Author Topic: Hello I am new  (Read 175 times)

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Offline HkDhali

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Hello I am new
« on: May 12, 2019, 09:53:30 AM »
Hi, Grief changes, it is in waves. I think my grief has morphed into something, I try to be stoic and carry on so don't face the loss. I lost my mum 3 years ago this week. She feels like a dream and I miss her dreadfully. I know how ridiculous this sounds. She was 84 and not in the best of health. I can't ask anyone for help. I should be over this by now? Have faced quite a few deaths since then and they just remind me how hard I am finding navigating life.

Offline Sandra61

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Re: Hello I am new
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2019, 11:47:35 AM »
Hello! Welcome to this site. Sending you a welcome hug. :hug:

I too came here after losing my mum - about 19 months ago now. I struggled on with the loss process for almost a year before I found this website, but found it really helped to talk and to read the experiences of others on this site. I needed to talk about what I had been through and what my mum had been through too and I felt better after doing that and I think it helped me to learn to start accepting all that had happened.

It also helped me understand that grief is an ongoing process and that there is no time-limit on it, so no, there is no reason you should be 'over it' after three years and how you feel is far from ridiculous! And finding it hard to navigate your life after such a loss, even three years on (which is really not such a long time) is perfectly normal.

The other crucial thing I learned is that you don't ever really 'get over it'. Grief is something you just learn to live with. Loss changes your life in every way. It changes you; it makes you a different person. How can it not? How can you go through the loss of such a major presence in your life as your mum and not be changed forever by it?

You are right. Grief does come in waves and some days are better than others, but at least you know when you are having a bad day that that will ease and you will have better days again. But not facing your grief and being stoic may not be such a good idea. I find it is better to give in to it and let yourself experience it. It won't do you any good to suppress it or pretend you are OK when you are not and it is OK not to be OK. You have lost one of the people who was more important than any other and present for longer than any other in your life, and someone for whom you probably had a depth of feeling surpassing any other, so how can you expect not to feel that loss and find it more painful than anything else or even any other loss your may experience? I think you have to accept that this is going to be a pain that will be with you for the rest of your life, less sharp at some times than at others and changing over the years, but that it will probably never be gone. That is understandable and normal. How can we stop missing our mum? You can't.

You are not the only one to still be struggling with your loss of your mum after three years. If you read some of the other posts here, you will soon discover that there are plenty of others still struggling with loss after much longer than that. What you will also find hopefully is that that is perfectly normal and perfectly OK. We all process loss at a different rate and in different ways. What matters is that we keep trying to find a way through this and get to a point where we can live with it and find a way to move forward with our life that brings us some happiness and meaning. That will be something different for each of us and that is OK too. What we do here is try to help one another try to do that and hopefully talking here will help you with that.

I found that after I lost my mum, I spent the first six or seven months really struggling in every way and had a bit of a meltdown six months into this process. At that point I struggled to move forward, but found a way to struggle on by making a list of priorities and a plan to get through the list and now that's what I'm doing. I keep reassessing the plan from time to time, but it still makes sense to me a year on, so I persevere.

Also, I found that grief doesn't get any better on its own. You have to work at it. You have to find little strategies that help you. For me, it was little things like having flowers around, as they reminded me that there are still lovely things in the world and their beauty and scent cheered me up a little. Also, I walked in the park quite often, as I found it a calming place in which to sit and explore my feelings and to process all that had happened. I also found it comforting to see the benches placed there in memory of others by those who loved them and still remember and think about them. It showed me that love goes on and that those people have lost may be gone, but are never really forgotten and are still loved.

What helped me the most was finding a new interest to take up. I joined a class doing something my mum also used to enjoy and that gave me something to look forward to each week, got me out of the house (which I think is very important), and made me think about something else for a couple of hours a week and engage with other people, which I found was also important. Grief is such an exhausting and upsetting thing that it is good to have something else to focus on for a while each week. I made new friends there too, who have been very supportive and showed me that life can still be good after such a terrible loss.

I also put together an album of favourite photos of her and lately have been looking at all our old photos. They do help me remember how much we enjoyed our lives together as family, when mum and dad were still around. I know some people create a memory box and fill it with items of sentimental significance that help them remember that person. Some also start a memory book and write down anecdotes about the person that they can then read back when they are missing them. Others write these on scraps of paper that they put in a jar, so that they can pull one out a random and relive that memory without knowing which one they will be pulling out.

I don't think you should ever expect to be 'over it'. I don't think any of us ever is. I think the best we can do is find a way to live with it and to move forward, not by leaving the person we have lost behind, but taking the memory of them and the legacy of their presence forward with us into the remainder of our own life. After all, you are who you are because your mum helped make you into that person, so she is still a part of your life and always will be. Your love for her will never die either for as long as you live, so how can you leave her behind? You can't. The best you can do is to find a way to live with the grief and accept that it will always be a part of you.

