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Old 07-12-2018, 12:56 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,062 posts, read 17,917,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
As anyone who has been around those with dementia, Alzheimer's, or people with strokes can attest, grief does not always transcend the limits of the brain. Memory itself is a bit of a mystery still, so I would not be as assertive with that posit as you are.

The issue of finances after the death of a spouse is better discussed in economics/personal finances, please.
Don't be foolish. We are not talking about anyone with Alzheimer's, dementia, or any brain trauma.

We were also not discussing finance, per se.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:10 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,975 posts, read 2,817,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamiznluv View Post
That is absolutely not true!!! You NEVER not have some grief buried deep down inside you! Unless of course, you did not love that person.
Yeah -- I struggled with that comment as I was writing it. There are different levels of grief and the intensity changes but the loss is there forever. I no longer have grief as a constant companion filling the void after almost eleven years (this month) but I still have a profound sense of loss and consider what might have been on a daily basis.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:01 PM
 
16,749 posts, read 19,427,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
I went to a grief class a year after my wife died. The other participants were about 90 days or less from their loss and hoped they were almost through grieving. They were not happy to see me because they were certain that grief lasted about three or four months. Maybe in some circumstances. My mom was in a nursing home for seven years and became mostly unresponsive the last six months so most of the grieving took place months before she died. You will miss someone forever but the grief will eventually diminish to nothing over time.



First off sorry for your loss.

But grief doesn't become nothing, it changes yes, but it doesn't ever just disappear.

The grief never goes away, because the love never goes away.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:28 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
15,487 posts, read 17,987,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
The grief never goes away, because the love never goes away.
But at some point, you have to ask - What is the purpose of grieving forever? It won't bring that person back in your life.
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
But at some point, you have to ask - What is the purpose of grieving forever? It won't bring that person back in your life.
There does not need to be a purpose to a feeling. A feeling is just there. It is not a decision. No one thinks that we can bring the person back. But real love never dies. It is the nature of love.

Some grief can diminish to almost nothing, I think. When we grieve over our lost cousin, the parent that we were never that close to, the neighbor who was really nice, but is gone, even grandparents. But some grief can never get to that "nothing" point. The two that come to mind as the most intense are a beloved spouse and a child. They can be life shattering and extremely intense, and may remain in various degrees for years, or for a lifetime. But I allow that some people are extremely close to a parent or grandparent, etc, and it can be the same.

You are asking the question in terms of logic. Feelings are not logical.
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
[/b]


But grief doesn't become nothing, it changes yes, but it doesn't ever just disappear.

The grief never goes away, because the love never goes away.
Please allow me to illustrate your point. I have a friend who lost her husband about nine years ago. They had a loving and committed marriage, three kids, a good life. About 7 years after her husband's death, my friend met a widower. They are now living together, are happy, and are having a great time. But if you sit down in a quiet moment and ask her about her first husband, she will tear up. She will tell you about their love. She loves her current partner, too. But it is a different relationship, as it should be. She will never lose her love for her first husband, nor will the grief at losing him ever be reduced to nothing. Love lasts forever.

I have told this story before, but I will repeat it because it illustrates the point. My grandmother had a son who died at age 2.5, long before I was ever around. She had 5 other children. She was a great grandma - loving, giving, cheerful, and possessing a happy peace that was infectious. But when she died, she was buried, as requested, with one of the little outfits of her lost baby in her arms. She never lost the grief over losing that child, even though she lived a happy, long life. Love lasts forever.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:38 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,975 posts, read 2,817,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamiznluv View Post
TIME is the great healer.....if you let it be. It took me over 4 years to come out of my grief most of the way. It's been 6 1/2 years now but now I am a functional human being again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
Sungrins, I don't think a year is a long time for grieving a spouse. I hope the grief class was helpful.
The grief class was not particularly helpful but it gave me a few points to ponder that, in the long run, might have been beneficial. The darkest grief that we experience at first -- the debilitating grief that sometimes will even change our brain chemistry can become pathological and obsessive. Everyone has to find their own way out of the black hole. In my case, I had a daughter going through the same feelings. To this day she has no memory of almost four months following my wife's passing. I quit my part-time job and sat at home for about 18 months doing mostly nothing -- more like a robot than anything else. When I said earlier that grief will eventually diminish to nothing I'm talking about that darkest experience where grief occupies the gaping hole that we feel. The profound loss we feel is different and stays with you but is more manageable. We have to function in the real world and escape the darkest grief and sometimes we need help doing it. The class I attended was very faith-oriented and there was a religious message that seemed a little over the top.

