~How do you deal with loss?~
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LillieRose
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Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:48 pm
WARNING: This post is very emotional and highly personal. If you are not comfortable with reading something of that nature or if you are dealing with some sort of blues in your life that could be aggravated by a highly emotional confession, I suggest that you stop reading now and browse some more interesting and entertaining topics on Zantarni. :3

~To those who chose to stay: thank you for reading my story.Heart

~Words and writing do not come easy to me, I usually write best when I am highly emotionally charged. I apologize for any mistakes and/or errors.



I am not even sure how to begin this discussion, I am just curious about how people deal with the pain of losing a loved one, particularly if you live away from them and cannot see them on a regular basis.

I have noticed recently that I might be dealing with a mild case of depression. I am underlining the word "mild" here, because I have not been officially diagnosed, nor have I been seeing a therapist about it, at least not in recent years.

Living half a world away from my loved ones, I think my depression has been aggravated, due to the fact that there is a significant time difference between my home country and the country where I live now (about 10 hrs currently) and when I am feeling down, I am not able to immediately reach out to someone, dial someone's phone number or pop by someone's house in search of comfort.

I used to visit my best friend twice weekly (I was teaching her elder child English) and my hourly conversations with her felt like therapy. She was able to alleviate most of my concerns, general blues or head rent space problems almost immediately. Now that I live in a different country, I am no longer able to do that and I miss her more than words can express.

Which brings me to the main reason why I decided to open this topic.

Due to the fact that I have no one close to me to talk to (apart from my husband who is a particular kind of animal and has little to no sense of empathy), I have decided to reach out to the Zan community in hopes of finding solace and comfort. The Zan community has been with me for almost 10 years, you guys are as close to me as anyone else right now. If anyone is able to help me find a way to deal with the pain, it will be you.

In January this year (January 7th), I have lost my grandmother. She was 87 years young. I had been living with her from the age of 9 to the age of 25 when I moved out of my parents' house. Needless to say, we were close.

She was quite ill, she had four hip operations during her lifetime and as you can imagine, her mobility was diminishing little by little, until in April last year, she was bedridden and my parents were no longer able to provide her the care she was needing. They decided to put my grandmother in a rest home where she would be comfortable and have professionals taking care of her round the clock, as she was no longer able to get out of bed and stand on her own two feet.

This decision was hard. It was hard on my dad and it was hard on me but we knew that it was for the best.

However, when I went to visit her in August, I didn't feel any less heartbroken because of it.

I literally was heartbroken. When it was time for me to leave, I said my goodbyes. I still had hope then that I will see her again. But not a lot of hope. And then in January, I received a Skype message from my mom and dad telling me that she is gone. She died peacefully, in her sleep. Which is what most of us are hoping to have, when it is our time to go.

Again, the thought of it did little to comfort me. I felt as if I had lost one of the pillars in my life. And seeing her at the rest home was no consolation to me either, because I did not want to remember her like that.

What made it even harder was the fact that I live half a world away. I was not able to hop on a plane (it takes me three flights and two days to travel to my home country) and attend her funeral. There are few regrets that I have in my life, not being able to be there when they put her into the ground is something that will make me feel guilty forever.

I am feeling really down because of this. I have had days when I am just not in the mood to get out of bed at all. This past Tuesday was that kind of a day for me. I spent the entire day in bed. I only got up to make myself some coffee, to make dinner and to go to the bathroom. That's it. My hubby and I live with his brother and his family and I could feel my sister-in-law judging me. I was judging me, I could have done so many things. I live by the beach, I could have gone for a walk or to my favourite place in the neighbourhood, the library or to the supermarket. I could have baked something, I could have cleaned the house, I could have gone with my niece and nephew to the mall but I did none of those things. I chose to stay in bed watching stupid Youtube videos. I wasn't even reading a good book that I have saved for a rainy day. I wasn't doing anything constructive or creative. I was behaving like a selfish and lazy human being and now I am being riddled by guilt because of it. And when I start to feel guilty because of my lazyness, my guilt is amplified when I remember the other things that I feel so guilty about, not attending my grandmother's funeral being one of them.

