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    "Worrying is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."
    Van Wilder, posted by Daniel

healthbound

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I'm really really really sad and miss my sister terribly. Even though she died 12 years ago, I still have a really difficult time truly accepting her death.
 

ThatLady

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From what you posted in another thread, I can imagine that's true, hon. You've never really dealt with the grief of losing her. Because you felt so responsible, what with your mother's inability to take responsibility, you probably blamed yourself and got stuck in that mode instead of moving beyond it. Now that you've realized that you did all you could, you can begin to truly grieve your loss and move on. Now, sweetie, you can cry those tears of sorrow and let it all out. Then, and only then, can you place your sister in her rightful place as a beloved memory instead of a sad one.
 

Eunoia

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I don't think time in itself heals wounds, yes it helps, and grief may lessen with time, but I think you also have to learn to deal w/ the grief sooner or later, especially in situations like yours. What I mean by that is simply allowing yourself to grieve, whatever that means for you.. it was my mom's mom's death day this week... I never knew her so even though she was my grandmother I feel sad about it but I am far from the feelings my mom is experiencing around this.... she gets really upset and remembers how lonely she was when my grandma was sick etc.... it's very sad. I asked her though, at the risk of her getting mad, if she only remembers the bad things (ie. the day she died) or also some of the good things on "these" days... and the reason why I asked is b/c even though this is a sad reminder and sad occasion, I think that there is so much good to be remembered from someone who has passed away... we knew them when they were alive and yet all we remember is them after they were dead.... I find that even if you can remember a moment you had w/ someone who died or smell their favorite flower etc. it can make a tremendous difference.... on the other hand, if taking this day to grieve for your sister and be sad is what you need there is no reason why you shouldn't if this is part of your healing process.... she will always be with you, even after 12 yrs, and as much as it will not get easier to have lost her, it will become easier to think of her w/ time maybe.... as you rememer the good and the bad..... I'm sorry you feel sad though....it sounds like it's really a lot to deal w/.... and from my own experiences of grieving for people, it's a process that isn't predictable and doesn't really end from one day to the next.....
 

healthbound

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Thanks for you replys TL and Eunoia.

I think it is good that I am sad even though it feels overwhelming and it physically hurts.

It wasn't until a few months ago that I began to remember some of our good times. And realizing that I had forgotten fond memories was a major realization. I was so consumed with the terrifying events of "that night" that I couldn't see anything else. Even my sadness.

I cryed again a bit today. I think I'll stop wearing make-up for then next few days :)
 

ThatLady

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Although grieving is difficult and makes us feel terrible, it is a necessary evil. We must undergo the process in order to put it behind us and move on with our lives.

Losing a loved one cannot be anything but painful, yet once we have succeeded in working our way through the process of grieving, we can remember the good times, the laughter, the closeness and the tears without so much anguish. We can realize the blessings this person brought into our lives and be thankful for those blessings, relishing them as a part of our lives that, while it cannot be replaced, was uniquely ours. Through this realization, the loved one takes his, or her, proper place...as a beloved and cherished memory.

Cry those tears, hon. Your sister is with you. She's alive in your heart, and in the love you still have for her. :)
 

comfortzone

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Hi Healthbound,

Think of grieving as a similar process as tearing up when you have something in your eye. The reason for tearing up is to clear something from your eye(s). The grieving process is similar in that it helps you see clearly how important your sister has been in your life. You can remember the pleasant thoughts or experiences you shared with her without feeling the pressure of her absence. For your sister will remain in your heart and memories where you can recall your lives together. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Isn't it interesting when you take the AL away from alone you are left with one? You are ONE surrounded by all of us here. Take care,
 

healthbound

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Thank you very much comfortzone. I really like your analogy and I sincerely appreciate that I am in your thoughts and prayers. I am gratefully overwhelmed by both TL's and your support.
 

Eunoia

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I think that allowing yourself to cry about your sister and just missing her is a big part in being able to get through this... it's okay to feel this way, I find that people sometimes worry (and I have done this too) that they should be "over" grieving someone they lost... but that pain stays with you, b/c they were a part of your life. What I'm trying to say though is that your sister, even though she's gone, is still a part of your life. grief has that tendency of overtaking everything so that the pain of losing someone sticks out, but as you said, you can get so overwhelmed w/ everything that you can't even see your own pain. allowing yourself to be in pain though makes this whole process so much "easier" in the end... if you feel like crying, it's okay, if you feel like remembering a good moment w/ your sister or something she taught you or what she meant to you, it's okay too.... it's all part of this. *hugs*
 

healthbound

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Thanks Eunoia.
It's been a bizarre road. It seems that my mind/body/psyche got really "stuck" going around in a repetitive and never-ending loop the night she died. As I begin to "feel" or connect more with the realities of what happened, I am becoming increasingly aware of how limited my perceptions really have been.

