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Life goes on as normal?


Jana_W

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Hi all

I don't quite know how to word this, but here goes. I just wanted to write about how I've been feeling about a few things and see if any one else has ever felt this way????

Mum only died on August 4th this year, so it hasn't even been three months. I am finding that it seems to me that so many people have either forgotten that my Mum died, or figure that it was so long ago (???) that I am pretty much back to "normal" now. I guess I am referring to the way people don't always understand that I don't feel like going out and catching up with them socially or even worse, people who NEVER mention my Mum to me, like she never even existed. I hate the idea of life going on as normal as it truly feels anything but normal to me. I guess some of this is compounded by the recent birth of my daughter (who is now four weeks old!!!). She is adorable, by the way :)

Anyway, has any one ever had difficulties with the type of thing I am describing?

Love

Jana

xxx

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Jana, absolutely I can relate to what you are saying. The friend I went to Italy with said that I talk about Earl way too often, was I aware of that. Duh, yeah, he was and still is an important part of my life.

I think some people think that if they mention your Mother it will make you sad. Where I think we believe that it is a tribute to their being.

Please post a picture of your beautiful new baby girl.

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Jana, I think that although people care, they don't get the full impact of death and loss until they are personally faced with it. Like Ginny said, many people feel they will open up wounds and hurt us if they talk about our loved ones. People have no idea that we need them to talk. Talking and remembering helps to keep them alive...if only in our hearts and minds. I experienced the same thing and I know how you feel. It's almost like a "here today...gone tomorrow" mentality. One great thing for me about this board, is that I am able to keep Dennis' memory alive by helping others that are now facing what I have already been through. Perhaps you will find the same comfort. Yes...do as Ginny asked and please post a picture of this beautiful baby!!!

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I experienced this when my mother died and then again when Dad died. It's like you're given a few weeks to grieve and then you're expected to be over it. Get on with your life. Back to business.

Dad died on August 18, 2004, and I was scheduled to go to a trade show in Los Angeles on August 25. I asked my bosses if I could skip the show, and they told me no. Their attitude was that the hospital visits, dying process, and funeral were over, so why wouldn't I be ready to glad-hand at a trade show?

It didn't make me angry or anything like that. It made me sad that they didn't comprehend the depth of my loss. I went to the show and acted like everything was fine. But I cried myself to sleep in my hotel room every night.

My guess is that people don't want to be reminded that all of us will die and most of us will lose loved ones before we die. So when they talk to someone who has lost someone very close, they don't want to think about it.

Isn't it great to be able to come here and have people understand?

Kind thoughts,

Pam

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People have very short term memories. In my case, my husband and I were totally dropped by his "best friend" and his LOVELY WIFE simply because we didn't go to Thanksgiving dinner with them 3 months after our daughter's death. My huband was and still is crushed by this. Many other "friends" and relatives have proved to be disappointments as well. Cruel remarks, oh well life goes on, let's talk about our wonderful children which totally cuts us out of the conversation. I could go on and on. Some days are better than others. I talk about Jen anytime I want to and if those around me don't like it, I don't give a .....

Joanie

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Dear Jana,

I agree so much with Ann's words, but have a few things to add.

First of all, I think life does go an as normal, and that's what all of us who are grieving need to strive for - getting back to normal - albeit a "new" normal. Life does go on as normal for our friends and family, as I believe it should. Sometimes I think that's what is really hardest for us to accept, though.

Yes, nothing will ever be the same, and there will always be a big hole in our hearts - a hole that nobody else sees except for someone who has gone through what you have. Like Ann said, though, others don't get it unless they have experienced it, but not just experienced it - experienced the same loss. By that I mean, not just that someone else also lost a parent, child, spouse or friend, but that they had nearly the same degree of love and closeness with that person.

If you read my post today, I am having a very sad day because of watching Don's motorcycle be shipped away. Several replies so far have totally identified with how I feel because they experienced the same thing with a boat, car, or some other "thing" that was enjoyed by their loved one.

My point is to try not to be too hard on those that don't get it. I don't expect ANYONE to get it, but am so appreciative of those that do.

I can talk about Don generally around others - things like Don used to like those, too, or Don always said . . . ., and it doesn't bother me. But I can't talk about me and how I'm doing very much without crying. I try to avoid getting into that side of it because I truly do not want to burden them with my tears. Their lives are normal, and I respect and understand that.

Hang in there, kiddo, and I promise I will try to do the same.

