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Frequent Social Butterfly
Posts: 261
Registered: ‎05-04-2011

Re: Talking with others about grief

Message 41 of 70 (2,687 Views)

mg50694312 wrote:

I am new to grief.  My wife passed away last week.  Many years ago I worked in a death and dying environment and worked with both patient and family members.  As my wife approached her final days, I wanted her to make the transition as smoothly as possible.  We talked about her passing and expectations.  When she went into her sleep, I then focused on the family.  I focused on her imminent death and my wife's wishes.  I asked them to remain strong during the final hours and gave them a prayer she wanted recited at her time of passing. My wife's passing went smoothly.  I had prepared everything in detail with the exception of my own grief.  I am a strong individual.  As a federal law enforcement officer working on the front lines of organized criminal organizations, I witnessed many things no human beings should ever see.  However, dealing with the death of my wife was the most painful and debilitating experience of my life.  The pain was beyond description.  What carried me through was being able to express myself in this blog and most importantly, share my pain with someone else who was hurting as much as me.  My wife's oldest sister, I nor her, did we care much for each other.  However, during our counseling, we found ourselves supporting each other during this process and we developed a very close bond.  Although it has only been a week, we both have been able to move on.  How do you prepare someone for grief?  Continued family support is important, however, having someone walk the walk with you is invaluable.  I still have my private crying sessions, but we are beginning now to laugh at some of the happy times also.  I recognize that this will be a very slow process and the pain will never completely go away, but I now see a light at the end of my tunnel.



mg50694312 wrote:

I am new to grief.  My wife passed away last week.  Many years ago I worked in a death and dying environment and worked with both patient and family members.  As my wife approached her final days, I wanted her to make the transition as smoothly as possible.  We talked about her passing and expectations.  When she went into her sleep, I then focused on the family.  I focused on her imminent death and my wife's wishes.  I asked them to remain strong during the final hours and gave them a prayer she wanted recited at her time of passing. My wife's passing went smoothly.  I had prepared everything in detail with the exception of my own grief.  I am a strong individual.  As a federal law enforcement officer working on the front lines of organized criminal organizations, I witnessed many things no human beings should ever see.  However, dealing with the death of my wife was the most painful and debilitating experience of my life.  The pain was beyond description.  What carried me through was being able to express myself in this blog and most importantly, share my pain with someone else who was hurting as much as me.  My wife's oldest sister, I nor her, did we care much for each other.  However, during our counseling, we found ourselves supporting each other during this process and we developed a very close bond.  Although it has only been a week, we both have been able to move on.  How do you prepare someone for grief?  Continued family support is important, however, having someone walk the walk with you is invaluable.  I still have my private crying sessions, but we are beginning now to laugh at some of the happy times also.  I recognize that this will be a very slow process and the pain will never completely go away, but I now see a light at the end of my tunnel.


Dear friend 

Thank you for sharing this, and i hope you'll say more as you wish. It's all so soon for you. And you spent over 4 decades making a wonderful life together. I have not suffered the grief of the loss of a spouse, but I've buried a nephew and my parents, and i recall the waves of grief just flattening me, at unexpected times, leaving me gasping and undone. The waves keep coming, but eventually, over months, they came less often. Especially after my father's death, I had to reconstitue myself as an 'orphan'. I am the oldest of two, and I became the matriarch of our tiny family. It took a lot of time to wrap my head around that.

 

You have a daughter, who moved in with you, right? And her husband and their 2 children, your grandchildren. You have your wife's sister, who also loved her as a peer, as you do. She can share your grief and your love of your wife in a different way than your daughter can. But they also loved her with their whole heart. Is it a comfort? There's something healing about sharing such a love and such a deep loss.

 

If she was in hospice, is there bereavement support for you? The hospice i work for (I'm a social worker) has support groups, one for people who lost a spouse, and another for people who lost a parent.  A lot of tissues are involved. But there is a huge sense of cameraderie in a group of people who know JUST WHAT YOU'RE GOING THROUGH. Who think they see their loved one in the aisle at Safeway and go chasing, even though... Who cry at night when they awaken and remember...  Are you talking to the bereavement counselor?  It's up to you of course. But it is free. And usually bereavement services are of high quality. They are offered for 13 months after the passing, for good reason.

