Dealing with Grief/Loss

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 09, 2008 12:22 AM GMT
    So a great gentleman I'd been dating until recently passed away last Sunday of unknown causes--he'd turned 34 the May 2nd.

    Right now I'm not entirely sure how to handle this. I vacillate between being completely numb and a complete mess. There's been a great deal of crying, I've met with friends and family, and I've gone to one memorial service and am planning on attending another on the East Coast.

    My Question is how do you deal with this? To have someone with so much potential be taken so inexplicably? I've never been great with dealing with the death of loved ones (grandparents and uncles and aunts), so this is all the more difficult that it's someone I'd been intimate with and shared a great deal in such a short time.

    Thoughts?

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    May 09, 2008 5:44 AM GMT
    First, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I can not imagine what you are going through. There is no easy way to deal with your grief. The loss of anyone close is something that you must work through day by day. There are many stages that you'll go through. It will take some time to adjust, you'll never get over it, but adjusting will come with time. Don't think it will be a year, that doesn't always happen, sometimes it's 2 or 3 yrs. It all depends on the individual person.

    Right now you need to concentrate on memorializing your friend. After that is over, then you'll begin your process of dealing with your grief.

    Good luck and again, my truest sympathies!
  • TonyD

    Posts: 168

    May 09, 2008 5:57 AM GMT
    It doesnt seem like you are vacillating between being a 'mess' (having strong feelings) and being 'numb' (no feelings)..it is a normal cycle of mourning...you are dealng with it just fine. this is normal and you are having feelings about it...I'd be concerned if you stayed soley in the 'numb' stage.

    To understand what has happened to your friend and 'why' is another matter.
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    May 09, 2008 6:01 AM GMT
    We all have or even had to face a passing of a loved one or Family at some stage and its part of Life. Greaving does not help the spirit to depart and yes its hard very hard indeed. The best way for me was to walk in a Park and rest or On a mountain top or somewhere special for you both and just meditate and greave alone as no one else can or will ever understand your loss.

    Hugs xx
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    May 09, 2008 11:25 AM GMT
    We all deal with loss differently. I tend to be the delayed reaction type. How I dealt with my father's death 2 years ago is irrelevant. You need to deal with it in your own way. The important thing is that you do deal with it. Based on what you said, I think your doing just fine. You are a normal man.
    The feelings of loss and sadness are normal as is the issue of 'numb'. K├╝bler-Ross describes the common phases of dealing with grief and tragedy. Most people go through most if not all of the phases.

    1. Denial: "It can't be happening." (numb)
    2. Anger: "Why me? It's not fair."
    3. Bargaining: "Just let me live to see my children graduate."
    4. Depression: "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"
    5. Acceptance: "It's going to be OK."
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    May 09, 2008 11:49 AM GMT
    Hey, I'm sorry to hear of your loss. To read of you losing someone so young is always sad and you have my sympathies.

    I lost my partner of 12 years around 18 months ago and what I can tell you is that the first few weeks and months will be a strange time for you.

    My practical advice would be this:

    1. Don't make any rash or big decisions about your life for the first 12 months.

    2. Keep yourself busy. Yes, you will need to grief and cry but you also need to have a routine and take lots and lots of exercise, it will make you feel so much better.

    3. Remember that you have lots of friends who can help you through this time.

    4. Grief is a natural emotion that humans have evolved to deal with the loss of someone who isn't coming back.

    5. You are only at the beginning of a long journey.

    Take care.
    all the best
    Malcolm x
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 09, 2008 2:00 PM GMT
    I am really sorry to hear about he death of your bf. He was far too young to pass away.

    Crying is actually what I would recommend to someone in your situation. That is the start of the healing process. Feeling numb and asking "why" are pretty typical responses to a sudden tragedy.

    Give yourself time to cope with this, if you find that you are getting really depressed then I would talk to your family doctor to ask whether he/she can refer you to a specialist for depression.
  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    May 09, 2008 8:00 PM GMT
    Hard to hear about your loss. Hugs.
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    May 09, 2008 8:10 PM GMT
    Lost my Dad a couple of weeks ago. My appetite and the desire to work out has been lousy at best. BUT I'm slowly coming back around, yet there are still a lot of issues to deal with ( insurance, lawyers, etc). The memorial service is easy compared to all the other crap I am dealing with now. But all my buds here have been a big comfort. Thanks, guys!icon_wink.gif
  • joeindallas

    Posts: 484

    May 09, 2008 11:43 PM GMT
    Harder to deal with since he was a younger age and I am assuming from your posting this death came as a total surprise. Most of the deaths I can relate to have been thru my family. Both parents had long term illnesses, and even though I had pain when they died, I was also I was happy that they were out of their pain and suffering.
    My sister was killled in an automobile accident. That came as a total surprise. It was teh hardest thing to take. She had stayed over the day before her death, she asked be to shovel here out and move my car. I gave her grief saying I ws not her valet. Not hateful but I remember that to this day.

