Author Topic: Is it Just Me, or have you noticed it too?  (Read 5148 times)

sissychris

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Is it Just Me, or have you noticed it too?
« on: March 09, 2007, 07:30:27 AM »
Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the majority of people who ask 'how are you doing?" after the loss of a loved one, don't really seem to want an honest answer?

I was always raised to be polite, and to be honest, however these two principles seem to be in conflict when it comes to the loss of my brother.

A friend stopped by and asked me, "How are you doing?" To which I replied, "I feel like Larry's death has ripped my heart into tiny pieces that I may never be able to put back together because the continuing war between our parents is just stomping on the pieces."

This was the honest answer of how I was feeling and yet it shocked my friend into total silence.  After a few moments I told her, "I am still hurting but I know time will make it better."  This seemed to make her feel much more comfortable.

Anybody else have this problem, or any solutions on how to handle these situations?

Thank you

PAT B

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Re: Is it Just Me, or have you noticed it too?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2007, 05:36:08 AM »
All the people that know me are always saying, "Pat you are a strong person"  This drives me crazy!  Do they understand when they say this, it makes me feel like they don't expect me to feel heart broken, devastated, and lost in a sea of doom?  It is almost like, she'll get over it.  And when they ask me how I am doing and I tell them the truth, instead of simply saying, I know it's awful.......they say, "Pat you are a strong person, you will get through this"

I did tell my close friend last night to stop saying that phrase.  I told her it makes me feel like you only want to hear that I'm okay, and don't want to hear how bad I am really feeling.  She was quiet for a minute, then proceded to say, "I know you are hurting, I didn't know if I should join you and cry, I thought I was supposed to make you feel better"

She promised that she would never say "your a strong person again."
It felt better than having to take care of her feelings and be able to have mine.

I don't know if this answers your question, but it sure did help me get out how I was really feeling, which helped me to have a good night's sleep for the first time in a while.

Sad Eyes

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
    • View Profile
Re: Is it Just Me, or have you noticed it too?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2007, 07:21:33 AM »
Sissychris,

  I too, have found that most people expect us to sugar coat how we really feel about the loss of our loved ones.  I agree that grief makes other people uncomfortable.  I'm not sure why, it could be because they just don't know what to say or do.  That is such a helpless feeling and most people try to avoid it at all costs. 

  Having lost both by sister (cancer) and my brother (murder) I have experienced two kinds of people, those who are very sincere and those who are just fishing for gossip.  I often find that I end up keeping my emotions to myself when asked "how are you doing", I don't like making others uncomfortable and I also don't like being told that "I just need to forget about it and move on".  Comments like those really hurt.

  I hope that it helps you to know that you are not alone in your struggles with grief.  I am sorry that you have to experience these kind of feelings.  Take care and let me know how you are doing.

Jparks

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • My little brother. A perfect human being.
    • View Profile
Re: Is it Just Me, or have you noticed it too?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2007, 03:46:00 PM »
The sugar coating isnt really for us. It is for them. Unless you have experienced it firsthand, you can never know how someone feels at a very close loss. It makes others uncomfortable and the only way they know how to handle it is by saying some cornball positive cliche. I dont get mad at people for that. I understand why they do it. I just make sure to never do it myself when others go through a loss.

sissychris

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Is it Just Me, or have you noticed it too?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2007, 09:54:24 AM »
thank you all.  Because of my work I deal with death a LOT, and have seen so many different reactions to it, I have lost other members of my family and friends, I have had friends who have lost family.  I understand that a lot of time the people around us feel helpless and powerless, I just wish that somewhere in someone's litlle "etiquette" book that they would let people know that sometimes the best way to help people deal with their grief is to just let them be honest about it, let them state what is in their hearts and on their minds.  I really don't think any of us expects anyone to be able to say or do anything to "FIX" the problem, that just listening is enough.  And that for the love of everything holy to drop the blooming cliches!!!!!!! NO NO NO It will NOT get better with time.  How do they know for a "FACT" that the deceased is better off.  Time does NOT heal all wounds.  And QUITE HONESTLY if one more person says to me, "Well, at least he was not your only brother" I may just slap them.  It may be horrible to feel that way but that is how I feel.

I feel that eventually I will be able to cope with my loss and my grief better than I am now, the wound will never heal but hopefully it will scar over to the point that I lose the feeling of wanting to crawl in my closet and shut the door and never come out, and while my faith in God makes me truly want to believe that my brother is with him now, no one can ever truly and completely know that about another person until they are there themselves.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know the "stages of grief" and today I am teetering back and forth between anger and denial.

I know that he is gone, but I don't want to believe it. How DARE he leave me behind!!!  There were still so many things coming up in my life that he was supposed to be at my side for.  How DARE he!!!!!  If he had just taken his medicine like he was supposed to he would be HERE!!! The doctors told him, mother told him, our father told him, I TOLD him, I showed him, I explained it to him over and over, I begged and pleaded and he wouldn't listen. And now my world is a shambles.

The crazy thoughts that keep running through my head are driving me to distraction, so many memories and he is there in all of them.  Playing hide and seek when we were kids and him hiding in the dryer..... so I turned it on.  Wrestling our younger brother down and flipping the loveseat upside down on him so he couldn't get out.  Making our younger brother cry by saying we were going to tell on him for "PEERing out the window" before he knew what peering meant.  Being there the first time I got to hold my oldest child.  Sitting with me in the hospital when I was sick.  There to see my son the first time he sang on stage and played in band.  In the background laughing at me during my kids birtheday parties at how flustered I would get.  Actually standing up and "Whooping" when I graduated college at age 35.  Not being able to remember why for as long as I can remember that I have always called him "Bug".

Not all the memories are pleasant there are plenty where he was drunk or high, but they are still memories of him, memories of what we were to each other and memories of a relationship that can never be forgotten, replaced, or someone else fill his spot.

Wow that felt good.

Thank you again

Christi

Jparks

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • My little brother. A perfect human being.
    • View Profile
Re: Is it Just Me, or have you noticed it too?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2007, 09:41:52 PM »
It does feel good to get these things out of your mind and into the open. When you feel so down that you cant stand it and noone is there tot alk to, write it down here. I for one will read it. Even if people dont reply, they are reading.

Lonnie

  • Guest
Re: Is it Just Me, or have you noticed it too?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2007, 11:39:11 PM »
Christi: You described so wonderfully the feelings of losing a close loved one. Particularly if it is a parent or a sibling, we feel like we are losing so much of our history with them. We want to be able to call them up or go out to dinner and be able to say, "Remember the time we..." I find myself constantly saying those things to my mom now because I feel that when she is gone there won't be hardly anyone to remember. I am 8 years older than my brother and I feel like we came up in different times. My first cousin was like a brother to me-we even lived in the same household with my grandparents for awhile. But when I was 7, my mom and I moved to Atlanta, and a certain part of the journey was just us. At any rate, we are not just losing family, we are losing a part of our past.
I also agree with your observations on those who ask how we are. Why do they even ask? They don't really want to know. Once you have felt this pain, you know that it doesn't ever completely go away. The tide goes out once in awhile, but the waves rush over us far too often. It is a confirmation of the love we had for this person, that our lives will never be the same. How can they be? It's like losing an arm or leg! All the advancements society has made, and yet they can't cope with anything about death. At least in days gone by they were SUPPOSED to grieve. They had the mourning clothes and the grieving rituals, and it was expected that people would be hurting for quite some time.  Our society today would prefer that the dead person be quickly carried away out of sight and out of mind. How crazy is that?
Thank you so much for this post! Hugs-Lonnie