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Getting there ?

(74 Posts)
MawB Wed 25-Sep-19 12:33:04

I am having a week of catching up with friends whom in some cases I have not seen since Paw died, and while it is reassuring (or flattering) to hear they think I am “getting there” I am less clear than ever where there is.
Many of you are bereaved partners, parents and children - are you “getting there”
Or if you have “got there” How did you know when you had?
Is there such a place as “there” or is it a journey with no discernible destination?

oodles Thu 26-Sep-19 14:07:36

My nan was a widow for nearly 40 years and she said goodnight to my grandfather [never knew him] every night

Sheilasue Thu 26-Sep-19 14:16:24

There isn’t a getting there there is just learning to cope with the pain and misery. When the memory’s come back the sad ones I can just weep when the happy ones come on I can smile.
I lost my mum and dad years ago that was a great sadness but losing my youngest child my son is a different matter. Anybody who has lost a child will know what that is like.

4allweknow Thu 26-Sep-19 14:18:11

I am not in my mind getting there. DD died April this year. Yesterday's was her 48th birthday. I had prepared myself to be a bit down, but I just crashed. Couldn't stay in the house and didn't want to go to anyone as I know as kind as they would be, I felt I would only hear the stock phrases offered at bereavement. Instead I decided to drive to the seaside but on the way I realised I could hardly see the road for the mist of tears and pulled into a layby. Cried solidly for about 45 mins, then somehow I found I could and should carty on. Spent a couple of hours walking along the coast and felt able to get back, switched radio on and came across a programme about the Beatles which kept me focused enough to get home. I know this is long but 'getting there' whatever state that may be isn't really something I look for, I just hope to be able to calmly remember and do as my DD wrote in her funeral message, look to the future, not live in the past. So so hard though.

pinkquartz Thu 26-Sep-19 14:51:36

There isn't a there.
It is more like your entire being has to adjust so that the gap and the terrible emotional pain kind of become woven into who you are.
You cannot be the same person because you are not the same person.
Life goes on and you do adjust, but that pain is part of who you are because you loved that person.

Getting through each day is the task. Let yourself be comforted by others and by yourself.
Be positive and loving towards yourself and cry when you can.
Be glad you had that love.

Hellsbelles Thu 26-Sep-19 15:19:22

No you don't ever get ' there '. Btw where is there - Narnia maybe ?
However I am a firm believer in this sentence , Life goes on , but in a different way .

trendygran Thu 26-Sep-19 16:17:50

Anniebach.I lost my DH eleven years ago next week.and then my younger daughter to suicide 16 months later,leaving two young daughters ,then aged 4 and 2.-now 14 and almost 12.Those years have been very difficult emotionally and financially as I was left with a mortgage and debts to pay off.
At times now I feel I am ‘getting there’ when I have a busy week with friends and U3A meetings, but I never feel ‘complete’ and able to face anything else going wrong.
I was ill last year and being on my own after a major operation was extremely difficult?
Happily my granddaughters do now have a wonderful Stepmum ,which helps with the constant hurt of losing my DD.I rarely see them as live almost 300 miles away.but that did happen recently and helped me to feel happy for once.

Day6 Thu 26-Sep-19 16:36:12

I think the pain of loss fades but our lives are never the same when someone we love dies. How can they be? There's an emptiness, a hole. We learn acceptance and how to carry on, but I think the little rhyme on a grief poem said it all for me and it makes sense, (to me, anyway) whether religious or not.

It broke my heart to lose you,
You did not go alone,
For part of me went with you,
the day God called you home.

Life changes and we are never that 'complete' again.

Tricia5 Thu 26-Sep-19 16:49:46

You never get over it! You learn to manage it better. I have a black box in my head that I put things in and shut the lid. When I feel the need I open the box and grieve some more.

25Avalon Thu 26-Sep-19 17:01:36

I don't think you ever truly get over it, but you learn how to cope with it. Even so little things can sometimes throw you and you realise you walk on the edge of the cliff.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 26-Sep-19 17:48:54

It's an odd concept "getting there " isn't it? After all our lives cannot be the same after a bereavement as they were before. Someone very important is missing.

Obviously, there is a difference between the first raw grief where the very air hurts your skin and you cannot stop crying and the sadness you experience three years or whenever after a death, when you think of the loved one, and actually manage to laugh at the memory, or at least not burst into tears.

I would be sorely tempted to tell anyone who felt I should have got over someone's death, that they could take a running jump at themselves.

Yes, life goes on, and yes, we cope. We even manage to be happy again, but we go on missing the dear departed whether they are our children, spouse, parents or brothers and sisters.

newnanny Thu 26-Sep-19 18:16:15

When my dd told me she was pregnant for first time I clearly remember thinking I must ring and tell Mum, then I suddenly remembered she had died 2 years before.

Happiyogi Thu 26-Sep-19 21:16:58

So much loss. flowers to everyone living with bereavement.