    Remember, the man in the bet possible light, and the pain will be easier to handle.
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    May 10, 2008 12:47 AM GMT
    I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. There are no rules to grieving. Everyone's experience is different and you just have to let run it's course. The more you try to control, direct or limit it, the longer it's going to draw out. The ups and downs will appear whenever and wherever regardless of how prepared you are for them. Keep your friends around you and don't feel bad if you fall to pieces unexpectedly from time to time. It's just how it works.

    *big hugs*
  • SFTraveler

    Posts: 171

    May 10, 2008 1:02 AM GMT
    I agree with virtually all the comments posted already.
    I also believe it's important for you have someone you can talk to so you can simply express your feelings. Sometimes, having someone who just listens is very helpful.
    My prayers are with you.
    icon_sad.gif
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    May 10, 2008 5:19 AM GMT
    You're both in my thoughts. Sudden deaths are very hard to deal with, I think everyone else has said it all.
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    May 10, 2008 5:37 AM GMT
    You just have to feel what you need to feel, Even if you have to go do it in private. Our minds are naturally able to cope with death and loss if we let it do it's job and not try to block out and repress.

    When my baby brother died, my mother would get up in the morning and softly cry as she made coffee as she would always make him coffee before they went to work in the morning. She did this for about a year and slowly the grief settled.

    So express your grief in the way it feels natural for you. Eventually dying flesh will become living memory .. that has a lot more than surface meaning when it comes to the transition part of grieving. I wrote a very personal journal from this, the strongest grief I had experienced, and learned a lot from it.
  • HereNBoston

    Posts: 221

    May 10, 2008 8:15 AM GMT
    I'm really sorry to hear about everything you're going through. Everyone tends to handle it differently. the key is to just let it flow in a way. my patients always ask me how to best cope with loss, and I always say that the best way is whatever way feels natural.

    take some comfort in routine. give yourself time to think and process things when you need it. definitely take comfort in friends and family, and don't be afraid to show emotion. acknowledge the good and the bad feelings and accept them. don't be afraid to seek out positive distractions like hanging out with friends, working out, pursuing hobbies.

    in terms of right now.. just focus on letting out whatever you feel. keeping a journal is a great idea. when you're ready it might help to make a mini memorial.. just for you. a scrapbook, plant a tree, make a contribution to a charity, anything. whatever you feel is best.

    It'll just take time, so be patient. If you still feel like you need a little more help you can look up some online resources or get a referral from your doc.
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    May 10, 2008 10:10 AM GMT
    I don't have any advice to offer since I have never been in a similar situation, but my deepest condolences nonetheless. icon_sad.gif *hug*
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    May 11, 2008 6:09 PM GMT
    I was just about to take off when I saw this post. It touched my heart and wanted to make sure I got this to you before I left.

    Please accept my sincere condolences. Sudden death is very different than an expected death and causes a very different response and makes the grieving process even harder to handle.

    I lost my partner in a tragic car accident a little over 8 years ago. I went completely numb. I never shed a tear. The one thing I refused to do was actually grieve. Not by choice. It just seemed to be my own mental state of mind on auto pilot trying to protect me. Looking back on it, I think my inner fear was that once I started grieving I'd never stop or perhaps if I took that journey I'd have to admit he was really gone.

    I also felt an obligation to prove to all those concerened that I was still in control of life. Especially when it came to my emotions. When I finally sought out therapy because things really got out of hand ( started having panic attacks out of nowhere and had no idea thats what they were because all the emotion needed a release at that point ) I learned one of the things that happens with sudden death is that we feel as if we have lost control. In fact, I was so into gaining any control I took "perfectionist" to a new level.

    So my advice to you right now is to grieve all you want. Let it out. Cry, scream in a pillow, ask why? a million times. Cuss, get angry, use these boards to vent etc... do whatever you want while letting this out but let it out. It's ok to grieve.

    Find a group of survivors specifically dealing with sudden and unexpected death. The grieving process over this type of death is very different. Although we acknowledge death is a part of the process we never embrace sudden death as acceptable in our world. When it happens in this manner we feel very alone. We feel like no one could possibly understand this type of sudden death. Couple that with being a gay man and you really feel out there and all alone thinking that others either won't understand your love for another man or reject that you have a right to grieve like so called normal straight people. Thats all bullshit. Your loss is as valid as anyone elses.

    Do not fear the word "counseling" either. I also learned later on that grief counseling is highly recommended when it involves sudden unexpected death. Call your local mental health and see whats available in your area.

    You're going to have to take care of yourself as well. I know thats a tall order right now but it's a must. Get rest. Even if you just lay there and close your eyes but don't actually drift off to a dream state. Watch what you eat. Stay hydrated. Lean towards finding a hobby that brings you comfort. Yard work if you enjoy it can be very beneficial. Some type of cardio is excellent as well. When you feel completely empty keep reminding yourself about tough times in the past and how you over came those tough times.

    My heart goes out to you. I know at this time it's hard to digest that you will arrive at acceptance but you will. Do yourself a huge favor. Right now embrace every positive memory of that person. Don't ever forget...They may be gone physically but death will never have complete power to take those precious memories away. They are yours forever. Thats the special gift your loved one has left you for eternity.