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 The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family

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Gunz

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PostSubject: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:46 pm

When my dad passed last year i kinda went numb for awhile and withdrew from my wife and family. It took awhile for me to get passed that . Now that I feel okay with it and accept it I am dealing with the fact that I was not in the game emotionally for my wife and things have become a tad rough as of late. We will both get through it but I am interested to see if any others have had similar problems with the passing of family members.
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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:26 pm

T-REX wrote:
When my dad passed last year i kinda went numb for awhile and withdrew from my wife and family. It took awhile for me to get passed that . Now that I feel okay with it and accept it I am dealing with the fact that I was not in the game emotionally for my wife and things have become a tad rough as of late. We will both get through it but I am interested to see if any others have had similar problems with the passing of family members.

My dad and I were real close, more like brothers instead of father/son. He was an incredible man and I learned a lot of life's lessons from him. I could talk to him about things that I could never discuss with anyone else. My dad passed in 1973 while I was away in Vietnam. After coming home for his funeral I was sent back to Nam and really did not have time to grieve. When I finally did come home, I expected to see him sitting in his family room watching TV. That was really tough on me. It has been 40 years since he passed and I still grieve for him. I can relate to what you are going through. I wish I could say it gets easier with time, but I am not quite sure about that.
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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:48 pm

It is rough losing a parent.

OK...here is my experience....when my dad died I was 29. Daddy was 49 when I was born and I was the youngest and only girl. My dad and I were very close. The day my daddy died was my 9th wedding anniversary AND my youngest was just one month old. It took me some years after daddy died for me to really enjoy or celebrate our anniversary. But now, I'm ok about it. But even though I grew up with daddy having health problems (he had pieces of a German hand grenade in his chest) I was not prepared at all for his death. And furthermore, my mother did not handle it very well, which was also very hard on me. It was a very, very tough year after he died. But my husband was my anchor. He was so good to me during that time. Looking back I don't know if I would have made it through that time as well as I did without my sweet husband.

Now, my mom was a little different. She had dementia for 4 or 5 years before she died . I grieved greatly about losing my mom 4 years before she actually passed away as I saw her mind slip away. It was very hard for me to see her like that. She was 86 when she died, she had broken both her hips and her quality of life was not very good the last year of her life. When she passed away, it did not hit me as hard as it did when my dad died. I think because I knew that she was ready to go, that her quality of life was very low, plus she was 86 years old. I was just more accepting and ready for my mom to leave.

Now, my father in law died a few years ago and my husband's reaction was to cling to me. Hubby was in the US when his dad died and I was in Japan. Hubby had to fly from DC to WA State to be with his mom. When I flew into Seattle from Japan and I met my husband a day or so later, he just grabbed me, hugged me and would not let go. I hope I was there for him like he needed me to be and like he was there for me when my daddy died. My MIL is alive and doing well, thank God. She's in her 70s and the day will come that we will face the worst. It will not be easy for hubby...he loves him mom very much.

I am glad you have mostly moved past your grief. What I can tell you is that it will get easier year by year. It will get better. I guess everyone deals with grief differently. Let your wife know what she means to you. Let her know how important she is to you and how much you love her and depend on her and appreciate her. It's going to be alright. You're going to make it. It's ok to lean on your wife when you're going through a rough time. You don't always have to be the strong one. That's what marriage is about, leaning on each other.

So....a few months after my mom passed away, I woke up one morning and told hubby that he needed to see his mom. I don't know why, it's just what I felt. It was an overwhelming feeling I had that he needed to spend some time with his mom. I told him that either he needed to fly up and see her or we needed to talk her into flying down here to see. us. So we called her and she said she would love to come visit. So we flew her down here and had a great visit with her. Last Spring, we made a point to see her and in a couple of months, we're flying her to Florida to be at our daughter's graduation. I guess since my parents are gone and we only have hubby's mom left, it has become all the more important to me that hubby spend time with his mother. Hubby has not really spent a lot of time with her since he left for college, some 35 years ago. . Not because he hasn't wanted to..but because of his job, our location, It's not easy because she lives in the Northwest and we live in Alabama. But for the last couple of years we've made a point for him to see her at least once a year. I don't want him to have regrets when she's gone. I want him to have good memories of times he spent with her as a grown, adult son.


Last edited by nekochan on Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:51 pm

I'm sorry Ghost...just goes to show we all have a different life experiences. For me, time has helped. I wish my parents could see some things about my kids. I think about my parents when something happens that they would enjoy or be proud of. But I do not feel the overwhelming grief anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:17 pm

The loss of a parent is very difficult for many. It is especially difficult if you are very close. My dad died in 1987. He had cancer and had developed Alzheimer's, he died less than 6 mos after being diagnosed. When dad was diagnosed my parents moved in with me. While my dad was dying the only time I had to grieve was in the car going to and from work. When dad died I had the majority of the responsibilities...my brother had to return to Korea and my sister had just delivered her 3rd baby the day before he died....the only thing that kept dad alive the last week was waiting for his 9 th grandchild to be born. He wanted a red-headed little girl...and he got his wish. I kinda fudged on the hair but he was happy.

