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The plans are keeping me busy. It is a good problem. I am really trying to get as much done as possible now. The last time I got married was so chaotic right before the wedding. I am also working on our honeymoon plans. That is fun. I miss my dh but know he is happy for me. He told me to get remarried and to have the family I wanted. What a conversation to have. I will always remember it. He told me when he was here. He also told me his funeral wishes, what he wanted to wear… I remember crying so hard he was telling me to breathe.Anyways.. I am happy and it feels good.

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Tempted to Give Up?
Day 112

You may feel you would rather escape than endure. But remember, it is always too soon to give up. God sent His angels to rescue Daniel only after he was in the lion’s den (Daniel 6:19-21). Paul says God rescued him after he had the “sentence of death” within him (2 Corinthians 1:9). God rescued Peter from prison the night before he was to be executed (Acts 12:4-11). Even at the last moment, He can rescue you. Never give up.

“Whatever string you can find to hold on to, whatever you know about God in your heart, hang on to it with everything you have. Then stand back and see His glory,” says Janet Paschal, whose grandfather died.

When it seems that there is nothing left to live for, God will prove Himself true. Focus on Him and do not let your thoughts stray for a moment.

Job initially wanted God to take his life: “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut me off!” (Job 6:8-9). But if God had granted Job’s request, he would never have seen God’s blessing in the end.

The book of Habakkuk encourages you to trust in God and persevere no matter how bad things seem: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet will I rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).

Savior God, I see nothing but darkness, but in this darkness I grasp at a pinpoint of light, which is my knowledge of You. I will hold on to this, Lord, with all the strength I can muster, for You alone are my hope. Amen.

We Remember Them

In the rising of the sun
and in its going down,
we remember them;

In the blowing of the wind
and in the chill of winter,
we remember them;

In the opening of buds
and in the rebirth of spring,
we remember them;

In the blueness of the sky
and the warmth of summer,
we remember them;

In the rustling of leaves
and in the beauty of autumn,
we remember them;

In the beginning of the year
and when it ends,
we remember them;

When we are weary
and in need of strength,
we remember them;

When we are lost
and sick at heart,
we remember them;

When we have joys
we yearn to share,
we remember them;

So long as we live,
they too shall live,
for they are now a part of us,
as we remember them.

from Gates of Prayer

The other day I was at the cemetary. I saw a lady who could not find her mom. I felt really bad for her. She felt bad too. She was near me. I walked over and gave her the phone number to the office hoping they could help her. Then I left. Today I was out watering the pots of my dh and grandma. The lady was back. She said hey thanks for the number the other day. I found my mom. She then was going to carry the pot to the facuet. I said I’ll water it for you. I had my watering can. So we watered it and chatted. Her mom died of cancer 30 years ago. We talked about dh. She said she remembered reading about him in the paper. While dh was sick there were many articles about him. I told her I was getting married again. She told me good luck. I told her I would water her pot for her. she told me she forgets about it. She means to but.. She was really nice. I have met some of the nicest people in the cemetary. That sounds funny but it is true.

Wishing everyone a wonderful memorial day. Even though to those of us who lost a spouse or loved one everyday seems like memorial day.

Forward, Backward
Day 108

Do not be discouraged if it feels as though you are going backward at times–sometimes forward, sometimes backward. That is the natural process of grief.

If you are bringing your hurts and fears to God, if you desire to move forward toward healing, if you are learning about the grieving process and trying to apply some things you have learned, then you are making progress, even when you do not feel you are.

Dora, whose daughter passed away, says, “Sometimes you will think, Last week I could cope with this, and this week I can’t, and then you’ll think, I’m not getting any better. I’m not making any progress. Then you’ll take a big leap forward. There’s no timeline.”

You, too, will take that big leap forward as time goes on. For now, concentrate on the small victories over the pain–fewer tears, a smile, helping another person, reading and understanding a Bible passage, replacing a negative thought with a positive thought, forgiving a wrong.

“We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need” (Colossians 1:11 NLT).

