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BS: Bereavement

AllisonA(Animaterra) 27 Oct 03 - 08:34 AM
fiddler 27 Oct 03 - 08:45 AM
InOBU 27 Oct 03 - 08:51 AM
Charley Noble 27 Oct 03 - 09:11 AM
Amos 27 Oct 03 - 09:15 AM
jacqui.c 27 Oct 03 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 27 Oct 03 - 10:20 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Oct 03 - 10:37 AM
Deckman 27 Oct 03 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,pdc 27 Oct 03 - 10:54 AM
Bill D 27 Oct 03 - 11:03 AM
katlaughing 27 Oct 03 - 11:12 AM
SINSULL 27 Oct 03 - 11:16 AM
Liz the Squeak 27 Oct 03 - 11:18 AM
Peter T. 27 Oct 03 - 11:29 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Oct 03 - 11:31 AM
Mooh 27 Oct 03 - 11:45 AM
Amos 27 Oct 03 - 11:57 AM
katlaughing 27 Oct 03 - 12:04 PM
Mickey191 27 Oct 03 - 12:27 PM
Desdemona 27 Oct 03 - 06:06 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 27 Oct 03 - 06:48 PM
Deckman 27 Oct 03 - 06:57 PM
Jeri 27 Oct 03 - 06:59 PM
Joybell 27 Oct 03 - 07:23 PM
kendall 27 Oct 03 - 07:28 PM
Mickey191 27 Oct 03 - 09:54 PM
GUEST,pdc 27 Oct 03 - 10:18 PM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 27 Oct 03 - 10:41 PM
Joybell 28 Oct 03 - 12:06 AM
mouldy 28 Oct 03 - 03:48 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 28 Oct 03 - 04:57 AM
kendall 28 Oct 03 - 08:17 AM
Janie 28 Oct 03 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 28 Oct 03 - 12:35 PM
Deckman 28 Oct 03 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,pdc 28 Oct 03 - 04:22 PM
katlaughing 28 Oct 03 - 04:42 PM
katlaughing 28 Oct 03 - 05:00 PM
Mr Red 28 Oct 03 - 06:28 PM
katlaughing 28 Oct 03 - 06:53 PM
jaze 28 Oct 03 - 08:02 PM
Amergin 28 Oct 03 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,pdc 28 Oct 03 - 09:13 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 29 Oct 03 - 05:33 AM
Joybell 29 Oct 03 - 06:12 AM
wysiwyg 29 Oct 03 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,pdc 29 Oct 03 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,Animaterra-at-work 30 Oct 03 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,pdc 30 Oct 03 - 12:32 PM
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Subject: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 08:34 AM

Have you experienced it? How do you get through the first weeks? I need to hear from others since this is a completely new planet I'm living on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: fiddler
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 08:45 AM

Various levels! parent to friends and other family mebers - it never gets easier but that trite old saying - You can always remember the happy times!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: InOBU
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 08:51 AM

More than remembering the happy times, there comes a time when all that the one you don't have near you, you realize is always with you. You know just what they would have said or done in any curcumstance, and you realize how much that person lives in you. For over a year after my father died I would reach for the phone to call him, then when I stopped doing that, I realized I was "calling" him inwardly and instead of the feeling that he was not answering the phone - there was his voice with his dry wit or wisdom, right there as part of me.
It gets more than better, having had that person in your life becomes comforting.
Holding you in the light
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 09:11 AM

Animaterra-

We all find our ways of dealing with the loss of a loved one, sometimes more successfully than others. I try to keep very busy "tidying things up," sending out information to friends and relatives, planning a "Remembrance Event." I'm not sure how I'll feel when I run out of things to keep busy with, but I'm hoping that enough time will have passed to ease the pain.

