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Eunoia

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how do you deal w/ death if you don't get that "closure" of a funeral/some kind of service.... there's been many reasons why but just in the past mth a friend had a loss and then a friend of mine I had lost touch w/ died in an accident. I kind of pushed the thought of her dying away, b/c I can't deal w/ it. I don't know how. I don't want to. It's been so hard in the past, I am not connected to any of her friends or family really and my friends didn't really know her. there's more stuff than that but to say the least it's complicated. When I think of her I hear her laugh, I see her face, I remember all the moments we had together, all the things we went through, the phone calls we had, the classes we had..... I just can't believe she's gone. it's unreal. I don't want to talk about it and I can't. I don't know how or w/ whom. i don't want to be upset about this forever or make others worry, and things are getting better... but as I said that's partly b/c I've pushed it all out of reality.
Death is a very touchy subject anyways....family, personal, friend stuff.... and I know I don't deal well w/ it. Not that anyone does really but you know what I mean.
I know I could write a letter for myself to her. But I mean really what else is there to do? People expect you to move on. even if they know. life goes on. it sucks even though in a way it's probably needed to keep you going. I feel like I'm surrounded by death...I was so afraid of people dying when the new year started b/c last yr a number of people I knew/had some connection to died...and it's all happening again...

HOW DO YOU DEAL W/ THIS?!??!
 

David Baxter

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"dealing"??? ever?

Have a look at this article, Eunoia:

http://www.psychlinks.ca/pages/grief-accidental-death.htm

... maybe it will help.

I don't think it's a matter of "dealing" with loss... it's more a matter of finding a way to absorb it. I don't know how to make sense of death -- I only know how to make sense of life. And the person you have lost to death had a life -- try to focus on that life, what it meant to you, what you learned from it, what lessons that person taught you. Use the person's life to create a living legacy.
 

Eunoia

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"dealing"??? ever?

thank you so much for your article.

I find it really really difficult to talk about this w/ anyone b/c I feel like people expect you to be ok, especially if you weren't a family member or a really close friend. Realistically I know it's stupid to assume this but that's the attitude that you get. And then sometimes I don't know how to "deal" w/ how they died and the fact that they're dead and I think of all the things that should have happened when they were still alive. A lot of people don't know how difficult this is sometimes b/c I don't tell them, b/c they don't know why it affected me the way it did. It's like there is a wall up and I can't explain- even if I wanted to- how I'm feeling. It just makes it incredibly hard to go through this alone and live in fear to a certain extent of what will happen in the future.

I just saw this on one of your other posts w/ the quotes.
"Grief doesn't go away... it just waits until you are ready to grieve."
How do you get to that point when you are ready to grieve? If I can't grieve a loss right now then how am I supposed to get to that point later? I totally agree that grief doesn't go away and that "grief/sorrow need words" (other quote ) but that's exactly what I'm afraid of... that in the future this will all come back and it won't be ok...
 

David Baxter

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"dealing"??? ever?

When you are ready to grieve, you will grieve. It's not about preparing to do it... it's about getting to the point where the walls that prevent it from happening now weaken sufficiently to allow the grief to resurface...

When it's time, you won't be able to hold it back... and you won't want to or need to hold it back any more...
 

ThatLady

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"dealing"??? ever?

Actually, sweetie, you're grieving now. Not everyone grieves in the same way. Some of us feel frustration, or anger, while others simply feel numb. Still others lock the feelings away and "suffer in silence". Tears don't always come for everyone, nor do the words to express the pain we feel. As time passes, you will complete the grieving process in your own way. Don't worry about what "might happen". That's something none of us can know. Simply realize that you are grieving your loss in the way that is right for you and let time do its job. After awhile, the sweet memories of your friendship will soothe the pain away.
 

David Baxter

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"dealing"??? ever?

That's true in a way, ThatLady. But I know from personal experience that one can suppress or repress grief for a long time, several years in my case after the death of my mother. At the time, I had a new baby on the way (born 2-3 weeks later), a wife with a complicated pregnancy, a young daughter, new job, in a new city, in a new house... there were too many people who needed me and too many things to do to grieve.

About 4-5 years later, it hit me as if it had just happened.
 

ThatLady

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"dealing"??? ever?

Oh, yes. People often repress grief. That doesn't mean they aren't grieving in some subconscious manner, however. It can show itself in any number of little things in daily life. The grief is there, it's just not being consciously recognized and dealt with. As you said, when the time was right, it surfaced to be handled in a more orthodox way. :eek:)
 

Eunoia

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"dealing"??? ever?

