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Please Post In This Bereavement Support Posting Room / Re: How to face the anger
« Last post by Sandra61 on July 16, 2019, 08:56:51 AM »
Ah Jake, so sorry you are having such a hard time, but if things are affecting you to the extent that you are under-weight, it is good that you are trying to find ways to help yourself. That's really positive in itself.

I think I would utilise all the tools at my disposal if I were you. You've already tried talking to family and that hasn't helped, so you need new strategies. I would write down any random thoughts and feeling you may have on a daily basis and that should help crystalise some of the feelings you need to address in a deeper way. I would also seek grief counselling, as I firmly believe that it does help to talk. Yes, you are free to talk here and we will be happy to offer any responses we hope may help, but that's not the same as talking face to face to someone who has experience of helping with things like this, so I would definitely give grief counselling a try. Thirdly, I can recommend the running strategy that Karena suggested. I have done that in the past and it has helped. It releases some of the energy and I had a sense of trying to outrun the feelings I had, but when I stopped, I felt better able to face them and to deal with them, but much of the emotion had dissipated and I felt better able to look at things objectively and think about them more rationally. I also chose to run in a beautiful location and when I stopped, the sound of the wind rustling the leaves in the trees and the grass and the stream running nearby was very calming and reassuring, so I would highly recommend that too.

Give some of this a try, Jake, and if these things don't help, try some new things. Writing a letter to your mum about how losing her has made you feel and talking to her about it all would probably also help, as, even though she isn't there to read it, you are talking to her and that is still a direct link, if only in your head and heart.

Keep us posted, Jake. Good luck!  :hearts:
Please Post In This Bereavement Support Posting Room / Re: How to face the anger
« Last post by Karena on July 15, 2019, 10:23:56 AM »
LIke you i have always turned anger in on my self and of course it feels wrong to be angry at your mum even though logically of course she didnt want to leave you it wasnt a choice she made but grief and anger are not logical entitys.Sometimes i think we do need to reach out to people outside that circle of grief because their feeling are also not logical but they tell each other and themselves those kinds of things because thats what we are programmed to do.I know it is so much later and people maybe think grief counselling is something that we get earlier and then its done - but it isnt always the case, so as Emz says seeking that might help, it doesnt cure you of greif but it equips you to deal with it better in my experience - and although we are not professionals here we have plenty of that experience between us and will be here for as long as you need us to be.

With anger i think until the root cause is resolved in some way, the way of dealing with that ball in your chest is to see it as a ball of energy that needs to get out and finding ways to let it do that without harming anyone - so yes the bottle bank thing,but also just doing something that uses that energy  - a rapid walk or a run until you run out of breath - something outdoors is always good because when you stop running and the energy is gone then you can find yourself in a natural environment which is a good place to begin to heal as well.
Another way some-one here recommended was to express it in a letter -and then burn it - symbolically letting go of it.

Please Post In This Bereavement Support Posting Room / Re: How to face the anger
« Last post by Emz2014 on July 14, 2019, 08:53:06 PM »
I think anger is a fairly common stage of grief, but also anger can be quite a complicated emotion. Its not always clear cut why we feel angry.  I would recommend searching 'anger iceberg' in Google, which is a fantastic demonstration about anger and which other emotions can be tangled in it

Keep talking as it will help you to unravel/process it, maybe journalling too.  Im sure others here may have their examples of angry feelings they have had

You could consider exploring some therapy too perhaps - having a chance to talk it through in a session may also be really helpful and the therapist can teach you tools/techniques to manage it

I know karena has recommended going to bottle recycling banks - throwing bottles in and hearing them smash can be cathartic to an extent.  It must have been disappointing to have that response from your dad when you've tried to reach out. Unfortunately other people can find strong emotions uncomfortable and resort to such sayings in an attempt to easily soothe it away but it doesnt mean you are wrong to feel like you do. Rather than feeling guilty it is good you've identified that this is something you are struggling with and are seeking to heal the right way   xx
Please Post In This Bereavement Support Posting Room / How to face the anger
« Last post by jake1996 on July 14, 2019, 12:47:30 PM »