I hope you have friends or relatives who are helpful.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Amos
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 09:15 AM

Communicate with him as though he were connected and hearing you, which he might well be, loving you as he did.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: jacqui.c
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 09:29 AM

Try and find people who won't be afraid of talking about the person. So many folk nowadays seem to be embarrassed by even mentioning the name, but, so I am told by friends in this situation, sometimes it's just nice to talk about the things they've said and done, to reminisce on good and bad times. They do live on in us - I still think about a friend's daughter who died of leukeamia four years ago and her memory brings a smile to my face. Her parents and I still swop stories about 'the little thug' and I don't feel that she will ever really go away. Don't worry about showing your feelings if you need to. Real friends will understand and accept.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 10:20 AM

I don't think I could say it any better than Larry did. That is exactly how I feel about my dad.

I also don't believe there's any cut-and-dried way to deal with it. Everyone has their own way. Psychologists will tell you this and that, but we are all different. You do what you have to do to take care of yourself, and don't worry about the rest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 10:37 AM

There were some helpful answers posted to this thread. This is a very generous group when it comes to helping others find just the right nuance in a song to help you through the grieving, so I hope you'll benefit from these earlier expressions of sad longing. Good luck.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Deckman
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 10:46 AM

Hold on tight and get ready for a ride. Try not to deny it. Give into it fully when the time and place is right. Above, don't over expect anything of yourself for a while. Lighten your load. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 10:54 AM

Deckman's advice is, I believe, exactly right. You can't prevent or delay grieving: it has to happen, and you really must give in to it. I made the error of trying to keep busy and distracted when I had a terrible loss, and all that did was repress what really had to come out. Give in to the awful sadness and let yourself cry -- tears honour the one you lost, and help ease the horrible ache, at least for a while.

Tears for the present ache, time for the permanent ache, which does become bearable, I promise.

And if you can, find someone willing to talk about the person you loved, talking helps to make the loss real.

I'm so sorry for your loss.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 11:03 AM

all I can do is ask myself "what would my loved one LIKE me to do if they could tell me?" ...and the answer keeps coming back, "always remember me, but go on living and do good & wonderful things"....and that is what I would tell THEM, if the situation were reversed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 11:12 AM

Call those friends, Allison, the ones who said they'd be available. Knowing you and your connection with them through music, I am sure they meant it. I know there is great difficulty in just doing it, but try baby steps for a little bit and count each one as a victory. Even one thing per day is to be counted. And, most of all don't be embarrassed by your need to really grieve, tears, wailing and all. And, know there is no time limit...our society needs to allow time to grieve and to honour it.

If you have a little bit of rose quartz, I would keep it near, if I were you. It's a good stone to protect a wounded heart, imo.

My mom passed on four years ago and I still cry out to her and talk to her quite often. Sometimes she answers.:-)

Be gentle with yourself, darlin'....

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: SINSULL
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 11:16 AM

Disbelief, Sorrow, Anger, Guilt, etc. Feel them all. Work them through. And get on with living. Scream and cry when you need to, love. You can only hold it in for so long and it will prolong the agony.
Talk about it to friends and family. Some will tire of listening. Stick with the ones who don't. You are a beautiful, generous, loving woman. I was happy for you when you found the love you deserve. I am so sorry you didn't get to share it longer. But treasure it and don't allow your loss to make you bitter.
When you are ready, get away for a while. There is always a place for you and your family in Maine.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 11:18 AM

I've had a couple in my life - the first when I was 9, the latest only a few months ago, all at varying stages of distance, but at least 3 were family members. There have also been a few partings, which, although the person has not died, the relationship we shared previously, has. That's an even harder parting to come to terms with.

It definately helped to have someone around to whom I could talk about the person, they didn't have to know them, and in fact, in a couple of cases, it was better that they didn't.

It is alright to remember the bad things as well. It's one of the things that remind us the absentee was human and to admit that to yourself is a great part of 'the healing process'. (That's a nasty, horrid, trite little phrase, but valid - I hate it because it implies a beginning and an end - there is an end eventually, sometimes it takes years to find that end, and some people never really do). That process has already been described by many people who've posted here already. Learning to manage the bad bits is very difficult, but rose tinted glasses only make the truth harder to cope with in the end. To paraphrase from, of all things, Flash Gordon - it won't make you forget, but it will make remembering more bearable.

