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Old 10-09-2018, 11:45 AM
 
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I wanted to co-sign on the concept that everyone's journey with grief is unique as it ebbs and flows throughout one's life.

Eeko, I think your considering returning to a support group is a great idea. I'm told that the group I am about to join has a number of repeat attendees.

I'm very sorry for your loss and how difficult it has been for both you and your father.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:27 PM
 
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I lost my mother when I was just a 4 year old boy. She was just 25 years old when she died of malaria. We were too poor to buy her treatment. That was 40 years ago and her death will haunt me until the day I die. I still remember that evening like it was yesterday. So, I don't think 3.5 years is long enough to let the pain subside.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:41 AM
 
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Thank you so much for all these responses - I know I will be going back on here on re-reading them since they really do help. Some of you have mentioned how you lost more than your loved one - the loss of identity, your place in life, perhaps having to move to a new town, etc. I have that, too, and some days it is more than I can bear. Moving, struggling with career issues (I think my depression and grief has impacted me to a certain cognitive extent and I struggle in my field which is accounting). It's like I don't know who I am anymore or what to do. I was "the one who took care of my mom".

I am filled with deep regret that I wasn't kinder to her prior to the stroke. She could be "difficult", argumentative, and was not a warm person, but that doesn't mean someone doesn't love you or feel deep emotion. I wish I had been more patient. I only hope there was a part of her after her stroke that knew I was there for her. I hope she knows I loved her more than anyone in the world.

Thank you for the George Anderson suggestions - I will be buying We Don't Die and We are not Forgotten.

Ironically, while I loved my father very much, his death did not have this effect on me. We just were not as close, I guess.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,402 posts, read 3,537,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeko156 View Post
Thank you so much for all these responses - I know I will be going back on here on re-reading them since they really do help. Some of you have mentioned how you lost more than your loved one - the loss of identity, your place in life, perhaps having to move to a new town, etc. I have that, too, and some days it is more than I can bear. Moving, struggling with career issues (I think my depression and grief has impacted me to a certain cognitive extent and I struggle in my field which is accounting). It's like I don't know who I am anymore or what to do. I was "the one who took care of my mom".

I am filled with deep regret that I wasn't kinder to her prior to the stroke. She could be "difficult", argumentative, and was not a warm person, but that doesn't mean someone doesn't love you or feel deep emotion. I wish I had been more patient. I only hope there was a part of her after her stroke that knew I was there for her. I hope she knows I loved her more than anyone in the world.

Thank you for the George Anderson suggestions - I will be buying We Don't Die and We are not Forgotten.

Ironically, while I loved my father very much, his death did not have this effect on me. We just were not as close, I guess.

Have no regrets, Eeko. You were there when she needed you the most. Focus on that.

Hoping you try new antidepressants as recommended by your MD, as cognitive decline can be part of depression. YOU JUST HAVE TO KEEP TRYING THEM TO FIND THE RIGHT ONE(S).
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Old 10-13-2018, 04:40 PM
 
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Sometimes it helps me to follow in her steps. She was active in cat rescue, and it makes me feel better to feed my feral cat, because I know it would make her smile. I try to find comfort in those kinds of things. Even watching tv shows that we both liked can sometimes help my mood.
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:24 PM
 
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That's not really "everything" you're supposed to do. You have to also make an effort to pull together your life and move on. Your grief is normal, so anti-depressants, as if you had a mental problem, aren't really appropriate. You have to reach out to friends, spend time doing things that interest you, look toward the future. You know that's what your mother would have wanted for you. Of course it will get better. But you have to participate.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarallel View Post
That's not really "everything" you're supposed to do. You have to also make an effort to pull together your life and move on. Your grief is normal, so anti-depressants, as if you had a mental problem, aren't really appropriate. You have to reach out to friends, spend time doing things that interest you, look toward the future. You know that's what your mother would have wanted for you. Of course it will get better. But you have to participate.
According the APA, 3.5 years of intense grief is not clinically "normal" (apparently they have a name for it - PBD - prolonged bereavement disorder, or PGD), but I really agree with what you said about taking into consideration what she would have wanted for me, and of course, she would want me to be happy. I do not look forward to the future, it terrifies me. I am almost in my senior years with no family that I am close to (although I have many relatives). I live alone and have limited financial resources. Given these facts, I am not sure how it could get better - at least I am in good physical health for now. I agree with you that I need to participate more, in life in general. I just am not sure how. The things I enjoy are mostly solitary - nature, art, movies, animals....plus, I don't really have anyone to do stuff with.

