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Monday, October 12, 2015

Second Round of Grief Support

I started another grief support group, this one specifically for "loss of spouse", as the other "general bereavement" group ended last week.  Yes, I guess I'm becoming a bit of a grief group groupie, although I think this group might be a bit more helpful, being that everyone in it is dealing with the same type of loss... But I'm very disappointed that the groups only run for six weeks -- because, what are we supposed to do afterwards? Suddenly be OK?? I know I'm not suddenly okay after six weeks...

Each of the groups passed out the same flyers at the beginning and one in particular that talks about "Common Cognitive and Emotional Experiences" of grief, along with 23 bullet points and I hate to say that I am still suffering from about 17 of them...


"Cocooning", i.e. desire to isolate one's self. And here I am, still, window shades drawn, hiding in the darkened house...  I swear, if not for Kona's daily walks and training, or a grief group, I would never leave this house....

And also:

Loss of Self Esteem
Over-sensitivity to words or actions of others (my parents can attest to this one, sorry mom and dad!)
Loss of zest for living
Suicidal thoughts
Dependency on alcohol (will 5 p.m. ever come?)
Feeling overwhelmed
Inability to make decisions
Misplacing things
Unable to concentrate
Unable to complete or do tasks
Exhaustion (both emotionally and physically)
Fear of rejection

I feel I'm stuck in a rut and can't crawl out. It's a chore just to get through each day. I do wonder if I'm ever going get through this -- ever feel "normal" again.  I tell you, this grief thing is exhausting. And I miss Bob so very very much. And I feel I just cannot live without him. I don't want to go on, alone.

But I weirdly find myself talking out loud to Bob, feeling that he is (not always, but sometimes) still here, sitting with me and even hearing his answers to my remarks. And I love these moments when we are having a conversation. However, when I feel he's "not here", not answering me, I find myself yelling at the walls, Bob, where are you??? I do wonder if I'm going completely out of my mind.

I have been reading a lot of George Anderson's books (i.e.: We Don't Die, Lessons from the Light, etc.), heck, I've read all of them except the one which I am working my way through now (We Are Not Forgotten: Messages of Love and Hope from The Other Side).  Anderson is a medium who communicates with souls on "the other side" and it brings me great comfort to hear his version of the afterlife and know that Bob is still alive, happy, and watching over me. Anderson swears that we all can have direct communication with the souls of our loved ones, and they do answer us, telepathically. So, maybe I'm not so nuts, after all...

Though I still wonder, am I going mad? Will I ever recover? And does it even matter if I do?


Anonymous said...

Hi, it's Mary Ann from Careliving. I like to check you are ok. Stop reading. Too much info. Of course you are a mess. You lost your husband, your friend, your love. You lost your purpose to go on. You were fired from your job,...wife, advocate, caregiver, voice. You don't need to fix it all at once, but since you can identify what needs to be done you are healing. Still covered in Barbados but one fell off. Get rid of the booze. Been there it changes nothing. Things will still be the same. It might be time to stop groups for awhile and do one on one. Done that too. I hated having to admit I was over weekend. You are an excellent writer. Start journaling. Get back to your fashion thing. You have a great design eye. Your home and style are awesome. Down the road you might consider a shop. Bob has the most incredible spot in your home. That came from a creative mind. You are still the woman Bob loved. Go back to doing things you both enjoyed. Do it for you. Love you lady!

KanDav said...

Hi Diane,
Well I think Mary Ann about covered everything I could've ever even thought to say...what excellent advice!!
I was only going to say much the same regarding your loss of much of who you were as far as Bob. Which is many things when we're not only married but also best friend, confidante, soul mate, and caregiver to our spouse.
However, you're still YOU. It's just a different you, and yet the same you... Even when I type this, it sounds like I'm crazy. Which I think probably I am, just a bit. I had a therapist once tell me people who think they're crazy, rarely are. It's the ones who insist they're not that you have to look into. I think she was half joking and half serious.
Anyways, look how long you were with Bob. And how deep the connection. I would be shocked if you weren't feeling all the feelings you are. Patience is a virtue that I've never really had. And when something hurts, not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually, any and or a combo of all, I'm absolutely impatient for that pain to stop. Emotional pain is worse to me than physical pain.

I hope I'm not overstepping here, if I am just ignore it. But have you spoken with a Dr about the possibility an antidepressant might help? Often when the neurotransmitters are depleted, the brain chemistry is of course affected. Sometimes even a short course of an antidepressant in combo with counseling can do wonders. I can attest to that fact as far as myself.
And I know we're all different. And each of us must talk with our own Dr/health care team and decide for ourselves what works best for us.

I'm much like you, I dive into voracious reading. I've never been a blogger, though with my replies I could give Stephen King a run for his money on the length of some of them. :-D
I enjoy quilting and hand embroidery/beadwork/embellishing on some of my quilts.
Whatever gives you comfort, and isn't detrimental to your health, I say, have at it!
Lastly, though I know it's different than you talking aloud to your Bob, I still talk aloud to my Butts (short for Buttons, my cat that I was blessed to love for 18 years). Sometimes I could swear I hear the pad of her paws walking toward me, too. If that makes me crazy, so be it.
Warm Regards,

Anonymous said...

Barbados? I hate my spell check! Mary Ann

Diane said...

LOL Mary Ann! I was wondering about Barbados and what that had to do with anything!

Thank you both for your comments.


Barb Polan said...

I thought being covered in Barbados was a brilliant suggestion - I'm disappointed it's apparently a typo. Mary Ann has lots of good advice, but I think you asked if you are mad and if you'll ever recover:

(1) no, you're not mad, but grieving.

(2) And, no, you will not ever recover from your grief - you'll learn to live with your broken heart alongside your gratitude for your long, loving relationship with Bob. Eventually you'll wake up in the morning and not immediately touch that sore spot; it will be incorporated in your psyche that Bob's physical form is no longer on Earth.

My advice: Think of a way to use your pain to help someone else. Write poetry; organize a grief support group that that's longer than 6 weeks; form a subset of your support group as a book group - read those books re grief and discuss them with others who grieve. I'll stop now.


Rebecca Dutton said...

I have survived 3 events that made me doubt whether I wanted to live. The advice that rings true for me is Tom Hanks' line in the movie Cast Away. He said "now I know what I have to do is keep breathing in and out because I don't know what tomorrow will bring."

Denise said...

So sorry you're feeling like this, I wish I could help but I can only offer my sympathy. ((Hugs)) if you want them.

J.L. Murphey said...

Diane, to be honest, my grief support groups only lasted that long also. You are given tools to work through various stages of the grief process. You will recognize them for what they are and help you move forward. It will also give you a social outlet to call on afterwards. As I once said, grief will always be with you. It will. There won't be a day, week, month or year that you won't have something trigger a memory.

All I can hope is that the sting won't be as sharp as time goes by. I may shed tears, but not the all day crying jags. There may be sadness but not overwhelming sadness. You will be able to smile and laugh and not feel guilty about it. You can go on living and enjoy the rest of your life without that guilt also. Bob would have wanted this for you. You know that.

After saying all that. I too look forward to that kind of life. It's one step at a time and one day at a time. Hugggggsssss!