How Much Can - or Should - We Load On Ourselves

I have worried, since I first joined this forum, that reading more and more accounts of awful sadness might not necessarily be helpful to peace of mind.
Some of the very recent new posts are excruciatingly sad. Whilst it’s good that these poor people have a sounding board of truly sympathetic, and empathetic, forum contributors, I still wonder if the daily accretion of yet more sadness does us any harm ?
I hope this feeling isn’t misunderstood.

Dear Edwin
I so understand what you are saying…some days I can’t bring myself to read the posts on here because they make me sadder than I already am …some days I feel so alone that I log on just to know that other folk are struggling too…very occasionally I answer because I feel I just might be able to help! I think we use this site as and when…some people visit briefly and others stay much longer. Just like grief is unique so is the need. I think that one of our problems is that we are not just grieving for our soulmates but that we are also lonely for human companionship and it is so difficult to meet people with similar views and a desire for friendship…nothing more. Take care…I so enjoyed reading your posts x

I understand where you are coming from Edwin and Amelie’s Gran that is a brilliant reply. It’s another of those questions in life that’s complex, and grey. Some may argue it keeps a person’s loss “fresh” and prevents them from moving on, thus detrimental on the wellbeing etc. For some it’s the need of contact with those in similar situations that would feel cut adrift without it. This may be the case also for those not in “physical” loneliness but rather “emotional” aloneness. Is the comfort gained from the exchanges of support and kindness or is the fact that seeing that others have had such traumatic times and are miraculously surviving, so there is a hope we may do the same? It depends on many, many factors doesn’t it. It’s incredibly subjective. Maybe someone in academia has researched the question in times gone by and I imagine the findings would make interesting reading.

Hi i find this forum excellent ,my observationis this without the internet this wonderful website wouldnt exist .We are in age where old fashioned values like ,talking to neighbours having a key to there house and vice a versa .without this site some people (myself included) would have no one to offload to .The downward spiral would be more severe with out this site .No site i would struggle i havde no friends in real life .So imagine no internet myself and others would be locked in complete lonliness ,and also going through the nightmare of losing a loved one .The end result of my mind and others does not bear thinking about .Imagine no internet at all ,theses days one has to seek help .In the olden days your doctor would visit you on a regular basis if needed .Not anymore you have book an appointment in advance if you can get one .I understand the question but without the internet and this sight .Myself and others would struggle alone and the dark world of lonliness would remain in my life most definitely.Learning to grieve i dont think is apt its a puzzle that has no boundries or solutions in any length of time .So the phrase shouldnt you be over this is a stupid and horrible question .The mind body and soul needs to grieve and try to regain some form of rationality when does that happen .A month a year ten years there isnt a set time limit .Shutting this site down (ie no more internet technology goes backwards for the sake of a discussion )Some people would welcome and embrace joining there loved ones very soon .We live in a world where people shun the confused and heartboken people that have lost a loved you 1

Hello Colin
In my previous post I “sat on the fence” a bit with my opinion and tried to be unbiased in my reply. However, after reading your post I would like to add that I passionately agree with the things you say. We have both been using this site a long time haven’t we on and off.
Some members appear to have the capability to absorb their loss and cope in a way that others don’t seem to be able to do. That at times made me feel inadequate and almost as if there was something wrong. Maybe it’s because they have people around them that were able to help them through it. They are the ones that stay only a short while. Then there are people (myself included) that are still very much in a bad place after several years. Yes I may be spared physical loneliness but emotionally and internally it’s a much different story. The sadness and loss is locked inside with nowhere to go. I don’t have any friends as my Husband was all I needed, yes there are acquaintances but that doesn’t count does it. My family are no longer supportive and it gets to a point where you feel a burden and even embarrassed to say “Yes, I’m still grieving after all this time.” There was even a time when I was too embarrassed to post on-site here due to the length of time I was and have been grieving. I’ve kind of got over that now thanks mainly to posters like Sheila who have made its “ok” in a way to say “it’s been a long time, but it’s allowed to still be grieving etc.”
I know I’m rambling a bit here Colin but I just wanted to let you know I’m with you very much on the points you make. I still use this forum and I even still regularly email the Samaritans.
It’s strange in a way but it wasn’t that long since I was thinking about how you must be doing as it had been ages since I’d seen anything written by you for a fair while at that point. I remember in the early days how very supportive you always were and are to new members with your straightforward but kind advice. I remember we’ve pm’d a few times as well.
I just wanted to let you know I wasn’t dismissing the benefits of the forum, to be honest it’s been my “second home” for the past 2 years as the number of my posts testify!
Keep going Colin, it’s hard and send you kind wishes.

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Hi Tina and everybody on here my intention is to try and help others .Yes im blunt and dont mince my words thats just me ,if i offended anybody with my brutal honesty how i feel .I sincerely apologise .My only relief valve is is here ,also i dont mind private messages ans i never tell anyone what is said in them .I send everyone friendship hugs as we all struggle at different levels to go on daily through our own personal unique nightmare Colin hugs and friendship kiss mwah

I understand perfectly what you are saying Edwin and everyone makes such good points.
I guess just knowing we have this site to come to is a help. Just writing it down to be read by people we know will understand helps tremendously.
Some days I am too sad to read the posts and on others I seek support through posts or try to give support. There are so many ways to look at it just as there are so many angles to grief. Xx