 

I am grateful that you have such a strong faith. I do, too. It is a blessing and a necessity to live and move forward with God alongside. Even when i feel desperately and completely alone. I know it is an illusion: that i am cherished profoundly. What brings your faith into your heart? Does worship help? I love the singing, and the Eucharist...

 

Thank you again, deep thanks, for sharing. Please share more. There are not a lot of voices here, yet, but there are readers. And sharing is catharctic, even if no one reads... I read...

 

with respect

jane

Frequent Social Butterfly
Posts: 261
Registered: ‎05-04-2011

Re: Talking with others about grief

Message 42 of 70 (2,631 Views)

mg50694312 wrote:

I am new to grief.  My wife passed away last week.  Many years ago I worked in a death and dying environment and worked with both patient and family members.  As my wife approached her final days, I wanted her to make the transition as smoothly as possible.  We talked about her passing and expectations.  When she went into her sleep, I then focused on the family.  I focused on her imminent death and my wife's wishes.  I asked them to remain strong during the final hours and gave them a prayer she wanted recited at her time of passing. My wife's passing went smoothly.  I had prepared everything in detail with the exception of my own grief.  I am a strong individual.  As a federal law enforcement officer working on the front lines of organized criminal organizations, I witnessed many things no human beings should ever see.  However, dealing with the death of my wife was the most painful and debilitating experience of my life.  The pain was beyond description.  What carried me through was being able to express myself in this blog and most importantly, share my pain with someone else who was hurting as much as me.  My wife's oldest sister, I nor her, did we care much for each other.  However, during our counseling, we found ourselves supporting each other during this process and we developed a very close bond.  Although it has only been a week, we both have been able to move on.  How do you prepare someone for grief?  Continued family support is important, however, having someone walk the walk with you is invaluable.  I still have my private crying sessions, but we are beginning now to laugh at some of the happy times also.  I recognize that this will be a very slow process and the pain will never completely go away, but I now see a light at the end of my tunnel.


Dear friend 

Thank you for sharing this, and i hope you'll say more as you wish. It's all so soon for you. And you spent over 4 decades making a wonderful life together. I have not suffered the grief of the loss of a spouse, but I've buried a nephew and my parents, and i recall the waves of grief just flattening me, at unexpected times, leaving me gasping and undone. The waves keep coming, but eventually, over months, they came less often. Especially after my father's death, I had to reconstitue myself as an 'orphan'. I am the oldest of two, and I became the matriarch of our tiny family. It took a lot of time to wrap my head around that.

 

You have a daughter, who moved in with you, right? And her husband and their 2 children, your grandchildren. You have your wife's sister, who also loved her as a peer, as you do. She can share your grief and your love of your wife in a different way than your daughter can. But they also loved her with their whole heart. Is it a comfort? There's something healing about sharing such a love and such a deep loss.

 

If she was in hospice, is there bereavement support for you? The hospice i work for (I'm a social worker) has support groups, one for people who lost a spouse, and another for people who lost a parent.  A lot of tissues are involved. But there is a huge sense of cameraderie in a group of people who know JUST WHAT YOU'RE GOING THROUGH. Who think they see their loved one in the aisle at Safeway and go chasing, even though... Who cry at night when they awaken and remember...  Are you talking to the bereavement counselor?  It's up to you of course. But it is free. And usually bereavement services are of high quality. They are offered for 13 months after the passing, for good reason.

 

I am grateful that you have such a strong faith. I do, too. It is a blessing and a necessity to live and move forward with God alongside. Even when i feel desperately and completely alone. I know it is an illusion: that i am cherished profoundly. What brings your faith into your heart? Does worship help? I love the singing, and the Eucharist...

 

Thank you again, deep thanks, for sharing. Please share more. There are not a lot of voices here, yet, but there are readers. And sharing is catharctic, even if no one reads... I read...