It's very easy now, to bury yourself in something, to be very busy and to keep putting off the hard facts you have to deal with. One day, probably in about 6 months time, the average person who has been sympathetic and supportive now, will probably fade away and you'll be left alone. That's when it will hit hardest. When you no longer have anything to distance you from it, and when your supporters are thinking you've got over it. Remember that we are always here, and you should know by now that we're a pretty supportive bunch of loonies.

Take care, and look after yourself

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 11:29 AM

I lost both parents in the last two years, and it still hurts like an open wound. Nothing prepares you for it. Nothing.

I think the idea of a new planet is akin to my experience: it is a new landscape, darker, something like walking through the negative of a photo of a landscape, while everyone else is walking through the positive of the photo of the landscape. The hardest part is the primitive part, I think. It depends of course on how well you and your loved one handled living and dying, but in talking to other people, many of them still feel different kinds of guilt. It doesn't matter what your conscious brain thinks: but it helps to bring them out into the open, and look at them, and think about them. One of the guilts is the feeling that you killed the person who died. It is deeply primitive, and one fights it, but there it is. A related guilt is that you are alive and they are dead. How dare I be alive while they are dead? By what right do I see the sky and they don't? There are other guilts, but those are the most primitive. Another one is the endlessly replayed idea that I could have done something more, something else. Even now, I have to stop myself thinking, what can I do for them to help? That is I think why they invented praying for people in Purgatory -- to salve that feeling that I should still be doing something for them, even though they are beyond my help.

Something else that happens is a new kind of fear -- I liken it to the moment in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers when the man yells at everyone -- Don't you know what is happening!! You feel in possession of a new truth, and that is that people die (in spite of the fact that everyone says they know it) and it is very frightening. As if you were a messenger from a different realm, bringing terrible news to everyone, news that they must hear, but that will kill them if they really hear it. You carry it around, like some poison vial: as if you would break open at any moment, and spread what you now know around.

Another strange thing is that things happen inside you that you have no ability to control. You simply start crying for no reason, out of the blue, in the middle of other things.

The worst, I think, is the dreams. Unless they are good dreams, they haunt you. They are true hauntings. They are not assimilateable like other dreams, they stop you cold, and I mean cold.

That may not resonate with you, but that is one person's report from the exploration of the new landscape you wander through, the valley of death.


yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 11:31 AM

Keeping a journal in which you write to the late loved one also helps a lot. So much left is always left unsaid, and you'll be surprised at the answers you discover in yourself and those you get back. Really. Like Kat said, you will hear back if you are listening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Mooh
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 11:45 AM

I've never lost any family suddenly. In every case it wasn't a surprise. Nana, aunts, Dad, were all forseen and I accept their passing after lives well lived. However, when my sister died after suffering horribly from cancer, not yet fifty years old, I had to accept a different kind of loss. I loved her deeply and I wish I could turn that into acceptance but it still brings about all those involuntary responses to grief we wish we could control. But...

It IS diminishing, slowly the hurt and sadness is passing, and slowly it is replaced with the love and appreciation I always had for her. The bad things are forced slowly out of my mind by the good things, which were many. The same will happen for you.

For me the operative words are slowly, love, and acceptance. They are working for me and I believe they will work for you too.Trouble is that grief is extremely impatient, the days passing more slowly than otherwise. I beat this by paying tribute with good works, volunteerism, and FAITH that we will meet again.

It is cliche to say that death is a part of life, and not at all comforting I know. But, one doesn't become fully wise until one has experienced grief brought on this way. It is a test of personal strength and endurance, and you will pass the test like every generation before you.

The first few weeks I fought back by defying rather than denying, by contributing rather than surrendering, comforting rather than demanding comfort. It was hard, but it worked. These things were therapy themselves.