I too have wondered if this forum is doing me more harm than good, the simple fact is I’m still consumed by grief, I’m 49 years old and I’ve spent my whole life coping with grief and mental illness, my dad was orphaned as a young boy and was brought up in an orphanage, on my mums side my uncle commited suicide when I was a year old and my mum never got over it, both she and my auntie suffered breakdowns after his death. My mum died when I was 21 and my dad when I was 38, I’ve lost 3 very much loved friends and my brothers terrible demise and death in 2016 has completely devastated me…I feel unrelenting sad

Oh my goodness. I’m so sorry. You have had a tough time. No words of advice but just sending you kind thought and hoping you are getting some counselling and help from others. X

Thank you Matella, I do try to be grateful for what I have, I have two lovely children both grown up now and I have a very good relationship with both, and a sister who lives nearby but I feel sick and tired of the struggle to keep going. I’m worried that I’ll never find the peace I long for, I worry about Brexit, my remaining brother now lives in Sweden which I find hard anyway so all this uncertainty about our future relationships in Europe is really playing on my mind. I feel everything went horribly wrong for me in 2016, my brother died in April, then the day after the Brexit vote I woke to the horrifying news (for me at least) we were leaving th EU, then later that day my dog broke her leg while we were out walking and we decided as she was elderly the kindest thing was to let her go, I lost my most faithful friend and companion.
I just hope this pain will ease but right now I wonder if I’ll ever feel ok again, I’m not sure I’ll ever be happy but to feel ok would be enough.
Much love to all who share this terrible journey. Xxxx

Thank you Matella, I do try to be grateful for what I have, I have two lovely children both grown up now and I have a very good relationship with both, and a sister who lives nearby but I feel sick and tired of the struggle to keep going. I’m worried that I’ll never find the peace I long for, I worry about Brexit, my remaining brother now lives in Sweden which I find hard anyway so all this uncertainty about our future relationships in Europe is really playing on my mind. I feel everything went horribly wrong for me in 2016, my brother died in April, then the day after the Brexit vote I woke to the horrifying news (for me at least) we were leaving th EU, then later that day my dog broke her leg while we were out walking and we decided as she was elderly the kindest thing was to let her go, I lost my most faithful friend and companion.
I just hope this pain will ease but right now I wonder if I’ll ever feel ok again, I’m not sure I’ll ever be happy but to feel ok would be enough.
Much love to all who share this terrible journey. Xxxx

I am reading the comments here and see logic in all viewpoints expressed. For me, coming to this forum is a big step. I work in the mental health field and must be strong and present for my clients, no matter how broken I feel inside. Furthermore coming from a violent and chaotic household, I was the peacemaker and protector of my younger sister and my pets. When my mum died 6 years ago from lung cancer, I had to be strong for my younger sister. Now my younger sister is also gone, having died of cancer on 3 May, of this year. My older sibling is not supportive, and I am not one to “burden” friends, thus I did not have an outlet for this extreme pain. I have always been the Helper, now I needed the help, Lack of sleep kept me on the computer searching for anything about coping with sudden death of a beloved sibling. That is when I found SR, and I began posting. I never imagined I would receive the amount of caring and compassion that the special people here have given me. I even read two very helpful books suggested by other grievers on this site. I keep coming back and have PM’ed as well. I return, not only for my self, but in hope that I can bring some comfort to others. I personally do not feel this is impeding my grief process, but that is just my experience. The simple act of writing is also therapeutic. On my darkest of days, seeing a reply to my post actually lifts my spirits. I am so grateful for this site and the lovely people I have met here. I wish everyone here hope and strength in this very difficult journey. I would welcome a reply or a PM from anyone. Thank you for listening. Sister2

Hello Sister 2
It is good to know that you find comfort and support from this wonderful site…none of us really have any answers and there certainly aren’t any quick fixes but the fact that each and everyone of us has experienced the loss of a person who was actually a part of us means that at the very least we can hold out a hand and say " I understand. I know how you feel. ".
Like Sheila, I too often worry that my personal experience may not be helpful to others inasmuch as my grief is as present as ever after two and a half years…not so raw and visceral but still sitting firmly on my shoulder. I have thought I should leave the site but each time something draws me back!!
Perhaps the most important thing for each of us to remember is that we are not all the same…different losses, different ages, different support mechanisms, different localities etc etc… and so our futures will not be the same…like amputees we will get used to putting on our artificial limbs at different rates…some will walk unaided more quickly than others whilst some may need crutches for a very long time.
Hard as it is, I try to find things to be grateful for each and every day…to use this time to try to be a better person and so not diminish the gift I once had and the new present which I have been given.
I hope that a little of your pain abates soon. Take care x

Thank you for responding to my post Amelie’sgran. Your words are so poignant. I once heard grief described as “an amputation of the soul.” Your analogy of “amputees” reminded me of that very profound quote. As I said, I am not one to share so easily in my daily life, and therefore find writing to others who, although they do not see or know me, can relate to this “universal Grief.” Anything that I read on the site, offers me some measure of help. You & Sheila may doubt you are being helpful, but you just may touch one griever with your words, and that is enough. How wonderful that you are also a Mentor Amelie’sgran. There is no expiration date on grief, you feeling that over two years your grief is “still present” is not surprising. When my Mum passed, I found the 2nd year harder than the first. I am 6 months in from losing my beloved younger sister to a sudden death. I am in many ways still in shock, and I know it will be a long arduous journey as each day the harsh reality sets in more and more. But having support lights the way through the darkness. l could not do this alone. Thank you all. Sister2

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