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Old 04-07-2012, 05:54 PM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
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I tend to keep my 'hysterical grief' to myself when it happens.

But a mother who is losing a child - gets a pass from me for a little hysteria. I can't imagine the pain of that.

I was a rock when my mother was dying of cancer at home ~ played the role of hospice nurse (cause they aren't there 24/7 and I'm no nurse); suctioned her throat; held her hand as she took her last breath.

But one year later - when I put my beloved maltese, Casper, to sleep - I totally lost it. Go figure. I feel bad about it because the Vet kept asking me if I was SURE that I wanted to be in the room. I do feel like I probably stressed Casper out instead of helping him pass. I really don't know what happened to me. But I didn't fall to the floor or throw my dead dog.

Still, I avoided that Vet's office for several years.

I watched the movie you are referring to and the mother's hysteria is not what stands out in my mind. I think we saw it with different eyes.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:23 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,182 posts, read 50,480,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringo1 View Post
I tend to keep my 'hysterical grief' to myself when it happens.

But a mother who is losing a child - gets a pass from me for a little hysteria. I can't imagine the pain of that.

I was a rock when my mother was dying of cancer at home ~ played the role of hospice nurse (cause they aren't there 24/7 and I'm no nurse); suctioned her throat; held her hand as she took her last breath.

But one year later - when I put my beloved maltese, Casper, to sleep - I totally lost it. Go figure. I feel bad about it because the Vet kept asking me if I was SURE that I wanted to be in the room. I do feel like I probably stressed Casper out instead of helping him pass. I really don't know what happened to me. But I didn't fall to the floor or throw my dead dog.

Still, I avoided that Vet's office for several years.

I watched the movie you are referring to and the mother's hysteria is not what stands out in my mind. I think we saw it with different eyes.
Agree with the bolded. I'd probably have to go into some kind of soft room where I couldn't hurt myself if that happened to me.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:34 PM
 
15,824 posts, read 18,434,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
I was watching the movie 'My Sister's Keeper' the other day with my mother. In the movie, one of the daughters is dying and the mother reacts by basically becoming hysterical...yelling, trying to control every detail of the family's life, completely losing it when the daughter makes various decisions about her own life, etc.

My mother made the comment that this behavior was okay 'because she's not in her right mind'. This is the same excuse she uses to justify her own hysterical behavior when emergencies happen.

I actually get angry when people display this kind of behavior and then brush it off without even apologizing. I feel like it makes the situation all about them, even if they aren't the primary person affected, and makes it harder for everyone to cope. I used to see it all the time when I worked as a vet tech. For example, a family came in to have their dog euthanized. The wife started screaming and literally rolling around on the floor...while her two young children huddled against the wall terrified of their own mother's behavior. I saw a woman literally throw her dead dog at the receptionist and start rolling on the floor in the waiting room (for some reason rolling is a popular thing to do when your pet dies).

Is this kind of behavior justified? Would you consider anyone who reacted this way mentally ill, and would that change your opinion of the behavior? I feel guilty for being so angry about this type of thing, but I honestly want to just grab the person and shake them until they stop. But maybe they really can't control it...in which case, can my anger be justified?
I think rolling around is extreme. But, you're making someone else's grief about You, asking if you are justified in being angry at their display. You could probably use some empathetic understanding....unfortunately life does have a way of giving us those lessons unfortunately. Be kind, don't add your disdain to someone that is already at the end of their rope.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
Fainting would not make me angry, as it strikes me as more of a physical response (albeit a physical response to emotional trauma)

I recognize that different people have different responses. But when I've witnessed a ten year old boy calmly tell his parents that it was time to let Ginger rest and be out of pain....

My issue is that a person's response doesn't just affect them. When you throw yourself to the floor and scream in front of your children, you're teaching them that this is the appropriate response to grief. You're also giving them no space to have their own grief and emotion, because all attention goes to you. Now instead of just already dealing with their dog dying, which is difficult enough as it is, they have to deal with fear, confusion, and quite possibly anger of their own.

Again coming back to the movie, the mother's response made her daughter's process of dying much more difficult than it already was. Her daughter had to both comfort her mother and fight against her to die the way she wanted.

My mother gets hysterical in emergency situations, or what she perceives to be an emergency. So she was painting something and spilled the paint. Instead of calmly responding, she panicked and carrying towels dripping with paint through the house, getting the paint all over the new carpet. I tried to look up how to get latex paint out of carpet, but she proceeded to scream hysterically in a rage for me to stop wasting time and help. She then started scrubbing the paint into the carpet with a brush, which was the absolute worst thing she could have done.

