It’s four months today since Eileen died, and just a bit over three since I started to post here, so I haven’t got too much experience of the ebb and flow of the forum.
Nevertheless, it seems to me that there has been a surge of new contributors in the last couple of weeks or so. I don’t necessarily think that this can be attributed to a seasonal upswing in mortality rates, as many of these new contributors have borne their losses for some time before making their initial posts. It also seems to me that many of the new stories are particularly harrowing.
Since my early days on the forum I have
had a concern (shared by some others) that reading so many painful accounts may not necessarily be a good thing, for how much misery can any one of us handle ? And when all is said and done, we only see a tiny fraction here of all the sadness in the world. The average daily death rate in UK alone is in the order of 1650.
That might sound selfish, but I wonder if it may be time to ease back from the forum.
I have certainly worried about the amount of time I spend here, when other tasks are building up.
I don’t know, I really don’t know.

I think I need to be selfish in how I use this forum. Primarily I am using it for my benefit and not for any altruistic or philanthropic benefit. However a number of posters have said they get some benefit from my posts and I, likewise, get benefit and learning from others.
I agree regarding the size and scope of misery but I generally reflect on that and am beginning to think that things aren’t quite as bad for me as I thought they were. Maybe that’s symptomatic of being further along the road. It’s probably gratitude as I’m so glad my wife didn’t seem to suffer to the extent others have. One concern I have is that it can almost feel like voyeurism and that’s probably due to my interest in how the mind works in changing situations. Sometimes I feel like I’m “observing” myself in some experiment or research project. Just another learning opportunity. I don’t feel as much comforted by the forum as I did initially but that’s maybe a good thing. It’s “done it’s job”.
I hope that makes some sort of sense… It’s complicated.

Grief is selfish Edwin. However, if the forum is still providing you with comfort, stick with it; if not then ease back. Do whatever is best for you. I like to read your posts as I do YorkshireLad’s; I feel that you both bring something to the table. Thank you for that.

I cannot imagine that any of us would be reading and posting on here if we were not bereaved ourselves, and seeking comfort of those that understand. That’s not to say that we don’t all like to bring so.ething to the table. I was only discussing the issue of selfishness in grieving yesterday. Do selfish people find a new normal qicker than selfless people? Right now I greave more for my child’s lost future than I do for my own future without my child. I also feel I am not entitled to enjoy anything when my child will never enjoy anything again. Does that mean I will never live forward?
I personally am very very grateful for everything I have including the massive support I have received from my friend’s and family, but I cannot get past the suffering my child had and the future missed out on.
It is almost 5 months now and while I do not expect to ever get over it I have no idea where I am on this journey. Sorry I’m not sure what I am trying to say!

I too sometimes think that posting to this site and reading harrowing stories could be making me worse. At the beginning when my wife died 6 months ago I was posting regularly and the support I received from people like Lesleym,Linf and wiltshiregirl who were bereaved around the same time has been tremendous. I do get comfort reading your posts and yorkshirelads as it helps to hear from widowers.
Please take care especially today

I think I understand what you are trying to say and I think you’ve made some interesting points.
I’m not sure if selfish is the right word. I think I prefer single minded and determined, but that may because I can be selfish and the word “selfish” could be pejorative in that context. I think grief is so complicated or multi dimensional that it’s difficult to generalise but you may be right.
I think there can be big differences in how children are nurtured and socialised and I think my kids would admit to having a stronger bond with their mother than with me. But that’s an oversimplification. If we look at how employment patterns have changed relating to gender then it gets more complicated. Who determines who is selfish in terms of parenting roles.
Your point about sadness for lost opportunities in relation to our loved one is a very strong driver for me. I love to spend time with grandkids but it’s bittersweet in that I’m crying inside knowing how my wife loved to do what I’m doing at that time.
I firmly believe we will not find a new normal. We will find staging posts along the way but we will continue on to the next one. We won’t stand still. We never did.
I was in two minds whether to delete this as I think I might have gone off at a tangent but it might promote further views on what is an interesting assertion.

I have often pondered this. Type the question “Is grief selfish?” into Quora and there are many, many replies which I have found helpful…personally I don’t think grief makes us selfish…all those who post on here are just trying to make sense of what has happened to them and are most often acting selflessly in trying to use their own pain to help others. Rather , grief makes us completely self-absorbed and so restricts our ability to see the wider picture. …each of us has to work through our grief at our own rate and within our own circumstances until we are -hopefully - able to become aware of the wider world once more. It takes some of us longer than others and some of us may always have a narrower perspective than we would like but all we can do is to persevere and help each other on the way. Take care everyone x

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Grief is a learning process,it’s a cruel lesson to be learning,but from birth we were always going to enrol,it’s like someone else putting your name on the list without your consent,then one day we are newbies in the worst class ever.I don’t feel selfish,i feel like i’m trying to help myself in anyway possible,as i struggle to make some sense of where i am and where i am going,that in my opinion may somehow help me to keep on moving.I agree i am not looking for a "new normal"as i personally don’t think my life now will ever feel normal again,grief and normal just don’t go together,it’s all too strange for that.But i have to live and i have a need to seek out how others manage this,like the people on here.I agree i have had those thoughts that reading more sadness could make one feel even more sadness,an overload of desperate real emotion,but it’s real ,it’s life and i feel empathetic to everyone’s reality here.Outside my door,many haven’t a clue,sadly they all will know one day,but here we have a mutual understanding of the sheer pain and fear grief creates along with a whole host of other strange thoughts.So i need to be here.x

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I’ve joined this forum to read people’s accounts on bereavement and to see if there’s anyone in the same position as myself. I usually read wive’s/gf’s losing husband’s/bf’s as I’ve lost a husband.

I agree that reading posts does makes you feel a bit sad as it relives your loved ones passing, but it’s upto the individual at what they can cope with.

I think it’s helped me to post about bereavement and end of life as I don’t want to keep going on about it to my kids who are suffering themselves.

When I first posted here last November, I sought your advice because my first experience of a bereavement group, had greatly increased my anxiety. With hindsight, I should have politely excused myself. When you’re vulnerable and numb, you don’t always know what’s the right or best thing to do…anymore. Without the caring and inspiring responses I received that evening and over the weeks that have followed, my despair would have deepened. So I for one admit to being very selfish…your input on this forum will make a difference, to someone like me. Your thoughts, feelings and experiences are needed…you have a wealth of experiences to share. Thank you, x

Actually Amelie’sgran, thank you, I prefer the term ‘self-absorbed’ rather than ‘selfish’…