My brain and body continues to amaze me. I am grateful for every progression I make that allows me to step farther and farther away from the loop. I hate the loop. The loop keeps me anxious and confused. I just want to stop and cry now. And then accept my life just as it is.

Instead of around and around and around and around...

You hit the nail on the head when you said, "it's okay to feel this way". For whatever reasons some part of me didn't (and sometimes still doesn't) think I could, should or would need to feel my own loss for her. I didn't think it was okay, safe, appropriate, normal, allowed, or whatever.

So, here I am doing it now...12 years later. That's ok though. I would rather go through this now than never. From what I can tell, some people never get out of the loop and what a limited life that would be.

Am I even making sense?!

lol - what I meant to say was, thanks.
 

ThatLady

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We all grieve our losses, sweetie. If you're breaking the cycle a little late, that's okay. At least, you're breaking it and moving forward! That's what's important.
 

healthbound

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Hey thanks comfortzone.

I'm still feeling very sad. I find that I will feel anxious and then will feel overwhelming sadness. I've actually let it out about 3 different times now. I'm happy to be learning how to let bits of it out without losing touch with here and now.

I'm actually really glad that I'm even feeling sad.

It is sad. I'm sad.

I had my last of 6 anxiety management sessions today and had a major realization last week during my session (after a panic attack infront of everyone). It relates to my sister, but is more appropriate in ptsd or anxiety...so, I'll post there now.

Your support is very meaningful. Thank you. I do feel very alone with my experiences and sadness, so I am grateful for your post.

Thank you.
 

Eunoia

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Two things:
I'm actually really glad that I'm even feeling sad.
Any emotion is better than none so to say, b/c at least you know you're feeling something instead of just feeling numb. Allowing yourself to feel sad is a good way to open up a whole new door to all of those feelings that you kept inside for so long, it's a way of processing and just letting things be...

I do feel very alone with my experiences and sadness
You are not alone by any means. Someone may not have had the exact same experience but compassion is all that it takes to "be there" w/ you... and being willing to listen to share your pain. I understand that you may feel alone, and it's understandable... but please remember that you do have people in your life and on here who care... your son is one of those people. And in terms of support for feeling sad you have your groups, even if they're coming to an end, those people care.. therapy outside of those sessions is a good support too. What about grief groups? Have you ever thought of that? My point is, as alone as you feel, many people have lost someone close to them, not all in the same way, but you're never alone in this....
 

healthbound

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"My point is, as alone as you feel, many people have lost someone close to them, not all in the same way, but you're never alone in this...."

hmmm....good point. I'm not alone in my experience...millions of people have lost someone they love.

This is good. Errr....not good, but....well, you know what I mean! :)

Thanks Eunoia.
 

comfortzone

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Healthbound,

You are very welcome! It takes time to grieve and work through the issues related to your sister. I think of all of the people I have come to know throughout my life and realize that even if they are not in my life, whether physically or because of distance, a part of that person remains in my heart and mind. I treasure the moments I have experienced with those I have positively encountered in my life and a smile crosses my face when I recall them. Best wishes,
 

healthbound

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What a wonderful way to think of people who are not physically with you. What a wonderful way to think of memories of people too.

I still feel very sad whenever I think of my sister in any context, but I know that someday I'll be able to think of her and smile instead of cry. Sometimes I laugh while I'm crying because I think of something funny we did. Other times I laugh and then immediately cry. It's ok though, I think. I really like the idea keeping a part of someone in your heart and mind.

Also, I guess I could begin keeping some of the people I've met here in mind so I don't feel so alone. Never really thought of that either. I have a surplus of disturbing images, thoughts and feelings - maybe I could remember your message when I'm having panic attacks.

I always remember (unfortunately not during panic attacks) you telling me about the friend you had in school that used to have similar reactions as me (found in Temporary Paralysis). I remember you telling (well, writing) me that when she would have "these reactions" you would talk to her about the trees and how they swayed and how the snow was falling. I have a very beautiful and peaceful image in my mind everytime I think of that. I think of you comforting her and I think of the trees. Things seem very still, quiet and beautiful there. Grrr...but, then I feel sad again. I don't get it. Why would something like that evoke sadness? Anyway, at least it doesn't turn into terror. I like sad instead of terror.