One thing that helped me more than the class was making new friends -- people who did not know my late wife. This sounds very odd but for many of my old friends and acquaintances, I was "poor old Sungrins" the guy that lost his wife. It became part of my identity with many people and that was not a good place to be after a couple years. The new friends were aware of my loss but were not so deeply invested in it. One such group was a weekly bocce club where I had to be at a certain time every week. Many of my old close friends (who I still have and care deeply about) were also grieving. My wife was the social partner in our marriage so I had to learn how to make friends and discovered I could do it. These were baby steps that got me out of the darkest grief. As I said earlier, it has been nearly eleven years and I still have daily feelings of profound loss but not the darkest and debilitating grief. I've been in conversations where people talk about recovering or managing PTSD and some of that feels familiar. Of course, everyone is different.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,364 posts, read 21,386,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkalot View Post
For some I think it hits them harder after the first month. There is a lot to do when a person dies. When that slows down it can really hit you.
There is a lot to do. I seem to look like the most viable person to deal with everyone's estate. Three times and I'm done. The paperwork and calls seem endless. You're not allowed to move on--for months.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,702 posts, read 50,755,476 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
Yeah -- I struggled with that comment as I was writing it. There are different levels of grief and the intensity changes but the loss is there forever. I no longer have grief as a constant companion filling the void after almost eleven years (this month) but I still have a profound sense of loss and consider what might have been on a daily basis.
I've been considering the theme brought up that "grief never goes away." I think your response here is both the most accurate and offers the most hope. I need to start out with a statement that some may have some difficulty with - grief is not a medal. There is no inherent honor in grief itself, experiencing grief, or not giving up grief to live a life. Grief is a secondary and subservient emotion to love. To proudly state that love survives is an honoring of love and of the individual that was lost. To proudly state that one is still grieving and will continue to grieve only recognizes that emotions and actions of the survivor. It is a singular experience, and in some ways can be seen as unintentionally narcissistic, or "putting the cart before the horse."

In no way does the above paragraph diminish the impact and feelings of grief, in no way do those statements limit the time that grieving is acceptable. The difference is in what effect the inaccurate word usage can have upon the survivor and those around them as the grief process extends. Reach into your emotions and try to get the feeling of difference between these two statements:

"It has been ten years since my spouse died and I am still in grief over their death."

"It has been ten years since my spouse died and I still love them and miss them dearly."

One statement asserts an attitude of continuing to actively be hurt. The other statement is edifying, in that it builds and supports that ongoing relationship that those who have lost a spouse often have. It recognizes the loss, but does not make it dominant over the continuing love.

What your post brought forward was the idea that as grief ages over the years, it most often shifts more towards a longing, which is only one part of the constellation of feelings that make up grief.

My wife and I sometimes had to have long periods when we were apart. We both had a longing to come back together. That was not grief. Our love was what drove that longing. With longing, there can be sadness and frustration and wishes that the separation would soon be over. That can be strong, but when the two people are alive it is not considered as grief, but a testament to the connectedness of the couple. I suspect it to be similar when one in a couple has died.

I am a widower. That does not define me. My love for my deceased wife continues and that love does not have to always bring me to weeping. More often it expresses as "You would love this!" or "I wish I could share this with you."
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:14 PM
 
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I don't think that Harry is accusing anyone of being proud of being widowed, just saying that this is a pitfall that can happen to some people. We have talked before about aggrieved people assuming that mantle as a permanent identity. If we think of someone only as a griever, even many years later, then there may be a problem. (Like Miss Haversham, the Great Expectations character, who, after being jilted at the alter, wore her wedding dress for the rest of her life and kept her house and table just as it was on that day.) I'm not trying to be flippant, just illustrating that on occasion someone gets stuck.

A couple of years ago, I had a few months where I wondered if I was wearing the "widow" badge too prominently. I started wondering if I was bringing it up more often than necessary to get sympathy and support. I don't really know if I was lapsing into that, but I'm glad I was aware of that possibility. I think the awareness of that pitfall helped me to stay balanced and to keep moving through the grieving process. But now, I am well past any tendency toward that. As with many on this board, I think my grief is integrated - it is a part of me that does not interfere with living, but is always there.
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