Numbness worn off.

4 months ago my daughter died of cancer. She had been a renal patient for more than 25 years and had 2 transplants but it was cancer that killed her within a year of diagnosis. At first, with so much to attend to and with the shock of losing her I was numb and mistook that for being ok. But now, in the last month, the anguish and the despair are overwhelming. I don’t know how to live without her. How can we bear the unbearable?

I’m so sorry you have lost your precious daughter. It is the unimaginable to lose your child. I think my situation is very similar to yours in that my daughter was poorly yet partially functioning for nearly 20 years but lost her battle to something else.
You almost get used to your child’s illness and somehow think it will just carry on that way. You feel so sad for them living with their condition but now feel anything would be better than this.
It is the most dreadful shock and I think you are right that when this wears off you begin to feel the anguish and despair deeply.
Facing the loss of our children when the numbness is gone is so so tough.
I hope you have some support from friends and family but please keep reading and posting. I have found the compassionate friends meetings so helpful; perhaps there is one in your area?
Please know you are not alone. Sending you love. Xx

Yes to all of that Matella, thank you. I went to my first Compassionate Friends meeting last month and will certainly go again this month. There is a feeling that even though friends and family say and do what they can none of them can possibly know what this is like and how lonely a place it is. Only someone else who has been there can know. My heart is broken but there is a way in which it is broken open, making me more able to feel the pain of other people and the world.I guess that is why so many people go on to support others in various ways, start charities, run marathons in the name of their loved ones and things like that. Maybe that is the hidden gift of grief.

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Hello Geraldine, I’m so so sorry, I know the pain you are feeling and it’s horrendous. My son died in an accident last year and I agree that we go into shock. I think it’s a survival technique. After a couple of months the shock starts to go and you begin to feel again. I remember saying over and over how am I going to live without him. But you do, you have no choice. Each day dawn’s and you get through it. And one day you realise you haven’t spent the whole day crying. You take baby steps forward. I’m one of the people you talk about who decided to raise money for charity in my son’s memory. It’s been a rewarding experience and we raised £23,000. I still can’t believe he’s really gone though. Maybe I never will. Keep posting on here, someone will always answer. Love and hugs x

HI, Geraldine, I am so sorry for your loss, I know exactly how you are feeling ,after losing our lovely daughter Dawn 2years ago. What you are feeling are the same as what is the first stages of grief, and it is so painful I know , some days it so hard to carry on , but your beloved Daughter will not want you to give up. Take care and keep posting . We are all in this with you ,and as we all know how you are feeling Hugs Maddie xx

Hi Geraldine…I lost my son very suddenly …one day he was healthy (or so we thought) the next day he was dead,that was eighteen months ago…How?..I’m not sure, but you do manage to survive, and it does get easier,you never stop missing them or thinking about them because they are still very much alive in your mind and there they always will be…
This forum and all the wonderful people on here helped me so much because we can understand how each is feeling…and being able to chat and express to someone who is sharing the same emotions really does help…it’s hard but gradually, step by step it does get a little easier to be able cope
Remember you are not alone…With love…Marina xx

Thank you all so much. I am already discovering how it can ease the feeling of aloneness to be in touch with people who know first hand what this feeling is. However much family and friends may say nice things I always know that they can’t possibly have any idea (and I’m a counsellor and have worked with hundreds of people suffering loss!) When it happens to you it’s an understanding from a deeper place and only someone else who has been there can know from that place. So thank you.

I can relate to your pain, my fiancee had a double transplant and she also died of cancer, it took me a good 14 months to start moving on and the pain will and does ease.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and you will eventually see it.

Thanks John. Sadly cancer caused by the immunosuppressant medication is all too common following transplants. Such optimism, a few months of relief from years of dialysis and then the bombshell. Thank you for your kind words, I can’t actually imagine moving on at the moment but everyone tells me I will.

Geraldine I know its hell right now and Elaine’s cancer was also caused by immunosuppression drugs. It’s hell watching someone die like that especially because life saving drugs caused it.

I like you have visited many many dark places and I thought I’d never see the light but one day it will come, it will come when you least expect it.

Cherish your memories of the life you shared with your daughter don’t be afraid to scream/ cry / feel shit.

One thing that helped for me was talking to her consultant after Elaine died, so much happened near the end that talking to him helped put things into perspective.

Hi. Geraldine. ‘Maybe that is the hidden gift of grief’. What lovely words. It’s something I have always believed. Everything has a purpose. Suffering and grief do too. It changes us dramatically. We can sink into despair or begin to see how our feelings and emotions can turn into something good, something useful. Please, I am in no way minimising the shock and pain, God knows, I am there still. But I have found more empathy in me. More understanding of what this is about.
You may ask what possible good can come out of all this pain? A medieval monk once said ‘The dark cloud that breaks with blessings on your head’. I think maybe that’s what he meant. The cloud is very dark at the moment, but the cleansing rain does fall.
You say your heart is broken, but broken open. Kahlil Gibran in his book, ‘The Prophet’ talks of pain in this way.

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding”.

We all seem to exist in a shell when all is well. But grief breaks open that shell “That our hearts may stand in the sun”. It’s where our loved ones would want us to be.
Take care and bless you.

Geraldine I’m so sorry for your loss, my son Antony died car accident Dec 14th 2016 age 29… for me there is no moving on, where am I going to go?. All I can say is time helps, doesn’t heal and never will how could it without our precious children here…i find now though grief is always there I can function even though some days I fall back in the pit. Someone mentioned compassionate friends and I am on the forum and Facebook page. I still come on here but don’t always comment.
Support here is invaluable ,parents who know the isolation and rawness of grief. I’m now just over 2 1/2years and it’s still early days for me. Hope from those further ahead on this life is what I cling to. Antony will always be with me. Moving on to me personally is leaving Antony behind and I will never do that… no parent should outlive their child … sending you my love xx

Thanks so much Julie, I very much agree with what you say about moving on - I don’t want to move on either - that would mean moving on from her and I certainly don’t want to do that! I have found a compassionate friends support group for bereaved parents about 10 miles from where I live and have started to attend that. It’s only once a month but just to hear other mums describing exactly the same sort of experiences that I am having is strangely comforting.At least I get to know that what I’m feeling isn’t bonkers and just to know that others know what it’s like makes me feel not quite so alone with it. I’m sorry to learn about your Antony, Julie.

Yes,I guess we could say that the heart breaks open, making us open to the pain ad suffering of everyone else. That has certainly been my experience so far. I guess that’s why so many bereaved people go on to do good in the world- starting charities and and fund raising and so forth.

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