Finally, Angel, take a look at something posted just this morning by my friend and colleague, Cheryl Eckl, on "why the 'shoulds' have no place in my grieving" : The Art of Letting Go, Part I

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Marty - after reading your post I do have a question - what if you don't want to let go? I just feel like that this moment I can't. She was such a huge part of my life - who I am - who I became. I don't even know who I am without her in my life. She shaped everything about me - my career - the way I see the world - the kind of mother and wife I am. . . Without her I feel lost. With out her I feel I have no one who really understands me.

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Angel, I am sorry that you now have to question "are you that far gone". I do think it's a case of him not understanding if it's not something he has experienced himself.

It must hurt to have him laugh telling you your are nuts for talking to her, kissing her photo. I don't think there is anything wrong with this and it's not something you should have to hide either. Have you tried talking to him about it ?

If you feel your Grandma around you then I have no doubt it's her, it's not your imagination, it's not wishful thinking .........because if it was then I would for sure feel my Dad because I want to so badly but I don't ............so I guess maybe I'm not ready for it yet. My faith and all that has gone completely topsy turvy and I still don't know what to think or believe but when the times hit that I hear a certain song that has a lot of meaning I know it's from my Dad and that whole belief is still completely separate from my faith or lack there of. I think what's changing is your relationship with your Grandma because she is no longer physically in this world to call up and chat to, to hear her voice so now you simply communicate in a different way.

You definitely are not crazy hon and maybe he just needs to know a little more of where you are coming from to let you be and not make jokes or call you nuts. You are entitled to deal with this in your way, in a way that gets you through every minute of everyday and I certainly don't think there is anything out of the ordinary with how you are dealing with this that should have anyone concerned or have anyone make any jokes about it.

I am glad you feel her around you, I would pretty much give anything to be able to sense my Dad like that, hopefully that day will come.

((hugs)) and love to you

Niamh

x

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Marty,

I will admit yesterday I did not read that link - I was afraid to - to be honest. I thought it would be about moving on without her.

I just read it and I am so glad I did. Thank you for linking it here. I honestly think a big part of my issues lately are the fact that my husband's views/thoughts are very different from mine and he seems to be getting upset over the way I am dealing with things. I need to realize that what I am feeling and doing is OK - even if he doesn't understand it.

One thing I am very thankful to my Grandma for is the fact that she gave me my Grandpa, Aunt, Great Grandparents. . . She never let their memory disappear. I really want to do that for my kids - these were amazing and inspirational people (with my Grandma being the most amazing of them all) - and my children knowing them and knowing of them can be a great help.

I am also glad about what you wrote about the relationship not ending with death. I think that is what my husband thinks should happen. He did lose his mother, and he loved her, but their relationship was different than the one I had with Grandma. He grieved and still does - in his own way (even though he acts like he doesn't) and I think I just need to be OK with my grief and relationship with my Grandma.

Thank you so much for that link.

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I'm so glad you followed that link, Angel ~ and please make sure to follow the other one also ~ it's a terrific article by Cheryl Eckl, and I think you will find it to be very comforting and reassuring, too.

You will never, ever find anyone here suggesting that you need to "let go" of your grandmother, or anyone else you've loved and lost to death. Why in the world would you want to let go of someone who loved you so much? Eventually you may find a way to let go of the pain of losing her to death, but you never, ever must let go of the love that the two of you still share. Love like that has no expiration date.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My husband told me I need to see someone because I am "that far gone." Is that the case or does he just not understand?

.... Well - I have this little memorial nook in my house. In it I have photos of my Grandma, grandpa, great grandparents and my mother in law. I couldn't find something and it ended up being in this little nook and I said, "Oh there it his, next to Grandma." When I picked it up I said, "Love you Grandma." and kissed her photo. My husband started laughing at me and telling me I am nuts. Am I?

He and I have very different faiths. He believes in nothing and I believe in the more Christian type of faith. I have been relying on my faith more and more since we lost Grandma - and he told me a few days ago that he didn't like how "religious" I am becoming....

~Angel

Babypod, I sent an e-mail to your e-mail address (that begins with the first four letters "shad") from one of my Yahoo e-mail accounts on August 8th of this year.

I never got a reply to that e-mail. Did you receive that e-mail, or read it?

I wish your husband was more sensitive to what you're going through and how you're coping with it.

No, you're not nuts. My mom, who died over 2 1/2 years ago, used to "talk to" her Mom who had died in the late '90s or early '00s.

My mom had a photo of Grandmother in the den on an end table, and she would tell her "good night, love you" before turning the light out to go to bed.

My Mom knew it was just a photo, but it brought her comfort to talk to Grandmother in the photo like that.

I don't talk to my Mom or to her photos or anything. I do have small photos of her around my room (where I spent a lot of time).

I have little things, trinkets and such, she gave me that mean a lot, where I can see them, like a hand written note she made me when I was a kid going through a tough time. I have that propped up where I can see it if I'm sitting on my bed.

As for the discussion above by other people concerning the phrase "letting to."

If I ever use that phrase, particularly in the context of grieving the death of a loved one, I don't mean to say you have to forget about your loved one.

When I use that phrase (but especially when a person is going through something that is NOT the death of a loved one), I usually mean to say more along the lines of (for your own sake) moving past the pain and living life in the here and now.

I come across a lot of people who remain bitter, angry, or hurting over some mean or insensitive thing someone did or said to them five, ten, or twenty years ago, and they do not want to release those negative emotions, they want to keep rehashing the past, which prevents them from enjoying life now, and they don't seem to realize that or how damaging it is for them.

I was trying to get those point across (only to be helpful) on another forum I participate on, regarding a woman who is still hurting, and a little miffed, at a friend who treated her badly, or cut her out of her life, about four years ago. (Her friend is still living, so this is not a case of grieving.)

Unfortunately, many of the other people at that other forum took my insight the wrong way and felt I was being cruel, heartless, or judgmental.

Some of the people on that other forum actually said they think loss of a friendship (with a friend who is still living) is 'worse' than death of a loved one, a view that I thought was astounding and rather repulsive.

('Loss of friendship' on the other forum is not about death of a friend. They are talking about situations like when you get into a bad fight with your friend and you part ways. Or, when your friend (who is still living) decides to stop having anything to do with you at all, and does not give a reason.)

One can always make a new friend, or possibly make amends with the old one you had a fight with, but you cannot get a new grandmother or mother (or whomever you lost to death).

One situation is permanent (death), the other is not (end of friendship - you can always make a new friend or make up with the old one).

One type of relationship is basically replaceable (friendship) the other (family member) is not.

But anyway, if I ever happen to use the phrase "letting go" (or "moving on" or something similar) at this board, I hope nobody here takes it the wrong way. It's certainly not my intent to hurt anyone's feelings, especially someone who is still coping with grief.

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