Bereavement and the current crisis

Although I lost my husband 5 years ago, I still grieve for him although with time it has got easier. I lost my 93 yr old mother at the end of November last year. Initially it felt like a relief as she’d had a year of constant falls and hospital admissions from her care home and at the end she was very unhappy and frightened. Four months on I find I’m suddenly back in the throws of grieving for both her and still for my husband. This current crisis and having to curtail all social contact feels like the last straw. I wonder if any-one else is finding this. I’m 68, live alone and am fit, healthy and active so really I have a lot going for me but right now it doesn’t feel like it.

Akheaten,
I’m sorry this is not a cheerful reply! We are all having to deal with difficult times.
I’m in my early 50’s and I lost my Mum suddenly just over 5 months ago. Grieving for my Mum and the current global crisis feels way too much. It’s just over-whelming. I’m an asthmatic, so I really need to keep away from people.
The currently situation is so unsettling. Personally, I think I’m going to have to avoid the news at one point and just read books, or garden or watch a film.
I’m seem to have transferred my focus onto this present global issue, rather than focusing upon my Mum. Perhaps, focusing on the loss of Mum is just too painful during the present situation.
I don’t know. Dealing with grief plus the covid19/ coronavirus news is just too much.
We must all take care of ourselves and each other.

Hi there. I am also struggling with this crisis and now trying to avoid TV and newspapers but I do feel it’s pushing me downhill again after making so much effort to find myself again after the loss of my husband just over a year ago. I had started socialising and taking an interest in things again, now it’s back to square one. I am also an outdoors person, fit and active and although I am trying to avoid programmes on TV mentioning this virus I did go onto one last night that interested me. Questions being answered by the Senior Medical Officer and there was a question about going outside and he said it was perfectly alright to go out and walk and be out in the fresh air. Just not mix in groups of people, this was meant for children also. To go to a park and play was perfectly alright but not with lots of other children. He said it was much healthier to be outdoors and exercising. This cheered me up a bit as I have two dogs and they obviously need their exercise which is allowed. Then today I get an e-mail telling me that the committee of the allotments might shut it down for a while. A years hard work gone to waste if they do, plus many plants awaiting planting will have to be destroyed, am I feeling sorry for myself, yes I am. Sorry can’t help it. On allotments we are outdoors, exercising and not working anywhere near each other. and I obviously wouldn’t go out if I felt ill. So I am feeling depressed again. Everything seems to be going completely mad.

Hi

I think we all feel the same. My mum died in March last year…I am 30 and she was under 60 when she died.

I just started feeling maybe 1% happier maybe a month ago, of course I miss her every day but there are times when I catch myself smiling again but this past couple of weeks with the virus I feel like I’ve gone crazy and I am at the point of a mental breakdown. I have a child at school and with schools now all closing - normally mum would babysit. I’m at risk of losing my job due to no work coming in, which will of course affect my bills - normally mum Would offer advice and tell me to stop stressing but now I feel so alone and scared and the mixture of everything is just too much; but I try to think of other people who are in a much worse situation than me right now - although that is hard at times!

I don’t have any advice just that your not alone - don’t obsess over the news it just tells you how many people are dying etc but what about the people that have survived and are ok? We only hear bad stuff. Do you have any friends or family you can call for a chat? There are also befriending charities (I am signed up for one and ring the most amazing 74 year old man once a week) who will put you in touch with a volunteer, they can ring you once a week for a chat especially when you are stuck in home. It’s not for everyone, but just incase you are interested xxxx

Hi Tasha, I am so sorry, there I am waffling on about how miserable I feel and then I realise that there are people like yourself that have a job, bills and a child to worry about, all added stress, which I don’t have.
Like you, and so many more we are alone and scared as we don’t have someone to tell us that it will all be OK that was my practical husband’s job and now my head is going all over the place when I should be remembering that there are people a lot worse off in this world, unfortunately I can’t find any comfort in that at the moment.
Do try to stay calm, ignore the TV and papers as they seem to want to provoke panic. Your hopefully not having a breakdown but you do have so many worrying things going around in your head and at the moment there seems to be no end to the overwhelming misery being dished out. I would search for all the help you can, find out what options you have should the worse come to the worse, but it might well not.
Take care

Hi all,
I know how you’re all feeling, everything seems quite scary at the moment, it’s hard to avoid the news , hard to keep busy and our grief seems more intense with all what’s going on.
Lost my husband 4 months ago, and just want him to say don’t worry it’ll be ok, feel so alone.
Feel for everyone on here, in the current situation, it emphasises our grief. I just want him to know what’s going on, he worked in London and travelled on the train, and seeing it all on the telly brings everything back.
Thanks to this site, we can all help each other x

Oh of course not pattidot…all our circumstances are different and we all have the right to feel miserable…at least we can all be miserable together ey xxxx

I cannot agree more. It has been ten months since I lost my lovely husband and have coped by keeping busy, getting out as much as possible, and doing new things to stay positive. Now being in a high risk group because of asthma I am looking at staying at home for 12 weeks. I miss him every day but like you the loss seems heightened and life scary without him to reassure me. I would have been worried sick about keeping him safe but he would have loved having me home all the time - he loved cooking so would have been dreaming up all sorts of odd concoctions from the ingredients in the store cupboard, How different this isolation would be if it were shared isolation. In the early days when I had to learn to function again I was given advice on this site to take baby steps and not look to the future just take it a day at a time. I lived by lists, lists made up of simple things I could tick off - mundane things like wash up, clean bathroom - anything to try and distract me from the pain in my heart. So I am going to start my lists again and not think about how long I will have to live like this - I think it is the only way. I will probably write more in my journal and tell him everyday how I wish he was here in person. I know he is still with me and never closer than in this lovely home we built together - and for that I am grateful. Take care all xx