For some grief is very private. It took me a very long time to even talk briefly about it. I went to the cemetery for the first time after dad's death when my mom died in 2000. It's just not something that I can do without going all to pieces. I still grieve for my parents but I grieve more for my dad.

When you can talk about it talk about it to your wife. Women do not want to be shut out especially women that are care-takers.
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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:02 am

T Rex, I don't have time to respond adequately now. But yes, we went through the same thing when my mother passed away three years ago. And yes, it did affect my husband's and my relationship because I had a difficult time acknowledging what had happened on an emotional level. I had a hard time dealing with day-to-day tasks, and that affected my husband, though he will deny that.

It took me over a year to finally break down and cry. When I did, the dam broke, and I cried for almost an entire day. I am forever grateful that my husband was there for me through all of it.

More later. Must go.

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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:33 pm

(Big hug to all.)

T-Rex, there's nothing wrong with having emotions. There would be something wrong if you didn't.

Thinking of losses like that bring out the crybaby in me... and this post is no different... sniff.

Please remember the living (your family)... they are not gone and life is too short to deny yourself and them of companionship and love..



My mom lived with us for the last 6 years of her life, passing at 92 years of age. She was frail, but luckily had few health problems. We did our best to make her comfortable and I think she enjoyed life right up until the end.

She loved the Mariachi band at the Mexican restaurant (pic below at age 92). At her funeral, my brother said "Thanks for taking care of my momma." I said "It was an honor."



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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:41 pm

Beautiful picture of your mom, Eric.
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Eric

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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:45 pm

nekochan wrote:
Beautiful picture of your mom, Eric.

Thanks, Neko. She was always prim and proper. Always had her make-up just right. She wasn't always so gaunt. This is her just a few years before.


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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:16 pm

Beautiful picture.
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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:53 am

Your Mom was beautiful, Eric. Thanks for posting her picture. I'm going to have to edit it, but I want to post a picture of my Mom as well. God knows I miss her, every single day.

TRex, Neko made a valid point about making certain you communicate your grief to your wife. That is a mistake I made after my own mother died. I kept it inside, and dealt with it by not dealing with it. I buried myself in work and slept when I wasn't working. That went on for a year, and if I'm completely honest I have to say I am just now coming out of the soul funk I was in. Like Ghost said, my mother was more like a sister than a Mom, and she was my best friend.

Although my husband tried to help me see what was going on with me, I rejected it. Not him - never him - I just rejected the idea that I was having such a hard time coping. I had a need to see myself as "strong" - I've always had that need. However, I let the house go, my garden go, everything. It was as if anything I had ever done was baseless after my mother died, because she would never again be there to enjoy it with me or be proud of me for what I have accomplished.

For a long time, I had dreams about my mother. In those dreams, my mother never spoke - she would just look at me. Then, about a year ago, Mom started talking in my dreams. I think I finally started to recover after one particular dream that had me waking up in stitches, laughing my tail off.

In that dream, which occurred during the time of the recent Olympics, I had entered the Olympics as a ---- picture this ----- hurdle jumper of some kind, just like the horses that jump hurdles in contests. I remember being concerned that I was 58 years old, somewhat overweight, and in, shall we say, less than perfect shape for the Olympics.

In my dream, I was facing a particularly high hurdle during jumping practice. Suddenly, my Mom was there. She said, "Just raise your legs higher and JUMP! I know you can do this! It just takes practice!"

Since that dream, I rarely have dreams about my Mom anymore. It was as if she finally told me what I needed to hear. I CAN go on, I can still enjoy my life. I think that was the hurdle for me - how do I even allow myself to enjoy my life now that my mother is gone?

Share with your wife, TRex. Share what we have written with her. Let her be there for you. Again, I am forever grateful to my husband for supporting me through that experience, even when I didn't realize or appropriately appreciate what he was doing at the time. I am one blessed woman, I tell you that.

Like Neko wrote, and like I have to remind myself all the time, it's okay to not be the "strong" now and then. It really is okay to allow others to be there for you.

I wish you both the best.

PB
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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:20 am

PB, I love that dream you described! How funny, and of course your mom there cheering you on! I do believe that our loved ones who have passed away sometimes communicate with us to let us know everything is going to be alright. My daddy communicated with me a couple of weeks after he died. And I know it wasn't just my imagination.

I understand perfectly what you mean about being a lucky woman to have your husband. I feel the exact same way about mine. Smile
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Eric

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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:34 am

I still have dreams about my deceased parents. My dad more than my mom. Sometimes, it is semi-lucid... in that, in my dreams I know that they are deceased, but the dream goes on with them in them.

Kinda like getting getting an extra gift from the after-life.

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Gunz

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PostSubject: Re: The stages of grief and their effects on immediate family   Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:36 pm

Thanks for all of the advice. I really appreciate it. Its good to know that what I had going on is not uncommon.
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