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A lesson in grief

Monday, March 03, 2014

I got this article from a friend of mine, Faithgirl91, who is grieving the loss of her beloved family member and pet Missy who went suddenly downhill and had to be put to sleep recently. I understand so much of what she is going through from my own past experiences (lots including a miscarriage at 3 months with everyone including my pastor telling me I didn’t need to grieve someone I’d never even seen!) and also from experiences of people I’ve known personally and through work. There are many many kinds of losses and all are just as important and need to be treated as such. Not an excuse to wallow in it, so I’ll just get that out of the way but I think a lot of people know what I mean.

Anyway, I have gone through a LOT of grieving lately since my major stroke and brain bleed on Halloween. Aside from the loss of health and rebuilding from the stroke itself, I’m in a different physical location without almost all my things. I lost my 11 year old lab because she couldn’t come with me, I was in hospitals for almost 5 weeks, and daughters couldn’t care for her. She was extremely attached to me and she was put to sleep because she was too old and couldn’t adjust to a new home. I’d had her since she was a couple of months old. At any rate, I have so much to grieve. I know God is good, and I know I will get through this but at the same time we are normal to grieve.

So the article is from Sparkpeople that Faithgirl91 shared, and is called Good Grief by Dean Anderson. And the whole article is here
p?id=962 I’m going to go through a few of my points concerning briefly what I’ve learned (and still learning). Even if you aren’t going through it, the article is excellent to help someone else or to keep for future reference.

“The Elements of Grieving
Grieving is not really about handling losses at all—the fact that it helps us do that is just a welcome bonus. Grieving is about handling ourselves when we are facing difficult situations. Each stage of the grieving process involves things you need to do to provide yourself with the same open, compassionate, and supportive response you’d like to provide to others when something bad happens to them. Difficulties arise only when we somehow get stuck in one stage of the process.

Denial or numbness.” Comes in a lot of forms but one area I realize I’ve gone through before and am still going back to is trying to believe that the stroke and other things are temporary and will go away and not really affect my life. With hard work I may regain most or all of my abilities. I don’t know yet. But one doctor I had early said they thought I would have everything back in a couple of month. Now it’s almost 4 months and I’ve come a long long way but still have a long way to go. I’ve been hard on myself because I wasn’t “over it” in a short period of time. I talked to a doctor here at the hospital in Dallas who said a big amount is made in the first 3 month, with the next 3 month slower and the 6 months after that slower still and by 1 year will have most likely regained most of what they will get back. I still can gain a lot back, and I’m not giving up on what I can do but it’s not going to happen overnight even if I want it to.

“Anger. Some may get angry with themselves for “allowing” something bad to happen, even when they had no control over it. This often helps you avoid being overwhelmed by debilitating feelings like helplessness and powerlessness.” I know I’ve definitely had times I’ve felt that somehow this was all my fault and work at realizing it is not. And even if it was, we need to move past and find the new life because we are human. But it will take time and work.

“Depression” Definitely been there! When my life seems like a huge abyss and I have no idea what’s going on it is hard not to deal with this. I will probably battle it again. Today I am trying to figure out where my life goes now because there is still a huge purpose for it or I would have died when I was on a ventilator and had life support tubes right after it happened. But God chose to keep me here so I believe there is a reason, even if I can’t see it yet. Being human though I’m sure I was battle the depression still. But it will get less and less and easier as time goes on.

“Barganing and Acceptance” These are two separate ones and I haven’t achieved much on either yet but the time will undolubtedly come. Also,, all of these come in various times and at the same time at times. They don’t come in a straight line and they don’t go away suddenly.

There is a lot more to the article and I urge you to read it yourselves. But this is a few things that stood out to me today!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • EJB2801
    Thank you for sharing about your life. I just read the same article...had searched "grief" and also saw your blog title. So sorry about your dog!! And about having all these changes to absorb. I hope joy will find you even as you grieve. Best wishes with your recovery.
    1861 days ago
    I know I'm late with a response, sorry. I followed my way over after your thoughtful comments on my blog this morning about the communications with your son. I think it's hard for our children to "see" us as anything less than the huge and powerful moms we once were in their young eyes.

    I believe truly that grieving makes us stronger. Having had to grieve my fair share (one doesn't get to "our" age without it), I hope that I have learned to recognize the signs when it starts to set in again!

    As the others said, many deep condolences on the loss of so much... and especially your dear dog. But I also need to say I rejoice in what you have retained / regained. You are doing amazingly well in your recovery. I know you'd LIKE to be further along, but you are able to blog, compose your thoughts and convey them? God's certainly got plans for you! Thank you so much for including us in your journey...


    1868 days ago
    Honey, I'm sorry... I thought I had replied to this already! My heart breaks for you as well... I'm so sorry for all you have been through as well. The stroke and health problems are difficult enough on their own, and it's always terrible to lose our furbabies to begin with but your experience is really heart wrenching. emoticon emoticon
    1870 days ago

    Oh My! There are no words. Dogs are a special gift from God. I celebrate that you had such a great companion, and mourn the loss.

    Life has so many twists and turns. I know you miss your life and hope and pray that you can find your way to a new and better place.

    You are a very special lady!

    1870 days ago
    I really needed to read this....I'm going to read the full article....I am so sorry about your dog....I miss mine so much.
    1871 days ago
    You have been through a lot and you are such a strong woman, fighting your way back to good health. I admire that! Plus, you are blogging about it and keeping us posted. Most would not do that..they wouldn't even care about their online friends! You do. That means a lot.
    So sorry to hear about your sympathies. Hang in there. Thanks for sharing the article...good read for all of us. Helps prepare us all for unexpected things that can happen to us. emoticon
    1871 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss of your beloved friend and companion. Hugs as you go through the grieving process. Thank you for the link! Hugs and blessings for your recovery! I have faith in your strong will, it will see you thru this. And yes there is a reason you recovered, it is just hidden from us
    1872 days ago
    1872 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear about your stroke. I will pray for your continued recovery.
    I want to really thank you for bringing up the article on grieving. I really needed to read that. I am still bawling, but I guess it is something that I need to do. I have been trying to suppress my feelings and stay so strong. But this is feeling good to let it out. Thank you. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1872 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1872 days ago
    emoticon I've been thinking about you and wondering how you are. So sorry to hear about your dog.
    1872 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon ABOUT THE LOSS OF YOUR LAB
    1873 days ago
    I really appreciate your sharing this with us. I have grieved, but I don't think I sat and looked at what was happening to me as you have done. I hope I remember your wise words when I go thru grief again.

    emoticon emoticon
    1873 days ago
    1873 days ago
    1873 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing so much!

    I have to admit I'm crying hard right now after reading your blog. I knew the stroke, being away from your home were all huge but I felt good that you had your son and the excellent care you have in Dallas BUT I can't even imagine you having to lose your beloved dog! It breaks my heart for you! I wish I could have gone and gotten him and gotten him to you or taken care of him for you. I just can't imagine having to go through all you have had to.

    Linda I am so glad you have your strong faith as you would really have nothing without it.

    I know your wonderful lab will be there to greet you when your time for heaven comes.

    I keep you in my heart, thoughts and prayers. God bless you.


    1873 days ago
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