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dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

What do you do when you don't know how to handle your grief?

Asked by dammitjanetfromvegas (4593points) December 30th, 2015

It was this time two years ago when I received the call from my father saying that my mother passed away. I’m trying to occupy my mind with music but that’s not helping so I turned to beer. I know, not the best thing. Now I feel worse.

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15 Answers

Seek's avatar

I’m so sorry you are feeling this way.

I can’t drink when I’m depressed… It always makes things worse.

I try to put myself to work. Something that requires enough care to keep my brain occupied, but automatic enough that I don’t have to really focus. I hand-scraped, sanded, and refinished my table top a few weeks ago.

Then, of course, I spent ages clearing the dust out of my house because I was not thinking rationally when I started that project, so naturally I did it right there in the kitchen…

Ah well, better than cutting. That hasn’t been trendy since high school.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

You just have to let yourself grieve. Grief is one of those unstoppable forces. You can try to suppress it, but it will have its way and it will come back. My parents died many years ago. My sister a few years ago, but every now and then I’m hit with a wall of grief that I cannot bury.

This time of year is particularly hard. We should have those people we love with us. The hole left by their absence is palpable. You just have to ride it out. Cry if you need to. Look at their photos if you feel inclined. Listen to the music they loved. Let them be close to you in your heart for a while.

Go and do things you love too. Get your camera out. I know you love photography. I find I can escape from the world a little when I’m taking pictures. So go for a walk, with or without a loved one, and photograph the beauty around you. Go and buy a tree or a plant and plant something for your mum. Create a space in your garden, even if it’s not your permanent garden, use some pots if you have to, where you can sit and think about your mum. A place for reflection and sharing good and not so good thoughts and moments with her memory.

Here2_4's avatar

I see you have all the best advice already from the above answers. I will just add that the advice is sound, and thoughtful, and I agree completely with them both.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

When Tigh (best friend) committed suicide, I smoked/ate pot. I don’t recommend it as a crutch or using it as frequently as I did, but honestly, I genuinely think that if you can manage to use it in a healthy way, it can help so much. It’s one of the only things that helped get me through the loss, because it enabled me to actually focus on other things for a while – like listening to music and getting lost in it, drawing and getting lost in creating, getting philosophical and thinking about things in a way that helped me cope, allowing me to laugh without feeling guilty about it a split second later, helped me sleep, etc. I was a complete wreck (that’s really putting it mildly) and I will never, ever think my use of it at the time was a bad thing. I truly don’t know if I’d have made it through without it. And pot, like alcohol, isn’t a depressant, so if it’s possible for you, it’s something to think about. ((hugs))

flutherother's avatar

Call your father and see how he’s doing. Maybe you can share the grief you feel.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

Thank you @flutherother. I will be calling him later today. I was the only one to call him this time last year.

JLeslie's avatar

I haven’t lost a parent, but my experience with grief is it’s incredibly intense, daily, for 3–6 months and then it begins to lighten up. After that it comes in waves. The waves last less and less over time. Right now your in a wave I would guess, and maybe you can take solace in knowing that how sad you are right now will let up fairly quickly again. In the mean time it just sucks. It’s a perfect time to have 3 Xanax in a stash to carry you through the intensity of this time of year (I’m not a doctor) while her passing is so recent. Two years is nothing for someone so significant in your life.

If it was overwhelming for me I’d probably call a girlfriend who is a good listener.

si3tech's avatar

@dammitjanetfromvegas Call your father as @flutherother said. A grief shared is a grief halved.

keobooks's avatar

I wouldn’t try to do anything to get your mind off of it. It won’t work well, and the feelings won’t go away. They will just lurk around, waiting for moments to catch you off guard. Eventually, you won’t just have the grief to deal with, you’ll also have a fear and dread of the grief emotion and worry about when it will sneak up on you next.

I suggest going to a grief support group, where you can share your feelings and hear from others going through the same thing. One on one therapy is a great help as well. Meditation is one of the best ways to allow your mind to open up and feel everything and learn to live with the feelings.

Grief NEVER goes away. You just adjust your life so you can better cope with it. If you don’t deal with your grief, it stays an open wound, festering and getting worse over the years. If you allow yourself to fully experience, it heals up until there’s a deep scar that doesn’t hurt so much anymore, but always reminds you of the pain. And also reminds you that you lived through it and you should feel proud and strong for this.

tinyfaery's avatar

The only thing that is unbearable is that nothing is unbearable. Do what you have to. Don’t judge yourself. When the anniversary of my mom’s death comes around (5 years now) sometimes it’s really hard and other times not so much. I like to get absorbed in a really good TV show. Have you seen Jessica Jones? It’s great.

Hang in there.

Coloma's avatar

@dammitjanetfromvegas Awww…I’m sorry.
If you can really just be with your pain, feel it, let it be, it will fade more quickly than trying to avoid and resist it. Just let it wash over you, really feel it, don’t fight it, and hopefully it will lose some of it’s power. The only way out is through, something I have to remember at times myself.

The old, ” you can’t heal what you don’t feel.” Easier said than done I know, but it works, it really does work if you just let it happen.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

Thank you everyone. You have been very helpful.

@tinyfaery I really want to see it. It’s on our list of shows to watch. Speaking of shows, I think I like Game of Thrones better than Vikings, though they are both great. :)

Seek's avatar

Vikings has, to me, basically become Sons of Anarchy with fake Nordic accents.

tinyfaery's avatar

Vikings has hotter guys.

Seek's avatar

I want to know what Rollo used on his scars. I have mad stretch marks and could use the recipe

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