Father God, when I get discouraged because it feels like I’m going backward and not forward, help me to stop trying so hard and allow You to be my support and strength. Amen

My church got a new minister this week. She seems really nice. I went over to talk to her today. I was told by the old minister that he would come back and marry me if the church found someone. Now he doesnt remember telling me that. If I wasnt told that I wouldnt be so upset. But with a month away I dont think that is enough time to get to know someone. I want to be comfortable with who is marrying me. she asked about me. I told her I am off work due to health. She said wow that must be hard. Wow. She gets it. Then I told her about dh. She said you been through alot. A lot of adjustments. she gets it. She gave me her cell number so I can call her anytime. She was very supportive and offered to help me however. I know I will like her. It is just she is right. I have had lots of adjustments and that alone is hard. That is why something small like who marries me is big to me. It seems when you carry a big load everyday the little thing can set you off. I am impressed that she gets it so quick. I am so lucky to have the people I have that help me.

I had a reading last week. The person was very good. She told me some things that impressed me. One was my husband told her that he would be the first person I see when I cross over. I have always wondered and hoped that. Now I now it will be. She also said he cannot show himself to me again because it is hard to do. One day I saw him. I thought he was real. I wrote about it before. Anyways both of those things were cool to hear.

Its been so long since he was here. Since he was alive. Since he held me. Today I had a moment of what the hell happened.. I cannot believe it still. If he was here today we would of been working in the yard together. We probably would of had kids by now. He would of been working at his dream job. We would be watching tv now. None of it seems real today. I barely remember the first couple of years after he died. I died today somewhat. But I have made it. He would be proud of that for damn sure. He was always so proud of me. He loved to tell others about me. he was so sweet. I miss that. I cannot imagine what this will feel like in 50 years.

When “Death” taps us on the shoulder, he introduces us to his brother,
“Grief,” and in the midst of the pain, shock and confusion, often no one is
sure what is appropriate to say or do.

FOR THE BEREAVED:

DO MOURN — Mourning is different from grieving. Grief is the internal awareness of pain when we lose someone we love. Mourning is the outward
expression of that pain. Everyone grieves, not everyone mourns. As stated so well by thanatologist and clinical psychologist, Dr. Alan Wolfelt, “Mourning is grief gone public.”

DO CRY — Crying is a natural response to pain. Cry when and where you feel the need. You needn’t apologize for tears. Men, especially, need to remember they were given tear ducts, too! So far as we know, nobody ever died from crying, but the outward expression of our inner feelings has been proven over time to be a healthy and healing response to grief.

DO TALK — Talking about feelings, needs, memories (good and bad) is an excellent way of mourning. If you want to talk, tell others that it is helpful for you. Most people will accommodate whatever needs the griever has if they know that’s what the griever wants. If you don’t want to talk, say that, too. Talking about your feelings is an option not a requirement.

DO QUESTION — Don’t be afraid to ask all the questions that are in your head. Some of them have no answers, but it is often helpful to phrase the questions. Don’t be afraid to challenge God. He can handle your anger, your
fear, your doubts. If you have questions of the professional community, persist until you get answers that satisfy you.

DO ACCEPT HELP — Caring people who surround the bereaved often feel frustrated and helpless. Allow others to help you in whatever ways you can.
If you try to be stoic and do everything for yourself, you get exhausted, and they feel useless.

DO BE PATIENT — Don’t rush your grief experience even if people around you try to push you too fast. Mourning is like healing a serious and deep wound. It takes time and cleansing, and there is pain and weariness. The more healthy support a wound receives, the better the quality of healing in the end.

DO FORGIVE YOURSELF — Almost all grievers feel guilt to one degree or another. Bring it out in the open if you can. Talk about it with someone you trust. Accept the fact that you are human. Believe that you did the best you could with what you knew at the time. Try not to invent guilt where there is none legitimately. Relax in knowing that the one you loved knew that he or
she was loved. People die, love doesn’t.

DO TRUST YOURSELF — Your own instincts are your clearest guide to what is best for you. Listen to the suggestions of those who care for you, sift and weigh them against your own internal wisdom. The decisions you make from your gut instinct are virtually always right for YOU.

DO TELL OTHERS WHAT YOU NEED — What you need and want on Monday may not be what you need or want on Thursday. Feel free to vacillate and to tell those around you what your needs are. It’s okay to change your mind. If you can’t tell everyone you know (at your job, or with your neighbors for instance), tell one trusted friend. The word will certainly get around quickly and everyone will be more comfortable.