I really need some support and feel as though atm, this is the only place I can turn I mentioned in my last post, I lost my mum when I was 4 years old (am now 23) and am only just coming to terms with the whole thing now. I've cried a little bit over the past few days but what I can't handle is the anger. There's a tight, pulsing ball of it in my chest right now, but my mind can't accept the fact that I'm angry because the anger is directed at my Mum. I know it's not logical but I think 4 year old me was incredibly angry that his Mum had left him without any explanation (the circumstances were that she went into hospital and I never saw her again) - I know as an adult it wasn't her fault, but this huge anger still remains unaddressed and has been inside me all this time. I'm now trying to face it but I'm so afraid of it because my Dad used to get so angry when we were children and that was so scary for me, so now I think anger is a dangerous and terrible thing that shouldn't be expressed. Instead, I've just turned it inwards against myself for the past 20 years and so have suffered with very low self-esteem, exhaustion and am very underweight. Clearly this is affecting me and I need to express it: i felt like I was making progress yesterday as I essentially just gave into the anger and it started coming, but I feel like I will go berserk and that I mustn't let it out in case I hurt someone, but I know I won''s just so frustrating because it takes all my strength to keep it down and I'm tired of fighting it. On top of that, I tried to confide in my Dad about how I felt but, understandably, he was upset that I felt that way, which I do get but it does make me feel guilty for feeling the way I do when it's already hard enough to face it. He says things like 'Mum wouldn't want you to feel like that' and 'think how everyone else feels, we've all had to deal with it' when it's still affecting them, I can see it...but people telling me I'm wrong just makes me hide from the anger even more but I can't move forward until I express it and let it out. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I just need to know that it's okay to be angry.

Introduce Yourself To Us All / Re: Grieving for Mum as an adult
« Last post by Sandra61 on July 13, 2019, 10:03:41 AM »
Welcome Jake,  :hug: and I am so sorry to hear that you have been carrying this around with you for so long. I think it must be particularly hard to deal with loss at such a very young age. I expect you are right and have issues you need to work through as an adult that you would not have been able to do at the age of 4. Can I suggest that you go and see a grief counsellor? You can do this privately but can also be referred to one by your GP. I think it might help you to speak to someone face to face who has some experience of helping people with things like this.

We have people visit this site who have suffered all manner of loss in different circumstances and at different times, who might well be able to offer you some good advice, so this is a good place to come to to talk too, but we are not professionals. We are just a bunch of people who have also suffered losses and so have some understanding of what you may be going through. My experiences have been different. I lost my mum in 2017 at the age of 96 and my dad in 1985 at the age of 75 and I do know how loss also impacts on your daily life and adds stress and loneliness to your continuing existence even so many years later, so can guess some of what you may be feeling. I don't think that sense of having them no longer there ever leaves you, whatever your age or however many years later it may be. I know I still miss my dad despite the number of years it is since I lost him.

I think there may be things you can do to help yourself work through this in the meantime. I would strongly suggest you write down how you feel about things and what you are thinking and feeling each day. The act of writing it down does help you get it out of your system and identify and order your thoughts about things. I find when I do that, I even come up with thoughts I had not previously realised I had, but that just come out of my mind because I am concentrating on how I feel. Also, you can look back and reflect on it all at a later stage, which can also help you mull over it all and sort it out in your head. You might just want to start by writing down any memories of your mum you still have or how you felt at the time and how others around you have behaved at the time and since to help give you a setting to work from as a base for how you were feeling then and now.

Loss is something we spend all of the rest of our lives working through, I feel. Grief never leaves us. We learn to live with it, but are never who we were before the loss occurred, as it changes our lives to lose someone close, so changes us too, as well as changing our world and our future. It is a massive shock to the system at any age and I would think an even greater one when it happens when you are very young. It might help too to dig out some old photos of your mum to help bring back memories of how life was before you lost her and help you identify how the loss affected you. Gradually, you could move on to looking at ways of commemorating her life and how you valued her. She will always be a valued part of your life and no doubt the sense of loss of the future you should have had together will be a big part in your journey through this, but I think it is very healthy that you are now seeking to do this and will ultimately help you move forward. What interests did she have? Do you share any of them? Do you have any similar character traits? We all take part of the person we have lost with us into our futures, so in a way, they are never completely lost to us and our love for one another never dies, so we always have that in our hearts. It is their not being here that is hard and something you have to learn to find a way to adjust to and that is a life-long rocky road I think. At times it is easier to cope with than at others, so there will always be ups and downs.

You give the impression other family members are dealing with it better or have dealt with it, but that may not be quite as true as you think. People are good at hiding their feelings. It might be worth talking to them about this and trying to find out what they are really feeling, even if they appear to brush it off and say they don't need to! That may not actually be the case.

I would also like to suggest you look at another website called Let's Talk About Loss. That one is designed for people who have lost loved ones when they were very young and up to the age of 35, so they will probably be able to relate better to your own experience and you may find that helpful, as they will also be more in your age bracket.

Keep talking to us here to as much as you like. I am sure it will help bring you peace. Best wishes and sending you an understanding hug ..  :hearts: :hug:
Sometimes just having a safe place like here where we can express what we are thinking can really help process those emotions.  Getting it out and 'saying' it can be part of the healing, rather than just holding it inside and you don't have to worry about family fall out here and people here will understand and often recognise what you are feeling. 