Maybe I think of that "comfortzone" in little bits.
 

comfortzone

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Hi Healthbound,

Thank you for your kind words. Being sad is normal for us humans. It is a sign that things are the way we want them to be. It can also be experienced when we do not feel powerful in our lives. Being powerful is a thought and a choice. But we cannot rush through our feelings as then we tend to get worse off than before.

Many times we feel a certain way because we want something to be a certain way instead of preferring to be that way. Preferences are about us being more flexible. "Want and have to" are associated with feelings of loss. I have learned recently to use "I am" statements. It is a good technique to focus on the positive. Such as, "I am able to learn new things to help me." Please take care and know there is that special place for you in your mind and you can walk in the meadows as a gentle breeze sweep past you.
 

healthbound

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Hey comfortzone,

Thanks for your post. You bring up an interesting perspective...

Being powerful is a thought and a choice.

I question whether it's actually a choice or not. Care to expand...?

It's interesting because depression and ptsd are the two areas where I really feel powerless...Like, no matter how hard I work or how hard I try, I can't seem to prevent certain symptoms. I cognitively understand that (for example) I am powerless over the fact that my sister has died, BUT that I DO have control over how I perceive her death and how I handle it. BUT again...I am only NOW learning, with the help of many therapists, how to perceive my experience of her death in a much less debilitating manner.

If it was simply about choice, then couldn't I have just decided that I didn't want the continual movie loop in my head every time I heard a ambulance or saw a person jump/fall out of something?

I am fascinated by our minds, bodies, emotions and psyche and how it relates to our internal vs external locus of control. Ironically, I generally have a very high locus of control (maybe even to a fault), but during my adolescence, after my sister's death and recently have been 1 - 3 year periods of my life when I seem to experience a complete switch to an extremely high external locus of control. Odd. Well, maybe not. I guess it comes back down to balance again. Something I want to achieve, but struggle with.

Anyway, I'd love to hear more of your thoughts about this.
 

comfortzone

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You are welcome Healthbound.

Is not thinking that you are "powerful" or "weak" a thought? Do we not have control over our thoughts? If we do not have some sort of control over our thoughts we would not have the ability to make decisions to say or to do something. We have to have some control over how we react to the situation in our lives. We can learn to think a particular way about ourselves but when we learn that what we are thinking about ourselves is incorrect we can reprogram our thoughts to fit that which is more accurate of a description of ourselves.

We develop beliefs from our experiences based upon our thoughts and feelings. If we are aware of the triggers and work to change how these triggers affect us, then we are powerful by our choices to bring about change. Change can be difficult but it become more difficult when you think it is more difficult. So in essence we must take responsibility for our thoughts and feelings. If we do not, then we are subject to every whim of those whom we share our lives.

It takes time and work to change the things that can trigger us. Such as the sound or smell of things. But for us to change we must make A decision to do so. Bad things can happen to us but these bad things do not need to deprive us of what we DO have.

An external locus of control is how we see the world as small children. We must have someone feed us, bath us and protect us from the harmful things in the world. As we age we learn to become more self-sufficient. Sometimes our care givers do not give us the opportunity to move into self-sufficiency. This situation can set us up to depend upon someone besides ourselves to make decisions as well as to change things for us.

Therapy can be kind of a re-parenting for people...so that they are given the opportunity to grow, to learn, and to develop into the beautiful and wonderful individual who they are. Healthbound...I am so thankful that you are receiving therapy! I liked how you described how you had no power over your sister's death but how you do have control over how you perceive and react to her death. Some one this morning said to me, "How would you feel if you knew your dad was dying?" (along those lines) Other people there told her how everyone experiences death. I witnessed how human beings have a hard time listening to others when they are speaking of something we are all vulnerable to. She made her statement looking at me. I could feel her pain and I knew that I could say nothing that could relieve her pain. So I decided to walk over to her. I asked her if she wanted a hug. She said yes. I hugged her and told her I was sorry about her father. I think that she was able to share her pain with me and I heard her and did not try to give her anything but my support. I realize your pain is similar as this woman's. I can't take away your pain but we can support you THROUGH this situation. Sending you my best,
 

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