Coping with loss

I have trouble coming to terms with people who have passed away and that I didn’t have time to say goodbye too. I have lost many close friends and relatives in short periods of time and my mind doesn’t allow me to come to terms with this loss. I often blame myself for being too busy and not being able to get to them in enough time to say goodbye. I like to be strong and pretend that I don’t have these feelings but i keep it bottled up until I could just explode yet don’t talk to anyone about it. I was wondering if anyone could help, lockdown has made it very hard for me, moving away from home and not being able to see my family and just feeling pretty lonely. I try to keep busy but still feel although I have too much time to think about things.

Hi Imogen,

I am a lot older than you, but I feel the same way. COVID just makes things worse for everyone. It seems like your made to be strong and tough but sometimes it’s better to let go of all that, take a day or two to yourself and just curl up and cry, or do whatever you want to do.
I have made a point of doing that once a week, since my husband died and I got over the shock of that. I take the weekend off, and I feel like a rattle in a very big cradle, I am all alone with 3 dogs in a 4 bedroomed house that because it’s a converted barn is huge.
But I do appreciate my blessings. These are roughly that I have enough money to survive when so many are struggling to cope, so many are queuing at food banks, couples or single parents who have lost their jobs and have children at home to teach, feed, bathe and get to sleep.
My husband did not die of COVID, but his death was affected by COVID. Everyone who works in healthcare knew that a second wave would come, and it has, and it is so much worse than the first.
That’s all I can say. I have gone through the death of 3 close relatives in my time, my father when I was 7, my mother when I was 46, my husband when I was 66. And also I have lost many dogs, most of whom broke my heart too.
I believe that all life is precious, and that because it is a gift, you just have to get on with it.
Please remember this - you will never be able to fall in love as an adult until you learn to love yourself first.
You have been through a lot in your life, but you are still so very young. You seem to be a kind and very caring person. So be kind to yourself, care for yourself.
I hope that makes you feel a little better.

With my best wishes, Christie xxx

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Dear Imogen,

In your profile you say you are finding it hard to believe people have really gone because you did not say your good bye to them. I can understand that. Last year 4 people I knew died, 3 of them in other countries and grieving for them has been very different from grieving for others who I did say good bye to, or even was there when they passed away. Somehow, it feels less real. What helped me a little was if I could at least attend their funeral, in person or on Zoom. Have you been able to attend any of the funerals, or maybe to visit their graves? Have you been able to send messages of condolences to their families?

Coping withe loss, especially multiple losses and when you are as young as you are, is very hard. Please don’t make it harder by blaming yourself for not being there when they passed away or too busy to visit them. We can not be there for everyone all the time. They would not want us to blame ourselves.

It sounds like your mind may have protected you for some time from feeling the pain of your losses, but that you now really would like to talk about it. That is much better than bottling it up. Yes, it will be painful but in the end it will be a relief to express what goes on inside your head. You have taken a brave step to post on this site. I hope you will find the posts and replies helpful.

Lockdown makes it so much harder to get the support you need face-to-face, You write that you are away from home. Is there someone at home you feel would understand? If not, you may consider signing up for online counseling available through this site.

Take care and try to be kind to yourself.

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