Marie Olsson on Grieving a Loved One (In honour of her Granddad)

Personally I am struggling even trying to write this blog for you; as I am still struggling with accepting the loss of my loved ones. However I am going to do my best to give you guys something, even if it is short. For that I apologise. Without further ado here is my blog on grieving a loved on.

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  “There are as many sorrows as there are people who feel them and there are no rules…

It is solitary… Grief is such a lonely thing. There is no-one in it with you – others may grieve for the same soul, but they do not grieve exactly for what you also grieve. No-one has lost precisely what you have lost. Not exactly, never exactly. We are in it alone…

 Oh it is wild and it is lonely. It is as if you’ve woken to a world that you recognise but it has been tilted, somehow – coated, or rubbed down, or made colder or less bright. It echoes where it should not echo; where it should echo, it is as echoless as a single, muffled thud. And grief is not merely sadness, as if sadness alone was not enough to bear. I had imagined the sorrow to be as deep as a well, a howling grief, but I had not imagined the other feelings that have no right to be there, which seem wholly misplaced in a state of grieving – rage, impatience, self-pity, disgust. They come from the dark and rush in upon you…”

― Susan Fletcher, The Silver Dark Sea

No one does things the same way another person does, no one feels the same way either. For some people moving forward is easier and for others it feels a lot harder. Everyone takes different amounts of time to move through the steps of grieving and encounters them in a different order; but everyone who has ever lost someone has been through them, and could still be going through it.  However I feel as though you’ll have seen all about the stages of grieving in at least one other blog so I will not be covering that.

As I am currently writing this it is five days before the fourth anniversary of my grandfather’s passing, and as the date (Saturday, Sept. 26) grows closer I am realising that I really am not done grieving. I’ve yet to accept he is really gone, that I will never hear his voice on the other end of the line, or be able to give him a hug.  For months after he passed I would still call my grandparents’ house hoping to hear his voice, asking me how I’ve been, yet I was met with a short clipped message of him apologising for not reaching the phone. I tried again and again, not ready to come to terms that he wouldn’t one day pick the phone up and we’d talk and laugh together. Eventually the number was disconnected and that’s when I started to really feel the loss. When reality hit me I didn’t break out sobbing or lock myself in my room for days, although I would have much preferred that, instead I felt numb… absolutely numb.  I continued on with life as I had been prior, I was just void of any and all emotions.

For months after the loss of my granddad I tried to fill the void in my heart and find some emotions by drinking every weekend. I found comfort in the alcohol induced emotions, figuring that even a ‘fake’ emotion was better than the nothingness I was feeling.  However that did not get me anywhere, when I would sober up I was back to feeling nothing, it did not help me move forward.

“You can’t truly heal from a loss until you allow yourself to really FEEL the loss.”

Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

I didn’t realise by feeling numb it wasn’t really helping me and the worst hadn’t even started yet. I had thought feeling numb had been a good step towards healing. However when the numbness faded I was not prepared for the tidal wave of emotions which rushed over me. I was a mess, I was crying, I wanted to curl up in a ball and rock back and forth, but I expected that. What I wasn’t expecting the short temper, exhaustion or codependency that came along with it.

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”

― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

I have come a long way in my process of grieving for my granddad, but I still have a long road ahead of me. I don’t think the hurt will ever go away but I’m closer to fully accepting that he’s not with me anymore. I’ll love him forever and always, and he’ll always be alive and well in my heart, and that’s good enough for me.

“But in all of the sadness, when you’re feeling that your heart is empty, and lacking,

You’ve got to remember that grief isn’t the absence of love.

Grief is the proof that love is still there.”

― Tessa Shaffer, Heaven Has No Regrets

 In Loving Memory of my Grandad,

Marie Olsson xoxo

Ivybelle take on grieving a love one

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Everyone loses someone at some point and everyone grieves at some point. We’re often told to get over it or that eventually we will but it’s not that easy.  As for those who are suffering, grieving takes time. We need to go through all the stages of grieving; SHOCK & DENIAL, PAIN & GUILT, ANGER & BARGAINING, “DEPRESSION”, REFLECTION, LONELINESS, THE UPWARD TURN, RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH, ACCEPTANCE & HOPE. I’m not saying that everyone deals with it the same way everyone has a different way to cope.

I could give you a list of all the people my mom and I have lost, but it would never end. It’s really hard to see my mom grieving for that list. She tends to shut me out, sometimes she’ll lock herself in her room and cry.  Although she tries to hide it, I can hear it and it hurts me because I cant make her feel any better, I can’t bring back a loved one. I think I get that from my mom, I try to shut everyone out and cry myself to sleep.

It usually takes me a while before it hits me that I’ve lost someone. Sometimes it can take days, sometimes it takes weeks but when it sinks the pain kicks in. I feel like my lungs are giving out on me, my head starts spinning and my throat hurts from trying not to cry. Sometimes, I feel like I’m going to be sick. I’ve lost a lot of people especially family. My family is getting smaller and somehow my family is becoming more distant with one another, it hurts to see that.

