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The Floodgates Are Open... Let The Work Begin!

lovingwifedeb's picture
Posts: 183
Joined: Aug 2010

"Feeling the pain follows accepting the loss. Trying to avoid pain is natural, but only prolongs the process. You may try to cut off your feelings, to keep yourself too busy to feel or think, or to dwell only on pleasant memories. The pain will eventually appear in another form, such as depression or illness. Feeling the pain may be the hardest part of grieving, so receiving help and support from others is essential. Remember, pain is a necessary part of healing."

I just read this and thought I would share it with you/others... I'm new at this level of grief (husband dying, and 9 days earlier my mother died of lung cancer) so any information is good information for me to hear. My husband passed on May 27th, I've been counting days since he was diagnosed with melanoma last year on Father's Day. I hope to one day get tired of counting days... it has not only affected my happy memories I allowed it to affect the time I had left with him.

So... "Feeling the pain follow accepting the loss"... well after getting through the death of the two people I have shared my most private thoughts with I now feel very much alone on this earth. Yes... I am old enough to stand up on my own two feet, wise to know life goes on, know that my husband would not want me to linger in sadness for very long, nor would my mother. Strength got me through a tough year, a very rough road of cancer and so on... now I fall into the downhill slide of facing my own feelings? Ya, right. What's this? One huge cold sore on my lip which I haven't had for years... ready or not those feelings are coming my way.

Trying to avoid pain? What do I do? I used to drink more... I get Migraines really bad so that won't work for me now. Food is a good substitute but when you are only 5 feet that is pretty silly because pretty soon you become wider than you are tall. I like to read... which is good because maybe I will read something useful on grief... OK... Gothic novels don't make you cry... I have a glass mosaic project I need to finish... I think my husband would really appreciate it and be proud that I got it off the table finally.

Feeling good again?
Really good in the heart sense?
How do you begin the process?
How do you start to enjoy life again?


Husband, May 27th, 2011
Mother, May 19th, 2011


luz del lago's picture
luz del lago
Posts: 452
Joined: Jul 2010

You're here, that's good. You're showing concern for others, that's good. You're reaching out, that's good.

As you say, must feel the pain in order to heal. And I think the release of the pain, by writing, by talking, even by absorbing oneself into a project can be so beneficial. It beats curling up in the fetal position! Although, there are times that even that can help!

In my new journey I have discovered that any and all of these actions/reactions are "okay". You're right, keeping busy can help, but not so busy that you don't allow yourself to feel. I did that for awhile, seemed to work, accomplished much, but eventually the gates did burst!

Many days feel as if I'm navigating uncharted waters, without a compass. There is frustration and fear at times, but when I find my direction, it is a triumph. I know I am being guided by a power beyond me, I am sustained and protected. I hang on to this.

To say it gets better is kind of ridiculous, when there was a time that the only "better" was to have my beloved husband healthy and by my side. But, maybe not so ridiculous now, as better is simply being able to smile a little more. Better is holding my grandbaby tight and looking into her beautiful blue eyes. And yes, better is feeling that through our experiences we may be able to comfort another.

Take care, dear one. Be patient with yourself. You will begin to feel "better", I promise. It won't come in one big monumental moment, but rather in tiny drops.


karenbeth's picture
Posts: 194
Joined: Sep 2010

I don't really have any advice for you--I am a fellow traveller on this journey through loss and grief. It's true that if we push the pain away instead of allowing ourselves to feel it, it will surface somehow anyway. When I was caring for Frank during his illness the only way I could approach it was one day at a time--thinking too far ahead led me into overwhelming dark places. It's the same with grieving, I think, only instead of focusing on taking care of someone else, we are now having to take care of ourselves. The only way I know to do that is to just keep living my life--right now it feels like simply going through the motions, getting through each day one at a time, but I have faith that actually enjoying it and feeling "good in the heart sense" as you said will come with time.
Peace to you,

Conchal's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: Apr 2011

...of making sense of each day is sometimes very hard, especially for those of us here. You have had some tremendous losses all within a short time span. I think that only the passage of time will help you, but each of us has our own way of dealing with loss and with time's passage. Reaching out is great.

My father had a stroke seven years ago. In the hospital, they found a massive tumor in his abdomen, and he died within one week. I was able to visit him briefly when this happened, but was not there when he passed. It took me months to really get over this, and there were times right after that when I literally could not remember conversations I had with others. I also did not follow thru on a few things I said I would handle, too..nothing seemed particularly important to me at that time. I'm sure I let some people down, but I did not mean to do that. The sudden death of my father changed everything, and news of it, as we know, is only a phone call away. Only the passage of time helped me accept his death. Personally, I do not believe there is any other way to deal with loss except to let the waves of time wash over us. We cope with death, but we don't really get over it. We incorporate it into our lives in one way or another, and the manifestations of loss come in many unexpected ways. Give yourself time and space to cope, Deb. Healing comes on like spring...one day it seems better than the day before, for example, and we remember the best days among all of them.

My wife had surgery for urethral cancer in April and I have been her caregiver thru that and in other times in our past (she had a bout with squamous cell carcinoma about a dozen years ago, too). I have been there for her every step of the way. For us, cancer has crystallized things in our lives and we have left some things (and some people) behind. We do not regret that; we have enough other things to contend with these days and regret is not one of them.

I have read many of your posts and I have been moved by them, Deb. I wish you all the best in the days ahead.


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