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Bereavement

A explanation

(30 Posts)
morethan2 Tue 27-Oct-20 09:12:45

I’ve had lots of support from many,many of you over the last almost four years of my daughter in laws terminal illness and death. I’ve often poured my heart out and you’ve been here for me and I’ve been so very grateful. Many of you have sent me private messages and I know I haven’t replied. In fact I haven’t opened them. Now I wish I knew a physiologist who could tell me why? This has happened to me once before. In my early 40’s I had a reactive depression and became really terrified of letters. I used to hide them. I’ve got a bit better but it never really went away. Now it’s come back but includes your messages of condolences. My only explanation is maybe it’s because I’ll have to face my own emotions. I’ve battened down my fear and sadness because I’ve had to for the sake of supporting my DiL through her illness and awful death, I can still hear her her cries of distress at the end of her life. I have the most awful flashbacks of the most distressing days I spent with her. It’s like nothing I’ve experienced before. I am just so upset for her. She wasn't ready to die, she’s not in a better place, she’s needed here for her children, for my son, my grandchildren. I feel as if her family have more right to distress than me. I will get better I’m sure and I will read your posts, so please don’t delete them. Actually I think even writing this means I’m almost there and when I can read them will mean I’m coming to terms with things.
For those of you who are still holding my lovely family close in your thought I’d like you to know that my son is doing amazingly well. He has bad days but his attitude is that his wife gave him four wonderful children and he is determined to raise them for her, keeping her love for them alive. The children are physically thriving. If you remember it was the youngest I worried about the most because she was the one that asked the most questions about her mummy’s illness and worried about how they’d cope without her. She’s coped much better than the two in the middle who are still struggling. My 22 old granddaughter has taken it on her self the responsibilities of looking out for her other nan and struggles with coping with her distress and is constantly told that it’s worse for her than the rest of the family. Of course it is but this wonderful young women has lost her mother and also needs time to grieve. I’m a coward and do nothing but listen and reassure her as best I can.
Please know I’m grateful for your condolences and don’t think too badly of me for not acknowledging your kindness.

OceanMama Tue 27-Oct-20 09:17:38

I'm sorry for your loss. I expect you may be avoiding emotional triggers, would be my best guess? I still do that relative to my daughter's death. Does it help you maintain emotional control? If I'm alone I'm more likely to face up to something that might make me emotional. If I'm with others I tend to prefer to keep emotional control, which means avoiding things that feel sensitive at times.

MawB2 Tue 27-Oct-20 09:30:04

What a lovely message and my heart goes out to you. There was and is no need to apologise for not acknowledging our messages- so little in the face of your family’s tragic loss.
Having somebody to live for - the children, the other grandparents, your husband, your son - is a reason to get up and face each day but let nobody underestimate the depth of the grief each one of you feels at your own loss added to the pain of seeing your loved ones grieving.
“Coping” , “coming to terms” and “struggling” are words we use in bereavement but the depth of meaning they contain is incomprehensible to those who have not suffered great loss.
I hope bereavement counselling is or will be available to all of you - supporting each other will take its toll. Think of it as a buoyancy aid - even if you can swim.
The positive news about the children is wonderful and reassuring, but do not be surprised if there are occasions when you and they feel in a deep pit. Grief is not linear - we do not move from prostrate with grief to “better” - there is no “better” but there is “living with different” and that can be a long and tortuous journey. Wishing you all well flowers

GrannyGravy13 Tue 27-Oct-20 09:40:12

morethan2 like Mawb2 has posted, there is not a rule book for grief it comes and goes, sometimes in gentle ripples, sometimes in a gigantic wave.
Please take time to look after yourself thanks

Nanabanana1 Tue 27-Oct-20 09:41:10

💐💐💐💐

SueDonim Tue 27-Oct-20 09:55:29

Morethan2, I am not one who has sent a PM (it’s not my ‘thing’) but I couldn’t pass by your heartfelt post without commenting.

I don’t suppose there’s anything to be said that can comfort you in this situation, especially when your dil suffered so cruelly - that’s a terrible thing to happen in this day and age. They say grief is the price we pay for love and it is clear that you had, and still have, a great deal of love for your dil.

Your sound as though you’ve been a rock, a tower of strength to your son and his family. Maybe you need time to yourself now, which could include talking to a counsellor about what you’ve experienced to make sense of all this.

Take care of yourself. flowers

Teacheranne Tue 27-Oct-20 10:20:21

I think you reaction to opening letters is totally understandable. I developed a fear of answering my land line after receiving a phone call from my mother to tell me that my father had died while they were on holiday in France and that she was stranded with no money or credit cards. This was almost 30 years ago and I still hesitate sometimes before I pick up the phone but I have no issues with answering my mobile phone.

annodomini Tue 27-Oct-20 10:39:21

morethan2, I have long been in awe of your love and support for your DiL during her prolonged struggle. I remember your friendship for her in the periods while she was well and the strength of your love during her decline into the darkness. You have been an inspiration to all of us who have 'known' you through this time. I'm glad that you have felt able to come back to us now.