When I lost my Great Grand Mother, my whole family fell apart. I moved out here to BC to live with my mom and a year after that is when she passed away. I got the news from my mom when she received it in an email from her brother. At first she thought it was a misunderstanding but then she realized that it wasn’t. She tried so hard not to cry, but for me it hadn’t sunk in yet. She broke down crying in front of her computer and I didn’t know how to react or what to do. When she calmed down she told me that she felt guilty. She felt guilty because she promised her that she would go visit her before she left us, and unfortunately she couldn’t afford to go see her. She felt that she failed as a grand daughter. That’s when it hit me… She’s gone…

I tried telling my mom that it’s not her fault, that there’s nothing she could have done. That life throws us curve balls and we try to make the best of it. We found out a month later when her funeral was, but my mom still couldn’t afford to go back east to attend. She cried for hours and told me “ I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye. I should’ve started saving money years ago.”  My great grand mother was like a mom to my mother. She took care of her growing up when her mom was too busy working.

My mom went through all of the stages of grieving before accepting that her grandma is in a better place. Today she still hurts a bit, but she accepts it. Me on the other hand, took a bit longer to accept it. I knew for a couple years before her passing she wasn’t going to be around much longer. She was getting thinner and she was barely eating. I cried a lot before her passing because I knew I wasn’t going to have her around much longer. When she did pass away, in that moment it was unexpected. She was the one to make sure the family was close and taught us what we know today. She taught us the importance of family values.  It wasn’t until last year that I finally learned to let go.

If I had the chance to talk to her again I would ask her if she’s happy. Tell her that I miss her, that I think about her all the time and that I love her. That my mom wants her to know that she’s sorry for not being there for her. I wish I could tell her how much my life has changed and I’m doing things that I love. I would ask her for life advice and tell her we’re okay.  Grieving is a long process, but it takes time to heal. There’s no time or magical way of making it all go away. Take time to heal and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember that it’s not your fault and tell yourself that now, they are in a happier place and they are looking over you.
Breathe. You’ll be okay.

Stay strong, Stay beautiful, Stay you.
-Ivybelle- xox

Grieving A Loved One -Howie Defranco

Hey blog readers, it’s me Howie Defranco and today we’re gonna be discussing grieving the loss of a loved one.  Well not so much a discussion as its one sided with me on the keyboard and you doing the reading.  I guess the best thing to start out saying is that everyone deals with with the loss in different ways, not in the sense that they don’t encounter each stage of grief.  Instead it’s more like you don’t go stage one, two, three, four and five, you go stage one, two, one, three, two, four, one… Etc as it has no limit to how long grief can go on for.

Now I have not experienced the loss of a loved one personally since I was a child at least not anyone I was close to.  Therefore I’m unable to really speak from a personal standpoint about what it’s like to lose someone you love to death.  In spite of that though I’ve lost people in my life and seen others lose people in their lives go through different stages and cycles of grief over the loss of someone they love.  It’s painful and although the stages usually can bounce around and people need time to get past it, people can get lost in.
In the same way, the fallen loved one is lost the one still alive can become a shell of the person they were or who they want to be.  It starts because people have trouble letting go of the past, when they put on obstacle in the way of letting go.  Overworking, drug and alcohol abuse, compulsive behaviour, avoiding emotion and minimizing feelings are ways people avoid and obstruct themselves from moving on from the pain and learning to accept their life moves on.  It’s as simple as breathing to not even notice that you’re doing it, that you’re holding on to the pain of your loved ones memory.
Earlier I mentioned the stages of grief, they’re are five of them and everyone deals with them in their own time and way.  Denial and shock are supposed to be the first stage in which you don’t accept the fact that they’re gone, you just don’t believe it which is a good thing as it can diminish the impact of the loss on you.  Bargaining trying to figure out a way, a way you could have helped them something better you could have done, how you could of treated them better.  It helps to bargain as you come to better terms with what happened.  Depression is the worst of the stages although it’s only natural, if it persists too much can cause a lot of stress on your mental (feelings of isolation and loneliness) and physical health (with loss of sleep and appetite).  Anger is the stage that causes you to feel like your loved one abandoned you even though you know it wasn’t their fault and can cause you to just be angry at the world.
The fifth stage is acceptance the stage every one needs to reach but get trapped in the mentioned stages.  The best ways to help yourself or someone you know with dealing with these stages is to give them a way to express yourself or confide in someone you trust.  Allow yourself to just have sometime, to draw, to write, to create, something that opens your feelings and let’s out your emotions for you and others to see.  As well you could talk to a close friend, they’ll help you more than you think, find a support group that has people going through the same emotions or better talk to a therapist if you wish.  That’s what they’re there for, me personally I have a fear of speaking to professionals just cause I always have a fear of what there thinking.  How they’re reacting to what I’m saying, if they’re judging me, or fitting me for a straight jacket in their head.  So I don’t see them but it’s what they were trained to do and it’s an option for those of you who liked to talk.
Speaking of acceptance I mentioned earlier when I was kid was the last time I lost a loved one it was my great grandpa.  I was four years old, and he died peacefully in his own home in the kitchen, my great grandma found him in the morning.  My great grandpa is the reason I wasn’t given up for adoption when I was kid, I was an accident and my mom, and her parents wanted to give me up.  Mind you my mom wasn’t set on the idea but my great grandpa basically put his foot done, said I’m family and I belonged with them and that he and my great grandma would help my mom anyway they could.  I loved him, even though he was tough sometimes.  To be fair i hear they were times I was a little monster but the worst thing I ever did was I tried to climb up this old ladder.  It was outside my grandpa was doing something on the roof and I tried climbing the ladder, he comes over picks me up and spanks me.  I deserved it and when he died, my mom brought me to a therapist so I could process it properly.  He asked me to draw a picture and I drew my great grandpa climbing a ladder up to heaven.  That was my acceptance in my mind.
There’s not really much else to say I think but that if you feel the loss of someone you love is the end of your life.  Then talk to someone, I’m not saying your wrong because it’s your choice if you want your life to end or to wallow in self pity.  Just take some time talk to someone, express yourself, find something that gives your life meaning again.
Bibliography
“Stages of Grief: How to Cope With Grief and Loss.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 04 Sept. 2015.

