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Surviving Grief - where I am at

(33 Posts)
Imperfect27 Mon 11-Jan-16 11:29:45

I hardly know how to begin, but I want to support this site and those of you who sadly find yourselves in the awful situation of losing a loved child or grandchild, or close family member.

I am hoping that by sharing our stories - and remember you are not obligated to share anything you do not want to - we may be of help to each other.

My DD was 12 when she died in a car accident. As well as being devastated for me, I know a light went out in my parent's lives. they were heartbroken for me and with me.

Evelyn was my youngest child - an unexpected, but delightful number four and from the start I felt she was especially dear to my mother as we had lived away for some years, but had moved closer just before she was born. My mum had been able to be hands on from the start.

Evelyn died just a few days before my mother's planned 75th birthday party. We went ahead with the gathering as we needed to draw strength from coming together as a family, - it was good that we did this. But my mother sat with me quietly and wept and said ' It should have been me. ' I know that is a common sentiment when we lose someone 'out of the natural order of time.'

I sometimes felt that both my parents tried to be very strong for me and could not show their own grief in front of me. Once my mother came all the way over to where I live on the bus - a good couple of hours journeying - and went to the grave on her own to lay flowers. She needed her own time there and didn't tell me until the following week. I understand that she needed to do that alone.

I will never forget my dad's strength, the day we went together to the funeral parlour. I was a single parent and would have been going on my own. I was so grateful he came with me. We were both so aware that this is something neither of us should ever have had to be experiencing, but we helped each other through. I have never drunk brandy before or since, but our silent mini-wake in the pub nearby was one of the tenderest moments I ever shared with my father.

There were also some very hard moments - I remember them both being so bitterly angry at times. My ex-husband had been driving. the accident was not his fault, but it was difficult and there were huge sensitivities about the funeral as by then he was in a long-term relationship with a gay man. (Yes, I really could write a book!) They sometimes lost sight of my needs as their daughter in their own grief and I couldn't always see theirs, or indeed help them, anymore than they could help me.

That's why I think a place like this could be useful.

downtoearth Fri 15-Jan-16 09:24:22

I cant add anything to that,how can others understand what we are going through we dont understand it ourselves.Be gentle with yourself ..sums it up,you have to travel through all the phases of grief ,to come out the other side ,and you do, bruised and battered but alive because the strength of the human spirit amazes you with that tiny little bud of light that appears to lead you back to life.I always thought if anything happened to my children I would cry and scream and become god that would have been a relief ...I became numb and cried inside and could find no release at all,the first time I cried was just recently when my partner became ill with depression and I thought our relationship had finished,the floodgates opened for cheryl,katy,dad,mum,my failed marriages,I was a person who didnt cry I dealt with the practicalities and held the others up..I had been strong for far too long,now I am healingxxx

Imperfect27 Fri 15-Jan-16 10:15:43

I can identify with that. If you are a mum or nan in a supporting role you do put your own grief on the back burner. I have only really, really cried fit to break twice - once about three months after and the second time , strangely, when /I learned /I had become a granny. I sobbed all morning and /I didn't know where the tears came from except that they were connected to Evelyn. I swa a dear friend yesterday, whom /I haven't seen for ages and I was telling her about this. I said that the new little life in our midst is bringing me comfort - not healing - but comfort that I know I need. xx

downtoearth Fri 15-Jan-16 11:01:41

imperfect new life is like spring it gives hope to the spirit that the cycle of life goes on,the hard part is when young lives are finished abruptly by their own hand,accident,their way of passing is hard to deal with,sudden with unanswered questions,illness would at least be something that would explain the reason they have gone...all we are left with are questions.
Enjoy your new little life,fresh clean and untainted innocent.I was lucky kates legacy to me was her daughter although damaged through seeing Domestic violence and being present when Kate died,she has been my focus for so long,her needs paramount ,my partner has been my rock whilst supporting my ex husband and my son and he helped me as a carer when my mum became ill,my ex husband is a friend as we have shared so much and as parents we care for our fractured family even if we are not together,it would be so much worse if we where a family at warxx

Imperfect27 Fri 15-Jan-16 12:03:21

My ex-husband was driving the car. We had kept things civil after he left me, but that was all really. When Evie died, I felt so much compassion for him. By then he was in a long-term relationship, but he came to stay with us for a time - we both needed the rest of our the family around us. Since then we have always got on better and we recognise that we are the only two who carry the same grief. It is good that we can keep anniversaries together.

Indinana Mon 18-Jan-16 09:33:27

I have hesitated until now to read this thread. I haven't experienced the kinds of devastating losses that posters here have been through, and I was afraid that by reading all of your stories I would be intruding on your grief without being able to give anything of value in the way of understanding.

All of your stories are of unimaginable suffering, grief beyond words. I don't know how you have held your lives together and kept going.

Love and blessings to Imperfect, Downtoeart, Regalo and all who are living with the heartbreak of such tragic loss. flowers

Imperfect27 Mon 18-Jan-16 13:39:10

Thank you Indinana.

I have wanted to post here because I know how overwhelming and scary it can be at first, but my message is, we can and do get through. Life is never the same, but it does become do-able again. It is different for each of us - no two losses are ever the same and the time it takes to feel we are managing again varies, but the saying 'it is always darkest before the dawn is very true and the days of wrenching loss do give way to a more manageable calm over time.


downtoearth Mon 18-Jan-16 15:51:50

thank you Indiexx
I also believe that life goes on,it has too,it is surprising what you can endure if you have no choice,and the cliche "what dosent kill you makes stronger" is also true,life becomes enjoyable again,you laugh,you have fun,and you also have your memories that become a comfort as time goes on xxx