It can help to find a way to commemorate the person you have lost, like placing bench somewhere that was special to her in her memory, like the people who put them in the park. Others write messages to their lost loved on and attach them to balloons that they release on special anniversaries. It certainly helps to revisit places you went to together and helps bring back memories of better times that you spent together, but whatever you choose to do, you have to acknowledge that that person existed and made an impact on your life that you can celebrate, even when you are missing them and that however long it takes for you to find a way forward, that is OK and it is normal to struggle with that, but she will never be truly gone from you, because her memory lives on in your heart and your mind.

You are not alone. All of us here understand and are here for a similar reason. We will find our way. So will you, but perhaps you need to 'cut yourself some slack', as the expression goes and let yourself miss your mum and acknowledge that that is alright, no matter how long it is since you lost her. It is unlikely you will ever be who you were before you lost her or that you will ever 'get over it', but why would you? You can't lose someone who has been so important in your life and just forget about them or stop missing them. That is Ok and it always will be.

Keep talking to us and we will always try to help and will be here for as long as you need us.

Sending you strength and an understanding hug.  :hug:


Offline HkDhali

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Re: Hello I am new
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2019, 03:45:28 PM »
Thank you so much. I found I lost a lot of interests.  The one thing that has helped me is pottering in the garden. My mum loved her garden. I am sad I don't have plants or trees from her house. But I have a garden so I can plan in memorial tree for her. It would be a walnut tree for me. Nothing else has really helped. But that is not reaching out to others or to family.

I have a daughter so that is poignant to think about our relationship. Thank you again

Offline Sandra61

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Re: Hello I am new
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2019, 09:15:26 PM »
That sounds lovely and is a positive way to remember her.

It's a long slow process recovering from a loss so close to you, but it will slowly get better. Just be gentle and patient with yourself.

Keep talking to us. We are here for as long as you need us. :hearts:

Offline Karena

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Re: Hello I am new
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2019, 12:47:37 PM »
I lost my mum in 2004 so long ago and yet only yesterday i found myself welling up -over a half roll of wallpaper left over from the last time she decorated her bedroom - or thats what i thought it was, it was just sat in a cupboard but when i pulled the end it turns out she has cut it up i assume for drawer liners - which was typical of my mums waste not want not lifestyle. so a mix of happy as well because it also made me laugh not in a nasty way but because it was so typical of her and  as i was up there waiting for some varnish to dry as i am re-sufacing her scratched dressing table, it is almost as though she wanted me to find the liners-  I will of course now be using them.

Before she died she stayed with us and she loved to watch the birds so we put a feeder next to the window where she could see them. After she died my husband moved the birdfeeder and filled pots with her favourite plants and created an area for me, which was a kind of memorial added a bench and water feature and it became a place i would go just for ten minutes a day or so with a brew - not a sad place but just a time out place. When my husband died i had to move so i took it with me put it in the new garden and added his favourite plants so it remains a refuge - and again not in a sad way though as its full of life.I dont think it matters that it wasnt her plants of his plants but ones which they loved and which was symbolic of them.

Offline green dragon

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Re: Hello I am new
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2019, 12:38:29 PM »
it also made me laugh not in a nasty way but because it was so typical of her

that made me smile, too :-) I love finding stuff like that. One of the things my Mum used to do is tie a string in a rather complicated manner around things she wanted to keep together. It's a bit of a pain to untie but it makes me smile every time!

HkDhali, I think planting one (or more) tree that either your Mum liked or that would mean something for you in remembering her is a great idea. I also want to do the same thing. If we're lucky, they last a long time, they are pretty and make really good reminders. You can even sit underneath and think about the loved one and via the tree you feel their presence a bit more physical, if you miss that (I still do). Also, they are helping the environment. Perfect gift/rememberence, I say.

Offline Karena

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Re: Hello I am new
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2019, 11:24:35 AM »
We dont all have the luxury of the space but my son in laws Aunt in Joburg runs a business from a unit there and at the back is a big piece of what was wasteland - One of her employess was sadly killed,and she planted an idigenous tree, but then had the idea that everytime she gets a new employee they get a tree as well - also familly if some-one marries a new member comes in, if some-one has a baby the baby gets a tree, if some-one dies who hasnt already got a tree - so from before she started doing it then they get one as well - its turned a bit of waste ground into a beautiful oasis, and even though she doesnt own it, so theoretically when she retires some-one might decide to develop on it, she is hoping that it will remain as it is and become her legacy. I think its a lovely idea and even if it does go in the end, it will have helped the environment even temporarilly - but they do tend to value trees out there - maybe because of the heat, but all the new housing estates have trees in the public areas along roadsides etc so i think if a similar size /type of business came in they would probably keep it.

Offline green dragon

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Re: Hello I am new
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2019, 10:58:47 PM »
Karena, that is one of the most beautiful things I have heard :-)