I can literally see myself spiraling and sinking deeper into depression. Again, I am stressing, I just believe it is depression, as I have never been officially diagnosed by a qualified professional and I have never had therapy for it.

Last night, my hubby received word that his grandmother had passed away as well. His grandmother had lent us a flat she owned, so that we could live by ourselves. She is the reason I was able to move away from my parents and start making a life with my partner. She is one of those people that I am indebted to for helping me become the person I am today. I am devastated. Even more so than my husband, I think. As I mentioned before, he has very little empathy and does not show a lot of emotion. Maybe he has the same internal struggle that I do, but I know he will not want to voice it, even if I ask him whether he wanted to talk about it.

I am dealing with a lot of loss - personal loss, loss of my home country and everything that I knew, loss of my family and friends to distance - and I feel lost at the same time, because I have no one to talk to about it.

This is why I would like to ask you this question:

How do you deal with loss?

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Last edited by LillieRose on Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:21 am; edited 1 time in total
Riley
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Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:20 pm
First, *big hugs*. I am going through a loss right now with my grandparents, but I cannot imagine being so far away from them as in your situation. *more hugs*

What you are feeling is a very normal and natural response. And it is also normal for someone who has experienced a loss to have depression. It becomes a concern when the depression lasts for 6 months (I think?) or longer. And I'll be direct here, you should not care what your sister-in-law thinks if she is only going to judge you. You are hurting and grieving for someone you loved dearly. I assume that she did not have that same kind of relationship with your grandma that you had. And speaking from someone who has been struggling with diagnosed major depression, there are always things we can do. But that is part of the depression, is that we can't do them, or it requires so much effort to go for that walk on the beach, that it makes us even more tired. Staying in bed and watching youtube videos or reading is not stupid or selfish. You are taking care of yourself by allowing yourself to do what you need to do, and if that means staying in bed and watching youtube videos, then that's what you need at that moment.

What you are experiencing and feeling from all of the recent loss, it would never hurt to seek professional help, even temporarily, to help you through this time in your life.

To answer your question, about how I deal with loss:
I don't deal with it very well. At the time, I wasn't seeing a therapist, so I dealt with it by myself. Now, my grandpa's health is deteriorating, and he is in a care home. As a kid, I spent so many weekends at their house, they took care of me whenever I was sick because my parent's couldn't miss work. They helped raise me. I know the heartbreak you describe. Now, I am seeing a therapist, and she has been a big help with this process, especially with the guilt I still feel about not seeing them enough, and not being there for them. Since I've been seeing her, I've gotten much better at asking myself, "what do I need right now?" If I need to cry, I cry. If I need to talk, I'll talk to her or my husband (who, while empathetic, doesn't really know how to help). If going on a walk, or being in my garden sounds like it would help, I do that. If staying in bed and browsing imgur sounds better, I'll do that.

Sending you positive thoughts. I hope you'll be able to find peace *hugs* And if you need to talk, I am always willing to be there.
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Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:28 pm
That would be considered depression. And I understand fully!

We've had a lot of loss in my family the past year and a half. We lost my great grandmother a few days after my son was born and I was stuck home so I couldn't say good bye or get it were she could meet her great great grandson at least once. Then we lost my cousin in a car accident just a week or two before his wedding. And then we lost my great grandpa, I managed to say good bye to him but it hit me hard. Especially, since I was alone and stuck staying at a family members house with no one to talk too with my son. And I know if it wasn't for my baby, I would have broken down. I couldn't cry because I knew it'd make him just upset and with no one to lend a helping hand I was at a stand still.