Be good to yourself and remember there are others to draw strength from, like your friends here.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Amos
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 11:57 AM

The most important thing is resolving the undelivered communications, and being willing to experience what comes up to be felt. Doing those two things well will see you though.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 12:04 PM

And, don't forget that it is okay to have a smile about something, even if it's just a flower which pops up in your path or some other little thing. Though grieving is so important, I think we have to allow some leavening by being open to small giggles/smiles once in awhile...without guilt. If you can allow a smile to come through it will remind your heart of the better times and help you turn towards morning as the song says.:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Mickey191
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 12:27 PM

Allison, I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved Byron. My heart goes out to you and feels your loss.
My feeling is that each person must deal with grief in his own way. There is no universal remedy to ameliorate the pain. Tears and talking helped me.

My beloved husband Jim, will be dead 10 years in December.   There are times it feels as raw & hurtful as the first day. There are times when it feels as though I've been alone for a hundred years.

He was simply the best person I've ever known, with all that that encompasses. We had no children and were married 34 years. He went out one day to a Dr.'s app't. and never came back. He was killed in an auto accident. The single, most devastating event in my life. Between us, all of our family had passed -except his one brother. So I was on my own, with the exception of a few friends.

Those first few weeks brought nothing but tears-don't try to stop them. Someone said above Tears honor the dead. There were many things I did which were not applicable to your situation--I kept going to the car, The people who lived in the area-a construction crew nearby who came to his aid. All in an effort to findout who drove him off the road. I put a wreath up and it was stolen the next day. I ranted. I raved. I survived.

I kept a tape recorder diary from day 4, just talking about him & the every day things. When I hear it now--it sounds like someone else. I kept that going for 1 1/2 years. Week by week There was an almost imperceptable change. I was getting a bit stronger, more in control The hurt,the emptiness was ever present. I still had to force myself to get out of bed in the morning.

The one thing I did which I regret-I had too much alone time. I did cut myself off from friends. I did have one girlfriend who called me every single night for over two years. You must allow people to help you-they want to share & ease your burden.

You may find that your one source of comfort is just to speak about him--to share your memories. That is still true for me. Recalling something we'd shared, I said to someone the other day, Jim is still making me laugh. When I hear something funny, I can hear his laughter.

Allison, truly, the only thing that will help you deal with this tremendous loss is time. There is nothing else that I know of to ease the pain. You were given the gift and the burden, to be there when he passed. In times to come you will know that was truly a blessing. I wish I'd been with my husband - a million times I've had that thought.

There are still times when I awaken in the morning, and think for one instant- Jim's in the kitchen. Then I realize - and I have to bury him all over again. It doesn't happen as often as before. The passage of time is a healer, and the knowledge that you and Byron shared a most special love. Some people never have that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Desdemona
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 06:06 PM

Even though it might feel like a lot of work to get out and talk to people (or even to answer the telephone), don't allow yourself to become isolated in your grief. These are the times when the people who love and care for you want desperately to be there for you in whatever helpful way they can, and you should allow them to do so. Talk & talk & talk (or not, if that's not your style), don't stop doing things that you enjoyed together, and give yourself a break: the best (and hardest to follow) advice I ever got was to give yourself permission to have your feelings. They may be hideously painful and difficult but they are honest and they are yours...they won't go away by ignoring them, and there's no timetable for the human heart.

I'm thinking of you & sending a good thought in this hardest of times.

D.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 06:48 PM

Thanks, my friends. I am talking, and I am spending time with friends, although many of them are caught up in their own lives and are just plain busy. There's a small cadre of friends who loved Byron too and are shattered by his death; musicians who had just formed a group with him who are now without focus or vision. We cling to each other, spend as much time as we can together, cry together.

I am indeed learning that this isn't something I'll "get over"- ever. The thing that saddens me most is how cheated I feel- we finally had found each other, and in less than 2 years he's gone. What's the point of that?

I'm back to teaching music, and it's so hard, putting on my "teacher persona" for 7 hours a day, especially Halloween week. I'm not doing my usual "ghosts and graveyards" stuff, just some sweet minor tunes that I can tolerate. But by the end of the day I feel like one whose fingers are just barely clinging to the edge of the cliff.

