how we feel

zonkjonk

Registered User
Mar 1, 2007
290
Melbourne, Australia
I have been reading alot recently and I recognise that I and many of you are already grieving the loss of our loved ones
my mum is still with us (stage 7)
I have been grieving since she was first diagnosed.
you all probably know "the 5 stages of grieving"

Stages of grief

The following 'stages' have been identified as experiences that many people who are grieving go through. It is important to note that these stages vary widely between individuals and do not always occur in any particular order.

1.Numbness/Denial

Feeling emotionally numb can be the first reaction to a death. In the denial stage you may refuse to believe what has happened. This could mean laying clothes out for a child or expecting the person to walk through the door. More commonly, people deny the impact the death has had on them and try to continue as normal.

2.Anger/Guilt

Anger with ourselves or blaming others for our loss is not uncommon, particularly when the death was sudden or unexpected. It seems we need to try to make sense of the death and the accomppanying pain in some way and look for someone to take responsibility. Other strong emotions and a longing for the person who has died can accompany anger. You may also feel agitated or angry, find it difficult to concentrate, relax or sleep.

3. Bargaining

Many imagine the ‘what if’s’. They may dwell on arguments they had with the dead person or things that they ‘should’ have done differently. Intellectually, you understand that the person has died but it takes much longer for your to really accept this emotionally.

4. Sadness

Extreme sadness is a likely outcome for all those whose loved one has died. During this time many withdraw from family and friends, feel listless and tired, become withdrawn or are prone to sudden bouts of tears. Many feel like their life has lost its purpose and suffer from feelings of guilt.

5. Acceptance

Pain, sadness and depression start to lessen; things are seen in a more positive light, although you may never overcome fully the feeling of loss. There is a greater acceptance that life has to go on. After a while your sadness will clear and your energy levels and sleeping patterns will return to normal. You will be able to think of the dead person without the accompanying feelings of deep sadness and focus more on the positive memories, whilst re-investing energy and emotion into other relationships.

I fluctuate between 3-5, more 4-5 than anything else
where are you on this emotional journey?
 

Kate P

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
565
Merseyside
I tend to fluctuate between acceptance (mostly) with bouts of sadness and anger.

Although the anger is at other people's incompetence and lack of interest rather than at the sitaution so I guess fluctuating between 4 and 5.

I remeber someone telling me that dementia was the "slow bereavement" and I think that's quite apt for it from my personal experience.

I sometimes wonder whether it's different when it's a partner/spouse - I imagine it must be harder and my dad certainly seems stuck in denial and anger with an occasional bargain thrown in.
 

christine_batch

Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
3,388
Buckinghamshire
Dear zonkjonk,
Thank you for "How we feel". It sums up so much for so many of us.
Although Peter is in the last stage, I lost my soul-mate the day he was diagnoised.

For several weeks now I have been trying to remember Peter as he was but that I am finding so hard to do. I am surrounded by family photos and albums and looking through them, the face of Peter is such a distant memory to the man I visit.

Staff who are new on the E.M.I. Unit think I have gone to visit my GRANDFATHER!!!! Peter may be 61 but he does look like a man in his late 90's.

Inside the shell of the man I married is my husband. My kind, gentle loving husband who has been taken over by AD.
Peter will not know the joy of holding our first Great Grandchild. Peter who would be going round the shops buying the first teddy bear, clothes, organising a family party.

Now it is pouring down with rain, I have done it again, God is crying my tears for my sould-mate.

Chrtistine
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,827
Kent
I have accepted from the day of diagnosis and believe it or not it was a relief.

Prior to diagnosis, I was thinking all sorts, including the possible break up or our marriage. So to have a valid reason why things were becoming so challenging was a solution to an extremely distressing problem.

I have never felt anger, no-one is to blame.
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Hi zonkjonk ......

I know this as the 'cycle of grief' - I think we would all 'strive for' 'number' 5 ........ but it is important to recognise that we can reach '5' and go back round the loop many times over many years even ....... (and in terms of many losses not just bereavement) .... and as you rightly point out - in no particular order ...

I bet I'm not the only one here who would suggest some days I circle round all five 'stages' and back again .... sometimes fluctuating within the hour .......:eek:

Thanks for sharing this - good validation of all the emotions we so often feel .......

Love, Karen, x
 

BeverleyY

Registered User
Jan 29, 2008
716
Ashford, Kent
Hi

I lost my Mum in January and I'd say I'm in '4' now although, I do still go over the last stage of 'what if's and a bit of anger at the Dr's etc.. and some guilt'. My Mum died of pneumonia (she had kidney failure and COPD and they couldn't juggle getting fluid off with her other illnesses). I am now sole carer to my Dad who has Vascular Dementia (they've both lived with us for 5 years).

