What should I be getting from the grieving... - PSP Association

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What should I be getting from the grieving experience?

greelycat profile image

I was just replying to someone's kind words when I realized there must be a point to feeling so much pain. There must be something I should be learning from it. Perhaps somebody has read a good book they could recommend? Better yet, what some of you have learned through your own experience. This is the first time I lose someone from my immediate family, someone who meant the world to me. I think I might be able to bear it if I know there is a purpose for the suffering.

10 Replies

Hi, me again. I attended two GRIEF GROUPS. The first was thro my health insurance plan, Kaiser Permanente (I live in Los Angeles, CA, USA). It lasted about 9 weeks, two hours one day a week. There was sharing, but mostly it was the mechanics and research regarding Grief.

Still feeling low, a few months later, I took one thro my church. Again, it lasted about 9 weeks. As with the first grief group I was the only one who had lost a child. Frankly I found the Kaiser Permanente one much more comforting. The Hospice pastor who co-leaded it called me a few days ago.

Grief takes time....the time determined by the amount of time spent with the one who has died, and how emotionally close you were, and the expectation of the person dying. You can almost equate it to a physical deep surgery... you can see the healing, expect it to take a good while, you accept the pain. With the emotional PAIN of losing a loved one, there is nothing physical to see, and the patience one has with physical healing, is lacking....although my health suffered for a good year.

I have HOPE for you.

greelycat profile image
greelycat in reply to enjoysalud

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences with me. I am very surprised to be coping a bit better today. A little less guilt.

The boys and I have been going through pictures (we weren't really into that so there aren't a lot). It feels as though we are healing a bit.

I don't think grief groups are for me. I am very much a person who keeps her emotions to herself. But if it all gets to be too much, I will look into it.

enjoysalud profile image
enjoysalud in reply to greelycat

Just to let you know that GRIEF for me was insidious. It was a constant (deep sadness) for about a year. Past May, 2018, I'd be patting myself on the back for having a good day and then (who knows what the trigger was) BAM I'd have a terrible acute grief attack (that's what I call them..taking me to the depth of despair) . They were not constant and I have not had one in about a week.....however my son died May 4, 2017....almost 20 months ago.

For me, I felt it was important to review every thought and memory that would pop up. I did not want to repress anything no matter how painful. I felt it would help me to heal better and more permanently. There will always be the sadness of not having my son and the horribleness of that disease, but now I get visited equally (if not more so) by gratitude for having had that wonderful kid in my life, and having been HIS mom. I also can accept and applaud his decisions, and forgive myself for visibly being impatient with him (one does that in the middle of PSPs demands).

Keeping you in my prayers, please be patient with yourself, ...Los Angeles, CA, USA

Donnasue1 profile image
Donnasue1 in reply to enjoysalud

...the loss of a child has to be the worst kind of pain and loss. With a parent or spouse you have the comfort of knowing the person has had the opportunity to live a full and rich life. We all know that we all must die, and when you have been together for many years or have had a parent live into their 70s or 80s their passing is a loss and is very sad, however it is something you talk about and expect. Not so with our children.❤️

enjoysalud profile image
enjoysalud in reply to Donnasue1

Thank you, DonnaSue1. You have always given me the right amount of support and comfort. I thank you, and remain always grateful.

The people I've lost have been elderly or at least middle-aged. Losing babies, children and the young must be so much harder a grief.

That said, the mantra "grief is a tribute paid to love" helps me. The VIPs I've lost were so special to me that the being so often on the edge of tears, the restlessness and the moments of deep sadness and being beside oneself feels wholly right.

I am not sure anyone or anything you read can explain what you should be feeling. Grieving is an unique experience for each person. For me I went through some sadness followed by relief, he was no longer suffering, when dad passed away. I think I had gone through most the sadness and anger long before he passed and when the time came those emotions had already played out and I just accepted it.


Grief is incredibly personal, and there is no 'right or wrong way' to navigate it. I lost my husband, the love of my life, in Feb 2017. I went through months of crying myself to sleep every night, or just sitting sometimes with tears spilling from my eyes as I got overwhelmed with sadness. Nearly 2 years later, that intense pain has eased, but every now and then it still feels like a punch to the chest and the hurt is deep although not as sharp.

I don't think that grief is something you ever get over. That nonsense about the 5 stages and then you're done? I don't buy that. I will forever hold that hurt and pain inside of me. Losing someone close to you changes you; even more so when we've had to go through the level of caring and commitment that PSP demands. What I do believe is that I am learning (and will continue to learn) how to live with my loss and accept it.

What has helped, is that my friends and family don't shy away from talking about my late husband. Memories come up, his name comes up in conversation, so he's still acknowledged and part of our lives.

Be kind and patient with yourself. You take as much or as little time as you need. And don't feel guilty about the good days, when you find yourself laughing, enjoying life. Those are all part of your healing too, and in no way diminish or detract from your loss. Give yourself permission to be. xx

greelycat profile image
greelycat in reply to Sawa

Thank you for your wise words.

Thank you for sharing that feeling.

So hard experiences have to have a meaning. Perhaps we realize our own dimension within an infinite and super complex universe looking a human scale. Maybe to learn what is important and bring that essential baggage to another dimension.

Compared to the age of the Universe, in reality there is very little time we are on Earth. Maybe we are needed somewhere else quickly and quickly we have to learn the essentials.

Nothing as a future seems a joke of very bad taste improper of the Manager of energy and the universal physical and chemical laws.



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