So I just wanted to hear from you Wise Catters about your experiences, and it does help.
Thanks,

Allison


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Deckman
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 06:57 PM

Please know this .... IT WILL GET BETTER! Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 06:59 PM

My mom was in the hospital quite a while before she died. I then had the task of packing up all the stuff in the house. It took me forever. I opened photo albums and had to look at all the pictures and try to remember that time. I read her writings and the letters I'd sent to her and she'd kept. I think I was pushing the unpleasant recent memories into the past, and trying to make the older, happy ones stronger.

My dad died suddenly when I was 17. I just remember knowing I only had to get through life for a while and things would eventually start to look brighter, but it didn't make that horrible time any easier to bear. My best friend gave me a paint-by-numbers set. I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to be insulted - we both did real oil painting. One day, I got the set out and started painting and realized how wise my friend had been. It kept my hands busy and my mind had to concentrate on the simple task of staying withing the lines and using the correct tiny pot of color. While I painted, my thoughts became calmer.

I wasn't avoiding thinking about my dad. That's all I COULD think about most of the time. The painting just interrupted that cycle of thought I felt trapped in. Maybe with you it's sewing, knitting, cleaning, learning a new tune, or anything else that's easy but still requires concentration.

Love,
Jeri


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Joybell
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 07:23 PM

Allison, Just wanted to say that your new friend is here for you too. My heart goes out to you and my thoughts are with you. I wish there was more we could do to help ease the pain. The knitting song, with the angels, goes around in my head as I think of you. Joy


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: kendall
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 07:28 PM

I wish I had some words of comfort, but, I have never learned to live with loss. The only comfort I find is in being quite sure we will all meet again in the spirit world on the other side of the veil. Byron is not dead, he has gone on ahead, and he's waiting for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Mickey191
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 09:54 PM

Allison, The two years were God's Gift to each of you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 10:18 PM

May a stranger suggest that you talk about it here? When my daughter committed suicide 5 years ago, I was unable to talk to most people about it because the feelings I had were too horrible to express face to face. If I'd had an outlet like this one, it might have helped.

I hope I'm not out of line making suggestions -- although we are strangers, I truly, honestly know the pain you are going through.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 10:41 PM

As has been said before, get ready for one hell of a ride. There'll be the song on the radio, the joke that your departed loved one would have loved, the perfect Christmas gift in a store window, the old movie you used to like to watch together...a million reminders blindsiding you from every direction.. At first they'll be heart-wrenching kicks in the chest.

With time I've come to think of them as visits from my relations and friends. I love to be reminded of my mother, grandparents and old friends. But it takes time.

If it's any comfort, remember that the loss is yours, not your loved one's. No matter what faith you may believe in, they're in a better place.

Most importantly, feel the pain and grow through it. Accept that feelings are just that, feelings. They're not right or wrong, they just are. And there are hundreds of them; anger, guilt, abandonment, remorse, shock, disbelief, loss; last of all, acceptance. You must feel them as they come.

Lastly, PLEASE don't bury them under a stiff upper lip or in a bottle. It only prolongs the grieving process.

I'm terribly sorry for your loss and hope you find peace soon. You'll be in my prayers

Rich


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Joybell
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 12:06 AM

Guest pdc, So well said. I'm rather new here too and I am sure you are quite right. I completely agree. Allison we are all here with you, old friends and new ones. Joy


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: mouldy
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 03:48 AM

I still cry for my mum, after over 2 years, but now it's only occasionally, and only if something triggers it, or I'm overtired and feeling stressed. I realised after she'd gone (she died suddenly, too) that I was also grieving for my father who died 18 years ago. A month after he died we moved from a flat to a house. A month after that, I found I was pregnant with #3. I don't think I allowed myself time to deal with it properly then. I suppose I feel a bit guilty about that now, but it is getting better all the time. (I have apologised to him!)