I went to campus today which is from where I know my friend who passed away. it was so weird. it was like I could picture her hanging out in all these spots, participating in clubs and other activities...walking w/ her friends, smiling and laughing infectiously like always. it was almost surreal. I think I will always remember her presence and even though I know she's gone I know she will live on in my memories. Thank you guys so much for everything that you've said; it is very very difficult to actually think about the fact that she's gone, but I understand that grieving has many different forms and that there is no time line. I may be grieving now, I may be grieving in the future- and that's ok. It just does not seem real right now. It seems so surreal. It seems so wrong, like a bad dream.
 

Eunoia

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"dealing"??? ever?

I'm sorry to keep on bringing this up but things have just been really difficult and I want to be able, for once, to be honest about things. Ever since classes started it's been really hard. I see her in people who are in my classes who look like her (ie. hair color or the way they dress), I see people around campus that resemble her, I see posters for clubs that she used to be a part of, I have even run into people who knew her as well from when I first met her. I have had dreams about her, none of which I can really remember... I saw this girl walking towards me who looked deathly thin and then that got me thinking of my friend in a casket and how bugs were eating her. I know this is gross. I'm sorry. I don't know why I'm so morbid. I don't think about her all the time, but I do think about her. And I know that's ok. It would never even occur to me to bring this up w/ one of my friends b/c it's been so "long" and b/c to me this makes no sense. and I mean I am ok on a day to day basis. but it is sooooo hard. I guess it makes me think about stuff going on w/ myself too and how life just goes on no matter what happens. it's weird. I don't really know where I'm going w/ this....

I just don't understand grieving. I don't understand what I'm supposed to be doing or feeling or when this is supposed to be ok again. or what is ok and what is not. I know I am way too technical for something that has no guidelines, but it just makes no sense. This makes no sense to me. I had this dream about 2 of my best friends getting killed in this car accident recently.... I don't know if this has anything to do w/ it. I think I am making myself be afraid of "what might happen". I know this isn't productive, but knowing and doing are such opposites.
 

David Baxter

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"dealing"??? ever?

I think in the beginning people who are grieving do tend to dwell on morbid things. In the end, the solution is to work toward a point where you can focus more on your friend's life than her death.

I often tell people that I don't know how to make sense of death. I know it happens. I know it is part of the life cycle. But it doesn't make sense to me. I do, however, know how to make sense of life.

Try to remember her not as she is now but as she was when she was alive, vibrant and happy. Try to focus on the things she meant to you, how she affected you, how she impacted your life. Try to focus on what you learned from her as a person and then try to pass on what you learned to other people. That will be her legacy, her immortality. She will live on forever in you and in all the people you affect as a result of having known her.

See Grief in Accidental and Sudden Death.
 

healthbound

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"dealing"??? ever?

Funny - I was going to begin a new topic asking how I know when I'm actually grieving or simply spinning again (I describe my repetitive memories about my sister's death as spinning sometimes).

I liked reading -you grieve when you're ready- and I also relate to repressing grief. My sister died over a decade ago and I am still (or just started?) grieving her death.

So, I asked myself, "how do I know when I'm grieving?". For me, I think I'm grieving when I'm actually *feeling* instead of spinning or experiencing horror, confusion and disbelief (things I seem to experience a lot).

It was interesting to read suggestions to focus on life rather than death. It wasn't until recently (a few months ago) when my psychiatrist suggested that I delegate 10mins per day, everyday, to light a candle, think about my sister and write down whatever memories I had within that 10mins. Just 10mins per day. Just remember her.

The thought of doing that scared the crap out of me and it took me a long time to begin(and to be honest, I only managed to do it for about a week). But after a few days I found that I actually remembered a few memories that were happy ones! Memories that I had somehow completely forgotten for an extremely long time. My thoughts about her had been (and often, still are) consumed by her death - the day she died and all the events related to it. That's all that was stuck in my mind for years. But recently, I finally allowed myself to let in a couple of good memories too. What a gift.

It was strange because for a brief time, I sort of felt connected to her again.

Anyway, I seem to sort of "phase in" and "phase out" of connecting to my real emotions about her and how much I really miss her. I guess it's too much to do it all at once. Sometimes I go through longer periods of thoughts and feelings about her and other times I block it them out completely.

One thing is for sure though - although I can't seem to keep this concept a conscious one - feeling seems to be much better than being disconnected and spinning.

Now, if I could only discover a way to somehow imbed *that* into my memory I'd have some really great advice!!
 

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