Jan 18, 2008

A few words on grief:

*"Complicated grief can be differentiated from normal grief, in that, normal grief typically involves at least two of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' 5 grief stages, though not necessarily in any order. Complicated grief typically cycles through these 5 stages and then some, processing them out of order and often much more rapidly. Some people commit suicide to end the pain and suffering of grief. Examples of complicated grief can often be found in those who have survived a suicide attempt (Hsu, 2002). While the experience of grief is a very individual process depending on many factors, certain commonalities are often reported. Nightmares, appetite problems, dryness of mouth, shortness of breath, sleep disorders and repetitive motions to avoid pain are often reported, and are perfectly normal. Even hallucinatory experiences may be normal early in grief, and usual definitions will not suffice, necessitating a lot of grace for the bereaved. Complicated grief responses almost always are a function of intensity and timing: a grief that after a year or two begins to worsen, accompanied by unusual behaviors, is a warning sign, but even here, caution must be used; it takes time to say goodbye."

I'm beginning to believe I fall into this category. One day I feel OK with things, the next I am wracked with the question, Why? I spend enormous amounts of energy just trying to accept that what has happened is real. Memories are so bitter-sweet they hurt.

Many people fall into this category, and just as the article states, it takes time. I talked with a neighbor lady, who had just lost her daughter, this past week. She wants to die to be with her daughter again. I am trying to counsel her. I suddenly realized it was like the "blind leading the blind." Sooner or later I would run into a brick wall. And I couldn't fault her reasoning, just repeated platitudes that I had heard.

Perhaps in a way it ties into Babzy's latest post. Perhaps this is something that happens to Highly Sensitive People, or not, I don't know, but it does make sense.

Just give us a little more time. That's all we really need: time.


I am suffering from writer's block. I can't even come up with workable topics, other than this one, and its one I've done dozens of times before. We all suffer through it at one point, I guess.

Maybe my upcoming birthday is throwing me off. (Notice how I inserted that little hint there? Shameless..) I will be fifty-three. I didn't really think I would make it this far with the cancer and all. But, I'm still here. For better or worse.



alphonsedamoose said...

Happy Upcoming Birthday(when?)!Did you know I was going to ask How old?
Maybe you helping the other lady will also be cathartic for you too. Take all the time you need. We will be here.

Anonymous said...

Moose is just hoping there's someone out there older than he is.

Deb, my angel, your grief doesn't need to fall within certain guidelines. The stages of grief give some structure to a horrible process when you can't think straight. You will find peace when you find it. There's no "best before" date.

Helping your neighbour is a good way to create a mini support group for both of you.

If you want to write about your pain and your memories and thoughts about your beautiful boy then do so. You don't need to make it pretty just for us. If you don't want to write anything at all we will still keep checking up on you. I love you. We all do. Don't forget that.

No said...

Deb, I have my normal freak-outs on Christmas and my birthday; what is scary is my family thinks something is abnormal if i don't have them!

alphonsedamoose said...

Babzy , I already know she is just a sweet young thing. I want to know when. LOL

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

Writer's block sucks big blue bull balls.

Shake it of.

But grief is another story. We need to experience it and get through all the stages of it, but must also take care not to wallow in it.

Sometimes, this is an impossible task, as what we might see as letting it out, others can see as unhealthy dwelling.

You'll figure it all out.

And as for the writing, just start typing words. Let them go, wallow in them, even if they are meaningless. Meanings and topics work themselves out. Stream of consciousness is mych more important. Communication is the heart, so let the heart fly. The message will follow the upwelling of words.

just me said...

Moose: its on the 23rd. Poor poor pitiful me.

Babzy, always a bright spot in the storm. Thanks friend. I will take your advice. Travis did some funny things that most people would enjoy hearing, just for the humor of it. And his legacy lives on in two beautiful children.

No, welcome back, stranger. I'm not really freaking out as feeling sorry for, "how did I get so old so fast..." kinda thing.

Eric, If I had a dollar for everytime someone has told me not to wallow in my grief, I would give Bill Gates a run for his money. But, as always, your comments are appreciated. Life does go on. sometimes, that sucks balls.

Anonymous said...

How are you doing?

dawn said...

Despite what you write you are one of the strongest woman I know. Don't you know woman get better with age like a fine wine. I wish I was in VA we would go out and party for your birthday. Mine is coming up in march, and I know how you feel but we all love you and take your wisdom seriously

Spadoman said...

Well, today is the 24th. I missed the becoming an old bag party. You wear glasses to read as you take one more step towards the end of the diving board of life.

Happy Birthday to you, Deb.

It is the sorrow. I have never dealt with the sorrow. I don't think I ever will. All the other signs are apt to happen. If they didn't happen, then we are heartless non caring people. We must have the symptoms of our sorrow. But the sorrow itself becomes part of you.

It's not just your birthday that brings this sorrow to the front. I believe it is unconscious. Every time the occasion to celebrate or share may come around and they aren't there to be with us. Our birthdays, their birthday, other siblings birthdays, holidays, days at the beach, laughter, joy, sadness and love. We have that sorrow, buried deep, sometimes we think and respond to it directly, but it is sorrow.

Knowing what it is isn't helpful except in that now you know what it is. Why does anyone suggest we shouldn't have it? What does a psychologist know about the sorrow in my heart? And why do they think we shouldn't have it?

I have y sorrow and I want it. It is part of me. My life is not my own, I don't control it, and never will.

Peace to you. Peace in your heart.

just me said...

Dawn, thank you for the vote of support. It was sorely needed.

Spadoman, You understand me better than most. I didn't even stop to think about my birthday, and how much I missed that call, "Mama, its the 24th, or the 23rd?" And the call on my birthday, and just the calls.

It's true. Our lives belong to chance, it seems, to the Great Spirit, or to "that which we call" God. We really have no control.

Thanks so much for your warmth, and for understanding. I wish you didn't understand, but it really helps me that you do. It never goes away.

Bless you, kind friend, always.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to yoooooouuuu
Happy birthday to yoooooouuuu
Happy birthday dear Deb
Happy birthday to yooooouuuu.

Ew I think that was a little out of tune. Need to go to the karaoke bar more often.

You did say your birthday is soon but somebody forgot to tell me which day. Jan 24th? Right? Yesterday? I'm older than you are.