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orleans

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Gender: Female
Member since: Fri Nov 26, 2004, 04:56 AM
Number of posts: 24,419

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"all the experiences of grief become part of the narrative of love for the one who died"

"Based on my own and my patients’ experiences, I now like to say that the story of loss has three “chapters.” Chapter 1 has to do with attachment: the strength of the bond with the person who has been lost. Understanding the relationship between degree of attachment and intensity of grief brings great relief for most patients. I often tell them that the size of their grief corresponds to the depth of their love.

snip

"All sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them,” said the writer Isak Dinesen. When loss is a story, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no pressure to move on. There is no shame in intensity or duration. Sadness, regret, confusion, yearning and all the experiences of grief become part of the narrative of love for the one who died.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/10/getting-grief-right/?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=pay&smvar=mapkwp&kwp_0=9727&_r=0

above essay written by psychotherapist Patrick O'Malley

everyone from my mom's generation is gone now

tonight i learned that her cousin passed away
i have not learned the wheres/whys etc. yet

i tried to get in touch a couple weeks ago & thought maybe she was visiting one of her kids. actually, i hoped that's what was happening. in my heart i feared the worst.

i am heartbroken

we called & talked once in awhile--shared stories about my mom--she missed my mom too. i saw her only a couple times since my mom passed, but i loved talking with her, i loved hearing "i was thinking about your mom the past couple of days," or "i was thinking about your mom so much today--everywhere i went reminded me of her," or "i was going through some sheet music and an envelope fell on the floor and when i picked it up i saw it was a card your mom sent me a few years back."

things like that.

in a way, we were connections to each other's past. she was a consolation to me, we'd share stories, we'd laugh. she has a wonderful laugh. i never told her i loved to hear her laugh.

and without a word of goodbye she is gone from me.

and i am so very sad.

i'm sure my mom was one of the many to greet her when she crossed over. i know it was difficult for her to be the last surviving person in her generation so i would bet it was a joyous occasion when she was reunited with friends and family from days gone by.

yet for now, for purely selfish reasons, i am heartbroken.



i remember hearing the story of

how my grandma decided to make her daughter (my mom) one, nice, last special dinner before i was born. the dinner looked delicious and smelled delicious (according to my mother's reports) and i decided, just as she sat down to eat, that it would be a good time to join the party!

my mom & dad were forced to skip this great dinner (i think it was a roast) and go to the hospital. i wonder if nana ever ate some of it. probably. but my guess is that she was too preoccupied to enjoy it much.

i'm sure she hears you every time you tell her you love her, and when you talk to her

i say it out loud to my mom every day, along with a host of conversational bits and pieces, and sometimes entire conversations; i tell her i miss her every day. (and i'm very woo woo about this whole process--i look/watch for signs from her all the time. i've been getting her powder/perfume scent every night for the past week when i'm watching tv--i don't know why, but i'm guessing she's just letting me know she's here and near me, but i'm not sure why. maybe just to comfort?)

those early days/weeks/months can be tremendously foggy.

the entire experience has sucked for me. for the past five years.

i remember trying so hard to be strong & "practical" and "realistic" at first (thinking: she's gone. that's that. even though the first night my adult daughter thought she saw my mom in her peripheral vision while we were hugging in the kitchen and when she told me i snapped & said: don't tell me that! i don't want to hear it! because i thought it was too much like a fairytale & the reality was too devastating for me to believe something that implied she wasn't completely gone. then the next night my daughter saw an orb in the living room.)

it might have been a couple weeks later when i was leaning down to plug in some christmas lights, that all this emotion just began to pour out of me. i thought how can you love someone your entire life & then just stop? or if you don't stop where do you direct that love? where was i supposed to put it now? it was love i had for her and she wasn't here anymore for me to love. and then i realized i could keep feeling that love and direct it to her, wherever she was. maybe she'd feel it/know it. so i stopped trying to bottle up the emotion. and after that, i began getting "signs" from her (which i've posted about in this group probably ad nauseam).

i had to keep working for six weeks after she passed before i could take some time off. i had to be mentally present, had to function, had to not cry too much so my eyes wouldn't swell up. maybe that is part of the reason i'm still such a mess--because i had to wait too long to fall apart. i don't know.

anyway, i'm wishing you all the best in this most difficult time.

in spite of all the heartache, all the sorrow, the millions of tears, i think it is simply amazing how much we are capable of loving someone. and the degree to which someone can be loved. when love is that strong, that intense, it doesn't die--i think it stretches out through the dimensions of time and space and connects the one we love to us. they may pass from our view but i don't think they go far. especially if we were so important to them.