My eldest niece died rather nastily from alcoholism about 5 years ago, at the age of 31, leaving a husband and 5 year old daughter. Her mother admits that she hasn't been able to grieve properly because the strain of Sarah's illness made my diabetic brother-in-law ill long-term with all sorts of complications (he's starting to get right again now, and seems very positive), and Janet had to be strong for both of them. She used to sneak off into the cellar on her own to weep, so that he didn't see her and get depressed himself.

Everything that has been said already holds true. Don't be ashamed to cry. Or shout. Or kick the furniture. Friends understand, sometimes better than family, who may be trying to cope themselves, because they are that one step removed from the raw grief. Everybody copes in their own way. I have seen some people get very low about 6 months after the event, mainly after the loss of a partner, and when all the fuss and open sympathy seems to fall away. Life has supposedly started to return to normal. This may be when friends can play their part. If you get low - phone a friend!

All sorts of silly things will set you off, often when you least expect it. Just go with it, and tick off each milestone as you pass it.

You are in the lucky position of having many, many people who you can talk to, either privately, or in the open, as here. Some know what you are feeling, and how the process will probably run, because they are or have been there themselves. Others will provide a sympathetic ear, just because it is their nature. We all have to deal with loss in our lives. Sometimes it is a bit easier because it follows the "natural order" - parents before children, partners after a long life together and at a ripe old age; likewise with siblings and friends. When this natural order is upset by premature death, then your mind has a bit more work to do to accept things as they are. With that acceptance as part of the process, things have a good chance of getting better gradually. But allow things to go at their own pace, and let each issue resolve at its own rate.

Go well

Andrea


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 04:57 AM

All of this is so helpful. Yes, I know I need to face my feelings and talk about them (no one's ever been able to shut me up before, so why start now?). And I'm aware that this is going to take time, and it's so new and raw I can't imagine getting through day after day.

I used to weep in Byron's arms about my difficult, draining work. I would wail, "how can I get through the next 13 years (till retirement)???. He would hold me, and let me cry, then he would say, "You don't have to get through the next 13 years. You only have to get through this moment now."


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: kendall
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 08:17 AM

A wise man indeed!


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Janie
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 08:42 AM

After our sister died there were times when the pain felt absolutely overwhelming--those were scary times. But as many here have already said, somehow I survived it and eventually it eased. Realizing that I was going through a universal experience helped, as did talking and crying with others who loved her. At those times when the pain and reality of her death were just too much to bear, I very consciously redirected my thoughts to something else, especially when I was alone.

Many of us hold you in our hearts, and many who love you are there to hold you up when you feel like you can't go on by yourself.

Peace and compassion,

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 12:35 PM

My dad lived a long life, and he was one of the most real people I have ever known. In the last few years he'd had several health issues, and some previous brushes with death, so everytime the phone rang, I had that little streak of panic go through me. Then when it rang that morning at 3:30, I knew. He had died by the time we got to the hospital, 90 minutes away, but I wasn't broken up about that. I had talked to him the week before, we had a good conversation, and the last thing we said was I love you. There was no unfinished business between us, and I took comfort in that. I was sad that he was gone, but I was at peace with it.

Rich mentioned those triggers.... three weeks after my father died, it was my birthday. I came home from work that day, all gloomy, and when Mister asked me what was wrong, I just started to bawl. My daddy's not going to call me on my birthday. He's not going to call me, he's not going to send me a card. Ever again.

It was the Ever Again that got to me. I went up to take a nap and didn't wake until after 10pm. But after that, I started to feel less bad.

Three years later, though, I still find myself flipping through catalogs and thinking, wow, Dad would really like this. Or I'll catch myself thinking, I need to call Dad and tell him about this.

There are always lots of things I want to tell him about. But somehow, I think he knows.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 01:04 PM

I would like to echo what Kim C has just posted. Both my parents passed on last year. I was very close to my Father, who died at 94. I visited him in the nursing home daily. I was holding his hand when he went. I actually saw his spirit leave.

As there was NOTHING left unsaid between us, my grieving was comfotable. Today, almost one year later, I miss him terribly and I am overcome at times.