 

with respect

Jane

Conversationalist
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-27-2016

Re: Talking with others about grief

Message 43 of 70 (2,682 Views)

I am new to grief.  My wife passed away last week.  Many years ago I worked in a death and dying environment and worked with both patient and family members.  As my wife approached her final days, I wanted her to make the transition as smoothly as possible.  We talked about her passing and expectations.  When she went into her sleep, I then focused on the family.  I focused on her imminent death and my wife's wishes.  I asked them to remain strong during the final hours and gave them a prayer she wanted recited at her time of passing. My wife's passing went smoothly.  I had prepared everything in detail with the exception of my own grief.  I am a strong individual.  As a federal law enforcement officer working on the front lines of organized criminal organizations, I witnessed many things no human beings should ever see.  However, dealing with the death of my wife was the most painful and debilitating experience of my life.  The pain was beyond description.  What carried me through was being able to express myself in this blog and most importantly, share my pain with someone else who was hurting as much as me.  My wife's oldest sister, I nor her, did we care much for each other.  However, during our counseling, we found ourselves supporting each other during this process and we developed a very close bond.  Although it has only been a week, we both have been able to move on.  How do you prepare someone for grief?  Continued family support is important, however, having someone walk the walk with you is invaluable.  I still have my private crying sessions, but we are beginning now to laugh at some of the happy times also.  I recognize that this will be a very slow process and the pain will never completely go away, but I now see a light at the end of my tunnel.

Regular Social Butterfly
Posts: 409
Registered: ‎04-28-2014

Re: Talking with others about grief

Message 44 of 70 (2,949 Views)

Valentine's Day. Hoo boy. 

 

Anyone out there missing a spouse, lover, significant other, partner, who is no longer on the planet such that we can feel and touch them?

 

This day can be a tough one....

 

Jane

Regular Social Butterfly
Posts: 409
Registered: ‎04-28-2014

Re: Talking with others about grief

Message 45 of 70 (2,953 Views)

It's Fat Tuesday: translated into French it's Mardi Gras. Tomorrow is the beginning of Lent, a period of reflection and self-inventory for Christians who observe this tradition. Ash Wednesday. You all may see smudges on folks' foreheads tomorrow. 

 

From the Book of Common Prayer: "If ashes are to be imposed, the Celebrant says the following prayer

  Almighty God, you have created us out of the dust of the
  earth: Grant that these ashes may be to us a sign of our
  mortality and penitence...Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

 

Although Ash Wednesday and the 40 days of Lent are not specifically tied to grief or loss, the stark reminder that we all will be some sort of dust some way brings me up short, I can tell you. A reminder of mortality. Of my own, and of the people I've loved who are gone now.

 

I find it oddly comforting. I'm one with all the human family, because we will all be dust one day. And consequently, perhaps i'll focus on being grateful for what i have, and for WHO i have in my life, right now.  Sad though i may be at the loss of so many dear to me.

 

Anyone else out there contemplating this ancient ritual of the imposition of ashes?

 

Are there any rituals that comfort you?

 

Perhaps visiting a gravesite?  Or doing something that you once did with the person who's gone?  Celebrating an anniversary, or rather remembering it, since maybe 'celebration' doesn't feel quite right.

 

I'm having cherry pie with ice cream for my very quiet Mardi Gras celebration. 

 

I'll wear dust on my forehead tomorrow, a smudge of burnt palm fronds leftover from Palm Sunday. And i'll be reminded of my mortality.

 

Thanks for letting me share,

 

Jane

Regular Social Butterfly
Posts: 409
Registered: ‎04-28-2014

Re: Talking with others about grief

Message 46 of 70 (3,185 Views)

Here's an article i just found on grief and starting new traditions around holidays. Geared toward younger folks but that doesn't mean the ideas aren't useful.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/holiday-grief-new-traditions_567b09a2e4b06fa6887fe261?cps=gravit...

