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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Why do I seem to miss my loved ones that have passed at the most random times, with no recognizable triggers?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (23293 points ) July 23rd, 2011

This morning I woke up and I missed my grandmother. She passed away in December of 2009, so the anniversary of her passing isn’t anywhere near. Her birthday is in May, and I didn’t hear a song or see a sight that reminds me of her. I have just been fighting the urge to cry all day because I miss her today more strongly than most days.
This happens often with other loved ones that have passed away. My sister most frequently, but just last week I was moping around about a close friend that died last year. My grandfathers have both been dead for nearly 15 years, but I still mourn my paternal grandfather on a regular basis.
Why is my grief so cyclical? Will I ever be out of a state of mourning? Is this normal for most people, or is it possibly related to my having experienced so many traumatic compound losses in a short period of time?

Please don’t refer me to a therapist. I have a therapist. I want personal opinions, not professional opinions.

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18 Answers

creative1's avatar

My father died back in 86 and I still at random times think of him and find myself missing him. It could be a time of year or something someone does that simply reminds me of him. Sometimes I sit and just wonder what it would have been like to have known him as an adult since I was 17 when he passed away. I think its normal as long as its not bringing you into a deep deep depression.

marinelife's avatar

It is normal to periodically have sad thoughts about the passing of loved ones. Greif never ends; it just eases.

JilltheTooth's avatar

You know, Neff, I have that same thing happen, and I finally figured that there may be very subtle triggers that tickle the subconscious. My Dad thought eggplants were silly-looking, so sometimes seeing an odd eggplant will trigger me. It took a couple of years to figure out why. Maybe you smelled something that reminded you of her, maybe just the heat somehow triggered a summer memory back in your hind-brain.
Sending (((((hugs))))), sweetie…

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@JilltheTooth thank you, and back at you. xo
After posting this question the reason became more clear to me. I’ve had some rotten luck, recently, and as weird as it may sound… my grandmother was one of my best friends. I could talk to her about anything at all without fear of being judged. She was wise, but she was also pretty damn hip. I guess I miss her advice and support when times are rough. It wasn’t so clear to me until I posted here, but now it makes sense.

tinyfaery's avatar

Yes. My mom died a little less than 2 years ago and what you are describing does happen to me. I do think that there is something external that triggers these reactions, we just might not be conscious of it. Maybe a song, a smell, a color, whatever.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Some people might talk about “random firing of nurons,” but I prefer to think that it’s nothing more than partially supressed grief and lonliness surfacing from time to time. It’s perfectly normal and happens to almost everyone.

Meego's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf well I sent this to a friend of mine today from a movie I watched last night called “Rabbit Hole”.
It pretty much describes grief to a T. And this movie was my “AHA” moment. It is about 2 parents going through the loss of their 4 yr old. This is the quote between the daughter and her mother who also lost a child I found helpful as I am in my own greif pool, maybe you will too:

Becca: Does it ever go away?

Nat: No, I don’t think it does. Not for me, it hasn’t – has gone on for eleven years. But it changes though.

Becca: How?

Nat: I don’t know… the weight of it, I guess. At some point, it becomes bearable. It turns into something that you can crawl out from under and… carry around like a brick in your pocket. And you… you even forget it, for a while. But then you reach in for whatever reason and – there it is. Oh right, that. Which could be aweful – not all the time. It’s kinda…[deep breath]not that you’d like it exactly, but it’s what you’ve got instead of your son. So, you carry it around. And uh… it doesn’t go away. Which is…

Becca: Which is what?

Nat: Fine, actually.

Rabbit Hole (2010)

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Meego ohh, that’s very well said. Thank you for sharing that.

Meego's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Your welcome!

I encourage anyone who has lost someone to watch this movie TBH I felt like less of a freak afterwards watching different sides of the grieving process. Sometimes it just works like that I guess.

I find myself emotional lately at things I never would of been emo towards before. There is this overwhelming roll of thunder in my body and then I need to cry for a moment. There is also no rhyme or reason for it always, but it sucks.

Becca: And so this is just the sad version of us…

Becca: Somewhere out there I’m having a good time.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

Maybe they are thinking of you.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet : I like that one. I have the hopeful idea that in the morning when I have coffee from his favorite mug I’m somehow invoking the spirit of my Dad to come and hang out with me a bit.
And if anybody comes on now and tells me that that’s not possible because blah blah blah no peer reviewed studies blah blah blah I will hunt you down and smack you upside the head.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Meego's avatar

I believe it too. They are all around us. I can feel it.

Bellatrix's avatar

It just happens Neffie. I don’t know why either. I have been known to just suddenly burst into tears because I heard a song that reminded me of a loved one, or just typing this makes me think of my sister and my eyes filled with tears, as @Meego suggests, the memories of the people we love (and perhaps their energy) is always with us, just under the surface. Perhaps you are feeling a little vulnerable or have something you need to tell them and you haven’t even realised this yet? Sending you a big hug…

dabbler's avatar

Nothing wrong with cherished memories. Beats not having them.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
anartist's avatar

Because there IS a trigger—even if it is just a momentary feeling of emptiness, need or loss

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@JilltheTooth I’m sure that is not the only time his energy is around. :) I know when I leave this world, I’ll be back to visit my kids. I’ve already warned them.

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