(i apologize if my woo view goes against your way of thinking. if it does, then just take it with a grain of salt--as the expression goes. i'm sharing it only with the best of intentions. regardless of how many steps we take, or how fast or slow we proceed, you are not alone on this path.)

i don't want to mess with your belief system but i am so compelled to tell you:

he knows. he knows, he knows, he knows!
he knows how you feel--he knows how important he was to you.
keep telling him, say it out loud, he will hear you. he knows and his soul has always known.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

when i was little i was playing one afternoon when i turned around and saw a relative of mine who had died, probably six months or a year prior. she smiled, she gestured, she spoke to me, she was not floaty or transparent--she was sitting down, and she scared the crap out of me. i hysterically ran upstairs to tell my mom and grandma that my grandma's sister was downstairs! i was so traumatized i didn't remember this for 8 years, but i never went to the basement alone again.

and i was so freaked out by it that my mom and grandma never doubted what i told them (when i was older & my mom would tell this story to someone she'd say i looked like i had seen a ghost, and she'd smile at the irony of the expression--but apparently i was "as white as a sheet" after it happened.)

for years & years & years my mom and i tried to figure out why my great aunt had come to me--i hardly knew her, didn't have any particular attachment to her, etc. so why me?

only within the last few years, after my mom passed, did it dawn on me that maybe she came to me for two reasons: 1. that i was young enough to still see "spirits" and 2. because she wanted to let her sister/my grandma (who she used to go to psychics & mediums with back in their younger days) know that it was all true--we do live on, we don't die.

so, just based on my personal experience with the afterlife, i just wanted to say to you--he does know. he knows every day. (again, just my personal belief--but i hope it helps a bit. i'm still so messed up after losing my mother--in spite of this afterlife belief i have--i miss her in the "now" i want her back in the "now" and therein lies my agony.)

take care, paper roses.



my most difficult journey is the path i've been traveling since i lost you


"The heart of grief, its most difficult challenge, is not "letting go" of those who have died but instead making the transition from loving in presence to loving in separation."
---- Thomas Attig


i would think this applies to anyone:


from "grief speaks out" on fb:


















"The dead don't die. They look on and help."
D.H. Lawrence



my friend thinks i have complicated grief disorder (?? maybe i do)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complicated_grief_disorder
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/complicated-grief/basics/definition/con-20032765
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/health/29grief.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

that's so funny. and i thought cats were supposed to be so independent

and yet they seem to have this tremendous separation anxiety

i had cats & kittens when i was little but i don't remember what their take was on the bathroom and the door

i've had dogs since i was a teen & Never had one that gave a rats ass about what was going on in the bathroom. except one dog that was rescued when she was ten years old; for the first year or so she was my shadow and i would leave the bathroom door open--she wouldn't come in but she needed to be able to see me and know where i was. eventually she stopped coming down the hallway to check.

i am so sorry to hear about your son.

what a tragedy.

years ago, after my dad died, i went to a bereavement group (once or twice a week for a couple months, offered through my dad's church) and i found it extremely comforting and helpful. my mom & i weren't members but it was offered to family members of parishioners -- she absolutely wouldn't go. but she held up extremely well whereas i was a mess.

i really needed something like that after i lost my mom a few years ago. i could still use it.

again, i'm very sorry about your loss.

one of the most repeated pieces of advice from my mom:

always look to see where the exits are

(she was worried about fires i guess)

when i was older (teens, twenties) she was always interested in knowing if i was aware of the the time (especially late at night):

mom: do you know what time it is?
me: yeah
mom: then get to bed!

she was also very keen on telling time:
"it's two-thirty in the morning. get to bed!"
or
"it's after three! get to bed!"

back in that era we had vivid lavender walls in our living room

and if my mom had seen a couch with those colors she would have bought it in a heartbeat. as it was, we had two couches--one was a bright green (the other i can't remember), and we had a bright orange chair in the living room too. and a bright yellow desk chair with a desk. also an organ! hey, it was the SEVENTIES!!! (ah, youth...sigh)
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