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Struggling With Largely Unresolved Grief

Discussion in 'Social' started by No-Twitch-Tabitha, Sep 18, 2007.

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  1. No-Twitch-Tabitha

    No-Twitch-Tabitha Well-Known Member

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    I've been on this forum for over a year, posting mainly in my Trauma Diary and in some threads. I feel safe enough to talk about this now--in public. I'm looking for some feedback.

    I had an uncle (one of Mom's brothers) die after a long illness last month. My cousin was very close to him, and he wasn't taking it at all well.

    While my uncle was sick, my cousin was distraught, depressed, etc. and I tried to be there for him because I know what it's like to care for someone with a terminal illness...and I'm too compassionate for my own good. I always want to help, often at the expense of my own well-being.

    Since depression and alcoholism run like wildfire through my family, my cousin was trying to wean himself off the bottle and get into counselling and therapy. There again -- helping him stay off the bottle (while trying to keep myself sober...I've never been called an alcoholic, but my past behavior puts me in that category). When my uncle died, that was it. He seemed to get gloomier.

    The last time I talked to him was two weeks ago. I told him I would try to get over to see him (he lived about 3.5 hours away) and we could go fishing or skip stones on the water or...whatever he wanted to do. And talk, always talk. Put his head on my shoulder. And, if he wanted to, cry. Anything to help him feel better.

    Last week, I got the news that he killed himself. So there was that lovely drive for an evening funeral.

    No one saw it coming. He just didn't seem like the kind of person who would kill himself. It seemed to me he was fighting his demons, clawing his way out. He was always a fighter, he always seemed to have spunk and will.

    He seemed deflated at my uncle's funeral, just tired. I didn't think much of it. Everyone who cared for my uncle was tired and...relieved?...that he's resting. But my cousin...he remarked suddenly, "I don't want to be buried in a casket. That's creepy." I agreed with him, but thought nothing more of it.

    His suicide is bringing up my own largely unresolved grief about my other cousin who committed suicide -- she was my own best friend, my soul mate...the anger, the deep hurt, the feeling that I didn't do enough, the feeling of betrayal, etc. I'm pulling myself out of my own body more lately simply because I don't want to be in here feeling it. My heart hurts more than usual, and I'm just...all I can say is it hurts. I don't have the adequate words.

    I am angry at him and, nearly a decade-and-a-half later, I'm angry at her again. I have had many people die in my life, so I expect the sharpness of the pain to lessen, but this is one pain (my best friend's suicide) that still remains sharp.
     
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  3. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    I'm very sorry to hear about your uncle, and your cousin, especially since it's the second suicide in your family.. OMG. Suicide is so difficult, so many questions left unanswered and I totally understand being angry. I've had multiple deaths in my family, including a suicide. Also my brother died in an accident 5 months ago and my family and I are just going into grief therapy again in a couple of weeks, for our own unresolved grief. Where I live there is a survivors of suicide support group... maybe you could attend something like that where you live? Anyways sorry I'm not really being helpful, but I do understand all the feelings you described, I'm going through similar issues, and I did want to say I'm really sorry for your losses. I'll be thinking of you.
     
    No-Twitch-Tabitha likes this.
  4. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Death is never easy to deal with. Grieving takes time. There are many stages to go through and none of them come in order....

    You have been through a lot, with both deaths. Take your time, and do what you need to do to get through this....

    Sorry for your losses......I know it is still painful, but I hope that soon you will be able to remember them with a smile instead of the pain that you have now....

    Wendy
     
  5. scout

    scout New Member

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    I've attempted suicide before - when I was very young. I still find it strange to this day how my mind was able to make that option not only seem viable, but the only viable solution to my problem. Looking back now, and having had a former bf commit suicide, it seems it's really all about what is going in in the person's head for those few moments proceeding the choice. I know for me it was all about the pain of the moment and feeling too worn down to deal with it.
     
