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On Grieving

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by melbo, May 14, 2013.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    We went to visit my wife's father a couple weeks ago. He had some sort of scalp cancer that was operated on which in turn moved down to his lungs. Lung surgery, infection, pneumonia, etc - we're flying back for a funeral tomorrow.

    What struck me was the unexpected grief my wife displayed. 2 weeks ago, she spent 10 days with my FIL and had a great time joking with him and told me that there was no reason to come back for the funeral (west coast to east coast).

    Call came in today and FIL had passed. My wife went unexpectedly crazy with grief and I know that it shocked her too.

    I haven't lost a parent yet but think it fulfills that childhood nightmare of being separated from Daddy (or Mommy). Children fear being left, getting lost, etc. No matter your age, you hurt when you no longer have your Daddy. Permanent separation.

    My wife is more upset than I've ever seen her in 16 years and I'm at a loss for how to console her.

    The part that pi**es me off is that i could have cured his cancer but his nurse daughter threw the B-17 away because 'I don't know anything about it'. (and the alternative was ?)

  2. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    You and your wife have my sincere sympathies. Losing a parent is hard; it is an event unequaled in our struggle through life, I believe. My father was in his mid-forties when I came along, and he wasn't very proactive in his health care, so I experienced his passing relatively early in life. His passing too was from cancer.

    The passing of a parent is an unparalleled event in one's life, because it brings home the reality of our own mortality in a shocking slap to the face; and it abruptly brings to a halt an important chapter in our lives. No one is prepared for it. No one can be prepared for it. Whether it be from a totally unexpected accident, or from a slow insidious disease, I believe that it is a point inscribed upon our own lives indelibly.

    I don't think that one can console a spouse, or friend, who has lost a parent. I think that all we can do is make ourselves available, support them, and allow them to work through the grief in their own way and time. It is an event that brings with it a maelstrom of emotions and memories; and helping someone through it is rather like supporting someone who is caught in a tornado. When the winds subside, they will pick themselves up, reassess their footing, and move on; but the event will have changed them forever.

    It has been almost twenty years now since my father passed. Am I "over it?" No, I am not. The memory of his passing brings tears to my eyes to this very day. The tornado has long since passed, but the scars it left behind are permanent.
  3. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I don't mean to sound corny, but I have long been of the same mind as one of Lucas' Jedi. As Yoda once said, "Train your mind to let go of everything you love." This is because of the way our minds work. At an early age, if one can start to train themselves to accept the loss of all they love, it can eventually prepare them for the loss. The problem as I see it, is that most people may think about losing a parent but they do not actually inure themselves well enough mentally. Through proper mental techniques, an individual can harden themselves, making the loss bearable and acceptable, since death is a part of the nature of our being, after all. Most people will either dwell upon the notion of loss and experience any myriad of symptoms associated with depression, or close themselves off completely and possibly welcome a subsequent wave of anxiety and sadness or depression, which can be even more severe. In relation to everything said, it all boils down to fear --and we often fear what we do not permit ourselves to understand. There's another avenue to this entire process, too; it's a path I wouldn't want to travel myself. Strong attachment to a loved one is certainly a strength in life, it may add to our existence in ways we commonly refer to as love, and it warms the spirit in times of trouble. The experiences shared with a loved one also builds upon this platform, and through life, the bond is made stronger and can be hard to let go because of this dependency of synergy. I don't know if some people believe it is wrong or insulting to even consider the notions expressed by a movie such as Star Wars, but there is significance for my bringing it up.

    My only advice to give, with all of my heart, is to try and accept death as a necessary step in the experience we call life. The more we hold on to the many myths and youthful perceptions surrounding life, the more we can expect hardship when faced with mortality.

    I know that everybody here certainly sympathizes with your loss.
  4. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Thoughts and prayers going up for you and yours, melbo.

    Hold her, hug her and just be there for her. Been there myself.

    May tomorrow bring a better day.
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    My condolences. :(

    Both of my parents are in poor health, and pain, and I have been expecting to lose them for years. I don't know what I will do when they pass, because I love them dearly. The thought of one or both dying is terrible, but I know it will come, and I dread that call. When my Grandfather died, (dad's dad) I was shell shocked. That gruff old man had frightened younger men, He was built like "Boiler-Maker Pete" and taught me a great deal about life through hunting, he was a driving force in my young life. He was the secret donor who paid for my Braces in Junior High, and to this day. i honor his Memory by carrying his guns each year as I hunt. When he died, I could not even cry for him. To let tears fall, would have made his death real. Grief is a vicious little beasty.
    As for your Lady, give her your love, your support, your ears, and your silence. Be there for her when she needs it, and give her space in which to deal with it. There is little else you can do. Best wishes for you and yours.
    chelloveck and Mindgrinder like this.
  6. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    First off, sorry for your families loss, it's never easy. 5 years ago next month I lost my father to cancer. Though I was prepared for it, his loss hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm sure this is what your wife is going through. Just be there and hold her. The pain of her loss will subside over time, but there will always be a hole in her life now.
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  7. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja Jedi Bipolar WINNING M.L.F.

    Prayers and healing vibes to you and your family.
    Look up at night bro...nobody really dies.
    Look up during the day bro...live and grow all you can.
    As far as helping the wife goes...chocolate and maybe bad jokes.
    It may sound odd, but cracking a few really pathetic jokes may help to bind some of the emotional wounds...especially if you can remember some jokes that your FIL told or would particularly like or resemble.

    Laughter heals...even at entirely inappropriate times.

  8. Jaybird

    Jaybird Monkey+

    Melbo, you and your family are in my prayers. While I have seen many go through this grief, I have never experienced the loss of a parent, yet. I have discovered that there is no magic words you can say to console someone who is grieving. What may work with one, will only upset another. The one thing that seems to always help in the end is to be there. Even though she probably already knows, show her again that you are there for her. If she needs a shoulder to cry on yours are available. If she needs to vent and rage, let her and don't judge her for what she says at the time. Just be there for whatever she needs. That will be the best thing you can do for her right now. When you think you are doing nothing for her, she will come back later and thank you for all you did.

    May you find strength for you and your wife. May she find comfort and even peace during this time.
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  9. Rabid

    Rabid Monkey

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. We can try to prepare ourselves for the inevitable and there are those things we feel we can prepare for but have no real idea how they will strike us when they come. It is similar to prepping where we can plan all we want but have no real Idea what we will truly need. I pray that you and your wife may perservere through your struggles and come out the other side stronger for the journey ahead.
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  10. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    With the death of our parents comes the end of absolutes.
  11. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Both of my parents are passed. My wife is right around the corner from losing both of hers. My condolences and prayers Melbo. Ill be facing the same thing over the next several years. KF
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    And, in some cases, the realization that now you are the elder that all look to for advice and guidance. That hit me like a ton of bricks when my father passed.

    m, pick your parent's brains, write down their stories for your kids, some day it will be too late. For your lady, it's time for her to relive her stories by writing them out. That, as I found, was helpful in purging the lost feelings by flooding with the good ones remembered.
  13. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Sorry to hear of your families loss, our condolences to you and your wife. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers for comfort in the grief and pain she is feeling today, as well as guidance for you to find the right words to bring relief and a smile back to her face.

    My wife went through the same thing when her mother passed 8 years ago, it takes time..... Most times there are no easy way to get over such a loss, like a family member. It just takes a bit of time for the grief to subside, reflection on the life they lived and the impact to yours. And at some point you move forward...
  14. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    We will be praying for you and your family.
  15. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    Condolences. :(
  16. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Having been thru the death of both my parents, to Old Age, about a year apart, over a decade ago, I have an understanding of how that goes. We still have both AlaskaChick's Parents alive, but in slowly declining Health, and expect to be dealing with their passing, in the next few years.
    This is the best advice, that any husband can do, for a grieving Wife, and children. We all have the tendency to "Talk" to solve these issues, and that just doesn't cut it for our Women Folk. They need Close Comfort, and our Ear, not to listen to our voices, jabbering away. This is the time to Listen, and reply with short answers, and let those in Grief, lead any conversations. ...... from one who has been there.....
  17. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    Ditto BT's sage perspective.
    Been there with these kind of things. My wife's mother passed away just 6 weeks after our 4 year old daughter. Talk about TEOTWAWKI! There are no magic words of comfort and my own perspective is that trying runs a risk of hurting and there is very little chance of helping. And guys like us are ever more programmed to try and "fix" things and this can't be fixed. You just be there for her and acknowledge that it hurts a bunch and let her talk, cry and whatever. That's the best you can do. And time does not heal the wound, one just gets used to it and over time fortunately the emotional ambushes will occur less frequently.

  18. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Thats it right there in a nut shell.

    I lost both back to back. My Mother in a house fire and I knew my fathers days were numbered that very night he was heart broken. He went slow over a couple of years. I spent the last years and the including last 7 days with him day and night, we got everything talked about that needed to be .
    Still to this day I don't think one was easier than the other. it was shocker to the soul equally.
    I guess what I'm saying is; all bets are off on the final act until you experience it you cant predict how you will take it.
    Do as Airtime indicated above it helped me the most when it was my turn to deal with it. and the very last 10 words are very true.
    Giver her a hug for me.
    tulianr and ghrit like this.
  19. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Rh and I were discussing grief just last evening and my only consolation to sorrow is beauty; sometimes, we just need a rainbow. This is a favorite expression of grief from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
    I shot an Arrow into the air
    It fell to earth I know not where,
    For so swiftly it flew, the sight
    Could not follow it in its flight.

    I breath'd a Song into the air
    It fell to earth, I know not where.
    For who has sight so keen and strong
    That it can follow the flight of a song?

    Long, long afterward in an oak
    I found the Arrow still unbroke;
    And the Song from begining to end
    I found again in the heart of a friend.

    God Bless, Sea
  20. cdnboy66

    cdnboy66 Monkey++

    Our thoughts and prayers to you and yours. Tough time, been there. Grieving is a long process for some and a short walk for others, all you can do is be there, be graceful, accepting and agknowledge the loss. Don't forget the young ones that have lost their grandparent.

    When my FIL passed, I gave his pillow to my nephew to hug, he still speaks of it, and may still have the pillow.
    I still have things my Father would have told me to toss.

    Peace. Safe travels.
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