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Good Grief

Turn Bad Times into Good Opportunities


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This article is coming at just the right moment. My Dad died a year ago on April 18. I have been through all of the stages in this article. His death also made me realize I have been suffering from depression for many years. His death put me in a real tailspin. My wife and siblings helped me get through the funeral.

My wife convince me I needed to get help. I have been on a medication for depression for five months and have felt the best I have ever felt in many years. This also lead me to be more motivated to get into better shape. My wife and I are both enrolled in a medically supervised weight loss program and are both using Sparkpeople. She is much more private about such things than I am but I have a need to talk or share about this stuff with others besides her. Thank you. Report
Exercise helps me deal with grief. The times I want to exercise least are when I need it the most. So I lace up my sneakers and Move!
Thank you for the article. However, I want to add that my problem with not "letting go" (whatever that means) of the grief of the death of a parent was actually because I was horrified by the ostracism I experienced right afterwards. In short order I was kicked out of my home (I had been the caregiver), all family members shut me out, and I ended up having to spend a night on the couch of a neighbor, then live with an ex boyfriend for a month until I could set up an apartment. I'd never been treated like that since I'd been bullied in 7th grade. It felt just the same. Eventually that was the aha moment. Literally 19 years later, I'm reading about scapegoating in toxic families. Well I can tell you exactly who the narcissist was that set me up for that fall. But all this time, I've been wondering what I did wrong, and the reason I couldn't ever honestly blame myself was, there was no reason for it, they just needed me to be the caregiver and then threw me away like a used tissue. That's the hurt that never healed all this time. I kept going for grief counseling over and over, it never worked. I needed "scapegoat of a narcissistic family" counseling, which is very different. Amazingly I tell the same stories again, only this time, it is being recognized for what it is instead of "just people grieving". I had given up on myself. Report
this is exactly what I have been looking for. I have been struggling a lot since the loss of my daughter. I know it is still going to take time, but this is what I needed to hear. Thank you. Report
Even though this was written several years ago, there is still a lot to learn from it. As well as so many stories in the replies. It's comforting to know we are not alone in the struggles we have when a devastating event occurs. And it makes it easier to reach out to others and not be reluctant to offer a strong shoulder. Report
Love this article!

In 2008 I went through a pretty difficult divorce. I went through every single one of these steps. I had to treat my divorce like a death, and in a way it was a loss such as death. I had to rearrange my entire life, say goodbye to a family that I knew for 8 years and face the dating world again (scary stuff!).

Today I am remarried and have a beautiful baby girl. My life is great and I know that the divorce was a good thing. But I often still have difficulty cooping with the lose of someone who I cared very much for and knew for 8 years. The hurt, the sadness, the anger.... it will hit me every once in a while. I often believed something was wrong with mentally. That after all these years I still grieve. But after reading this article and a few other peoples comments, I know I am not alone. Thank you for the article and for allowing myself to see I can still grieve. Report
On 2014-12-19 my dog, who was my baby, passed away suddenly due to a liver shunt. I knew he had been having liver issues but the ultrasound came up clear. I never expected him to die. I live in an isolated community and have limited contact with other people. He was my only companion and my "child". Today is his birthday, he would have been three today if he wasn't taken from me. I have a new puppy (I couldn't stand to live alone) but my heart still aches so bad. I have lost family members and friends in the past but this pain just won't stop. I'm definitely see myself in the "stages" and right now I'm in the depressed stage. Every day is so hard to get through. I just can't wait to be okay with everything. I've also been coping with the loss of three failed adoption placements. Two of which the babies are now in foster care until they age out at 18 (due to the rules in the community I live in). Losing my baby and having all this adoption stress has put me at the lowest point I've ever had in my life. I keep trying to think positive and I've made some plans for trips this summer (I'm a teacher) with my new puppy but it's just so hard to see through the pain. Report
its been 15 months, since i lost a friend in my life, not from death, but they just chose to go away from me. and i am still grieving that loss.
mostly i feel because i never got closure.
i feel betrayed and abandoned and blamed.
i have good days, alot more good than i did before, but sometimes it just pops back into my mind and i start asking all those questions again.
and wondering if i will ever know. Report
Thanks, I needed that. Report
My companion of 13 years died Monday morning. I appreciate having this article to read. Report
My partner of 13 years passed away 01-27-13 unexpectedly. While he has been receiving treatments for cancer, the positive medical report he received in October 2012 did not suggest any additional problems. I am struggling with his passing and while our house was my haven the first several months, I now do not like to be there at all. In addition, I am eating massive quantities of food with no end in sight and I am just burying my feelings and numbing out. I feel as if it is definitely getting worse for me instead of better. Report
This is a wonderful article by Dean Anderson---- Under the heading, Depression, it is stated that this is temporary in cases. There can be serious conditions of depression that do not go away. AND this can be tragic indeed for ALL family members. When it is stated that there is no "wrong" way to grieve, I disagree. The wrong way is to embrace depression for decades and longer--- even forever. I dislike the word, "closure" following the loss of a loved one--because closure never happens when love was (is) intense. However, when severe depression grips a life, it can mean the end of joy...the end of any quality to living. Without healing, the illness of depression following a death--- affects family members, especially children. There was an important comment on this subject that deserves emphasis and I will quote it again.
"I feel like going through the loss made me absent in others' lives, and I am now rethinking it."
--- My dear sister is forever "absent" in our family due to the illness of depression that sucked all joy from her life when her husband died. Her children grew up in a sad, dysfunctional home. Depression for her is not temporary, but chronic.--- and her family suffers the consequences. This is the wrong way to grieve.
Please--- I hope others can be helped by my experience. Seek professional help to restore joy to life. Report
I really appreciated the fact that you put the line in about sometimes NOT being done with a loss. That CERTAINLY is the case in my life - I really miss 2 former employers (one loss through redundancy, on through a hasty resignation). Sadly there isn't a lot I can do about the former, I have tried to reapply at the latter without success in spite of leaving on good terms. Report
Thank you, Dr. Anderson, for a timely, much needed article. Everything you say fits in with my experiences, including what you say about the person I'm losing along with the pounds. Report
Okay...Don't cry....

This article is very helpful. I'm only 22(23 next month). And one of the things I fear about is losing my Mother. She's in her late 50s and battling numerous health problems. And I've tried countless times to help her, but at the same time, my Mom is taking baby steps to a healthier life and so am I. I do realize that we as humans are not going to be here forever. My Mom is the only thing I have. I don't have any other family I can contact, I have no friends. It's just my Mom and I. Most of out family memebers have passed away. I have a brother, but I don't know how to contact him. He is struggling his own self. And I know that if I lose my Mother, I will not have anywhere to go. Right now, I've put my college classes on hold for now, until next August. I've been taking care of my Mother and I love her very very much, but I just don't know what to do if she were taken from me. My Mom and I are taking baby steps into becoming healthier overall. I want to become healthier, I want my Mom to become healthier and I want her to see me have a life as well, get married one day and have children so that she can have grandchildren. I admire anyone who has a big family or just family members that have close family and friends they can always have in their lifetime.

I want SparkPeople and it's members to know, that I care about this community so much and we are all in this together WE ARE FAMILY! My heart goes out to those who have lost close family and friends. I LOVE YOU ALL! Think Positive Guys! This was an article I needed to read! God Bless! Report

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