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Is there a certain way to grieve? Saturday February 11, 2017

A question I keep asking myself - How should I be feeling as I Grieve for the loss of my dad six weeks ago?

My answer is simply I dont know. You see part of me is still in shock and numbed by how my dad's time with us was so limited as he died so quicly, just fifteen weeks after diagnosis.

I cry still, but then sometimes I have a big smile on my face as I remember something funny dad said or did. Should I be moping around? My answer is definitely not as I know my dad wouldn't want that. I can feel him around me, giving me strength to carry on with life.

I am a sufferer of depression, but for past 12 months it's settled as I've started to understand it, working with my mind, to recognise the triggers which sometimes set a feeling off.

I like to think happy and positive thoughts for everyone and that keeps me going. It doesn't mean I dont struggle still, it's just I focus on others a lot as it helps me stay positive.

But my question still remains, is there a certain way to grieve?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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patricia Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 5:45am

Hi Claire
See you're up early I've been up since goodness knows when, I went down early December until early February and tightened up my muscles, in neck, head, shoulders oo! it's painful so came downstairs been playing Mahjohn to take my mind off.
I don't think there is a certain way to grieve, we are all different, and our feelings, moods differ. One of the things we all say "life will never be the same" after our loved one has departed, someone said to me no it wont be the same, it will be different, I suppose in a way it is, the clouds are never the same, they are always moving, nothing stands still, but death is so final, it's so very hard to come to terms with. I still grieve for my father he's been gone many many years, I've been living longer than he did, that makes me sad.
I admire you for trying to stay positive and think happy, as they say time is a great healer, just keep going onwards and upwards, bless you.
Bye for now.

Karen Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 6:02am

No there is no one path to grieving. I'm afraid you need to follow your instincts and beliefs and follow that path. My Dad died a few years ago now and we as a family have all reacted differently. My Mum and sister seem to get strength from following ritual, going to the grave, acknowledging the anniversaries etc. To me that's not important I prefer the quiet happy memories I can have any where anytime. We are poles apart on this - so I would encourage you to communicate with the people important to you. How you express your grief will be individual and there are many stages to it and all the research shows it is not a direct process of set stages in a set order. The journey, like your own experience of depression will be one filled with lay-bys and potholes interspersed with sunshine and moving forward. Keep strong and stay intouch with your self. I wish you well

Orangeblossom Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 6:22am

Hi Claire, I don't think there is a right or wrong way to grieve. The fact that you have contributed to Moodscope is therapeutic in the end. Perhaps you can write an account or keep a journal. When his mother died, my husband started writing a journal. Not straight away, but I think he has found it helpful. Thinking of you at this time of loss & pain.

Hopeful One Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 7:34am

Hi Claire- first of all my condolences on your sad and sudden loss of a much loved Dad. As other Moodscopers have said before grief is very individual and each person deals with it in their own way. There is no "right " or 'wrong 'way. Some get over it very quickly and others take much longer. Katherine Kubler -Ross , who studied this subject in depth, is credited with a model of grief in which she identified five stages. The five stages are : denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance . They form part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief.

From my own experience of losing my first grandchild soon after her birth, broadly mirrored the Kubler- Ross model. I knew my process was largely over when I went through through the last gate marked "acceptance' and firmly closed the gate behind me.

Sally Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 8:57am

So sorry to hear that, Hopeful One. It must have been awful. I like your gate analogy.

Hopeful One Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 9:47pm

Hi Sally- Thank you for your condolences . I really appreciate that. For all of us it was heartbreaking but for my son and my daughter- in- law ,who are still in their 30's ,it was devastating . They are still coming to terms with their loss.

Dolphin Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 7:51am

Dear Claire - so sorry to hear about your loss and. As others have said, there is no way to grieve and you have to follow your instincts. Give yourself the space to be quiet. Grieving also goes through its own cycles and will surprise you sometimes.

My mother died last year and I still haven't really cried.... although I know this time will come. However, her death brought up my father's death 4 years ago. I was relatively peaceful about my mother's death - she had a lot of support and died in the way she chose with little medical intervention at the end. I found that I was not peaceful about my father's death - he was angry and bewildered and I couldn't protect him from that. I have spent a lot of time thinking about my Dad, 'talking' to him and imagining him in the place where his ashes were scattered. My images have been changing into more peaceful ones as I imagine him becoming one with the sea, but I think the process is still on-going.

lots of strength to you xx

Tracy Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 7:55am

Firstly, I am so very sorry for your loss Claire. But please no that there is absolutely no wrong or right way to grieve. Nothing you do or feel is wrong as you grieve for your father. I learned a lot about the process of grieving when I became a direct-care hospice volunteer while getting my master's in counseling. I think I learned more about grief in the 10-week hospice training course than I did in grad school. But the number one lesson we were taught is the answer to your question: there is no wrong way to grieve.

The popularly known five stages of grief are also widely misunderstood, but just know that there is no timeline and no one path that anyone walks while grieving. It is absolutely "normal" to feel happy, sad, angry, and anything else you may feel in the same day or all at once or to go from feeling like you've accepted things back to feeling depressed or angry to happy to … it is not a linear process.

There fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, is no map to guide you on this difficult journey, so make sure it isn’t a journey you make entirely by yourself. Lean on your friends and family. And take as long as you need to travel. I truly mean that. In a few months, when society often acts surprised that someone is still grieving, just know that the problem is with society; the problem is not with the grieving because there is no wrong way to do this Claire. I wish you well Claire.

Jane Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 8:48am

I wrote about whether there was a wrong way or right way to grieve after my brother died. I found it helped a lot just writing about it. I was stuck in the anger stage for a while. Thank you Claire, sending you a hug xxx

Sally Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 9:14am

Hello Claire. Thank you for writing about this huge topic. It is as people have commented: we all grieve in our own time and in our own way.. so sorry to hear of your sad loss. So sudden. He was still fairly young?
You may find yourself crying suddenly due to no particular reason . It can catch you unawares.( so tissues at the ready!) But jokes and good feelings are interspersed in the grieving process. Normal and fine and healthy. That's just my way of looking at it.
Grief is also physical. It is tiring. So be kind to yourself . You are vulnerable to catching, say, a cold, at this stage, as your immune system is depleted. Lower your expectations of yourself . No time limits or patterns. We are all individual in our ways of grieving.
I found writing about it helped me.
Good luck.

Leah Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 9:21am

What a moving blog.
I agree with what others have said about people grieving individually but I do think there is a way to grieve that is not helpful and indeed can be harmful. I had a friend who was so sad after her husband died that she didn't eat ,became sick and had to be hospitalised. Her family said she should grieve in her own way because they thought she would start to eat.

Liz Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 9:27am

Hi. As many have already said there is no one fit for all as we are all different. As a teacher, I read a book about it once to help support my pupils when one of our fellow pupils died very suddenly. It talked about "puddle days", when sometimes you just feel sad and maybe need to allow yourself to. Someone else told me getting used to living without someone is a bit like living without an arm or leg, you will always miss it and it will often feel like it is still there, but you adapt and carry on with life without it knowing life will never quite be the same. Good luck with your journey.

Marmaladegirl Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 9:45am

Dear Claire - So sorry to hear about your Dad. Six weeks is no time at all, no wonder you are still in shock. You mention that you have had depression in the past, but don't worry, the reactions associated with grieving do not mean that you are sinking back into illness again. Grieving is a natural process not an illness, and it takes as long as it takes (and there is no wrong way to do it!)
All the best.

Claire Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 10:35am

Good morning to you all and thank you all for such individual and beautiful responses to my blog. Well i am still wiping tears as you have all said lots of words to guide and help me on this grieving process. I thank you all. This has helped me so much being part of moodscope.?

Jane Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 4:18pm

I would agree wholeheartedly with this Claire. I have been a member since 2012 but only recently started to blog and make comments. I can honestly say that the Moodscope community has played a big part in helping get through the past few weeks x

Eva Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 10:49am

Hi Claire, I'll not repeat the above as everyone has been spot on with regard to the emotional components of grief and the infinite variety paths, I think that focusing on positive thoughts for those around you is great to give you the boost you need, however remember to look after yourself too, and think positively for yourself as well. A bit of self love at this sad time is very important, I had a very similar experience with my father in terms of timescales, although he was in a coma for a good proportion of his time in hospital, the physical exhaustion I felt afterwards was significant. Eat well and if you can sleep well, get some gentle exercise (short walks). Go well.

Anthony Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 2:12pm

Hi Claire,
My father died in 2013 and I'be struggled with how to grieve also. I went on a course called "coping with grief"and the teacher said we need to cry 1000's of tears. My guess is that we each have our own way as though I have cried, it's only happens quite rarely. Occasionally I do something or watch something which helps me feel a connection with my dad. The struggle for me has been functioning and managing my life alongside allowing myself to grieve. I have taken anti depressants for several years and I wonder if that's inhibited me from connecting with my emotions? The only advice I can offer is to give yourself permission to connect with you'RE feelings by spending time with people who loved your dad or taking part in activities which you both enjoyed together. The teacher says that we never get heal the grief, it just gets easier to live with. All the best with your journey,

DAVE Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 3:59pm

Hi Claire, I'm so sorry for your loss,
My Dad died three years to the same date as exactly the same time of day that Mum went...The very sad part was they split up for 34 years and met up again in an Hotel and Mum was thinking of buying our old house in which my two brothers grew up. But sadly that did not come to pass.
My older brother died in 2006, my other brother has drawn closer to me since then.