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We’re obviously all experiencing the same feelings of how to keep positive . I shall take on board the idea to stop listening to the news, maybe just once a day in the evening . An elderly lady has said to me this is worse than the war because at least then people did get together to support each other, have cups of tea together etc. It’s good to have this facility here to be able to write how we’re feeling on our worst days and know others will understand. It’s hard enough getting through loss and grief without this to cope with as well. As many of us have found, keeping busy, getting involved in groups and just going out and about is how we manage but this has all been taken away from us. Perhaps we’ll finish up stronger for having to find alternative coping strategies but I so wish I didn’t have to find out. My heart really goes out to those of your who have recently lost your spouse, or a mother you were very close to. For me it was far worse losing my husband than losing mum and I seriously don’t know how I would have coped without the social support I had 5 years ago. It’s hard enough now but far worse in those early days. Sending love and virtual hugs to anyone using this site X

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Yeah!!! It’s all very worrying. But we are all human and subject to any threat to our well being, and anxiety is a normal reaction. When we lost our loved ones we may have felt the same. THAT was a threat to our well being. The future looked bleak, and still does for many on here.
I am saying that we should not regard anxiety as an enemy but a normal reaction to stress. So many anxious people try distract rather than facing the situation and accepting it. It’s not easy and to suggest it is is foolish. But fighting anxiety symptoms and trying to ‘get rid of them’ is counter productive. It creates more fear and so more anxiety.
The present situation can be frightening, of course it can. But other than following advice and sticking to recommendations what can we do?
It will pass, everything passes. We all need faith and trust. Faith in the fact that this is bringing out the best in people, and trust in those that are doing their best to cope. Our NHS is amazing and the staff are so dedicated. Come what may we are in good hands.
I am not self isolating. The cafe I go to is still open and as I’m the only one in there in the mornings I suppose I am isolated. !!! How long it will stay open I don’t know. But it’s one of my small pleasures these days and if I don’t go I am alone all day. Human contact is essential for the well being of us humans, and we should maintain it as best we can while taking all necessary advice available.
What we are all going through here and what we may have endured could have made us stronger. We know all about emotional pain. Don’t we just!! So, to use wise words from long a ago, ‘let us go forward together, stay calm and do what must be done’.
Take care everyone. Bless you. John.

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Pattidot, I know what you mean about thinking there are people worse off, I should be thinking that too but also as you say it doesn’t help right now…however a conversation here does help …for me at any rate, just knowing others are feeling as lost and alone as I am.

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Yes Pat, it does help and thank God for this site. It’s contact and although virtual it’s still contact. I agree, the fact that there are many far worse off than me does make me realise how well off I am, but it does nothing for the personal grief and those emotions that seem to come from nowhere.
‘Lost and alone’! I think those two words about sum it all up. After 15 months the lost feeling is still there and I am alone, and that’s why coming here is so important to many.
Blessings Pat. XX

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Also, because we’re advised to stay at home, you start thinking of the time we could be spending together. There’s more time for the waves of grief to hit and like you say you go round the house , cleaning and finding things to do.
This is a worrying time for everyone at the moment, but to have my husband here by my side, the world would feel a less scary place.
This site is going to prove more of a lifeline now to us all. x

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Totally agree Stephtim. XX

Yes indeed -no one to share our fears with . My children are great -but I don’t want to burden them with my fears - they are only just coming to terms with losing their dad. Yes this site and others like it will prove to be even more important. Group chat on whatsapp is great too. I joined way up and started going to quiz nights in January and there is a whatsapp group of ‘quizzers’ with everyone chatting and looking out for each other. There is usually a flurry of messages in the morning and evening - in the most trying to keep each other cheerful - it is only a small thing but it helps.

Hi all,
We’re all in this together, we’ll keep each other strong so we won’t feel too much on our own.
Sending love to all
Steph xx

The following was in the Telegraph. It may be of help to some of you:

Try the ‘apple technique’ to ease anxiety
By Maddi Howell, Lifestyle Writer
This Friday marks the end of a difficult week. Here at 365, we’re wishing you and your family a happy, healthy weekend. If you’ve been struggling with anxiety over the past few days, we hope this simple technique (courtesy of Anxiety UK) will help with any worries you’re dealing with, no matter how big or how small…

-Acknowledge: Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.
-Pause: Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Pause and breathe instead.
-Pull back: Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.
-Let go: Let go of the thought or feeling. It will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.
-Explore: Explore the present moment. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else - on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry, or do something else - mindfully with your full attention

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Hi Jonathan. I agree with what you say. This present ‘problem’ is a nuisance and will pass and it is doing no one any good stressing about it.
I am doing exactly the same as you. I am still walking my dogs and enjoying the countryside around me. I am working on my allotment and keeping busy. If there are other people around we talk from a suitable distance, but I am being careful to not go into groups, so like you, I suppose self isolating.
Watching a programme a few nights ago giving virus advice and it was to still go out and get fresh air and exercise just not with a group of people and that is exactly what I am doing. This advice was for children as well. They can go to the park and play but one to one. I saw a couple of children playing football with their dad on the park this morning, it was good to see. I am trying hard to not become drawn into this mass hysteria. Taking sensible precautions, exercising and eating healthily and can but hope.
Take care
Pat xxx

Yes, mass hysteria is about the sum of it. We do have to be careful and consider others, but sensibly!!

Social media feeding into people’s anxiety and paranoia :rage: