Today’s entry is a bit different. I’d like to open up a discussion about YOUR grief and how it has affected your life and particularly how it has affected how you relate to others. For example, as a result of your loss:
- Do you experience any fear of abandonment or have attachment issues?
- Has it changed your personality?
- Has it made relationships more difficult?
- Has it changed what you look for and/or need from your relationships?
- How has it changed your outlook on life?
- Do you experience any irrational fears as a result of a sudden or traumatic loss?
Feel free to comment and share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you! If you’d prefer, you can share your thoughts anonymously.
Thanks for your time and I look forward to sharing a dialogue with you!
11 thoughts on “I want to hear about YOU!”
I don’t fear anything since my son died on May 23, 2013. I am deep in depression. My life lacks so much, even though I have two lil ones to care for. I have the support of an army, rock solid and they morn and walk with me, however, right now, I can’t my depression and post traumatic stress is debilitating. I plainly don’t give a shit about much, my mind lacks interest and the will to live. I dread Damon’s birthday and quite honestly, another day without my baby. He was 14, always a smile, suicide was a total shock. It shouldn’t have been, had I somehow seen the signs, but they are masked by puberty and teenage life. Bullied, changed schools, he hid the abuse. Ordered self protection devises on Monday with a gift card, Thursday he did it, pepper spray and self defense items arrived in Friday. Everyday is exhausting, I miss my boy! Love you Damon, to Heaven and back
Mickey, there are no words. I will keep your healing in my heart, and know that Damon walks next to you, wanting you to be ok.
Oh Mickey, I wish I was there to give you a big, big hug. I think both Damon and Brian, like many who die by suicide, were such gentle souls that found it so hard to live here with all the pain and suffering on earth and find it easier to live in spirit. It makes it hell for us here having to move on without them to see and talk to and hug but I do get a grain of comfort knowing that he’s at peace. I wish I could take some of your pain away. I know Damon is still with you and watching over you. THANK YOU for sharing your words with us– you are very brave. Hugs to you!! Love, Laura
Laura, Since I saw this post, it has been on my mind. Even now, I stumble with it. I hope that you can see that you show tremendous courage with your public processing of Brian’s death. Thank you for that. Grief has been a constant companion of mine since I was a young girl. I have not been close to suicide, and I realize that is a totally different animal of grief. My heart weeps for you and others who have lost loved ones to this sudden and traumatic loss.
My mother died of cancer when I was 10 years old. The grief for her loss has been a “slow burn” that I have learned will continue to be present, with ever changing characteristics. As the past almost 37 years have passed, I have missed her in different ways — different needs not met, different milestones passed without her.
You asked how grief has changed us. I can clearly state that the loss of my mother has been the touchstone in my life. Both for pain as well as for growth. As I have had such a long time since her death, I can see how the fear of not being loved (why was I not good enough to have my mother live?) and the angst of abandonment (if people don’t like me, I am at risk for being left again) have been present in my relationships. What I can see, interestingly, is that my female relationships with friends are strong, deep and open, and that I protect them fiercely. My relationships with men have all required me to work through fear of loss, holding on too tightly, and grieving their loss for a very long time. I am grateful that my marriage to Eric seems to have been released from that pattern, but it wasn’t always that way.
I like to believe that my mom and I made an agreement before we ever entered our life here on earth (this time around). Whether it’s true or not, it soothes me to imagine our souls talking about what we wanted to learn this lifetime, and choosing a hard path in order to help one another learn. Every day, I look to the loss of her as part of my unique path, and I try to honor our “agreement”, but not squandering the sacrifice that she made for me. That might sound wonky, but it works for me.
Laura, I lift you up high for the amazing advocacy that you are showing for all who have gone through traumatic loss, for your beautiful brother, and for yourself. You are a light in our world, despite the shadows that you face.
So much love to you,
So Whitney, I just read your post again and am just SO grateful that you shared all of that. I think it is so important for all of us to keep sharing and sharing. We all are more similar than we realize, sometimes. And by sharing our experiences with one another we know we aren’t alone and are made stronger because of it. You rule. 🙂
Whitney, you are amazing. Really amazing. I get SO much comfort from your words, always. I’m so grateful that you are in my life as I’m just so much better for it. I’m so grateful to you for sharing your words and your feelings with us… it is always so comforting to know that my struggle is not an isolated one and that others suffer the same feelings and that it can, and will, get better.
I adore you, lady!!
So glad I stumbled upon your website. I found my brother, my only sibling, after he committed suicide. It has only been 9 months now. Some days it seems like yesterday, some days it seems like forever. I admire and totally relate to your candid thoughts. Suicide is ugly, no two ways about it. I speak openly about my brother died and people look at me like I’m a freak. As far as relationships, yep, terrible fears of abandonment. It’s been a long hard 9 months for my fiance and I but we will get through this together.
I miss my brother every day. I see him in his children’s eyes and smiles. But then sometimes I just get mad that he left them and will never see their beauty and accomplishments. I know he didn’t “want to hurt them”. He thought he would be doing better for them. He had told me that after a failed suicide attempt.
I will continue to follow you on your journey of survival.
Tammy, I’m so sorry for the loss of your brother. And my heart aches for his children, too! I’m sad that they’ll grow up without him. I’m glad you found this blog too and I’m grateful you took the time to write and share some of your story with me. Sending good thoughts your way.
Laura, I lost my brother sometime between Oct 2 and Oct 5, 2012. He had passed alone and was found by his landlord on the 5th. He had been struggling with addiction for about 10 years prior to that. He was my older brother, my only sibling… and our parents had passed 20 years prior… (something he really never was able to deal with or accept). The loss is very painful. Initially, I felt it hard to “exist”. I just looked forward to the end of every day so I could go to bed and not be conscious. I too struggled with knowing that he lay dead in his home while I went about my life. But I’ve come to the point where I have to forgive myself for living my life. He struggled with his so much, and in the last few years I had helped him find a place to live, drove the process of applying for disability and advocated for him with his doctors regarding his addiction to pain meds. The sad part about it all is that I feel like I let him down because I couldn’t save him. So many people tell me that “you can’t help someone that doesn’t want to be helped.” True, but it is still painful to watch the struggle and ultimately watch them succumb to it and lose the fight. It’s heartbreaking. I’m only 16 months out, but I know this is far from over for me. The day I found out he died, I knew that it was enormous….. and that the pain would be deep and far reaching…. I’ve read your letters and I really feel for you. You’re right, there are people that don’t get it…. but trust me, there are people that do. I’ve found that the only cure for grief is grieving…. you have to do the work and feel it in all its nastiness in order to heal. It’s certainly no picnic! The fact that you’re blogging and such is a good sign. You’re on your way to healing…. you’re stronger than you think… and you’re helping other people. Just because you’re hurting doesn’t mean you’re not strong! They’re not mutually exclusive! You’re in touch with your feelings and are expressing them…. excellent. I find when we deny them, they morph into something else, poisoning our subsequent relationships…. I feel like you’re on your way to healing……. You’ve got this!
Mary, I can’t thank you enough. For reading and for taking the time to share your story with me! So much of what you said resonates so deeply with me. Particularly “you can’t help someone that doesn’t want to be helped.” I’ve thought about that so many times and while it is true, the struggle of watching them suffer is agonizing. And I’m also grateful you shared with me that you also don’t know exactly when your brother passed. For me, that added trauma of knowing Brian died alone and wasn’t discovered for a week while I continued to go about my life is often unbearable. I don’t know why but I’m still hung up on the fact that I don’t know exactly when he died. I know it doesn’t matter anymore… nor should it ever have mattered, really. But it still stings. A lot.
You are amazing… your words mean so much to me and it sounds like you are well on your way to healing as well.
Thanks again for writing and please keep in touch. 🙂
I can’t cry in front of my mom. I can’t let her see that it is crushing me. I can’t let anyone else see me falling apart. It’s strange that I planned my sisters services, took care of every detail right down to dressing her. I did it all like a robot. I am able to push it down an get through those things and then it feels like I disintegrate when no one is looking. It feels like the rest of my extended family are so afraid to talk about my sister. If she is mentioned, they just sort of skip over it, like they didn’t hear. I have tried to reach out to extended family, but they seem unable or unwilling to reach back. I feel “less entitled” to my suffering because I “only” lost my sister. My only sister. My only sibling. I feel alone.
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