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Readers Respond: How Do You Heal from Grieving?

Responses: 44

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While it's certain that at some point, we all experience grieving a loss in our lives, it's also true that each of us heals from grieving in our own ways. Share how you heal from the grieving process. Your thoughts could help others.

one step at a time

Grieving takes time. There is no short cut. Feeling, accepting, denying, rebelling, falling, getting back on track, finding a way, trying new things, filling the hole, beginning anew, finding balance, reaching out, waiting, going forward, being. That was my process.
—Guest marcy

Becoming a whole individual

Emotionally, I had to work at becoming a whole individual rather than half of a couple. On the first wedding anniversary following the death of my husband, I went to the cemetary, talked and cried with him, said "'til death us do part", and moved our wedding rings to my right hand. He is still with me with his ring nestled beneath mine. Like it or not, I must work at becoming a whole individual again.
—eleanordd

Grieving...a solitary excursion

I lost my husband on 1st Jan 2010. He died of aneurysm. It was sudden and I did not know how to handle it. Just knew that I have to give him the best funeral to send him off peacefully and do my grieving after that. I let my emotions surface, I cried almost every night for the first 2 months. I continue to go back to work with swollen eyes every morning because of the crying every night. I need to keep myself busy in the day with work and cried my heart out at night to ease my pain and sadness. I talk to a friend who is widow and learn from her the grieving process. From her I understand that it is normal to grieve and that we will eventually recover. That gives me hope and strength. I cry less and less and the pain is less intense. In the grieving process, I felt anger, regrets, pain, self-pity and helplessness. Nine months later, I have accepted his death but there are still days these where I can't control my emotions and I just let go...
—Guest Yeng

Allow Yourself to Feel

I lost my precious husband 3 years ago from ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease. He was my second husband and love of my life. My best advice is to allow yourself to feel the grief and pain. It's kind of a pay-me-now or pay-me-later. Understand that everything you may feel or think is normal...anger, sadness,relief, fear, loneliness. Trying to avoid these intense feelings will only defer whatever your personal grieving process requires to get through this period of time. Also don't let fear of a new life or new chapter prevent you from moving on...your loved one would want you to continue to live on comforted by the wonderful memories you've accumulated over the years. Bottom line: it gets better...it really does.
—Guest Andrea

Laugh, Cry, Laugh

I just lost my Mom; as her caregiver I watched her fight every type of cancer imaginable but it was Alzheimer's that was the final battle she couldn't win. I learned so much from her: patience, how to look this horrible disease in the face and find laughter and sadness. I just flow with each day. Sometimes a memory will bring me to tears; sometimes it will make me laugh and I know she would be feeling those same emotions. She will want me to keep her in my heart and thoughts but to move on and have a good life with my husband, children and grandchildren--just like she had.
—Guest BARB

Do Not Let Anyone Steal Your Sadness

My beloved husband died a year ago. My grief is the testament to how lucky I was to love and be loved. I don't deny his death - but I still feel his presence. I have found widows I can share my pain with honestly without being judged. I do not allow myself to isolate but participate in creative activities - but I do not accept that grief is a disease or a disorder. My husband was a most special person and will never be replaced. Will I love again? I don't know - but I will always be connected emotionally and spiritually to my husband. My best advice to people who have lost loved ones is to be gentle with yourself. When you move on your loved one goes with you in your heart - when you spend time crying or being angry or lonely - you are respecting your feelings. When my husband first died I went to a bereavement group and took a comedy sketch writing class. Your heart is big enough to hold both - grief and joy - you do not have to deny yourself one to feel the other.
—Guest Jan

grief vs. keeping busy

I lost my dear mom to a highly aggressive cancer 3 months ago. I was the sole caregiver and saw this once beautiful person decline away. She was the greatest mom and my best friend ever. I am trying to act brave and keep busy, but its takes its toll as I am focusing on keeping busy as to avoid the grief and the pain. The downside is that I sm feeling tired from this as its physically demanding: driving places, meeting people, etc etc. Today, was the first time I have actually cried my heart out and all the pain just poured though. I guess my body was signaling me to let go and channel the emotions out. I think I am going to follow the signals my body gives and not fight the feelings but work with them. The pain must be felt and not musked away with activities. I will try to balance the grief vs. keeping busy, so the yet oozing "wounds" of her loss will eventually scar, using the unique memories I have of my mom also as the soothing bandage.
—OrdinaryOne