One thing I did to help me get over the loss of them was make a memorial for them. Just a small tribute and I made by hand that I could look at daily and frame. I also shared it with my family encase they wanted to display it as well. For my cousin, I drew a portrait of him for my aunt that she now hangs on he wall. I also would write in a journal to help me feel better; I'd write about everything. And it seemed to help. But when my depression gets really bad and I know it's too much for me, I do go to a doctor; as sometimes meds are needed. But everyone is different so what works for me, might not work for you. The main thing is that you're talking about it and trying to figure things out.
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Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:40 pm
I don't know if this will help or not, if its not your thing just disregard....but its worth a try. I am a part of this group on -social media site- that's called art abandonment... where people make art and leave it around in public places for someone to find. It really touches peoples lives and sometimes people find a special gift from a stranger at just the right time.
Some people make their art and leave it in memory of a special person in their lives, and in that way its kind of like the person lives on...
I know when feeling depressed, it is hard to find the inspiration to do such things,but it doesn't have to be anything big. It can be something so simple, like pipe cleaner animals or clay mushrooms.
I guess for me i just have to remember to try and treasure the people i do have near me still. I tend to be really solitary and not want to hang out a lot, so for me i have to try to spend more time with the people i love.
Big hugs to you!

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LillieRose
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Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:42 pm
Thank you Riley and Da-KuTenshi for your support. It does mean a lot to me, even more so, just knowing that I am not alone and that there are people out there who understand what I am going through right now. Heart to both of you.

I appreciate that you shared your stories of loss as well,
I know this is not easy. I am sorry for your loss and I understand how you are feeling, my heart and thoughts go out to both of you.

I feel so silly, because I am have written this post at work, on my work computer and I found myself bawling while I wrote it and the same when I read your responses. Had someone seen me, they would have thought that I was mental - which I probably am.

I also thank you for the suggestion of looking into professional help. I will definitely consider it and look into it and figure out if it is the best solution for me.

I think the depression I am experiencing is more or less due to the fact that I am an emotional person but I have learned how to keep my emotions in check. I was a very explosive child and I was taught that reacting to every little thing that happens to you with such vehemence will have consequences. Which resulted in me keeping my emotions to myself more than showing them.

Once again, thank you for responding and for the advice. I appreciate it more than I am able to express on this platform. Heart

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Rayven
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Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:28 am
Oh Lillie! *hugs* I have so much to say, and I feel we have quite a few things in common. First, let me say that it's ok to be depressed, sad, cry, etc. Please don't ever let anyone judge you, or make you feel bad about that. You be you. Second, please don't feel guilty about not being able to go to your Grandma's funeral. She understands. She knows your heart, and that you would have been there if you could. The only one that would have a right to be upset at you for not going is her, and I promise you that is not troubling her. She's at peace now. So please let the guilt go. It will do you no good. Third, as someone else mentioned it wouldn't hurt to get some help right now even if it's just temporary, but even if you do a lot of the healing process will still be up to you. There is no magic cure for grief or depression, but you can get through it!

I'm going to tell you a few things about myself, not to make it about me, but so you might feel like someone else understands what you are going through. I'll try to keep it brief. I have been diagnosed with depression, but I like to think I keep it under control now. I feel like mine is mostly environmental, and as long as my environment is good I'm ok. However, it probably doesn't take as much to make me not ok as it would someone else. I am also a very emotional person. I have been in abusive relationships in the past, and at one point I got so bad I couldn't do anything but sleep. I think I slept for like two years. Give yourself a break, but don't give up completely. I gave up completely, and everything in my life especially the conditions I lived in got worse. I will never live like that again! I can't. So I don't let myself go there even when things get bad. My life is a lot better now, but I have a difficult situation with my son. He is almost 20. He is homeless, on drugs, abusive, etc. I have pretty much written him out of my life which brings me to your question. How do I deal with loss? It's not easy especially since my situation is still somewhat unresolved. He hasn't passed away. Yet. I just pick myself up, and move on. Not to be heartless, or because I don't care. But because I can't care so much that I fall apart. I watched a movie one time that said, "It takes 10 times longer to pick yourself up than it did to fall apart in the first place." That is so true! I'm not saying it's not ok to fall apart for a little while, but we must be careful how far down we let ourselves go. I've been there, and I almost didn't make it back out of the pit. I don't want that for you, or anyone. I don't believe I'll survive it again so I can't personally let myself go there. Of course that's easier said than done. I'm sure I don't have complete control over that. My fiance is someone exactly like your husband, and I also have moved away from my family. Mine is a lot closer than yours though, and I have no time difference. It was still hard though. I worry that when my Mom dies, who will I talk to? I can't talk to E. His Mother just died. She was in the Philippines, and he couldn't attend her funeral either. He was a trooper about it though. I would feel like you do. Anyways, that's enough about me.

