Back to heartsupport

I don’t know/dealing with loss

I don’t really know where to begin.

A while back I posted about one of my close friends that was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She had done good for a while and then she got a bone marrow transplant. And then everything started going down hill from there.

She went on the be with the Lord this past Saturday morning. (May 30th)

I can’t right now. I know this is a part of grief but … what do you do when the person you go to for mental health questions, for anything, isn’t there to answer you back. What do you do when you don’t have anyone else to talk to. She was so young. So full of life. She didn’t deserve this. And all I can think about now is how sorry I am that her husband now has to deal with life without her. How we all have to deal with life without her. She held us all together in all the good ways. Why? Just why? It’s hard to not be upset about this. Even though I know the truth, my heart is torn and I don’t know what to do. A part of me wants to keep going because that’s what she would have wanted. And a part of me just wants to give up. I just want to stop hurting.

It doesn’t help that I had to put down my family dog just a couple of weeks prior to this. He was suffering from extreme arthritis, dementia and cancer.

I can’t handle anymore. I just can’t. I don’t want to. This is too much.

3 Likes

@voiceless_wonder,

I read your post several times. My heart goes out to you, friend. Thank you for sharing all of this.

I am so sorry for your losses, sincerely. How you feel and the question you ask are logical, valid and natural. I’m glad you decided to express yourself. It’s so important.

I’m not going to pretend and say “I understand”, because this is your story. But your words hit home, as I too lost someone from a rare form of cancer, two years ago now. He was too young to disappear. He didn’t just happen to be dear to my heart, but was also such a beacon of light and hope in my life. Losing him in these circumstances has shaken my world and my beliefs in a very deep way. Something that people had a hard time to understand was that I had not only been grieving someone I’ve been missing so badly. There was also all of these layers of grief due to how he disappeared. Because it feels just unnatural and unfair.

I see your words. This “why?” you’re asking. And I don’t have the answers. But I do know that it’s okay to ask this. It’s okay to be upset. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to feel, even if it’s intense, even if you don’t know how to deal with all of this right now. It is unfair to lose someone you love and it is unfair to carry this love only by yourself. And it’s okay to wonder how to keep going on.

This pain that you are feeling right now is the reflection of your love for her. It shows how much you care and how important she was to you. Nothing and no one will ever delete that. Love remains. It takes many shapes, and it will keep taking many shapes in your life. It’s a journey. And every day you will keep being in this world, it will not only because she wanted the best for you. It will also be a way to honor this love, her memory and the impact she has on your life, on who you are. She keeps living through you. She is part of your story.

Some days it’s chaotic, I’m not going to lie. Some days there’s just this acute pain and feeling of injustice that remains. But it won’t be your “new normal”. It won’t be omnipresent and crippling as it is now. And saying this doesn’t mean you would forget her either. Of course not.

You will learn, day by day, how to carry this love in a way that would not prevent you to live. Every time you will keep showing up, every time you will take care of yourself, it will be a way to stand up against this feeling of injustice. It will be a way to honor her and let this world know who she was. There is a quote from V.Hugo that I love dearly. He was a french poet and he adressed this to his beloved daughter whom he lost too early in life: “You are no longer where you were, but you are everywhere that I am.

It’s why it means a lot to share all of this, and this photo. Such a beautiful face and smile, friend. You can tell the gentleness just by looking at this photo. Thank you for sharing your heart with us here, so much.

It is a major loss and a sudden change in your life. And I want you to know that you are free to speak and to express yourself every.time.you.need. There is no limit, no timeline, no good or bad way to feel. Only what you feel, and it has to be respected, without any judgment. I hope you know the Support Wall is a safe place and it will still remain. You can come here anytime you need.

Thinking of you. Rooting for you. Sending tons of love to you. :hrtlegolove:

3 Likes

Welcome back @voiceless_wonder - thank you for updating us on what is going on in your life, and reaching out again. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, and I know grief can be incredibly heavy. The space she left in your life can never be perfectly filled by anyone else, but you are not alone. You don’t need to question being upset about this, and the why is something I don’t think we ever really find out, but acceptance comes later… but that does not make it easy. You are very brave, and I can tell you intend to hold her torch and move through life shining her light, the same light she shined into your life. That is amazing to see.

But it is okay for it not to be easy. There is a post that I always look back to and read when I am feeling loss, or grief. I hope that somewhere in these powerful words you find some comfort. We love you, and you do not have to do this alone. Thank you for telling your friend’s story, I hope we get to learn more about her and your relationship with her, and how your story continues with her love to comfort you.

from u/GSnow several years ago: "Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.

As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks."

We love you, we are cheering you on, hold fast. :hrtlegolove:

2 Likes

I’m so sorry to hear that your friend who you were so close to and felt so connected to has passed away and that you’re also feeling the pain of losing a pet. That is so much pain and hurt and my heart goes out to you. I don’t know what to say besides that I’m so so sorry for your loss :broken_heart: Grieve as much as you need to, rest as much as you need to, get angry as much as you need to, but don’t give up.