Learning to live with the loss

My husband was 47 years old when he passed in early March of 2010. He had colon cancer and a simple test completed early could have prevented this terrible loss. We had a year together after diagnosis and were so very blessed to have this time. He was my life, my all, my reason for living and my very best friend. Through everything, he remained positive and a true inspiration to others around him. He was a wonderful man and I miss him, but I was glad that his pain was over. My advice for the grieving process is to let yourself move through the natural steps of grieving. Allow the anger, the loneliness and the depression to move on and accept the loss. Once you do that, you will be closer to finding a normalcy without your special someone....you will never forget, as you will continue to love them, but you will find a balance. Peace is hard to find, but today, 3 months and 6 days later, I can honestly say, I have found it. God Bless you all!
—Guest Deb

Best Friend of 34 years

I lost my husband on 2/21/10. He was the most amazing man. He was diagnosed with kidney cancer 1 year to the date that he passed away. That man taught more to myself and family members during the final week of his death than any other time in his life. This comforts me thinking of those last moments and how strong and brave he was. I miss him terribly but know that I have gotten many signs that he is OK which helps in the grieving process. I know after his death that I would not be afraid to face death myself, as he truly showed us all that there is something else out there. Hang in there everyone and allow yourself to grieve.
—Guest Colleen

love band

My wife of 39 years passed away 1 month ago. I talk to her everyday and yesterday I told her that this pain was too much for me to bear. Audrey told me to remember each kiss, each hug and each I Love you that was said, they were all put into our love bank account and that I would have to draw out of that account to get me through these hard times. She said that if I would have passed first then she would have to draw out of the account. So I have started to draw out of the account. She also told me that I will never draw it all out, it's just too much. What a gal.
—Guest guest Richard

Jesus is my healer...

I lost my mom 10 years ago when I was 18. She fought a long battle with cancer. I thought that I had gone through all of the stages of grieving, but came to realize last year that I never dealt with feeling angry. I suffered from a lot of depression and anxiety. I went through counseling last year and worked through all of the anger and felt like my heart was healed. The most important part of my journey was when I prayed through the situation of when my mom died. I had to revisit that day and ask Jesus to show me the truth about where he was and how he had never left me or abandoned me. I now have the most amazing peace ever. Whenever I think about the day that she died, I don't have that unbearable hurt. I have peace knowing that she is resting in my Father's arms. I now find comfort that I can rest in the same arms that she is in. I asked God what my mom was doing the other night and he told me...laughing, singing, and dancing. Heaven is a wonderful place! Just believe!
—Guest Tia

there is a reason

I lost my husband in Jan. 2010. It was unexpected. He was on Facebook 1 minute, walked downstairs and died. I have cried to the point of exhaustion, sat staring into space for hours, screamed my guts out, been helpless and hopeless in the dark hole of depression, and gone through 1000 emotions each day. Out of the blue. My most helpful advice has been to let yourself grieve. These tons of emotions are grieving. It's a process. Talk to your loved one everyday, even if it is to whisper their special name. Listen to stories you will hear about other's memories of your loved one. I hope you kept a worn shirt or a pillowcase, to engulf yourself in their scent. If not, buy aftershave, soap, whatever they used. You don't have to forget them. Cherish them in your heart of hearts. We may never know why, but again maybe someday we will. There is no pain like the grieving we share. You are not alone. Your job here on earth is not over yet. Carry on my friends.
—Guest Barb

Celebrate who I am

My mother died suddenly when I was 11yrs old, that is now 56yrs ago. What is most helpful for me to understand is that the part of me that related to her died with her, but who she was and the part of her that related to me lives on and makes me fully who I am. I have the same caring, giving attributes that she had and I rejoice in that. I will always be sad that she died so quickly from a cerebral hamorrhage and my grief is always there to some degree, but I celebrate daily who I am because she was the person she was.
—Guest PATRICIA

My Dad taught me to grieve

On 4 Feb 2010 my father died of lung cancer, only 6 weeks after being diagnosed. I am a spiritual person and my journey with Dad actually started in April 2009. 52 years ago my father was married to a lady and she died leaving him with a 2 yr old & an 8 month old. I am the child of a 2nd marriage. Oddly, I was born on his first wife's birthday. Over the last 10 months of spending time with Dad I came to realize that I believe he never grieved for the loss of his first wife and therefore the lung cancer was the physical grief coming through. On his death bed I asked the question, "What would you have said if you had a chance to say good-bye?" For all those that read this please take the time to grieve. If anything, my father taught me that. So now I am taking the time to grieve and not deny myself the pain.
—Guest Jules

just work through the process

My brother died of cancer Jan. 17 2010, six months after the diagnosis. He was 50 and much loved by many. Family and friends take comfort that he is no longer suffering. When I read the symptoms/stages of grief it was comforting, knowing that what I am feeling is normal and healthy. I wish I knew where he is, I do not have a solid belief in the afterlife, how can we? He is in my memories and deep in my heart. I go through tons of tissues but that is part of the process. My sincere condolences to all.
—Guest Kim

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