Love and hugs,

Peggy

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Well, I have not had a spouse die, but have lost both a Mother and Father. It is true that MOST folks believe you just move on and mention of your loved one is never made again. How wonderful that a friend one time said to me that I reminded her of my Mother. Someone REMEMBERED her!!!! It is comforting to have someone remember - not painful. It is painful enough trying to just move forward with your life.

My very best friend, same age as me, died when we were both 35. Most never even acknowledged that we had been best friends for a long time. No one wanted to talk about her. Sad, sad, sad, that I felt others just forgot her.

Unfortunately two other friends both lost young children. One was around Thanksgiving time. A couple of years later around holiday time I asked her how she was doing...that it must be difficult for her at this time of year. She cried and I felt awful. I apologized profusely. She said NO...you are the ONLY one who remembered that Jennifer was my daughter and I lost her. NO one else EVER mentions her name. The othe friend I sent a 'thinking of you card' to on the day that would have been her son's 21st b-day. She was SO happy to not be thinking of him alone.

Don't know what makes people deal like they do.

Kasey

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Jana,

I know exactly what you mean, it was 2 years in aug. that we lost my dad, and I still have a hard time wondering how life is going on without him..We have all lost a very dear loved one, nobody understands the depth of our sorrow unless they have been there, or if they have loved as strong as we have..I dont talk about my dad often its too painful, and thats how I cope but my mom talks about him in almost every sentence, I dont think 30 minutes can go by without her mentioning him..

You're not alone Jana, I know how important it is to know others feel the same way..It must be so hard right now for you every daughter needs their mom, especially after the birth of a beautiful baby..

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As usual, we're on the same page on this... Yeah. The whole, "Aren't you back to normal, yet?" feeling that I get from other people always puts me on the defensive and makes me want to back off even more. Part of me can understand... I know they don't want to hurt me by mentioning what happened. We didn't necessarily sit around talking about my mom a lot before... but still somehow I need that part of me to be acknowledged.

On the other hand, I've noticed in general that I have a hard time not being irritated by most of what people say in regards to my life right now. And I think that has a lot less to do with them, and a lot more to do with me... I am this taut little ball of emotions right now... I hope that wears off.

Somewhat along these lines--A friend of mine, who I used to consider very close, but who just hasn't been there through these last few months in the least, asked me yesterday if, "I've had time to relax now... even with the baby." I was floored by this. I couldn't figure out what in my life would lead to a sudden surplus of time for relaxation. My husband's deployment? Yeah.... going from doing this life and raising of baby thing as a couple to a doing it by myself is relaxing. Did she mean since Mom had died? Was that to somehow imply that now that I wasn't worrying about or caring for Mom that life was easier? I suppose the busyness level of intensity has eased in some ways... but the energy it takes to grieve and to realize that she's just not here anymore... That's stress. That's not relaxation.

I just don't get it. I don't get people. And... I'm trying to use that as an impetus to try to be very sensitive to people even in situations I don't understand.

((((hugs))))) to you. It is very ok for you not to be "back to normal." Your life is so much different than it has for the decades preceeding this time. It's going to take a while to figure out the new normal and to feel like you're on an even keel again.

Val

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Jana,

Over two years later there are still days that I want to scream, "I lost my Dad"! I've been having a rough couple of days and there really isn't anyone around me that can understand this. So...I just scream it inside my head. I know how you're feeling. Sometimes I still feel some anger that the rest of the world has just moved on. I think this is natural.

Kris

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You're not alone at all as you can see.

I guess if you tell people what you need emotionally, they are more apt to act in the way you need them too. and if they don't, it might be best to stay away from them until you are stronger.

My co workers NEVER asked about my dad or how I was doing after he died...life as usual...and I considered these people MY FRIENDS. I posted a huge pic of my dad in my office and I spoke about him all the time in the very beginning-- and I could see their eyes kind of glaze-over becuase they didn't want to be reminded that this was a dead person I was talking about or all the pain they witnessed from me during that time.

Now, I rarely talk about my dad to anyone at all except my mom. I'm in a place emotionally where I feel like I don't need to talk about him to anyone. And sometimes I still "pretend" like I'm OK and alot of times I AM ok.

If I do talk about dad or his death, whether you like it or not, it's because I think you are special enough to share his memory with you!

I know how hard it is. It's ok to feel like this. You find out who your friends are and who really cares about you.

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I think it becomes a new normal, which is different than the old normal. it's still normal, but it's not what it used to be. I haven't found normal yet. Faith and I are still trying to get used to it being just the two of us. it's tough.

