Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Two months after the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, my Dad died on March 5th of this year. During those two months, I cried, yelled, hugged him and and let him know it was ok to go. I thought the early grieving would make it easier, but the heartfelt pain is intense. Some days seem foggy, detached from life, alien. Other days, I feel pain more clearly and want to hide away like a wounded dog. Even though everyone experiences death at some point, it seems like no one understands my pain. This is especially hard as it brings up memories of my Brother's death years ago.

i've heard that, to the extent that we experience the pain defines our capacity for joy after. My question is, how and when does the pain start to subside? I know it's a natural process, different for everyone, but what is acceptance like? Is it the slow process of filling our lives around the hole that is left or does there come a day when we know we've fully accepted what happened or both?

Would like to hear from others going through this process or have made it to a peaceful place...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No one can answer that as it's different for everyone based on how close you were, how much you were in each other's everyday lives, your own personal coping skills, the grief work you put in, etc.  There is no one size fits all in grief.  

I don't know about the pain defining our subsequent joy, never heard that before, but definitely the depth of love defines the depth of grief.

Acceptance doesn't mean you like it or agree with it, but you're no longer in denial about them being dead and have realized that your life is different...you begin to see you have a new normal.  I think acceptance is so gradual as to be imperceptible and one day looking back you realize it.

One death on top of another does compile and trigger the old one.

Have you sought grief counseling?  It would undoubtedly help you, esp. since you have more than one death you're dealing with...by a licensed grief specialist.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your perspective. I do see a psychologist, who lost both his father and son. He's the one who said that our acceptance of pain will be commensurate to our ability to experience joy, at some point. I like to envision my Brother as my Dad's guide in the hereafter. Left as the only man in my family is lonely and stressful. It's been hard distinguishing my identity from that of my Brother, now it's quite a challenge to avoid becoming my Dad for my Mom. Knowing my life has changed forever, how do you come through this as healthy as possible?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd have to say by being open.  One of the first things I learned was that we have choices and our attitude and focus really does make a difference.  We can't change the fact that they're dead, only our response to it, and that is one of the biggest challenges we can face.  For myself, finding purpose was another big challenge.  Elsewhere on this site is a webinar on forgiveness that was good...sometimes we have to forgive even the circumstances that we've had no control over so we don't become embittered, which only serves to hurt us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I lost a close friend when I was 24; he was hit on his bicycle and died immediately, while the driver fled. I felt ripped apart and couldn't stop crying. I remember my mother saying, "I know it sounds trite, but time really does help". She was right, but how much time? I think it varies so much. That pain was more intense and brief.  Also, I lived with a boyfriend and was surrounded with a group of friends; we all lost him and grieved together. Losing my dad much later in life when I am alone is much different.

I have talked to a lot of people since my dad died who really seem to understand what I am going through. But I have had people tell me that they lost their dad (or mom) ten years ago, and that they still miss him every day. But I think it changes over time. These people who lost a parent ten years ago don't seem to be staggering around in a fog unable to cope.

I had three weeks of dreaming all night every night of things I could do to help my dad, only to wake up to the devastation that it was too late. One day that stopped. I lost credit cards, my keys, and everything else constantly for about two months. I also fell a lot, but now the falling and losing stuff is better. I still wake up every day and don't want to get out of bed, but I imagine that will get better eventually, even though I can't imagine how. I have a grief counselor through Hospice and he has been very helpful.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for letting me know more about your story. My Brother died in a car accident when he was 21 (I was 19). 
As I was already depressed with dysthymia, I became "double-depressed". Essentially, I functioned by disassociating from my emotions. This time, with my Dad's death, I'm on an anti-depressent, so the fog is tangible and the pain is acute.

While this time seems harder, I believe it's much healthier to actually be emotionally involved with grief, rather than denying it. Just hoping the fog to pain cycle lessens over time . . .

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mom died four months ago at the age of 59, and I really haven't "come out the other side." The things I've found helpful, though, are doing things I know she would have wanted me to do. Or maybe just doing things that she did to remind me of her and to help her spirit live on. I've also been trying to look after my siblings and dad because that's what Mom would be doing if she were around.

You're only about a month out. I know I'm doing a looooot better than I was in January. The pain was intense and made me so unmotivated it was ridiculous. I think the partial healing I've done in the time since is a combination of feeling grateful that I had such a precious mother, being able to handle the grief a little bit better even if it's glaringly there, and realizing that life is so short that I have to get out there and live. We have to grieve, but it does remind us how fleeting life is and how we should *live.* Mom didn't get a full life. There's a pretty big risk of me getting breast cancer and passing away younger, too, so it makes the living of life even more pressing to me. We all know our parents wanted us to be happy. If they're watching us from the other side, that hasn't changed!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Johann,

I lost my mom on Nov20 2015, I'm 21 and my mom was 42, never thought about losing her and that too so early. 

She was and still is my everything, my whole world. That day when I saw her dead is still fresh is my memory but yet many times I forget about her death and then suddenly realise it. 

From what I'm going through I don't think that grief will be in a particular pattern, we can be happy or okay at sometimes and sad at the next moment. 

Grief Triggers will always be their to bring back various emotions.

In one way or another the truth is that we all are somehow managing/surviving without our beloved ones though we all are so much ready to give up but the thing that keeps us going is the unconditional love of our beloved ones.

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Mom's angel said:

In one way or another the truth is that we all are somehow managing/surviving without our beloved ones though we all are so much ready to give up but the thing that keeps us going is the unconditional love of our beloved ones.

 

You're so right, angel. The angst, the pain, the longing, the emptiness are all going to be there because of that unconditional love. We sort of balance the pain of loss with the fact that we were so blessed to have such a wonderful loved one (in this case a parent) in our lives. It's not easy in any way and it's just a moment by moment, one day at a time existence.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True. I sometimes get angry and yell at god for my mother's death but I'll always be grateful to god for blessing me with such wonderful and lovely mom. 

She gave me everything she possibly could, she gave me all her love and made those 20 years as the best years of my life. 

If I get a chance I can live my entire life (until my time arrive) rewinding those years again and again. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember, your mom will always be a part of you, truly. She gave you life and you know all she ever in life wanted was for you to be happy.

I know it hurts, I know triggers are around every corner and that this is the worst time of your life. Be gentle and patient with yourself.

All that love will get you to better place emotionally. It takes time... you can't "rush" grief.

 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...