For me, this stage 4 of grief started to kick in from 6 weeks onwards. My Mum has been gone 9 weeks tomorrow and the pain some days is immense.

I have overwhelming urges to make the pain inside my body, the tightening round my chest go away. The main urge I feel is to repeatedly smash my face against the wall to cause myself physical harm. I'm not sure if this is some way of trying to transfer the pain inside to the outside. All I know, is that at times I feel like I am losing the plot :(

Beverley x
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
5. Acceptance,



After a while your sadness will clear and your energy levels and sleeping patterns will return to normal.
energy levels and sleeping patterns will return to normal
That's a joke :rolleyes: Still waiting for that to happen mum keep waking me up during the night so , energy levels and sleeping patterns are not going to return to normal. and I can still slip in out of sadness, sorrow .





But I suppose who ever made that up stages of grief 1 - 5 , did not make it for the intention of a living grief .do apology if I sound intensive , disrespectful. just that I am only being realistic , so I can stay positive .


4. Sadness

Extreme sadness is a likely outcome for all those whose loved one has died. During this time many withdraw from family and friends, feel listless and tired, become withdrawn or are prone to sudden bouts of tears. Many feel like their life has lost its purpose and suffer from feelings of guilt
Extreme sadness is a likely outcome for all those whose loved one has died.


4 reads as wried as mum not dead yet.


we should re write all that . do a new one for a Living
grieving stages .
 
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Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
I have overwhelming urges to make the pain inside my body, the tightening round my chest go away. The main urge I feel is to repeatedly smash my face against the wall to cause myself physical harm. I'm not sure if this is some way of trying to transfer the pain inside to the outside. All I know, is that at times I feel like I am losing the plot :(
Dear Beverley

I'm sorry you're suffering such intense pain. I think you're right, the urge to self-harm is often to inflict pain that will drive out the pain inside. But it doesn't work. The physical pain subsides, but the mental torment goes on.

You're in an awful situation. You're grieving for your mum, and trying to cope with your dad. And I bet you don't get much chance to pour out your emotions. Not your dad's fault, he can't help his illness, but you need someone to comfort you.

Please come and talk to us here on TP when you're feeling bad. We're always here for you, and we're a softer option than that wall.

Look after yourself.

Love,
 
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Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
The main urge I feel is to repeatedly smash my face against the wall to cause myself physical harm.

I am no expert as also is no one on TP .


Grief counseling would also help as your getting thoughts of self harm , even thought I am not presuming that your do it My thought is when your feeling like that your just avoiding facing up to what your feeling , emotion , it never drive out the pain . you just learn over time to live with it all .

That why its good to go to Grief counseling to learn how to deal with your emostion over your mother death . as it can end up giving you a mental illness, even when you think your coping, but your not .
 
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zonkjonk

Registered User
Mar 1, 2007
290
Melbourne, Australia
margarita, yes I agree the wording does not really suit our circumstances. it doesnt apply to living grief but it was the best I could find when I had the impulse to post :eek:

beverley, my dad died of an inoperable brain tumour only 11 days after diagnosis, he had been in hospital for 2 months. those 11 days were brutal and even more so for my poor mum. he was 70.
i remember going through the haze of pain. I remember going to the shops one evening and something triggered me on the way home.
I pulled into an empty lot and howled with grief for about an hour. when I pulled myself together and started driving home, I was entering a major road and a huge truck was flying down the road towards me, and then I had that thought..."ohh I can escape the pain, all I have to do is drive out into that trucks path"
of course I was later horrified that I had had suicidal thoughts,(and there were more) but the pain of grief can be perceived as unbearable at some points.
I have no psychological problems, am physically healthy, and normally an optimist.
I "lost the plot" after my dads death, for 2 years or so

Insomnia, anti social, withdrawn, depressed, alcohol abuse,etc.
its a miracle I kept my job, (and a few friends)
grief councelling was suggested to me but all I could think was
"it doesnt matter how much I talk with someone, my dad is STILL DEAD"
I would wake up crying in the middle of the night, and then of course, that dreaded feeling of "somethings wrong" and then the shock "my dad`s dead!"..it took about 6 months or maybe more for that to stop.
my eventual saviour was reading...I was a real bookworm as a child, and I rediscovered the escapism a great book can bring you. I average about 3 books a week now.
when I am reading I cannot think about things that distress me, mind you, some books have me sobbing in my kitchen :D

now my mum is stage 7 AD, bedridden,unable to speak, losing weight.
but I am not scared anymore, because mum wouldnt want me to grieve for her like I did for dad, and I think I have already done most of my grieving for mum already
Beverley, you are not alone, you ARE NOT losing the plot, I know EXACTLY how you feel (I think I do, anyway)
hugs,
Jo
 

Mameeskye

Registered User
Aug 9, 2007
1,669
56
NZ
Hi Jo

I would say that I am very much at stage 5 these days. I even speak of Mum in the past tense as my Mum went years ago, eventhough she is still alive. I have to admit that it will be a blessing when her body finally rejoins her spirit in wherever you go after this life.