I just want you to know that I understand, and I don't think you're crazy. I'm sorry you are going through this. I hope you feel better, and if you ever need someone to talk to please PM me and I'll get back to you ASAP. I don't really have any friends anymore, and I also miss having someone to talk to about things.


Edit: I forgot to add that I think it might help if you concentrate on the things that give you joy. That's hard to do when you're sad, but it helps a little.
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LillieRose
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Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:50 am
Thank you for the suggestions Lady Plaid,
it sounds like a wonderful idea and a wonderful thing to do.
I don't feel like I am very creative at the moment, but I am sure I would be able to come up with something. I know that there is someone at the neighbourhood where I live who paints rocks and leaves them all over the beach for people to find.
Maybe I can do something along those lines.

I am also quite solitary and enjoy spending time alone with myself rather than with people. Thank you for responding and thank you for your advice. Heart

Rayven: *returns hugs* Thank you so much for your kind words.
Heart

I can't help but feeling guilty for not being there. Especially since she was so against me moving away. She told my parents to forbid me from going. I don't think she did it out of malice, she was just a very old-school gal and believed that it is the daughter's job to take care of the parents when they get old. She was concerned that my parents will have no one to help them out if I leave. She was scared of me going so far away and I understand that. I always understood that she did things like this out of fear of what is going to happen to someone, rather than out of ill-wishing someone.

But I am trying to work through the guilt. It eases up some days but then there are days when I wake up feeling guilty because something triggered it and then I just remember all of the other things that make me feel guilty and it spirals out of control to the point where I am unable to get myself out of bed. Living with judgmental people does not help either.

Thank you for sharing your story, as I said before, I know it is not an easy thing to do. Loss comes in many shapes and sizes and your loss is no less because the person you lost has not passed yet. If anything, your relationship of mother and son makes it even more difficult. I am not a parent, so I can't even imagine what you are going through. After all, it is you who has to deal with the pain of loss and try to work through it. I applaud you for putting in the effort and working through it. You are very, very brave.

Thank you, I will make sure that I do that. Heart

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Rayven
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Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:39 am
You're very welcome Lillie, and thank you for your kind words as well. Heart

I understand what you're saying about the guilt. I have some too over many things. But then I remind myself that beating myself up won't fix it, or take anything back. Your Grandma sounds like she was a wonderful woman, and she loved you very much. Perhaps she was also afraid for you to be so far away in case you needed someone. You're strong (even if you don't feel like it right now), and you'll get through this! I'm not there so it's hard to know, but maybe the way they're acting isn't entirely judgmental. Maybe they are afraid for you. It can be scary watching someone go through a difficult time, and a lot of people aren't good at knowing what to say or do. Please take care of yourself (you deserve it), and don't worry about what other people think.