  6. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    How ya doing Tab?

    bec
     
  7. No-Twitch-Tabitha

    No-Twitch-Tabitha Well-Known Member

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    Fair to middling.

    The last week has just run me down.

    I attempted suicide many times as a teenager. I actually thought that the world would be better off without me. I still have thoughts similar to that some days.

    Like, "What significance am I to this planet? Do I even matter?"

    :doh:
     
  8. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    I think that you matter to the people in your life right now. I don't know anything about you but as a person you do count. You have parents maybe that care, a husband or boyfriend that care about you, children, friends, co-workers.

    So yes you do count....
     
  9. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    Hang in there.

    I know this sounds weird... but whenever I start feeling like that I have "Dust in the Wind" by the Moody Blues run through my head.

    I'm glad you realize it's only temporary and your run down. Time for some hot bubble baths and You time!

    bec
     
  10. erryyn

    erryyn Member

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    I can't begin to understand exactly what you're going through right with what's happened in your life but it makes me think of a couple of things. What I have found, in my life, is that those who aren't sure whether or not they intend suicide, or those looking for help, are sometimes those who are looking for help or are, in some ways, open to help.

    Those who truly intend suicide too frequently give little to no indication of it (my mother committed suicide as well as a friend/almost half-brother of mine several years later). And there's a thousand questions we ask regarding what we could have done or what if or why didn't she/I, etc.? There's the anger, yes the grief, and far too often the guilt that tries to worm its way through us.

    This may be nothing but what I've determined for myself is that there was nothing I could have done, nothing I could have said that would have been the 'magic key' to prevent their actions. When a person is facing that choice, when they are in that moment, that moment is theirs and theirs alone. I loved them the best I knew how - I told them the best I knew how. From your post, it sounds like you did the same.

    And is there anything more precious that one person can give another than complete love and acceptance? So what more could you have done, realistically? And I say that with a little bit of a smile because I know, and I'm betting you know, that there was truly nothing different you could have done without that magic key and knowledge greater than a mortal's. But it doesn't stop the questions and I'm standing about twenty years away from some of them but still they linger. Realistic or not, the questions still stand.

    It still creeps up and tries to eat at me from time to time as it won't entirely go away (I loved them, after all). But I found some peace in how I carry it in knowing that I don't have a magic key, and never will, and knowing that it was their decision - one that had nothing to do with me when they approached that moment of decision.

    I'm not an expert and I don't intend to be presumptuous with my post as I can't stand where you're standing ... but I wish you peace. Thank you for your post.
     
  11. No-Twitch-Tabitha

    No-Twitch-Tabitha Well-Known Member

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    That's part of my problem. When I do love someone, when I do finally let them past the alarm system, it is for life unless they really screw me over...and even then, the flip-side of love is hatred. But I digress. I loved them all. Hard. To the point of self-sublimation. Perhaps that's it? Not caring so much for myself as for them? Steeling myself? Pulling back a little?

    I know intellectually that I couldn't have prevented them from killing themselves. I know that. It's the emotion. I thought I was getting better about my best friend's suicide. I finally was able to think about it without feeling the urge to cry and so much anger, but then my cousin offed himself and it started all over again.

    Oh, and this week is the anniversary of my mother's death (1997) and my brother's death (last year).

    I would say I don't know how much more I can take, because every time I do, something else happens.
     
  12. No-Twitch-Tabitha

    No-Twitch-Tabitha Well-Known Member

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    Well, earlier tonight my sister. bro-in-law, the kids, and I wrote messages and attached them to some helium-filled balloons. We let them go into the sky from the front yard.

    Today was the 1-year anniversary of my brother's death. It was difficult, and I was basically a zombie all day.

    All I want is to be alone with myself. All I want is to stay away from other people.
     
  13. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    The balloons sound lovely Tab.

    If you need some time alone, take some. Have a hot bath, go for a walk, go sit on a swing set and swing. Just do something that allows you some time to grieve.

    Hang in there.

    bec
     
    No-Twitch-Tabitha likes this.
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