1 Like

What do you guys do when you can’t sleep? That seems to be when my mind races the most. Like I can’t really focus during the day and I can’t get my brain to shut up at night… I feel like I shut down mentally during the days and then they all surface at night when I lay down.

I made it through the week. But I still feel out of wack. Like all my emotions try to happen at once. It’s hard for me to decent how I should feel. I know what’s an appropriate way to act and I know I shouldn’t act out of anger. But how do I convey how I truly feel without hurting everyone else in the process?

1 Like

Hi @voiceless_wonder,

What do you guys do when you can’t sleep? That seems to be when my mind races the most.

So it’s only a personal perspective, but I hope this could be helpful to you. If I really can’t sleep because my mind is racing, I wouldn’t force myself to sleep. And depending on how I feel I’d:

  1. If I feel like I need to cry: allow myself to cry. As much as needed. As long as needed.
  2. Turn on a light and try to do something else. Something that doesn’t require to focus:
  • Sitting at a window and looking at the stars.
  • Listening to music.
  • Watching TV (a movie, shows… just not the serious programs), a Twitch stream, or listening to a podcast…
  • Drinking something like a tea, a coffee (not if you’re sensible to caffeine or theine of course), a hot chocolate.
  • Writing. Many times, especially during the first months of grief, writing whatever was in my mind really helped me to allow myself to feel. I didn’t do it regularly. It was done more as a kind of impulsive thing. Sometimes I’d feel like my emotions were bottling up and writing helped to express what needed to be out. Generally, it would make me cry, a lot, and I couldn’t finish what I was writing. But it didn’t matter. The point was to finally feel how I needed to feel.
  • “Reading” books with images, like comics or photography ones.

About the anger, I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but for me it happened a lot when I was alone. I’d have crying spells easily and sometimes it was mixed with kind of a very deep anger. My ways to cope with that were:

  • Sometimes I talked out loud with my brother. Even though he was not here anymore. Most of the time I expressed how much I was missing him. But there were moments when I was mad against him. It felt like he abandoned me. It was unfair of me to feel that way, of course it wasn’t the fault of anyone. But through a situation that didn’t make sense to me, I turned my anger internally against everyone: him, myself, my partner, my family, the doctors, the disease, our society, my colleagues… for very different reasons.
  • Writing, again.
  • When I felt this really deep energy inside, and when I was alone, I’d punch in a pillow, as much as possible. I’m absolutely not a violent person and sometimes I wondered if I was crazy to do that. It didn’t happen often, but there was sometimes this burst of energy and anger that needed to be out. If you ever do that, just be careful not to place your pillow on a solid surface. Keep it on your bed or couch or anything soft, so you can stay safe as well.

Generally, doing this exhausted me very quickly, and I would end crying or sleeping a little. If I didn’t sleep, I’d just do something to take care of myself, like for example what’s in the first list above.

In any case, something that I think is really important is: acknowledge your emotions and welcome them as they are, as much as possible. I truly believe that there is no “should” or “shouldn’t” feel when it’s about grieving someone you love. There’s only what you feel.

It’s difficult to accept that sometimes, but it’s really helpful. Again, no matter what you feel, it’s is 100% valid and natural. There’s no judgment to have. And doing that is part of what will help you, with time, to regain some peace. For me, grief felt like a huge wave of nonsense. I had no direction of where I was heading to. I had this feeling like I was running after a train I couldn’t go in. One day I would feel a certain way, the next day it would be different. And I wish I’d be told that there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

If you can’t focus during the day: it’s also okay. It will be better at some point. Maybe you’re working right now, and if so I hope you can ask for some help to your colleagues, also not to accept too many tasks at the same time - if that’s something you can do. And if you feel the need to have a real break, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor to get a medical leave, even just one or two days. It’s okay to get some rest.

Just be kind to yourself. Give yourself the grace you need. One day after another.
:hrtlegolove:

2 Likes

So I have an update. It’s been almost a year now. My best friend’s husband is getting by. He sought out a counselor finally and is dealing. I guess we all are in our own ways. I still have days where the pain comes back full force. And that doesn’t really help me deal with the depression I’ve been fighting for years now. But… I have hope. That will never be taken from me. Even on the days I feel like dying would be better than people dealing with my mess. I still have hope, and people still care.

I still want to fight, for my life, for my heart, and for my soul. And if by some chance I can help others along the way, then that will be awesome too!

I want to thank each of you for your kind words and perspectives. You don’t know how much you have truly helped me while dealing with this and other losses. If you believe in God, then may He bless you so much! If you don’t, I still hope He blesses you and I hope your life is filled with all the love and kindness that you have shown me. Just Thank you!

3 Likes

Thank you so much for the update @voiceless_wonder. I’m so glad to hear that you are dealing with grief waves in a healthy way, that you recognize your strength but also your vulnerability while learning to compose with this loss in your life. There’s a lot of hope and kindness though your words, and I have no doubt that you’ll be able to share that with a lot of people in times to come. You actually just did it here already. You’re wonderful. :hrtlegolove:

1 Like