It was always she and I doing stuff. Not the healthiest relationship, but it was what it was. We were very co-dependent, is that the right word?
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:05 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,433 posts, read 18,150,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeko156 View Post
According the APA, 3.5 years of intense grief is not clinically "normal" (apparently they have a name for it - PBD - prolonged bereavement disorder, or PGD), but I really agree with what you said about taking into consideration what she would have wanted for me, and of course, she would want me to be happy. I do not look forward to the future, it terrifies me. I am almost in my senior years with no family that I am close to (although I have many relatives). I live alone and have limited financial resources. Given these facts, I am not sure how it could get better - at least I am in good physical health for now. I agree with you that I need to participate more, in life in general. I just am not sure how. The things I enjoy are mostly solitary - nature, art, movies, animals....plus, I don't really have anyone to do stuff with.

It was always she and I doing stuff. Not the healthiest relationship, but it was what it was. We were very co-dependent, is that the right word?
You don't HAVE TO have ANY time frame in grief, Eeko. You go at your own pace. Took me 6 years to come out of my grief over hubby. I, too, have no one to do anything with and I know it's the pits. I have learned to go out to eat, the movies, things like that, by myself. Not as fun but it's something.

Maybe you could find group(s) in your area that enjoy the things you and Mom did. Nature lovers, art museum lovers, etc.

Good luck, keep the faith and all shall be better in time. Even if you just have to learn to accept your "oneness".
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Old 10-20-2018, 12:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeko156 View Post
It has been 3.5 years since losing my mother to horrific effects of stroke brain damage (she became paralyzed, couldn't speak or eat). I have done everything I am supposed to do. I went to grief groups, sought therapy, tried anti-depressants.

Has anyone else had the pain linger for this long? Did you get "better" as time went on?
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I am sorry that your grief has been that intense for so long. Is it possible that part of it is post traumatic stress from seeing the unexpected effect the event had upon your mother? That could serve to anchor the immediacy of distress in ways that groups might not recognize and A-Ds might not help.

If available, you might seek an interview at a university teaching hospital that has done work with PTSD. There is no "normal" with grief timelines, but if you are still experiencing that significant pain after 3.5 years, it makes sense to explore outside simple grief counseling.
I would like to make a little comment here about PTSD. My husband was very ill for almost 4 years before he died, but the first night that we found out what was going on (brain cancer) was extremely traumatic. He had seizures in the middle of the night. I'm not going to go into the whole story, but he was in a "state" after the seizures, and struggled and fought with me, physically. At one point, I thought he would accidentally kill me. There was blood, lots of screaming, confusion, panic. It seemed to go on forever. My gentle, kind husband was suddenly dangerous and out of control. It took 6 paramedics to get him into the ambulance. Followed by more seizures, etc. And that was only the beginning. Anyway, I realized about 3 years later that I had PTSD. I had not slept much in those 3 years. I relived that night in exquisite detail, over and over, sometimes while trying to go to sleep, and sometimes in my sleep, which would cause me to wake up sweating and panicked. I sometimes watched him all night, waiting for a seizure (which never came.) At any rate, 3 years later, while he was still alive, I went into treatment for my PTSD. I can't tell you how much that helped me. My husband died several months after I got past the PTSD, and of course, that is its own grief. But I am grateful that the grief after he died was not complicated by the earlier trauma. I'm saying that if grief is complicated by trauma, I know it would be very much harder to integrate. So, like Harry, I recommend making sure that you get help of some sort to get past this as much as possible. I think it would be a good idea to explore grief counseling to see if you are struggling with an element of PTSD.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:08 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,433 posts, read 18,150,188 times
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Awww, geez, GG, so darned sorry to hear that about your wonderful husband.

TG my hubby's wasn't in the brain for too long although I once did fear he would shoot me. That was a traumatic night and I managed to get the gun and hide it when he went to the bathroom. I also didn't know it had gone to his brain either. I was blaming it on the pills.

We have come a long way, chicka!!!
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