V3ra Tue 27-Oct-20 10:51:13

morethan2 your description of your daughter-in-law's distress is truly awful and hard to comprehend.
You sound like you are suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from this, in addition to the grief of bereavement.
I do hope you're having some professional help with all you've been through.
Love to all of you x

silverlining48 Tue 27-Oct-20 11:02:40

Morethan your penultimate sentence shows you are not doing ‘nothing‘ because listening and reassuring will be so important to your grandchildren. Being there for them all, including your much loved daughter in law, is where you have always been and it takes its toll.
Your son and grandchildren are managing, in their way, and you will too in time.
Flashbacks are understandable given the intense stress you have experienced over the past four years I wonder whether counselling might help. I hope you have a good friend to talk to. It will help, given time.
Sending a hug and flowers

silverlining48 Tue 27-Oct-20 11:05:08

oceanmama [ flowers]

silverlining48 Tue 27-Oct-20 11:05:47

flowers

mumofmadboys Tue 27-Oct-20 11:12:05

Thinking of you.
You must be so proud of your son xx

M0nica Tue 27-Oct-20 11:22:09

morethan my deepest sympathy at your loss and my admiration that at such a difficult time you have the strength to support all your family the way you are. Just remember that all of us grieve in our own way and we often do it in stages that can be affected by other demand made on us. I can remember how differently my surviving sister and I grieved when we lost our sister.

And while it is too easy, to off pat to think the answer to all emotional problems is counselling, it can sometimes help, especially, as V3ra points out, if you are suffering from what sounds like PTSD

Smileless2012 Tue 27-Oct-20 11:30:23

I'm so very sorry morethanflowers. You were such a tower of strength to your dear d.i.l. and what you have all experienced is truly heartbreaking.

It's going to take time for you to come to terms with not just her loss, but her suffering that you witnessed.

annsixty Tue 27-Oct-20 11:38:32

My love and admiration goes to you as it has throughout your postings to us. flowers

Callistemon Tue 27-Oct-20 11:53:06

morethan2 thank you for getting back to us.
I did send you a message but it may say it has been withdrawn as I tidied up my messages.
But I'd just like to say that your courage has been amazing supporting your family as you did. You stayed strong for them and are still being the strong one so it's not surprising that your own grief and emotions have been bottled up.

Is there anyone outside your immediate family you could talk to to release your emotions, perhaps someone who is not emotionally involved?

flowers

Callistemon Tue 27-Oct-20 11:54:40

I agree, this does sound like PTSD with the flashbacks.

crazyH Tue 27-Oct-20 11:59:53

So sorry morethan2........ no words to express how sad I feel for you . Be strong flowers

Namsnanny Tue 27-Oct-20 13:24:30

Morethan2 ...I think of you and your family often.
Please dont add more misery to your situation by feeling you 'owe' any of us anything.
Minute by minute is the only way. flowers

Thank you so much Mawb2 for your eloquent post. It said everything I would have liked to, if I could have found the words.smile

NanaandGrampy Tue 27-Oct-20 13:30:28

Morethan thank you for the update.

I am not surprised you still have awful flashbacks , this is almost a form of PTSD and you must make sure that as well as caring for your lovely family you take care of yourself too.

I'm glad to hear the children are coping , it will be a long road for all of you but your strength has unpinned the whole family for so long - remember to reach out for help for yourself too if you need it xx

kittylester Tue 27-Oct-20 16:41:46

I was sure I posted first thing but everyone has said what I would have said.

You are a real star but you must look after yourself to be able to look after your family and please talk to us as often as you need to.

Barmeyoldbat Tue 27-Oct-20 17:29:18

Thank you so much for your update, it was lovely to hear that we were able to give you some support. I am full of admiration for how you have handled everything. Love to all.

EllanVannin Tue 27-Oct-20 18:02:18

Early days yet, Morethan. The hurt is terrible and its effects cover a whole gamut of emotions when other members of the family are deeply involved. A sad time for all xx

I know only too well of the shattered lives a death leaves behind. Right now our family's in turmoil and with Covid as well is prolonging the situation.

Thoughts to your son as he faces his longest journey, I wish him well also the children too who don't always show their loss, but the sorrow will be there, hiding behind their resilience for their dad's sake.

You too will feel vulnerable for a time, but give yourself time and don't think you have to rush into anything if you don't feel like. I wish you well during this very sad time.flowers

Doodle Tue 27-Oct-20 18:12:20

morethan thank you for coming back and telling us how you are getting on. I think of you all often. Your son sounds as though he is really trying to keep the family going. Of course your DILs parents are upset but I hope they rally round in the end and start supporting their grandchildren. Thank goodness they all have you. Their rock.
I have often thought of your grandson who you mentioned was trying to look after his sisters. Brave little chap. I hope he is doing ok. Take care