 

Jane, an old fart

Regular Social Butterfly
Posts: 409
Registered: ‎04-28-2014

Re: Talking with others about grief

Message 47 of 70 (3,202 Views)

“Signs of endings all around us,/Darkness, death, and winter days/Shroud our lives in fear and sadness,/Numbing mouths that long to praise./Come, O Christ, and dwell among us!/Hear our cries, come set us free./Give us hope and faith and gladness./Show us what there yet can be.”

 

A gloomy hymn from Advent (the season before Christmas), but it seems so appropriate for this time of year. Talks about the yearning that we feel when we are in the dumps.

 

ASTRAEA, it sounds like you've come to a wise place in your life. A friend of mine is reading a book called Buddha's Daughters: Teachings from Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West. You might enjoy it. You've survived all your kinfolks and now you make your own family with friends and this online community. I love your philosophy of life.

 

Our world has become pretty individualistic, and people have fewer other people to surround them with care and love. Or so it seems. My parents are dead. I have one sister who i see as often as i can (she's 200 miles away). I have a church community. I am blessed with friends. I get the blues at Christmas and I have my cures. Christmas eve service. A movie in the theater with popcorn. A chance to write cards to the folks i've received cards from and a few others i insist on sending them to. (I write them late and remind the receivers that there are 12 days of christmas so i'm not really late!)  Then i break out my new calendar and start writing in the special dates like birthdays. Those are my rituals for the end of the year.

 

What other rituals do you all participate in?  My dad always wanted to watch White Christmas. That was his.

 

Jane

Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 9,931
Registered: ‎04-01-2012

Re: Talking with others about grief

Message 48 of 70 (3,093 Views)

ASTRAEA wrote:

It might be better to suggest people look for programs near them, that have trained grief/bereavement counsellors. Programs like that often have reading material that walk participants through the various stages of grief. Too often, not knowing where someone is in their own process, a poster here can make a less than sensitive suggestion about "just get over it", and that discourages the person from going the entire path .. there are really no "short cuts".


@ASTRAEA    -    So true.  Thanks for the post, Astraea.   Pam

Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 19,550
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

Re: Talking with others about grief

Message 49 of 70 (3,105 Views)

@JaneCares - Now that my immediate family is gone, I really don't observe holidays. I'm spiritual, but not traditionally ritualistic religion-wise.

 

I am involved with various organizations, and have projects to keep me busy. I also get tickets for shows & sign up for other activities, so I have things to look forward to, during the bleek winter weather.

 

I think I learned a long time ago, that it's not realistic to expect to be happy all the time, and that's OK as long as we bounce back in a reasonable period of time. Some things in our lives do make us sad .. but normally we eventually get thru them too.

 

I don't know how you help other people, when they all come from different backgrounds, with different beliefs, biases & fears. I guess I seemed pretty centered, because no one ever reached out to me, my my close relatives were near the end or shortly after they died.

 

Everything spiritual that I've read is based on the soul being an eternal, evolving thing .. separate from our body. So I've always accepted death as a part of the process. After seeing relatives suffer terribly until they got to that point .. I never had that feeling some people do, where they are afraid of death & cling to life, even when they're suffering terribly. After the holidays, I may check out a group on Buddhism that meets weekly; the only drawback is that it's Saturday mornings! Smiley Sad


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Regular Social Butterfly
Posts: 409
Registered: ‎04-28-2014

Re: Talking with others about grief

Message 50 of 70 (3,102 Views)

ASTRAEA wrote:

I remember that one very well .. but saw too many people who were still falling in the same hole, as they were falling into 3 or 4 years earlier.



ASTRAEA wrote:

I remember that one very well .. but saw too many people who were still falling in the same hole, as they were falling into 3 or 4 years earlier.


Sometimes grief can feel like a hole i fall into.
I'm particularly interested in grief now that i work as a hospice social worker. How do i help others cope with anticipatory grief? With grief after the death? And regret, etc etc.

I'm into 'regret prevention' wherever possible.

 

But back to the hole. I think that the combination of winter darkness and the pressure to be cheery, or the general 'meh' feeling around the holidays, can add to a feeling of sadness, even depression. The losses pile up. The memories tug at us.

 

How do you all get through those times?

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