Good! That's what I try to do. Concentrate on the things that make life worth living. Very Happy
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Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:10 am
It's been 10 years since my dad's little sister died. On that side of the family, she was (and still is) my favourite aunt. We got to see her once before she died at their older brother's place a few weeks before she died. While I was devastated when she did die, I wasn't crushed, because I got to spend a little time with her before she died. After the funeral, we headed to the coast to see some of mum's family. My uncle (mum brother in law) was quite sick at the time, and oddly enough was much like my dad "Don't hug/kiss me I don't want you to catch anything" kinda attitude. Even though we wouldn't have been able to catch what he had. Two weeks after that visit, he died. Mum and dad went to his funeral as my sister and I couldn't handle the 30+ hours round trip that would have taken. I don't think I was as affected by his death as I saw how bad he was before his death and took comfort in the fact that he was no longer suffering.

Mum's sister was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease. She was give between 5 years and 20 years to live. I think she lasted 18 months as the disease progressed through her body. I went to work one evening and came home to find out she had died. I was crushed by her death. I went to work the next day and I don't think I lasted an hour, I just broke down and asked to have the rest of my shifts for that week canceled. I think the next day, mostly to take my mind off of everything, I made at least 4 batches of scones. They were a hit, haven't made any scones since.

I'm still not over the death of either of my aunts. I think it is because they were both so sick towards the end of their lives that made it so much harder, knowing that they were no longer in pain, but we who were left behind are in pain.

My second cousin lost her daughter in a car accident just before Christmas a few years ago now, she was only 3 and a half. I never met this child, but my mum, sister and I flew up to attend her funeral to support our family. A few days after the accident, I was dreaming about butterflies and a little girl, who's face I could never see. These dreams went on for months before I came across a picture on facebook, and it was a letter she had written to Santa, asking for more butterflies. She was visiting me in my dreams to tell her parents that she was around them when there were butterflies around.

She taught me to listen, even through grief. You may not have been able to be there when your family put her in the ground, BUT if you listen to your dreams...even smells or sounds while awake, she is with you, trying to let you know that everything is ok. I helped a friend through some of his grief when his mother died. I think because we are so close, she knew she could come to me to pass on any messages to her son. I'm listening, all due to a stubborn little girl who wouldn't give up being heard.

Grief takes it's toll on us differently. We can mope about and not want to do anything because we feel we can't go on, or we get up and prove to ourselves that although we are hurting, we won't let the pain define the rest of our lives. My grandparents all died well before I was born. I have been visited by 3 out of 4 grandparents. I know mum's dad watches over me. For some reason mum's mum hangs around our house and has made her presence KNOWN. My 3rd brother was a little sh*t one day and that night when we were all in bed, there was a LOUD BANG!...she had lifted my brother's bed in the air and dropped it. The 5 of us kids, even though we were in two separate rooms, went running into the living room to where mum was. She shoved me off the lounge while I was sleeping because I hadn't turned the tv off at the wall like dad usually does before going to bed. I crawled over to the wall and turned it off before crawling back to the lounge and then she left me alone for the rest of the night lol. Dad's dad has a certain smell about him and he watches over my sister. As for dad's mum...I think she passed over the other side and she is waiting there.

Sorry, I think I went on a little bit of a ramble there. Embarassed
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Scarz
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Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:58 am
*hugs* I truly am sorry for your losses, Professor, dealing with the loss of one loved one is a very hard thing, but the loss of two can be devastating. Grief affects everyone differently and not everyone grieves the same and everyone should be allowed to grieve.

The distance between you and your loved ones does make it harder on you as you were so close to them.

You truly do not have anything to feel guilty about. It is not clear if your husbands family understands what you are going through because grief is so personal and you mentioned how you used to be able to talk to your friends back home about things. You do know you can still do it, it would just take a little time to set up when you both could be on line on Skype and though it is not the same as actually being there, it helps if you are able to talk about it with those you trust.

Many people go into a depression after a loss and if you are worried about it, that is a good sign that you realize you may have a problem, but it is up to you if you want to see someone.

Professor, you are an incredible Lady, know that people really do care about you. Please take care.

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