Madison’s Grieving a Love One.

Defintion of Grief: Keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.

When it comes to grief there are 7 stages. Not everyone goes through them in the same order, also stages can last longer for diffrenet people. Not one grieving is the same. I also believe that there is not time limit to grieving.

Stages of Grief.

  1. Shock & Denial.

In this stage typicaly come right after the anishal event happens. Your body and mind uses this time as a defence to shield you from the pain that you can’t quite understand yet.

2. Pain & Guilt.

When this stage comes it can hit everyone diffrently. For me my mind started to go through all the “what ifs?”, and “I should have’s”. I started dewlling on the past and I was unable to look forward. 

3. Anger & Bargaining

This is where your mind grabs on to the one emotion it can understand, because it’s alot easier to be angry at something then feel the loss sometime. This is also the stage where you will try anything to get that person back and start trying to feel alive again.

4. “Depression”, Reflection & Loneliness.

This stage is when you start feeling the effects of the loss. You start missing there presants, but it’s also the time you start to reflect on all the good memorys you once had with that person.

5. Upwards turn.

This point your starting to straighten out, and pick all the pieces you had dropped. This is also the time where you get control of your emotions again. you will also start thinking clearly and more positive again. 

6. Reconstuction & working through.

This is where we start working through anything that need to be delt with such as: work, school, funneral perperation, other family, ect… This is also the start of where you rebuild your self, by lying everything on the table and re-organize yourself to better fit this new situation. 

7. Acceptance & Hope.

At this stage you start moving forwards again, and accepting what has just happend. you will also start gaining some of that hope back. Hope can be a very powerful thing. I believe there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, my glass may not always be half full but I will chase that light. Just because you may have lost some hope doesn’t mean it is gone for ever, you can regain it. I found this quote that I feel best fit’s this paraghraft, “prehaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of are lost ones pour through and shine down to let us not that they are happy.” -Eskino Proverb. I believe it’s an amazing quote because it gives you something to believe in.

This is the end of my blog. I Appoligize for it being so short, I really had a hard time writing this with out tears. I lost 2 very close people to me when I was 8 and 1 only a couple months ago. But I will be posting a resource blog attacted to this, as the sencond half of my blog.

Brian on Grieving a loved one

Losing someone is always, always, always hard and tough to swallow because you don’t want to believe the fact that their gone. We all have lost someone we love the most: from grandparents, to parents, to aunts and uncles, to cousins, to brothers and sisters, and even a close dear friend. Some of us even may have lost a husband or wife and honestly it sucks every time because you can be doing something and out of nowhere their memory hits you. It’s like how does one person digest the thought of losing someone they love. It’s not easy and it takes a lot of time to get through it; but eventually through time and talking to someone it gets better, not saying it will be right away but it does get better.

 I know from my experiences after losing my grandpa six years ago have been getting better slowly each day that goes by, the first couple years to be honest was the toughest for me especially losing him on valentine’s day and I had to really accept the fact that he is gone. Although there is nothing I can do to change that or get him back and it sucks a lot but that is the honest truth. I wish there was a way I can bring him back every day but I know I can’t. Life is too short though to be upset I know if your loved one was still here today they wouldn’t want you to be upset they wold want you to be happy because they are in a better place.

 There are ways of dealing with grief though some of us deal with it by drowning ourselves in drugs and alcohol, some of us deal with it through depression, and some of us just need a distraction. Keeping yourself busy is one way to deal with grief and helping to control your emotions. With that said, ways with dealing with grief vary person to person. Find yourself a peaceful spot where you can go and just relax and calm your mind from everything. Just remember to stay strong and that you will overcome this ordeal at your own pace and in your own way.

  • Brian O’Connor