Unjustified grief?

Discussion in 'Coping After a Sudden Loss' started by Rob67, May 20, 2020.

  1. Rob67

    Rob67 New Member

    Five months ago I found out that a girlfriend I had in high school, who I have had no contact with in the 48 years since graduation, died of cancer over 35 years ago at the age of 28. This is causing me such severe grief that I have to think there is something wrong with me. In all those decades I focused on the family I started, and have only thought about her very little, when some event reminds of "one of those times back in the day".
    The thought that she has been dead most of that time is killing me, even though she was never part of my adult life. It has been almost half a century since I have seen this girl (emphasize girl) who was 16 years ago when I last saw her. And I have been nearly obsessed by this for the five months since this shocking discovery.

    It seems to me that it is absurd that I am grieving over someone who has never been part of my adult life, and I have not seen in almost half a century. I don't understand why I am go
  2. griefic

    griefic Administrator Staff Member

    I'm so sorry for your loss and the subsequent pain and questions that have come along with it. This loss may be unique to you but I think a lot of people can relate to struggling with the loss of someone they haven't seen for a very long time. Sometimes we grieve the loss of history or the past we shared with them, or sometimes a loss of someone we knew when we were young calls into mind our own life and mortality. Regardless the reason, if you are naturally responding with grief to this then I think it's best that you allow yourself the time and space to grieve this however you need to. Maybe you can connect with people from your shared past or find a friend who can relate or understand.
    In the end though it would be a good goal to make some peace with this because unless we can validate these losses for ourself, no one can do it for us.
    Please be gentle with yourself and be patient with the process, as much as you are able.
    Pleas take care~
  3. Rob67

    Rob67 New Member

    Thank you for your response. It helps a lot.

    The loss of history you mentioned struck a nerve. I also think the shock of discovering that Linda had died so long ago has opened an old emotional wound that I thought was closed long ago. Even during high school I did "move on" and was madly in love with another girl. That went on for years. So I thought I was at peace in my feelings for Linda, but for several years I had a lot of regret for not staying friends with her, and a few other people. And then life went on and the decades passed. My wife, for whom my feelings have not changed from this, and my children and grandchildren came along. I was happy and content. When I discovered Linda had died so many years ago, and so young, those old regrets and feelings for her surfaced again.

    I do want to make peace with this, and I am sure I will sometime in the future. I just don't understand why these emotions about Linda are so powerful 48 years after I last saw her.