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Old 10-15-2012, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,083 posts, read 5,498,726 times
Reputation: 6407

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When my Mom died eight months ago, I felt very comforted going to Mass every week at her church in Florida. I picked up a booklet called "Grieving with the Help of your Catholic Faith". But then I came back home and didn't really get very far reading it....I was thinking it would be all about religion and, meh, I really wasn't into it.

However, I just decided to look at it and, so far, it has been unbelievably helpful in understanding the grieving process. All I really knew, prior to the booklet, was the "stages" of grief -- shock, denial, anger, etc. But the booklet addresses so many other parts of the process, such as:

What caused this? (being pre-occupied with questions about how the death occurred)
What if...? (being tortured by what-if questions)
Why do I feel the need to keep telling everyone what happened?
Why do I feel so tired?

I have gone through every one of these feelings, and had no idea they are all "normal" parts of the grieving process. For example, I really wanted to know what happened to my Mom and whether she was conscious when the EMTs arrived. I actually thought about trying to get the EMT report. But then, I reconsidered, afraid that the more I knew, the more upset I'd become. I was so glad to read that my obsession was completely normal.

Just wanted to share...
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:46 AM
 
Location: Olympia, WA
363 posts, read 405,210 times
Reputation: 699
Thanks for posting that Avalon. I too had the same questions about my husband. He was already gone when I got up in the morning to check on him. I could tell he was not breathing, but I just could not bring myself to go into the room and check on him. I called my neighbor and close friend to come over; she went in and searched for a pulse and found none.

When the paramedics/fire/police came, they confirmed that he was gone. The funeral director came to take his body. I did ask them all when they thought he passed, and they thought he had been dead for about 5-6 hours. So shortly after I went to bed he died.

I felt so guilty for a long time that I didn't stay in his room with him, but his breathing was so labored that it was difficult to watch him. I knew the end was coming.

God answered my prayers and took him in his sleep. But you are right, there are so many forms of grief that I am amazed, but glad, thanks to your post, to know that I am "normal."
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,083 posts, read 5,498,726 times
Reputation: 6407
I also feel guilty....I did not call my Mom that night. I had been out, and by the time I got home it was 10 PM and I didn't want to wake her. I also saw that she sent an e-mail at 6 PM, so I figured I'd call her the next day. But sometime that night, she fell in her room in assisted-living, hit her head and had a massive brain injury. If I had called and not gotten an answer, maybe I could've gotten help to her before it was too late. Or maybe she wouldn't have fallen to begin with. I can't blame the staff, they had checked on her at 7:30 and then when they came in a few hours later, she was on the floor.

It's always the night you don't call or visit that they pass over, it seems.

I'm glad my post helped you, TN.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Texas
25 posts, read 26,446 times
Reputation: 64
Avalon, I'm so glad you realized that what you were feeling was "normal." What is normal anyway? Everyone reacts differently to the grieving process, however there are "typical" reactions and emotions. It's always good to feel validated. I hope you will put down that guilt of not calling your Mom that night; the whole reason you didn't was because you cared enough not to disturb her. Sounds like you showed her lots of love and attention; let that replace any guilt, regrets or what-ifs.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,083 posts, read 5,498,726 times
Reputation: 6407
Quote:
Originally Posted by tngirl205 View Post
Thanks for posting that Avalon. I too had the same questions about my husband. He was already gone when I got up in the morning to check on him. I could tell he was not breathing, but I just could not bring myself to go into the room and check on him. I called my neighbor and close friend to come over; she went in and searched for a pulse and found none.

When the paramedics/fire/police came, they confirmed that he was gone. The funeral director came to take his body. I did ask them all when they thought he passed, and they thought he had been dead for about 5-6 hours. So shortly after I went to bed he died.

I felt so guilty for a long time that I didn't stay in his room with him, but his breathing was so labored that it was difficult to watch him. I knew the end was coming.

God answered my prayers and took him in his sleep. But you are right, there are so many forms of grief that I am amazed, but glad, thanks to your post, to know that I am "normal."
Wish I was there to give you a hug -- well, how about a virtual hug? This forum has been so helpful, especially hearing from so many others who have lost a loved one. I had never experienced the loss of an immediate family member (I was not close to my father when he died), so I had no idea what to expect in the range of emotions.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,174,193 times
Reputation: 3514
Avalon08...So sorry about your Mom. I'm glad the booklet helped you...Sometimes nothing seems to "help me" right now. I feel like I am trying to "ride-out" a "bad storm." Have you ever felt like this?...But I take comfort in knowing that storms don't last forever. Eventually the rain and wind will calm down and the sun will start to "peek-out" bit by bit...I think we have a lot of lessons to learn from nature and the changing seasons etc. Don't you?...We have to go through Winter to be able to appreciate Spring...I live in the hot desert so it's reversed for me...When it's 120 outside on a hot Summer day I keep telling myself that the heat won't last forever. And I start counting the days until we see the first signs of Fall...Anyway it's sure hard to lose someone who made our world "go round" and someone who "brightened" up our "skies.".. And everything seems "barren" and "bleak" without them...Guess we have to go through a "Winter of discontent" before we can start to see some sunshine "peek-through" again. Don't you think?....And maybe our loved ones will send us a special rainbow. (To help us put some "color" and "wonder" back in our life again!)
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:57 AM
 
1,627 posts, read 2,637,003 times
Reputation: 2047
Very well said, CA.
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