You have already given a very positive answer in paragraph 5...
That basically suggests...Not just in bereavement, but also in depression, which of course is giving of your time to OCCUPY our minds.....

Death is part of life, but only this Mortal Life, the bible (KJV) teaches us in Genesis that God had a conversation with His Son who created this world...They must have been in a pre-mortal world It appears.... I believe that to be true, and if so, our loved ones will have passed 'through veil', whereupon we shall be reunited once more...Not too soon though....

That is a 'Brightness of Hope' for us all, and that is why I do not fear death.
It's times like these that we need to communicate with some and those who are still with us, whom we may have ignored or with whom fallen out.
Peacemakers are we who repair and give of our time, talents and love to all around us...Claire keep close to good and right in this life and you'll fear neither God nor man, and watch what happens.
I believe in God, it is a belief, and if it's all a lie, I will have lived a good life on earth, and both those around me and I will have benefitted..
Dave X

The Gardener Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 4:18pm

Like all the others, absolutely no formula. Our mothers both lived to 100 - last five years awful for both - we did not really 'grieve' as they had hardly been there. There is something to be said for those (Moslems??) who scream and howl and tear their hair - for 24 hours? The internal grieving may go on, but the 'external' has been done, certainly no 'bottling up'. The worst is a 'wasted' death, from drugs, a mis-diagnosis, a botched operation - we've known all those - when there is more anger than grief. HO, there are many quotations on there being no greater sadness than the death of a child. A very bright lady of our acquaintance never got over her husband's death - she attached herself like a limpet to our priest. She was obviously very fond of her husband, but the 'grief' turned more to the removal of a 'prop', and she never managed to prop herself up. Was life easier when we had 'official' mourning, wore black to proclaim our loss?

Di Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 6:37pm

Dearest Claire ~
Please accept my profound sympathies for the loss of your father. You are deeply courageous in your honesty, your willingness to feel, and your ability to write a sharing from your heart. It is personal to a fault ~ no one has the right to tell you how to grieve ~ we can only reflect and share our own experiences with grief. For me, it seems I am caught off-guard and "duke it out" when I least expect it. Honor your grief however you see fit for your own character needs. Trust your heart. Thank you for your post.
Lovingly wage peace,

Claire Sat, Feb 11th 2017 @ 7:47pm

I thank you all again for taking the time to read my 1st blog and for each and everyone of you for your individual responses. I am quite overwhelmed by it all and want you to know how much strength this has given me. I promise to look after myself and to enjoy the sharing of our thoughts on moodscope. Love to you all.

Monica Sun, Feb 12th 2017 @ 8:08am

Dear Claire, I am so sorry for the loss of your father. I can not imagine the breadth of feelings you must be experiencing these past weeks, but I can tell you that every feeling you have been experiencing since your father's death is natural and human. While there is no one way to grieve the death of a loved one, as a recently certified Grief Recovery Specialist, I'd like you to know there are tools provided through the Grief Recovery Method that can help you process the loss and shock of losing your father so soon after his diagnoses. I do hope you will visit the website to learn more about the process or to find a specialist in your area to work with: In the meantime, continue to process hr feelings as they come to you and take good care of yourself.

Vicky Mon, Feb 13th 2017 @ 1:47pm

So sorry to hear about your father Claire. There are some lovely comments here to reflect on. Grieving is very hard. My dad died about 18 months ago and it was very sudden too. I think the best advice I was given was to allow yourself to feel whatever comes your way. Amongst the sadness that means happy thoughts and memories come to mind and it's OK to smile at these without feeling guilty for that. As others have said, remember to be kind to yourself and give yourself time and space to process the feelings that come - happy and sad. I sought out articles about grief and death to help me make sense of things, and this lovely one has always stuck in my mind. Maybe it will bring you some comfort too:
I find myself in between the waves a lot more now, with plenty of space to breathe before the next one comes. But the article is right, and in the end you don't want the waves to stop coming as they are such a beautiful reminder of the love you have for that person. Like you I feel my dad all around me and that is very comforting. All the best x

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