grieving

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grieving

Postby downwithpants » Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:00 pm

how long do you feel grief when a close one dies? whom and how long would you mourn for most and longest? family? friends? pets? how do you deal with it?

i haven't had many close ones leave me fortunately. my closest was my dog Star, who i had for eight years from when i was six to fourteen. as i recall i was in deep grief, like constantly felt a hurt/sad feeling for a bit under a week. then for like 2 months, the feeling faded, but I'd still think about her pretty often. i suppose the thing that best made me feel better was knowing that she had a happy and pampered life and everyone spoiled her.

but other than that, i haven't had such a heavy grieving process. my grandfather led a long and (what i consider) successful life when he passed on, and i've lost a couple of not-so-close friends that i felt sorrow about, but not something that consumed me.

my cat Smokey will be likely to go in the next few years. she's 12 now and the longest i've had a pet, so i know i will be pretty distraught when she goes. and i've thought about it and tried hugging her as much as i can when i go back to parents' home where Smokey is.

i think i'd be most devastated when my mom dies. strangely enough, i've had dreams where she dies and they are the worst ones i have (well, most relieving to wake up from.) literally, i would lose some meaning to my life, if she died, because many things i do and decisions i make, i do with her in mind, considering how she would judge my decisions/actions. i think i'd be completely withdrawn and dysfunctional for a month or more, then go into a duller constant pain for maybe a year or more. my sister and closest friends would be the next most hurtful. i might be able recover a bit sooner, but would probably go through the same processes of social withdrawal and dulled pain.
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Postby JaddziaDax » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:28 pm

I've had too many people close to me die, for me its either wallow or move on... so i do the only thing i can do: move on, it might sound jaded but thats how life goes... life will go on so i might as well go on as well

also, because if i dont then i will be caught in misery forever, and i dont ever want to fall into that kind of depression again :/
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Postby Ayanefan » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:44 pm

My mom passed away in '99, we were in the hospital in the room when she died (cancer), everyone was pretty much crying except for (of course) me. Sometimes I wonder how come people grieve so much after a loved one passes away, even 10 years later some have guilt that paralizes them.

I didn't grieve much, I pretty much said that I loved my mom very much and that I have great memories of her. At the wake I was one of the few smiling persons there greeting her friends and exchanging some pleasantries. From what I've seen, people grieve for very selfish reasons.
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Postby Ayanefan » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:46 pm

ayanefan wrote:My mom passed away in '99, we were in the hospital in the room when she died (cancer), everyone was pretty much crying except for (of course) me. Sometimes I wonder how come people grieve so much after a loved one passes away, even 10 years later some have guilt that paralizes them.

I didn't grieve much, I pretty much said that I loved my mom very much and that I have great memories of her. At the wake I was one of the few smiling persons there greeting her friends and exchanging some pleasantries. From what I've seen, people grieve for very selfish reasons.


Sorry, just to add on, I think I'd be a total wreck if one of my children died.
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Postby Otohiko » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:47 pm

I haven't had anyone die. I always feel horrible/awkward when someone else loses someone and I have nothing to say to them and no way to really sympathise.

That said, my grandmother has not been well for the past couple of years. As some might remember, I went to Russia last year mainly to look after her for a while. (I would do this again if I could afford to :( ). It was quite sad actually since in a way that is also quite a loss by now; she was a really active, intellectually-sharp and opinionated person for most of her life and as long as I knew her, but now she can hardly leave the house (which I know feels terrible to her), and her dementia is advanced far enough that she can't really be intellectually-involved with anything either (not to mention it's very hard to talk to her). I always wanted to go back to Russia and see her after I left, but when I came back I quickly realized that I was too late in a way. What was a big relief to me is that she was still absolutely happy to see me and very thankful for what I did for her that summer. I honestly consider looking after her the most worthwhile thing I did in my life so far. I hope I have a chance to do that one more time before she goes. I know I'll be sad but, really, as with all my grandparents... they lived a very goood, if very difficult life, and I think all of them should have few regrets. It is sad what age does to some people, though.

As far as someone of a younger age passing away... god forbid, that's all I can say! I honestly have no idea how I'd react.
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Postby Minion » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:48 pm

i can count on one hand how many human deaths i've cried over. (guess i should exclude pets all together)
i'm not saying i don't feel sad for the others.
maybe it's just cause i'm still young and havn't had enough very close people around me die.

of the ones i cared alot about i have things to remind me of them.
i have a dolphin necklace hanging from the mirror in my car - my aunt who died of cancer was found of them.

i'll make a post for pets if the topic sways that way
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Postby Otohiko » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:50 pm

ayanefan wrote:Sometimes I wonder how come people grieve so much after a loved one passes away, even 10 years later some have guilt that paralizes them.


That's what really frightens me. I like to think that I would not let something like that 'get' me, but I know that's not how it really works, and if there's anything I'm afraid of - it's being 'paralyzed' like that and unable to function properly. I'm more afraid of that than I am of dying, I think :|

I've known several people who went through it like that. It's pretty hard. I know my mom's friend was really out-of-function for 3 years after her mother died, even if her mother wasn't all that young.
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Postby JaddziaDax » Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:00 pm

the only way you will be stuck in a depression for 10 years is if you allow yourself to be stuck in it...
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Postby Shazzy » Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:03 pm

Otohiko wrote:I haven't had anyone die. I always feel horrible/awkward when someone else loses someone and I have nothing to say to them and no way to really sympathise.



Same..

I've had relatives die, but my family moved 2000 miles away from the rest of the family. I hardly knew any of them.