Having a journal or diary can also help - having the chance to offload what you're thinking/feeling can help us make sense of things and find ways to move forward from those painful emotions too

I feel quite estranged from my wider family now since I lost my dad - it is really interesting how things can change and fall apart in family dynamics after a key loss

We never lose our connection to our loved ones, I agree with karena, they continue on with us whether it's in how we behave, our mannerisms, beliefs etc

 :hug: xx
Hi Emz and Karena,

Thank you both for your replies and thank you for such a detailed response Karena, it really does help. I think Grandma is now going to pull out some photos of Mum for me to hang on to me for my own personal keeping which is really kind and should help me build up my memories of her and bring her to the forefront of my mind. I'm also planning to meet up with some of her old friends who remember her and ask them about her that should help me, have also been having a couple of cries these past couple of days but nothing to reflect the grief and pain I feel as of yet. Still doesn't feel all that real and it's hard to talk about.

I think you're right and they have done some grieving; reading your response I noticed that I actually felt a very powerful anger in my chest. I've never really got angry before and think it's something that I have pushed very far down, 1) because the anger I feel is probably huge and 2) my dad has an explosive temper and this used to show a lot when we were younger, which was very scary for me and so I'm afraid of anger, but I know I do feel angry and I think from my reaction to what you've said Karena about my Dad having grieved I'm most likely very very angry at my Dad for not being there for me. I know that sounds very callous and cruel but emotionally we were all abandoned after mum died and whilst we were physically provided for (which is fortunate), the emotional support to guide us through our grief was not there so I think we all pushed it down. On top of this, Dad relies on us, his children, for emotional support because he doesn't talk to anyone else, which is hard to bear when I have my grief but cannot talk to him about it because he denies it exists. I am angry, though writing this I only feel it in my chest, it's almost like it can't come out because I've internalised it. I'm sure I'm also angry at my mum too for leaving me...I hope it doesn't sound like I'm being horrible about my Dad and Grandma but I do have these feelings but I am scared to engage with them because it's easier to feel guilty for having them than the true anger I know is in there. It's complicated but I need to make friends with and accept that anger I feel if I'm to move through this process. Does that make sense? And thank you for pointing out that there is no right way to grieve, I have heard that and think my way of coping is trying to put it all into a neat pathway for me to walk down but I suppose it's not going to be that easy...

Thank you for the book recommendation, will check that out. Luckily I'm a big reader so will have a good crack at it! Yes I think it is dangerous the messages that society tries to give us about how to grieve, this is new ground for me so your guidance really is appreciated Karena - I'm not sure what else to say at the mo but I think I'll revisit this post when I have thought things through. Hearing your experience helps me and thanks again for taking the time to lay it out in detail. This is a confusing time so all that helps. I am struggling because I don't want to be cruel but I also don't want to deny my feelings any longer...I want someone to tell me what I feel is okay and not unforgivable really. But thank you very much and ultimately I do know all my Dad and Grandma's actions were done out of love, i just need to make sense of one meant to hurt me but there is a lot of hurt in there, so time for a bit more reflection I think. Thank you both.

Hi Jake - i agree with Emz talking to your Gran will help and having some-way to look at the memorys of her will too, so maybe you and your gran could put something together between you and that would help her too as she recalls the happier times of your mums life and starts to fix those, rather than the sad ones in her mind.
I think her and your dad have done some grieveing, how could they not, but also they would have wanted to be "strong" for the children and just the practicalities of caring for you all, especially with such a young baby must have taken a lot of doing, which would have given them no choice but to just keep going, but grief is a strange thing and it cant really be put in a box, there are recognisable stages which happen at different times between people and not always the same stages to everyone or any of those stages to everyone
Your dads depression is an example of one, but it could also have been a mask for his anger, which is another common stage, - when we cant express it then we turn it in ourselves, we also find ways to justify feeling guilt, obviousely he wasnt guilty of anything, but that doesnt stop us finding a way to blame ourselves, so his depression could have the been the external face of all those parts of grief in which he got stuck.
So when people use the phrase they didnt "grieve properly" i think its important to understand that there isnt a wrong or right way to do this And while traditionally grief theory and grief therapy has concentrated on cutting the bond between us and the person who died, that doesnt work in reality, and then because it hasnt worked and society and therapists tell us we should be "cured" but we dont feel that we are.  we start to imagine it is a fault in ourselves.

Something which might help you is a book by  Klass, Silverman, and Nickman, called continuing bonds:new understandings of grief - you dont need to read the whole book there are some articles online that sum it up quite well. In  brief it states.
"Grief isn’t about working through a linear process that ends with ‘acceptance’ or a ‘new life’, where you have moved on or compartmentalized your loved one’s memory.
but you slowly find ways to adjust and redefine your relationship with that person, allowing for a continued bond that will endure, in different ways and to varying degrees, throughout your life. This relationship is not unhealthy, nor does it mean you are not grieving in a normal way."