I still feel twinges of sadness at times but life moves on. When my Dad died I had started on the path of grief but I was no where near as far along it as I was with Mum and I had terrible sadness etc. to deal with probably from stage 2-3 onwards but with Mum I am very much recnciled now to what will be.

The last few years have been very very painful and it is nice to be approaching the light.

Mamee
 

zonkjonk

Registered User
Mar 1, 2007
290
Melbourne, Australia
"it will be a blessing when her body finally rejoins her spirit in wherever you go after this life."

yes marnee , I feel the same way.
my mum & dad will be reunited
but I am yet to refer to my mum in the past tense.
maybe I think it, or feel it, but do not articulate it just yet.
although she is still alive, I have lost my mum and will never get her back, no matter what I do, or how hard I try.
but, she is still alive, I find it difficult to come to terms with my feelings.
Jo
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
margarita, yes I agree the wording does not really suit our circumstances. it doesnt apply to living grief but it was the best I could find when I had the impulse to post

Jo I know that feeling impulse to post :)

Amazing really how when we grow up became adult how much more reasonability fall on us , conspired to when with where younger .

when my father died yes I grieved , I was so morbid I felt like I had joined a club for the dead people , it did teach me personally that death come to us all no matter what , why which way it happen .


so it has made me stronger over the years , even thought it was a shock when mum was told mum had AZ , that brought me down a lot wondering what easy way out of this life I could take to run away from it all because really I did not like the reasonability seeing it all happening to her , after only a year after my father pass way , so lucky for me I had the insight to go to Grief counseling, as it help me recognize that I was getting a buy one get one free grief .

Death Grief - living grief .

I new about the stages of grief 1 - 5 from when my father died as I got Grief counseling in that year his pass away . As I did not like the morbid thoughts I was having . so wanted to understand what Grief is . They don't give you life skill of grief stages at school that for sure , you just have to learn the hard way & it surly did give me brain strain coping with it all , learning to live with it all and the reasonability of it all.

They write all the above tell you what you meant to feel after death , but where do they tell you how to cope it all and cope with the reasonability of it all , that where Grief counseling come into it . we lucky we have TP to share it with what about all those people out they that don't .

So for me TP was a life line in understanding myself over living grief . I hope it is for you Jo xx
 
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zonkjonk

Registered User
Mar 1, 2007
290
Melbourne, Australia
thanks margarita,
yes TP is my savior,
So for me TP was a life line in understanding myself over living grief . I hope it is for you Jo xx
aahhh, yes, I am ok,but beverley is not,chip is not,so many others are not.
AD is intolerable
Jo
 

hendy

Registered User
Feb 20, 2008
506
West Yorkshire
Dear All on thread
It has been so moving to read everyone's posts. I have never experienced grief for the death of a very close realtive. But all I can say is that I know all about 'living grief', I have progressed through all stages but I have now, i think, reached somekind of acceptance. I dont think the sadness ever really goes away, for me this feeling seems to get worse. I've tried everything to avoid it,but in the end I have to face up to it and feel it 'head on'. It is crushing and unbearable pain at times and seems to be relentless. I am grateful for the time I have still left to look after my Dad, I will do my best, but at the same time I am wishing for a peaceful and painfree death soon. I feel guilty for wanting this.
I think TP is helping me come to terms with these issues. So thank you for sharing your feelings on this thread. It is helping me be a better carer. It helps me to take nothing for granted in this life. Thank you again
hendy
 

BeverleyY

Registered User
Jan 29, 2008
716
Ashford, Kent
Thanks everyone for your kind words of support.

I don't think I would harm myself, but there is this overwhelming urge inside to smash my face against the wall.

It does seem that people seem to share common feelings during grief.

I've tried drinking - and that only helps for an hour or so. My husband was really not happy about me having a bottle of wine an evening (his Gran and Aunt are both alcholics:( ) so, for his sake I stopped reaching for the wine.

People in general seem to annoy me and my patience level is low. Even poor strangers who know nothing of my problems get the sharp end of my tongue if they cut me up in the car, or push in in a queue:rolleyes:

My friends annoy me as they are starting to say stupid things like... 'its been a couple of months, I guess you feel better now'.. I just want to scream.. err.. NO YOU STUPID B*STARD. How on earth do they think 2 months is enough to get over losing a mother and to cope with Dad and his dementia:mad:

Oh.. I feel like a tearful, miserable sour faced old bag right now.:rolleyes:

On somedays, the smiling, laughing Beverley appears and takes complete control, but this bad tempered troll is raging inside me and rears it's head.

