DELAYED GRIEF.

It often comes up here that bereaved folk seem to cope adequately during the first weeks or months then it suddenly hits them; the enormity of what has happened.
Not everyone feels like this, and it seems some begin to grieve as soon as a loved one passes.
In my own experience I managed well during the first six weeks of my loss. I arranged all the funeral paperwork, went to the Registrar’s office and everyone said, ‘you are doing so well’!! The funeral was no problem, and I began to think I could cope. Then Wham! It hit me.
First of all a kind of numbness sets in. We do all we have to, then Wham!!! When it’s all done we realise what has happened. It can hit us like a bombshell.
I can’t find an explanation for this. It may be that the initial shock numbs our emotions. In my case it was relief when my wife passed. She was suffering. But that doesn’t explain this delayed shock.
As individuals we all cope in our own way. It’s a year now since my wife went into hospital. She never returned home. I am just beginning to come to terms with the loneliness, and I am seeing that light in the distance get brighter. But it’s hard going.
I know this life does not begin with birth and end in death. It’s an interlude where we pass through, a phase. We learn so much about ourselves in this experience.
Take heart fellow sufferers. Hope is still there although it may be so hard to find in the beginning.
Blessings to all.

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Jonathan,

I think you have got the nail on the head really. The first few weeks are so busy dealing with bereavement offices, funeral directors,order of service, notifying friends and family, getting finances in order etc that you just get on with it.
You are so tired and making sure that all plans are coming together that you barely think about your loss.
For me, the breakdown came the morning after mums funeral but then I still had to deal with probate, finances, notifying this that and the other.
By about week 4 everything was done and the sheer enormity of what had happened hit me. At week 15 I’m sad all the time, isolate myself, and feel what is the point?
But I am pleased that I have grieved alot and have allowed myself to do this.
I fear for my sister and daughter who are bottling things up.
I know we are all different but having a good cry really does help. I’m returning to work shortly and preparing myself for crying in front of work.
My mum would laugh at some of the people I have cried in front of!

So right you two.I felt numbed from the moment we had the diagnosed exactly 21 days before the end. That end wedidn’t expect that soon. Numbness were the safe mechanism for Denial.
I thought I had goof record. Therdgot

OOooops! I didn’t realised I sent message by error…
… everyone thought I was coping ok the first months. “I admire you” “you are so strong” i hear. but I just followed the “must do list”. And then total numbness. The autopilot journeys expressed before started, delaying the true grief that came later with the added loss of my sister 5 months ago. now, 10 months later I began a different level of grief the one I need to accept to gain some recovery. Even with the same fears about the future ; same deep feelings of loss, same broken heart and same need to see; feel or hear my husband.
The devastating sadness out of the blue that hit us sometimes may be part of this delayed grief. Let’s hope for a time where we can say that somehow we have managed this fact of life. love and Blessings

My family and friends tell me that I am coping very well since losing my wonderful, dearly loved husband. I am not really, inside I feel like a jelly which hasn’t set properly, my heart is broken and I shall never get over “losing” my husband. We were lucky and would have celebrated 59 years of marriage one month after he passed away. Thank you, so much, Jonathan for your words of wisdom and compassion, you do comfort me. I “lost” 3 of my dearly loved family and friends in less than 3 years, first it was my younger brother, then 6 months later, my friend of nearly 72 years. passed away and now my dearest husband who I have loved since I was 17 years old, I am now 80 years old and as the years have passed I grew to love him more and more. I am sorry if this is a moaning post, I did not intend it to be, I just wanted to share what is within my heart, I feel for each and everyone of you, may God Bless all of you. with much love, MaryL.

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I seem to be getting more emotional now and confused. One minute I seem to think sensibly on what is happening to me, then I get so terribly sad that the truth hurts so much. That hole in my hart is so huge that is covering all my hart leaving little to be kind to myself.
In the presence of others, the coping well face seems to appear but I know its temporary. during my time alone I cry out for help within my own faith and although that I believe is getting stronger on one side, on the other is weaken with fear of the day I accept that I wont see or hear my darling husband ever again, whilst I desperately need his arms around me once more so to cope with this long grief. then rather than floating i struggle trying to swimming in rough waters. I was able to handle anything with him at my side. now I feel like a total lost soul, even though I have a lovely family.
I used to think that with age/maturity having a full working life, I would be able to cope with most things. how wrong I was! I sometimes feel like the child that needs protection. not sure how it sounds to anyone but i am glad we can write how we feel any time.
Dear MaryL 59 years! so sorry. We had 30 but the feeling of loss are just the same and know how you feel. thank you for sharing.

Blessings to everyone. ( sorry going through bad days).

I’m just reading all your comments and so pleased I have. It’s 10 months since I lost my husband of 43 years. Like you all I did everything in such a coping way, even sold my house and actually moved to another country to be with my son.
I’m a very anxious person and can’t believe I’ve done all this.
Bit now it’s like someone has hit me with a sledgehammer, I’m barely functioning, I’ve got the people I love with me, I’m not alone like I was but I’m crying a lot of the time, just saying I’m a widow makes me cry, someday I do nothing.
Reading that I’m not alone in feeling like this is kind of reassuring. Oh how I wish that light at the end of the long long tunnel would come into view.
I wish you all peace and acceptance and the hope that we can all move forward although it will never be the same. Love to you all.

That’s how I feel,Jonathan!I handled everything on my own.I have no family or friends nearby.Neighbours said oh,you are being so strong.I didn’t feel strong,I felt numb,just going through the motions then this weekend,it hit me.The silliest thing make me weep uncontrollably and I be just heard Andrea Boccelli sing "Time to say goodbye"Rob loved his voice and there I go again.It’s all a natural process but all I need a hug but they are in short supply!

Hi Jill. Here’s some ‘emergency hugs’. I will come back and answer your post. Weep if you want. Do what you want to release those painful emotions. No short supply here. We all often give each other hugs. Some for you and love. (!!!) (!!!) (!!!). They may be virtual but are still sincere.

Hi Jill. Oh Yeah!!! ‘You are doing so well’! ‘How strong you are’! We want to put on a brave face but so often at the expense of our feelings. If people think you are doing well it gives them some comfort because they never know when it will happen to them. If they have already experienced grief then it’s unlikely they will ‘jolly you along’.
After a year I still get emotional at times. It’s no problem because I know that grief is an individual experience. Your recognition that it is a normal process and we have to try our best is important. Not forcing anything, that’s counter productive, but take things at our own pace. Day by day or hour by hour.
A thought came to me this morning, (most of which are daft, but some have value!), that it’s like walking across a ploughed field. We can walk across the furrows, which is not easy, or up the furrows. Now walking up them is easy, but it means we are not facing the problem. We want it easy, of course we do, who wouldn’t, but the easy way is not necessarily the best way.
Allowing the process of grief to come is natural and has to be gone through, but facing and accepting what has happened and not fighting or struggling with ‘IT’ is something that can be done alongside the process.
The emotions that come up are almost endless, but they are emotions that need to be expressed, not bottled up because we want to seem to be brave.
Now take care. I’m glad you are managing to navigate the site and are staying with us. Bless you. Another hug.

Thanks Jonathan.I needed that!

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