Bereft and Healing

by Martha
(Austin, Texas)

My dad died last December after a long illness. We had not been close in recent years, but I loved him deeply. He had a difficult path--emotional and mental problems, physical illness, and self-imposed isolation--and I had been experiencing anticipatory grief for years. After his death, I began to have acute anxiety that took the form of overactivity. Suddenly I needed to know everything I could about death and what I believe makes life meaningful. Because I work full-time, I find my grief and anxiety catch up with me on weekends. I have been finding it hard to rest or believe that things will ever seem "normal" again.

Twelve days ago, my kittycat was diagnosed with acute renal failure. I kept her alive for two days as the vets did a number of tests to see if her situation could improve and be managed, but decided to let her go when it was clear she would be in chronic pain. I am surprised that her death has affected me more immediately and dramatically than my dad's. I cry (when I let myself), dream about her, and find it hard to want to be alone in my apartment. She was my only companion for the past 8 years.

I guess what I'd like to be able to remember is that this gets better, that the feelings of sadness and emptiness and meaninglessness abate. I understand intellectually they do, but my emotions are so strong at times that I need to be reminded.

Thank you for such a lovely website! A great discovery that soothes me. I wish peace for all who have suffered loss.

Comments for Bereft and Healing

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May 30, 2012
Thank you
by: Martha

Dani,
Thank you for your compassion. It has been a year and a half now since my father died, and a little more than a year since my kitty died. I seem to have come to a really good place. I have made peace with my relationship with my father and have grieved his death, and I now have two tabby kittens who are a handful! I hope anyone experiencing recent loss will remember that it DOES get better, that the engulfing sadness DOES end. I will always love my dad (and my sweet kittycat) and I still have days when I miss one or both of them a great deal, but Life has a way of bringing new joys when we're ready for them.
Peace to all,
Martha

May 29, 2012
The anticipatory grief
by: Dani

Hi. I really know what you mean by the above mentioned phrase. I had a similar relationship with my father, who has now passed, and his mental illness was a dark cloud hanging over us. I am so sorry for your cat as well. Perhaps it is easier to grieve for your kitty because there is very little that pets intentionally do to hurt us, unlike people. Either way, I am so very sorry for your losses and grief. Peace and comfort for you.

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