Thanks again everyone.

Beverley xx
 

Mameeskye

Registered User
Aug 9, 2007
1,669
56
NZ
Hi Beverely

I well understand your feelings. In the early days I can well remember just wanting to lash out. I was suffering PND, financial troubles, house move, problematic family. I can remember lying for a few nighst thinking would it be really selfish of me if I leapt off a cliff and my dear twin sons were only about 18 months at this time.

Try and talk to someone. If you are feeling low make the effort to get out. Ican remember days sat in my house crying with twin toddlers not really sure what was going on, screaming in physical pain in the night, it awakening all the grief for my Dad who had died 4 years earlier.

The anger was spilling out adn so often had no where to go.

It is a scary time. I think few people understand. People do not want to feel that pain and do not understand it. They do not understand that although the person is there the relationship that you have had is gone and at this time the grief must be double for you having just lost your Mum as well. It is little womder that you are finidng it so difficult when you are stressed. I always lash out when stressed too!

(((((((((hugs)))))))))))))

Mameeskye
 

zonkjonk

Registered User
Mar 1, 2007
290
Melbourne, Australia
hey beverley,
I dont think you would hurt yourself either, but the thoughts that run through your head can be shocking.
I dont think I handled my dads death very well, but I did the best I could.
I still dont think that anyone who has not had their world, there selves shattered by the grief can understand.
I so can relate to the "people annoy me"
them with their petty concerns and whinges
as I had abandoned my work when dad was terminal, I mustered my strength to go in on a particular day NO MATTER WHAT
I wanted to get my workplace in order and I needed to do the payroll :rolleyes:
the previous evening, I had THE call, "your dad will probably not last for more than the next 2-3 days"
so I go to work...boss starts hovering
boss asks "are you going to go and pick up the mail?"
boss knew dad was dying
in my head screaming at boss..."my dad is dying and you are worried if I am going to get the post??!! "
my anger was pure, rich and 100 percent.
dad died that night.
and no, I didnt go get the mail.

''its been a couple of months, I guess you feel better now'.. I just want to scream.. err.. NO YOU STUPID B*STARD. How on earth do they think 2 months is enough to get over losing a mother and to cope with Dad and his dementia"

I guess beverley they are ignorant, dont we wish we were the same?
but we are not, forgive your friends, they dont know what to say or do,and they cannot even begin to understand your loss.
 

Kate P

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
565
Merseyside
Hi Beverley,

I feel for you so much - you're dealing with the grief of losing your mum and taking over as main carer to your dad while still trying to run your household and maintain a "normal" life.

It would be astonishing if you were sailing on through with no thoughts or cares or pain about it all. There's resilience (which clearly you have buckets of) but it can only carry you so far.

Grief for me (or dperession whatever you want to call it) is like a little monster that lives inside me - mostly I can keep him quiet with chocolate and good friends but sometimes he gets the better of me. These moments have been when I have thought (or actually did many years ago) self harmed or thought of swerving into traffic or something. Funny how lots of people have these thoughts but keep them quiet. I think it's good that you're talking about it.

I would still think about counselling if I were you - no it wouldn't help just to talk - it doesn't change what's happened but, if your counsellor is good, they can teach you methods to cope - things to do when the grief or rage starts to overwhelm you.

I have found TP to be an excellent alternative to my counselling - to know other people can suffer as you do but come out the other side, scarred but still whole, can be very comforting.

I hope in time you find this peace. {{{HUGS}}}

Christine - your words moved me to tears. {{{HUGS}}}

Love and prayers for all of you who grieve here.
 

Whiskas

Registered User
Oct 17, 2006
158
Corby
Can I share my experience.

My Dad died 2 1/2 years ago, he had dementia and cancer, I looked after him at home (with help)until he died. I don't feel I've grieved for him yet, I'm too busy looking after my Mum who also has dementia. They both came to live with me 7 years ago and in that time I've gone from working full time to part time to having to give up work to look after Mum and my depressed self.

I feel like I've lost all three of us and counselling is keeping me able to cope until I can to deal with the loss. Counselling isn't just talking. It's being able to say anything just to get it out of your head and to know that someone is listening and actually hearing what you say. A counsellor is not judgemental in any way but can help you look at things differently so you don't have to beat your self up all the time.

As Kate says TP is a good substitute. To anybody who is feeling down it really is good to talk if you can. Take care of yourself.

Love Cathyxx
 

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