What could have been a minor mess took me hours to clean up and required a steam cleaner. But she was 'upset' and 'not in her right mind'...so none of that counts, I guess? Screaming at me doesn't count? Making a small disaster into a huge one doesn't count?

To me, hysterical behavior while grieving is the same thing. It take what is already a painful situation and keeps escalating it...and again, everyone around that person now had to devote their energy to them and none to their own emotions.
Screaming at you to help her clean up the spilled paint is very different than grief. You're talking about different subjects. Your Mother was frustrated, angry at your non-action...and possibly hysterical....but not grieving over the spilled paint. Maybe do some reading about grief and loss so that next time you are confronted w/ someone's grief you will have some constructive comforting words and some objectivity. There is no place for anger towards a person who is grieving imo.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:01 AM
 
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One thing about grief, is how personal it is, that is why I don't like people judging others based on their response to a death of a child. Some people just go numb, and switch into auto pilot, just to make it thru the day. Hysterical grief is almost, a "luxury" that many people who still have to take care of other kids, go to work, run a home, plan a funeral, just don't have time for....
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:14 AM
 
Location: 39 20' 59"N / 75 30' 53"W
15,709 posts, read 22,756,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
Is this kind of behavior justified? Would you consider anyone who reacted this way mentally ill, and would that change your opinion of the behavior? I feel guilty for being so angry about this type of thing, but I honestly want to just grab the person and shake them until they stop. But maybe they really can't control it...in which case, can my anger be justified?
For drama queens, it wouldn't be out of character.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:57 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanND View Post
Screaming at you to help her clean up the spilled paint is very different than grief. You're talking about different subjects. Your Mother was frustrated, angry at your non-action...and possibly hysterical....but not grieving over the spilled paint. Maybe do some reading about grief and loss so that next time you are confronted w/ someone's grief you will have some constructive comforting words and some objectivity. There is no place for anger towards a person who is grieving imo.
Hmm, I don't agree. Grief comes out in fits and starts after the main part is over and sometimes can manifest as anger or just an inability to cope with minor things going wrong. Those who dealt with a death like a rock may fall apart later and those who aren't good at showing sadness may be just fine at showing madness.

Recently I have lost my mother and my beloved grandmother and while I"m mostly over crying about it, sometimes I'm shocked at how angry I get about minor things and my coping skills are getting less with each major event in my life. Add to that hormonal changes and you have an explosive combination. Let's put it this way--the way I am now, I would probably be reacting much the same way as this woman did with her dd and it would have nothing to do with hating my dd or being angry at her inaction, and everything to do with the stress and the loss and the grief. I'm just unable to cope with things like that now.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:45 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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I find the rolling-on-the-floor bit interesting. I had heard from my friend who worked at a funeral home that some woman came in and did that when she saw her husband in the casket. He said they (the funeral home staff) just stood there and watched as she rolled on the floor from one end of the room to the other. Eventually another relative appeared and went to help her.

But I've never witnessed anyone ever actually rolling on the floor to express grief.

I do think that if I saw some mother rolling around on a veterinarian's floor in front of her children, it would be hard for me not to kick her.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:23 PM
 
2,740 posts, read 6,980,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
One thing about grief, is how personal it is, that is why I don't like people judging others based on their response to a death of a child. Some people just go numb, and switch into auto pilot, just to make it thru the day. Hysterical grief is almost, a "luxury" that many people who still have to take care of other kids, go to work, run a home, plan a funeral, just don't have time for....

Interesting timing of this thread as the APA (American Psychiatric Association) is currently debating this very topic for the, soon to be released, DSM V.

Is Grief a Mental Illness? | Brain Blogger

You guys have figured out that grief reaction is predicated on many factors, culture, upbringing, personality, environmental factors etc, etc.

Why can't the APA figure this out?
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:07 PM
 
2,873 posts, read 4,538,665 times
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Originally Posted by JanND View Post
I think rolling around is extreme. But, you're making someone else's grief about You, asking if you are justified in being angry at their display. You could probably use some empathetic understanding....unfortunately life does have a way of giving us those lessons unfortunately. Be kind, don't add your disdain to someone that is already at the end of their rope.
The thing is, I do feel a great deal of empathy. I'm just feeling it toward the children or other people who aren't getting the chance to feel their own grief. That's the point I keep bringing up that no one is really fully addressing.
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