Our HR VP sent an email around today with suggestions from our EAP folks about how to treat/work with/etc. folks who were in Katrina (we have alot of operations in NO and Houston). I thought it was awesome. It said to remember that they may not be dealing with complex work issues as well as before since their mind is understandably preoccupied with grief and tragedy. I forwarded it to my HR rep and suggested they send this to all the coworkers of an employee who have experienced a loss, whether it be the death of a family member (especially a spouse or child - someone who's loss affects every minute of your day to day life) or something like losing a house to fire. when I came back to work there were people in my small building who didn't even know my husband had died. like the people who did know didn't even care enough to mention it.

anyway, I LOVE people to talk about Dave. Especially with Faith. it really helps. and I love it that his best friend told me last night, in comforting me, that he felt a little part of Dave was now in all of us that loved him, and whenever we missed him to remember we had each other. Now, that's the kind of remembrance I like. He GETS it.

Not everyone gets it.

you can never talk too much about the loved one you lost.

Karen

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I am doing okay now but there was an awful, long time that I wasent. I had a close relative seem to think that I should be over my Brother's death by now. That bothered me so much and I tried to explain to him that everyone grieves differently and the time it takes to be "OKAY" is different for everyone. He listened but I knew he didnt really understand. he said that his Mother had passed away and he never went through the depression I did. That he kept her in a special place in his heart and when he wanted to visit her, he just went there.

I guess that is fine for him, but it was not how it was for me.

I, like Peggy can talk about my Brother but have more trouble talking about how I am doing. Yes, I want people to remember him and talk about him, but few do now. I dont live close enough to just talk about him when something comes up that reminds me of his ways or something he used to do. I can tell when I do talk to this other relative about Alan that he listens but really with only one ear and seems to change the subject as soon as he can. Maybe it's to protect me from further hurt, but in truth what hurts is not being able to talk with someone that really wants to listen.

Yes, The world goes on and we have all had losses but there are times you wonder how can everything be so normal when it isent for you anymore??

Like I said I have done a lot of healing and it took a great deal of time. I am so much better now. You will be too Jana as time goes on ... Time is the greatest healer. I am praying for you and know what you will go through and also know that you will finally come to a place that you can bear it all and can go on and will find that place in you're heart that you visit when you need you're Mom. She will always be there.Hugs to you my friend.

Congrats on that new baby!!

God Bless you all,

Jane

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Hi, Jana;

I kind of know what you mean. I lost my partner of 24 years on August 1. To me it feels like only yesterday. I know there are some people in my life who think I should be starting to "get over it" and get on with life. I will never "get over it" and life is so radically changed most of the time I am not interested in getting on with it! I am lucky, though, that most of the people I care about understand that I am nowhere near ready to move on in any sense of the word. I have experienced people not mentioning Donna - so I make sure that I do especially around them. They then will know that I want and need to talk about her. So far that has worked pretty well. Sometimes I will simply ask if it bothers them for me to talk about her. I can be kind of direct sometimes!

Please know that I don't think you should worry about what anyone else believes your grief "timetable" should be - you are the only one who matters and whatever time you need is the "right" amount of time.

God bless you.

Sandy

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Hi Jana,

My dearest friend in the world passed away August 25th and in some ways it seems like so long ago and other ways it seems like it still isn't real. I too find that others just seem go on like nothing has happened and I am still thinking..."What just happened????" I still feel and will most likely continue to feel a big empty hole in my heart- and like Sandy stated there is no timetable for grief-

I think that people are often uncomfortable with death and how to react to it. Our society has not been prepared as well as others for death and therefore have a hard time talking about it and reacting to it. I, like you and others that have responded find myself talking about Rachel much more than those around me and find that it "eases" that little bit of uncomfortableness that they may have. Rachel will always be an important part of my life as your mum will be in yours- Hold her close to your heart and talk to her and about her whenever you need or want to ! Our lives have been touched by a sadness that will have an everlasting effect on us but we will go on and it will become our norm- not necessarily in a sad way, just our norm......I could go on and on with this as today is one of "those" days for me......but I won't.......Hang in there sweetie!

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Hi All

I just wanted to say thank you for all the responses to Jana's post. It is helpful to know that so many others are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings (Jana and I are on the same page with most of this stuff, so her posts speak for both of us!!).

Thank you so much for your sharing and support. And Susan, Rachel is our Mum's name too - I have always felt some affinity with your Rachel because of that!!

Love Karen

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