Crisis, Grief, and Healing => Main => Topic started by: Candace on October 02, 2007, 04:40:25 PM

Title: Do you want to sleep a lot of a parent's death?
Post by: Candace on October 02, 2007, 04:40:25 PM
They say you don't really grow up until you've lost both parents. That said, I'm not sure how I feel now that Mom and Dad are gone--tired I think. Mom died of natural causes June 30, 2007 at age 83. She had the best of hospice care, and knew we all loved her. But, she missed Dad so much! They were practically joined at the hip for 55 years. They were lucky in love, and Dad finally got his square dance partner back.

Otherwise, I've slept a LOT since August 1. Quit my job, and was dog tired all of the time. I am just now starting to feel "normal"...did anyone else out there want to sleep endlessly after their loved one died? There were days when I simply could not get out of bed--I mean, the house could have started on fire and I wouldn't have moved.
Title: Re: Do you want to sleep a lot of a parent's death?
Post by: StillInTheFog on October 03, 2007, 02:09:29 AM

Rest assured, many people find lots of sleep to be necessary after a loss such as yours. The process of watching a loved one make a transition out of this world-- or form of life or whatever you want to call it-- is EXHAUSTING. Its exhausting emotionally, that's the easy one, because you're feelings this intense emotions, ok that makes sense. But it is also so PHYSICALLY exhausting that oftentimes, sleep is the only thing you do. The brain feeling sorrow has a physical effect that I found was SO MUCH MORE than i'd ever expected. You're nerves are shot and take days or sometimes weeks to begin to (physically) settle down. Your muscles are exhausted from remaining tense for days, weeks, months. In a way, you're experiencing the way someone might feel the day after running a marathon. Everything is tired. You need rest. You need rest for your mind to reboot. For your body to catch up with you after what i'm sure was weeks of putting family needs ahead of your own health needs. It's impossible to fully function right away after a loss. It doesn't matter how far ahead you knew it was coming. Doesn't matter how much "preparation" you were able to do, or think you were able to do. You were locked into a position that wouldn't change unfortunately until you could move to the next thing.

My dad passed away in may of 06. I had come back back to help my mother take care of him for the last 2 years of his life. Since then, I've tried to equate, quantify, add logic to, explain, analyze, look for the quick fix, and anything else you can think of to sidestep the effect of grief. Here's what i got so far:

Until your ready, grief is stronger than you are. It's not an enemy, its not the bad guy, even though it feels like it. It's more like a guide, taking you through the dark woods of loss during the storm, helping you get to the next place safely, effectively.

You have to let it do its thing.

If it's thing is make you sleep. Then sleep.
If your sleep doesn't stop you from doing those things you need to do, then don't think twice about it.
You said you're starting to feel normal. Sounds like its working.
You quit your job, does this effect your living situation? If not, then sleep when you need to. As long as when you wake up, you can do something, or feel something other than horrifying loss (even if just for second), then sleep as much as you need to and sometime soon, you won't need to as much (sounds like you're already there).

If you can't function, can't feel anything else, and\or is it effecting your living situation (can't put food on the table, etc.) then too much sleep can be a sign of a bigger deal. Reach out for help, to your family, friends, doctor, whatever. Let someone know.

That's it i guess. Sorry so long. I found this site looking for counsel of my own and starting writing. This is what came out. 

Its been a year and a half since losing my dad and today I just went through a realization that i'm not as far along through the grief process as i thought (as i'd hoped, as i'd wanted). The grief is still very much there. I feel like i should have known better than to expect i was past that part. nope. One of the current manifestations of the grief is, you guessed it, i sleep a lot sometimes. I have to let it do its thing.

Title: Re: Do you want to sleep a lot of a parent's death?
Post by: Lonnie on October 03, 2007, 02:30:24 PM
I think sleep disturbances of all kinds are normal for awhile. During my dad's illness and afterward, I developed a sleep disorder. I stay up too late, and feel like my nervous system is whacked. I know it's not good for me, but I am finding it a difficult habit to break. I think it is a kind of escapism when the house is quiet, and I can be alone. Usually I write. At any rate, I am trying to get a better schedule for my life. I believe sleep can be so healing, as long as it does not keep you from relating to others, and doing the things you need to do.
Just wanted to welcome you both! This is a great place to share your feelings and work through your grief. Hugs-Lonnie
Title: Re: Do you want to sleep a lot of a parent's death?
Post by: laurenE on October 03, 2007, 03:32:06 PM
I completely agree with Stillinthefog.    I slept ALOT after mom and dad died.   For several months,  maybe even a yr.  I dont remember.   Grief is exhausting.  A heavy burden that you have to carry around with you 24/7,  so yes  sleep a little more   but balance that with doing something with friends once in awhile. 

 If you are sleeping more than 10 hrs a day,  you may want to check with your family dr to get an evaluation to see if you may have some clinical imbalance going on.  When under stress for an extended period of time,  our seretonin level drops in our brain, which is what regulates mood.  This decrease in seretonin is what we call clinical depression.  It takes  more than just "snapping out of it".  It becomes a biological issue, thus sometimes meds are prescribed to get the seretonin level back up. 

Hope this helps.   
Title: Re: Do you want to sleep a lot of a parent's death?
Post by: SadCat777 on October 04, 2007, 11:36:28 PM
I just lost my mom two weeks ago. I feel completely exhausted. One of my best friends finally told me she's picking the kids (7 & 5 yrs. old) afterschool and she wants me to stay in bed and rest. Of course the first hour I cleaned, and then thought to myself..what the heck am I doing? Like my mom was telling me, take care of yourself so that you can take care of my Grandchildren! So I got into bed, slept for three hours, and felt much better mentally and physically.

If I didn't have kids, I'd probably sleep constantly through this grief. I just want to jump out of my skin right now. Everyone else seems so happy, and I feel like such a freak because I am so devastated.

I should be sleeping right now, but I can't.

Title: Re: Do you want to sleep a lot of a parent's death?
Post by: DianasMemory on October 05, 2007, 08:57:48 AM
Sadcat:  Sorry for your loss.  Yesterday, was four months since my mom became my angel.  It seems like an eternity.  I miss her.  I smile more then I cry even this soon out. 

Sleep is important you so have to do it for your children.  In the begining I enrolled my son in summer school he has autism just so I would have to get up and do something.  I'm a single mom.  In that first month I needed that because I had to drag myself out of bed. . .my son running out the door naked also helped me get up.

I did not sleep much the first three weeks but you will eventully but do take care of yourself and try to pamper yourself anyway you can. . .

You and your kids deserve it and your mom is watching and helping you from above.

Title: Re: Do you want to sleep a lot of a parent's death?
Post by: Crushed on October 05, 2007, 01:26:07 PM
You have gotten some very good advice.. and there is lot's of it here. Sleep is good and helps us begin to adjust.... but as the others have said, if it goes on to long that is not good for us.
I am the opposite. After the first shock wore off,I was a woman on a mission and was so hyper that I couldn't sleep or just sit. I was over thinking everything and couldn't focus on anything. Couldn't read, watch a whole tv program, and had to set a timer to make myself rest. We have to find balance and  my doctor helped me. We are all different and will have our own pace on this walk.   I can tell you that it does get better, thank goodness because who wants to stay in this place of such horrible pain?