I expect that your loss and bereavement will be difficult, because it was so sudden and unexpected, I gather. You might consider a special, and private, ceremony where you can deal with, and state, all those unsaid things.

Hope this helps. Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 04:22 PM

Let's keep this thread going, to do some good if possible.

I found that grief came in waves, a great overwhelming rush of feeling that left me sobbing helplessly, and eventually receded to the usual hollow ache. It turned out that these waves of feeling were necessary to help me cope with just getting through the day. I hope you have a place where you can let go privately. And while I don't want to presume to offer advice, I can say from experience - don't fight it, let it happen.

Having been through the terrible pain of loss and survived, I find this thread bringing tears to my eyes, and wishing I could bear your pain for you, knowing that it eventually eases.

My heart, and many others, are with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 04:42 PM

AT some point, Allison, a guided imagery tape may help. I have been working with one for my heart and the woman who does it warns at the beginning that it may bring up some deep emotions. She goes on to reassure that it is good and to let them come forth.

I've always been pretty good at that, so was very surprised one day. I was lying on my bed listening to the tape, going into a meditative state when the narrator got to a particular part where one is to envision all of the love they have ever received in life, to remember all those who have loved them, love them now and may love them in the future. The love is to be visualised as a cushion, enveloping the person. I was zipping right along when it suddenly hit me...my mother's love. I began to sob uncontrollably, crying out, "Oh, Mama," over and over. It was as though she'd just passed, when it had really been four years. I realised I was not done, and never will be done, missing her, but I did feel a lot better after releasing that.

pdc, I agree, this si a good one to keep going. What is that saying, I know Big Mick has posted it before, something about joy shared is doubled, sorrow shared is halved? Something like that. Together we have some pretty broad shoulders for one another.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 05:00 PM

Here's one version of it, said to be a Swedish proverb:

Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.

I think Mick put it better, though, I can't find it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Mr Red
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 06:28 PM

As out dear departed Queen mother said "It doesn't necesarilly get better - you get better at it"

I lived with bereavement for 26 years - my father died when I was 9 months old and for maybe 12 of theose years I never knew what it was - mothers grieving. I have lived with two widows (mother and more recently another) and I have to say it is better out and discussed than in and left to cannonise. The old adage about "not having feet of clay" is relevant.
To grieve you must have had something worth having - and that is a memory that should never fade. OK PAL - get better at it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 06:53 PM

From Nov. 2000, comes this beautiful posting of Night Owl's:

GRIEF

A cut finger
Is numb before it bleeds
Bleeds before it hurts
Hurts before it begins to heal
Forms a scab and itches
Until finally........
The scab is gone
And a small scar is left
Where once there was a wound

Grief is the deepest wound
You have ever had

Like a cut finger
It goes through stages
And leaves a scar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: jaze
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 08:02 PM

Allison, so much good advice above. Mickey 191 had a good point. Talk to us whenever you need to . We'll be here for you. When my daughter died 3 years ago I was just beginning to post here(as a guest). I shared my sorrow with this group and beleive me, you all helped more than you'll ever know. The human contact of knowing there are people who genuinely care,even people you may have never met, will soothe your soul. Someone gave me a "Pocket Angel"- alittle pewter medal with and angel on it. I have kept that in my pocket these 3 years. Whenever I think of Julia, I reach in my pocket and touch it. I'm very attached to it and it is comforting. It does get better, it really does. I can now think of her without my throat and chest tightening or automatic tears. I can think of her and smile and laugh at things she did. Hang in there. We're all here for you. James


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Amergin
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 08:32 PM

Allison...

i don't have much to add....as everything has always been done...just find the comfort in music...and in poetry...it has always helped me....try writing out your grief in ways...write about the things you remember...the things you loved...in poetry or various essays...even in songs...

i wrote this after my cousin Sue suddenly died of a heart attaack...

empty chair


A voice gone quiet an empty chair
Sunlight filters through the curtains
Tears slowly drips down the cheeks
As eyes stare at the empty chair...