As I read about our many and varied situations I began to think about what an immense amount of grief there must have been through the whole history of humankind, and wondered if the nature of it has changed over the years. I imagine loss is loss whether you're a medieval peasant, a Victorian matriarch or a tech savvy 21st century urbanite. But I do wonder if any particular era in the past was better structured for helping people cope with bereavement, or are we more sensitive nowadays to the pain of those who grieve?

Hetty58 Thu 26-Sep-19 21:30:23

I think friends and family want you to get back to 'normal' (or your previous, familiar self) as they resist change. I took a long, long time to grieve and expected 'normal' of myself. In fact, I had to create a new and different normal. It's logical (I now understand) as my whole identity and status had changed. I was no longer an adored wife, part of a couple, content and happy, after all!

Legs55 Thu 26-Sep-19 22:33:04

I was widowed at 57 almost 7 years ago, I still miss my DH but my life has taken a different path.

Almost 2 years after DH died I moved to be nearer DD & DGSs. New area, new friends, new interests. Maybe this has helped as my home has only been my home not the one we shared. Sadness that DGS2 never knew Gramps whereas DGS1 remembers him.

I also like my own company & never feel lonely, alone yes but not lonely.

Life is different but I don't think of it as getting there rather I'm living a different life, strange thought "getting there", not sure were "there" ishmm

Maggie1952 Fri 27-Sep-19 14:41:00

I’ve just lost my younger sister to Bowel Cancer, 2 months ago. There are lots of days when I just cry and cry, I feel a panic in my throat, and want to scream. It’s just a general all over feeling of wanting to just give up! But......occasionally now I get the odd day where things just feel a little better. They are infrequent as yet but common sense tells me “I’m getting there”!!! There will always be a huge hole, my darling sister is gone. Things will never be the same I know that. Chin up, be patient!! One day we will
all “get there” in our own way. Godbless

rosecarmel Fri 27-Sep-19 15:22:56

It's a journey to be sure ..

AnieandBouquet Sun 29-Sep-19 08:45:19

I agree with this definition of fine - I would like a pound for every time that word comes out of my mouth.
I think you lead a double life one for indoors (empty house lonely , missing husband dreadfully after nearly two years ) outside lipstick on smiley doing your best to get on with some sort of life. It’s rubbish being on your own after so many years of being together.

AnieandBouquet Sun 29-Sep-19 22:31:29

I agree with this definition of fine - I would like a pound for every time that word comes out of my mouth.
I think you lead a double life one for indoors (empty house lonely , missing husband dreadfully after nearly two years ) outside lipstick on smiley doing your best to get on with some sort of life. It’s rubbish being on your own after so many years of being together.

Ritap Thu 03-Oct-19 10:37:15

Just joined net,
Looking at getting there ,my husband died 2 year ago, some times i think i have, then i feel something is missing,i have my grandson to look after ,and visit my grand daughter who lives away, but i wonder if this is it. No inspiration to do any more.
Sorry for the windge.

MissAdventure Thu 03-Oct-19 11:46:28

Hello Ritap

Whinge away. flowers

whywhywhy Thu 03-Oct-19 11:52:39

I have never found the "there" and I don't think it even exists! My friend always says that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, well in my case it is usually an Intercity train!!!! I think that is it good to get through each day at a time. x

BradfordLass72 Thu 03-Oct-19 12:09:34

Like many other times in life, we try to tailor our own actions to what other people want.

Maw your friend's reactions indicate that you're now better at pretending - and that's what we all do, we cover up, we save their feelings by masking our own.

I've just, this last 2 weeks been involved in a sad death and funeral and the young girl (30) who nursed her father (he suffered from dementia then pneumonia and kidney failure) has been repeatedly told to 'accept it' and 'put it behind you and get on with life'.

And this just 2 days after her beloved father died.

They feel uncomfortable when she sits there with tears quietly running down her cheeks, so they just want her to stop making them feel bad.

I am her closest friend so have tried to comfort her and tell her she is normal (something she seriously doubted as a result of all this great advice) and that mourning takes time.

When my mother died, it took me 12 months even to cry.

Then I found what I thought was a blank cassette tape and popped it in the machine - to hear her favourite music recorded for her funeral. Of course, then I cried a years worth of tears.

When my husband died, I cried immediately but it was for the tragedy which had been his very sad life and the appallingly cruel way he had to die.

Mum died in 1992 and DH in 1998 but there are still times when the tears fall and the regrets crowd in.

grannyticktock Thu 10-Oct-19 12:28:41

My husband died three years ago. I think it took me the best part of two years to really understand that I would never "get there" in the sense of having completed my grieving; but understanding and accepting this is in itself part of the healing process. I will never be as I was, and my old life has gone for good, but the parallel track that I am on now is also a good life, and one that I am living to the full. The grief is like a little nuggest of ice in my heart, a sharp thing that still hurts sometimes, but it is something I have learned to live with.

As far as most friends and acquaintances tell, I have come to terms with my loss, and in many ways they are right, but those who have lost
a partner after decades know that you don't "get over" it. You just keep on keeping on. I don't find that "getting there" is even a useful concept or aspiration - there isn't a destination or a finishing point. It's just a journey, and perhaps all the better if we forget about any idea of getting anywhere. Just take life as it comes, and cherish every day.