Let's guide each other...

Discussion in 'Coping After a Sudden Loss' started by Chessi, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Chessi

    Chessi Member

    I'll start with my story, because I've never posted on here before and I feel it's the best context for introducing myself. If you're short on time or can't bear to read it in your current state, which I understand entirely, please feel free to skip ahead to some questions I have for the community (in bold below).

    My sister was 22 years old, 2 years older than me.

    We were very close -- growing up wearing the same outfits, playing the same games; suffering the same family problems & supporting each other through it all. I was like her sidekick & she was my superhero.

    When we was 14, she started having mental health problems so severe she ended up in hospitals. I remember visiting her one Christmas after a particularly bad suicide attempt. I'm still disturbed by the thoroughness with which she cut herself, once leaving no square inch of her legs untouched. I'm disturbed that my best friend changed. But more so, I'm disturbed that I, at 12 years old, had no clue what to do except push her away. And she pushed back.

    The closest relationship I'd ever had was broken during what I thought would be the hardest part of my life.

    But then, she recovered. After stays in mental health residencies and countless therapists, my sister was finally happy. Enjoying life. Going after her goals.

    She was so kind throughout all of this, except to herself. Always volunteering. Always working towards a career to help others. Always bringing little gifts home whenever she fetched the groceries.

    She had finally recovered, and for a year or so, her relationships were mended -- including with me.

    I still kept her at arms length sometimes -- how could I not, after everything? Yet I wish I didn't.

    Because she died this December of a random heart attack, due to some genetic condition we didn't know about.

    No, not suicide, though for the first month we weren't sure, and the very thought of that was devastating.

    But she was better. She died happy.

    She fought so hard and only had one year of life to experience actual joy.

    That was 6 months ago. I miss her greatly, and nothing's been the same since. I feel distant from my friends sometimes, who don't know what to say as they're college students without any experience in this. The sentiments of "It should've been me" and "I can't go on without her" are less strong now, but I still feel waves of grief like tsunamis.

    There are days, still, that I can't breathe.

    And then, there are days that I feel more normal. The highs are still lower than they've ever been before, but at least I have highs sometimes.

    My family is devastated, each of us handling it in our own way and trying to accept that we aren't all feeling the same emotions at the same time. That we don't all grieve the same way.

    It's really, really hard. It's a fight every day. I've found some comfort in spirituality, but all I can really tell myself is "one foot in front of the other." Or, as the great Dory once said, "Just keep swimming."

    That is my story, and why I'm here.

    I hope you all can find some comfort and peace somewhere. I'm curious to hear where you do. I'm curious to speak with other people who have experienced losses like mine.

    So let's guide each other.

    Feel free to answer none, one, or as many of the questions as you feel comfortable. Or answer your own. I'd like to share experiences of grief and hear yours.

    What helps?

    I know it never goes away, but how long did it take you to start feeling the highs like you did before the loss, without abyssal trenches of lows? What was your grief timeline, so to speak?

    How do you continue to honor your loved one in your life?

    What motivates you to carry on?

    What do you find helpful in terms of spiritual/religious practice?

    How do you navigate friendships and relationships differently now? Did you rethink any friendships?

    How is your life different now?

    How are you different now?

    Lots of love and peace to you all,

    Barry likes this.
  2. ZenGarden

    ZenGarden New Member

    Just want to offer a hug. I just lost my mom 3 days ago, and everything is incredibly raw and full of pain. I hope people will answer those questions you posed. I wonder the very same things...
  3. Cora1961

    Cora1961 Well-Known Member

    Sorry for your loss. I loss my mother February 2016 then my wonderful husband in October 2019. It is horrible, sad and lonely. God bless
    Barry likes this.
  4. Chessi

    Chessi Member

    Thank you both for your responses. I wish I could take the pain away from you and make things right.

    We will get through this, all of us.

    Stay strong.

    Much love,

    Cora1961 likes this.
  5. skies24

    skies24 Well-Known Member

    I’m sorry that you are on this journey. I couldn’t imagine being so young going thur this pain. I hope you and your family find peace.

    I lost my best friend/roommate in January. She was 32. She was always so surprised that I never had any hurt in my life. That my life was pretty smooth. I never let people get close to me so I never experienced missing someone. Crazy right? She had a different life than me. She experienced hurt and sadness. And she experienced the lost of a few very close people. When she moved in with me she started to really be happy. She loved her job and we had a blast. She got sick and within an hour of Bri at hospital she was on life support. Two weeks later... my life was completely changed. First few months were raw. This site helped me greatly and still does. There is no timeline but after maybe 4 months I stopped crying all the time. I still cry but I also just started smiling again. I did a couple counseling sessions (online/phone) and now I’m reading a book called imagine heaven. I’m trying to find my way spiritually. Relationships changed in a way as I don’t bullshit at all. I call people out which I really should just keep my mouth shut. I’m just sick of people bitching about nothing. So I have less tolerance for small shit. I realized everyone thinks you just get over it. Hell I did think that before I lost my person. I’m different now in I was content on my own now I miss her here. I miss everything about her. I just hope she knows how much I miss her and I hope she is happy. I wish you peace on this journey.
    Barry likes this.
  6. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    I'll take a shot at some of your questions.

    1) Every time I cry my tears honor the love and life we had together. Don't ever be embarrassed or ashamed of crying.
    2) Life, my daughter's, and remembering the life I had motivates my to get it again.
    3) I don't have a religion. I'm a spiritualist. I believe God is the universe and I pray to her every day.
    4) I don't have many friends. They were mostly "our" friends and don't know what to say to me anymore. It's uncomfortable now so I let them go. When I walk my dog I try to talk to people now.
    5) My life is different in every way. I'm starting over at age 62. It sucks but I have a lot of great things going for me. Count your blessings!
    6) I will never be able to be that guy who I was before Peg died. That's impossible. Until I suffered this grief I didn't know it even existed. (Like most people). Peg taught me so many good things about life and how to live happy with the blessings you have. I will be a better man for having known her. On good days I can move forward with my life. On bad, I still cry a lot. Thankfully, I'm having more good days than bad now.

    I wish you peace, love, and happiness. In your life. Pray for it. The power of prayer is a real and true thing! ✌
    ZenGarden, skies24 and Cora1961 like this.
  7. Cora1961

    Cora1961 Well-Known Member

    Barry, that was awesome. U have exactly wrote everything that I am feeling too. I will always love, miss and be grateful for the life that my wonderful husband gave me and my children plus grandchildren. God bless
    Barry likes this.