A silvery form shines in the sunlight
Sitting in the vacant cushions
Forever watching over those
She had to leave behind


Hands clasp with the shimmering shade
As paths entwine once more
Feet dancing in the roads
As hearts beat together in remembrance

nt


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 09:13 PM

Another thing that my surviving daughter found useful was to write a letter to her sister. That didn't help me at all, only my daughter - but it might also help you a bit. I hope so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 05:33 AM

Such warmth and love from you all, such good advice. Thank you so much!
Yes, I'm talking and weeping daily. Yes, I'm writing to him in a journal that I've almost filled in the 24 days since he died (getting a new one today!). My friends don't check in as much, as they are back in their busy lives, but I'm trying to call when I need to.
Jaze, I have a pocket angel, too, and a story to go with it. Last weekend I found myself at an estate jewelry counter, looking at a garnet ring I'd been eyeing for some time (garnet is his birthstone). I had been waiting for the right moment to tell Byron about it, in hopes that I might wear it as a sign of our commitment to each other, but I never brought it up. This time I found myself buying it for myself- it fits perfectly.
The sales clerk was cheery and trying to banter with me, but I wasn't biting. As I turned to leave after paying for the ring, she suddenly reached into a basket next to the register and handed me a pocket angel, saying, "Here- you need this!"
(Later that evening Byron's music partner paid me the amount owned Byron for his last gig. Thanks for the ring, Byron!)
I don't leave the house without my angel.
Blessings, everyone,
Allison


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: Joybell
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 06:12 AM

I found a little glittery silver angel lying on the path outside the hospital where I had just had the operation that will prevent me dying of the cancer that killed my mother 30 years ago. I keep my angel to remind me of my mother and as a good luck sign.
So good you have your own angel Allison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 11:24 AM

Native American flute music played by Elaine Belsley of Morton, Illinois. Beautiful, healing. Hear it at VOICES ACROSS AMERICA.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 06:01 PM

I would still like to keep this thread from sliding away. Allison will be in shock and mourning right now, and may not be able to post often, but I would like to see the thread available to her when she can, so let's keep it up.

I find that even five years later (next January 28th), I want to sit and mourn my daughter because it is the only way I can feel close to her now. Sometimes I look at pictures of her, but that doesn't work as well as just bringing her into my mind, as the pictures are now frozen in time. Grieving, which brings me close to her again, is so important, because I miss her desperately, and am going through life with a huge ache.

That's not every day, of course, and I don't want Allison to think that the grief doesn't lessen. I laugh, dance, sing (badly), and take all that life offers. But sometimes I have to stop and be close to her again for a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,Animaterra-at-work
Date: 30 Oct 03 - 12:02 PM

Well, yesterday I was wearing dress pants with those stupid "girl pockets" that aren't worth anything, and I've lost my pocket angel. Funnily, I'm not as shattered by it as I would have been even a week ago. But I do miss it.
My son drove off today forgetting something important I'd asked him to bring into school for someone. I went sprinting down the driveway after him, waving and shouting. But he drove off, not hearing or seeing me. I burst into tears, realizing as I did that here was yet another man, taking off without me, leaving me in the dust. My dad left when I was young, my marriage crumbled several years ago, and my soul mate has died, although if he could have stayed he would have. It's hard not to feel abandoned.

Thanks to all for your love and care. I'm grateful for this place of safety.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bereavement
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 30 Oct 03 - 12:32 PM

Allison, of course you feel abandoned -- how perfectly understandable that is, especially when you have no choices to make (for now) that will make you feel less alone. For a while, you will see all sorts of issues in terms of being alone, even though you still have people in your life who matter, like your son.

If you don't mind me asking, are you driving a car? I didn't know until quite a lot later that I shouldn't have been driving when the shock and grief were new. I honestly don't know how I drove without an accident, because I couldn't focus at all, and didn't realize that I couldn't. So please be careful --

The hearts and minds of many people are with you; you are much less alone than you feel.


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