For me, reading it was a big weight lifted off me because i was some-one who thought not wanting to "let my husband go" or "move on" meant i was at fault and i would be stuck for-ever because holding on to him was more important than societys view, and in reality it actually helped me move forward because i could suddenly see that i didnt have to leave him behind but find new ways to take him with me.

For you, being so young and with fewer memorys this isnt so straight forward because it is difficult to continue the bond when you have so few memories to create those stronger links and those who could fill that gap are not able too because they were themsleves struggling with their own grief coupled with trying to continue to care for you and be strong for you, and thats not their fault at all they were doing what they thought was the best thing and always out of love, but for you the more long lasting memorys of her that are missing are keeping that void open.

The memorys you do have also involve her being there and suddenly gone - for your younger siblings she will always be some-one who died and was missing but they probably dont remember her as some-one who was ever there in the way you do, and at four its likely your twin may not have as many memorys as you do, as some of us do remember things that happened when we much younger than others do, - i have memorys of being 3 but my daughters memorys only go back to being around five.
So perhaps that is why you have always felt as though something is missing, more strongly or differently than they have.

So while memorys are a way for many of us to continue the bond with our loved ones there are other tools in the box  - for some that is religion  they think of the person looking down from another place or in many cultures honoured tribal elders whose wisdom can be conjured up or is known through stories passed down, but whether we have religion or not  for others it is still through ritual - that could be visiting a headstone, or it could be something more personal, a place we visit that we associate with them,planting a tree and revisiting the tree to see how it has grown and how in spring it proves that life is always renewed in some way, we are all different but finding something which appeals too us either through our own cultural norms, adopting another cultures or creating our own  but which  is done in a way dedicated too them is still a way to keep the bond with them.I have a place we loved going and planned to retire too which i cant do, but i go back now every year and i bring bck a pebble off the beach - no-one seeing me knows what i am doing and no-one at home knows what the pebbles in a particular place in the garden are about, its not something anyone questions, so it doesnt have to be a big drama, just something you do as a memorial too your mum which exists only between you and her.

Another tool in the box is to live your life in honor of some-one - which means considering them in everything you do, your code of ethics for example or standing for a cause they believed in , supporting a charity they supported, etc - again as you didnt know her in that way, that is going to be more difficult for you but not impossible.

So definitely continue to write here, and also continue to talk to your gran so you can gather as much information as possible even if she is reluctant to create a memory box or help you do so, what she says is still a record which you can use to get to know your mum better even though she isnt here.
Perhaps you could write a letter too your mum - or a series of letters in a diary form, and also tell her about the things she has missed - your schooling, your college, your hobbies and interests - i know it sounds a little crazy but again no-one need ever see it, but i think it is something that could help, because had she been there you would have told her all that and so in a way you would be inviting her back into your life even without her being physically present and that could be  a way to close the gap in it.

Sending you a welcome hug  :hug:

It does help the process to talk. Talk about memories,  how you're feeling etc so it's great you've started talking with your gran.  Have you thought about putting together some kind of scrapbook or memory box from those discussions? Something tangible you can look at when you need? Xx
Hello all,

Going on from my introductory post, I lost my Mum to meningitis when I was 4 years old. I have a twin who was also 4, a brother who was 2 and a sister who was 13 days old. Mum died suddenly from complications to do with meningitis and potential negligent care at the hospital. Being so young, I think it seemed to me as though she just vanished...I only have one conscious memory of her and that is her and my Dad arguing in the hallway. Now I'm 23 and have just finished uni, but I've had a nagging feelings that things are not 'right' for many years: I thought it was just my personality, I thought I was just weak and always exhausted, I thought that always worrying and thinking about death was normal, and I thought that not really feeling anything but numb was typical...but now I know that all these things are because I haven't grieved for my Mum at all - even posting this I still feel like the denial is there.

I think this has come about because the adults left (my Dad and Grandma) have not truly grieved her loss Dad went into a major depression when she died and has not recovered, despite what he says, so in a way I lost both parents when she died. My family cannot understand that it is affecting me now and seem reluctant to acknowledge that I need to grieve which almost makes me feel like I'm crazy. Yet I know there is a terrible terrible pain inside me that needs to come out and I've felt it, I really have felt it...I've sobbed a couple of times but my mind still isn't convinced that she's can it be when everyone else is so reluctant to acknowledge how bad I feel? We don't talk about her, we only joke...I am starting to have proper conversations with my Grandma about her which have started to help but I keep feeling it is easier to pretend it hasn't happened, yet I so don't want that and so want to experience my pain and grief because I know that through this pain is my true self and contentment, something that I feel has been shut down since I suffered the trauma of her dying.

I'm just starting this process and am feeling numb, unsure and alone, but thought maybe posting on here would help, because the pain is terrible but I can't get it out and it's affecting everything :(
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