I cried for a week straight when my cat (which I'd had for seven years) died. I think part of it was I saw him get hit by a car. His skull was smashed and his brains and eyes were spread all over the street. I was home alone and ended up shoveling his body off the street into a box.
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Postby CodeZTM » Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:57 pm

Well, I've lost three people in the last three months whom I have known since I was 5. They were all my mentors, and all related to me. I've also lost a friend in my school due to drinking and driving. Two others in my class are comatose, getting hit by a Diesel Truck going full speed. So this hasn't been the best year of my life. :?

How I cope: I just kind of turn myself off. I get into a state that makes me basically not feeling anything. Remorse, happiness, sadness, greif, whatever. I also tend to read alot during this period of time, and turn quiet. Then about a month later, I'll turn myself back on and return to my normal obnoxious, loud self.
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Postby Orwell » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:58 pm

I haven't really lost anyone close to me. My great grandparents, but I hardly knew them. I think, the only family whom I'm going to just break down over is my grandfather, as I would say he's the only one I've ever felt... close to. As mentioned before, I don't know/really care whether my father is dead, my mother... eh. And, it sounds horrible, but I'll be happy to see my grandmother go. She was so independant and just active as hell, and now she's got parkinsons and a form of dementia, she can't do anything and it's just horrible to watch her live in this state.

As far as my grieving, it's typically very delayed. I think it was about a year after a friend of the family died that at just some random moment I grieved over his death. I think a lot of has to do with the fact that I hold myself in a unsympathetic/empathic state because I know I'd probably end up weeping over all the needless suffering and bereavement of others if I didn't.
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Postby Minion » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:18 pm

Orwell wrote:She was so independant and just active as hell, and now she's got parkinsons and a form of dementia, she can't do anything and it's just horrible to watch her live in this state.


i just made a michael j fox joke - not 3 minutes prior to reading this. true story
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Postby wurpess » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:24 pm

Well, so far, the only one I was REALLY close to who has died was my grandmom. But it was cancer and she knew about a year out that she was going to die, so she did everything she could to try and make it easier for us. And it worked. I was sad, but I know she wouldn't want me to spend my whole life being depressed about it. So I just moved on. But I probably spent the most time in the kitchen with her, so I feel like whenever I cook, I'm keeping her memory alive.
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Postby Arigatomina » Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:11 pm

The only relative I can think of is my Great Aunt. I spent a summer or two with her because she couldn't live alone and I was her favorite. I'd moved back home when she died (got replaced by my uncle who wanted and got her house when she went) and I wasn't invited to the funeral. I remember feeling annoyed and disappointed that I'd never get to watch her feed the opposums again (she was blind and couldn't tell them from her stray cats). She was cute, funny, and looked like an old Audrey Hepburn. I think about sometimes when I each chicken because she put that in everything she cooked and I swore never to eat it again when I moved back home. I don't miss her, though. It was fun while it lasted and I'm sorry her death was marred by a greedy relative.

I stayed with two other elderly ladies after I moved back home and word got around that I had "experience." They both died on me. The first one was a lady I'd seen nearly every day for years since she owned the tiny little store right next door to us. I didn't like her. I was glad to no longer have to stay with her just because I was available and it was the "right thing to do". The second one was another lady I saw constantly for years. She was really close to my little sister. I felt sorry for my sister when she died, but again, I didn't like her myself.

The biggest impact the two funerals I've attended had on me was the open caskets. Death from old age means they pain the ladies up so they look like 40 yr old dolls with pink cheaks. It was grotesque. Disgusting. I can't believe they'd do that to those poor women - painting them up and putting them on display like that. My mom made me promise she'd have a closed casket if she dies before me and I made her promise the same. I think it's a macabre ritual, showing someone's dead body in an open funeral where everyone can see it. I don't see the point in viewings. Some dies, put them in the ground so it's over quickly - don't draw it out for everyone involved.

I cry when one of my cats dies. Not right away. If I find the body I'll bury it and go a few weeks before the fact that it's dead really hits me. Then I'll cry hard for about an hour. If I don't find the body I cry after a few days when I start to think of all the horrible ways it could be suffering a slow death. I usually think it's trapped somewhere, starving to death, because cats don't run away from me. I had one come home with a leg chewed to the bone where it had been caught in a trap - we had him amputated and he lived for years. If they can come home they will. So when one goes missing I have nightmares over what could be happening to them, all because I can't find them and save them. It's very disturbing.

I'll have a breakdown if my mom dies before me. I always say if. I want to die before her. I'm too dependent to imagine life with her gone. My siblings are completely dependent on her, as are their children. I couldn't replace her even if I wanted to, which I don't. And she's told me I'm the one to be left in charge of the finances and legal matters once she dies - that's funeral arrangements, among other things. Just the thought of it makes me sick. There's no way.
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Postby badmartialarts » Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:13 pm

I don't really tear up a lot at funerals or in general for the dead, they are beyond my tears or my worries, whther you take a religious viewpoint that they've moved on to some other life or whether you take the rationalist view that their life is simply over and nothing about it really matters anymore save the memories you have of them. Funerals are for the living, not the dead.

I didn't really cry at my grandmother's funerals. They were both wonderful ladies and I was glad that I got to know them (both of my grandfathers died long beofre I was born), but the only tearing up I had was more a reflex from all the other people crying rahter than any desire to cry on my part. It's more important to me to try to remember the good than dwell on the loss.

Now, I did cry quite a bit at my friend TJ's funeral. He was my age, and he had his life really getting together...and he died senselessly in a car wreck. It wasn't fair, but it was what it was. The strange theing is, the night after the funeral I had a dream where I saw he had opened his little restaurant that he had planned up in Heaven. I'm not going to turn this into a religious debate but the dream comforted me, whether wish-fulfillment or whatever it was. :)
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