DO TELL OTHERS WHEN THEY HAVE HELPED — Compliment friends, family and acquaintances when they do something for you that you really appreciated. Often they don’t know what helps and what hurts. Letting them know when they’ve succeeded helps them to learn.

DO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF — Even if it’s difficult, try to eat (even if only in small amounts) nutritional foods. Avoid junk food — even if it is easier and faster. Avoid alcohol (a depressant), but remember to drink lots of water. It’s easy to become dehydrated, because often the bereaved don’t remember to drink or don’t notice when they are thirsty.

Try to sleep, but if you can’t sleep, try to at least rest. It’s true that warm milk helps. A warm bath can relax tense muscles. Read something
soothing or listen to music you really enjoy. Writing in a journal helps because once the thoughts are captured on paper, the mind can relax, and sleep will often come.

Avoid medications that are only for grief. You will do better in the long run to face your pain and deal with it. Continue to use any medications you normally need to take. Walking is a great exercise and almost nobody can see you cry.

DO CONSIDER MUTUAL HELP — For some bereaved people, joining a support group can be a major benefit. It is often comforting to know we are not alone in our pain. Being able to both share and listen can be a catharsis for grief. Even for those people who are not especially verbal, just listening to the stories of people in similar situations can be very helpful. Support groups
do not require participants to talk if they would rather be silent.

DON’T “STUFF” YOUR GRIEF — A big mistake made by a lot of mourners is to “protect” the people around them by hiding all the pain of grief. When
people say, “How are you doing?” don’t say, “Fine” if you’re not. It’s okay to say, “It really helps me when I can talk about it.” (Or whatever does help you …)

DON’T ACCEPT ADVICE WITHOUT QUESTIONING — Well-meaning caregivers are usually full of advice — most of it is wrong. It often comes from an
assumption of what they think they would want if it were them; but it’s not them, and they don’t know what they would want. Listen to advice (in case it’s good), and then do what seems right for YOU.

DON’T GIVE AWAY YOUR RIGHTS — You have a right to feel and express your pain. You have a right to mourn. You have a right to cry if you want to. You have a right to talk if you want to. You have a right to seek support from others who are experiencing similar feelings. You also have a right to withdraw and be private when and if you want to.

DON’T RUSH YOUR FEELINGS — Take your time. You may have heard that grief comes in different stages. To some extent that is true, but those stages can come in clumps and overlap. They can repeat themselves many times. Some of the stages may never happen in your experience.

There is no time limit on how long you should or should not experience the pain of your loss. That is completely individual. If YOU believe that your
pain is lasting longer than it should, or if YOUR long-lasting pain is interfering with your life to an extent that is troublesome for YOU, then
seek professional help from a counselor who specializes in grief concerns.

DON’T GO AGAINST YOUR NATURAL INCLINATIONS — If you have always been a private person who is not comfortable in talking with others about yourself,
don’t try to change your personality now.

Reading and listening to the thoughts and feelings of others in similar situations may be the most helpful for you. If you have never been a
“crier,” don’t feel guilty if you can’t cry now.

Follow your own nature in your own mourning process. Often people who are private will benefit greatly from keeping a journal. Writing your feelings on paper or in a computer will give you benchmarks as you make progress in your healing experience.

DON’T MAKE DECISIONS IN HASTE — Others may be rushing you to dispose of the personal belongings of the deceased or pushing you to make life-changing decisions before you are ready. Thank them for their concern and follow your own timetable. Your instincts will guide you correctly.

Its time to move. I can feel it strongly. It is hard to deal with. I have the best neighbors. They took care of me for 2 years. They cared for me and pulled me through my dark days. My house is in good shape. We did lots of improvements especially the past 2 years. It is finally where I want it to be. I will be moving in with my fiance and his grandpa. They have so much stuff. I have so much stuff. I have no idea how it will all fit. Their house needs updating and lots of cleaning, organizing. I dont want to do any of it. I love my house. I feel happy here. It is another grim reminder that my husband is never coming home. That hurts. Severe pain. I remember when we moved in. It took a while to feel like our house. I have only moved once in my life. I am not a fan of change.

With every sunset there is another sunrise.

That gives me hope.