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Old 09-09-2017, 10:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What I've learned about grief & loss


Last December 14, I received a call from the police department, with the news that the found my younger sister's lifeless body in a nearby hotel, surrounded by photos of the people that she loved.

My sister had suffered from depression; some part of which was no doubt the result of increasing reliance and consumption of Xanax. She ended her life by overdoing on the many meds that she had on hand, combined with alcohol.

She was a surviving twin; her sister was hit by a car crossing the street 35 years earlier. She never recovered from the loss.

There was no finer advocate anywhere for the poor; the homeless; the downtrodden; the oppressed and the saddened. She spent her entire lifetime trying to help and comfort others. Even in childhood, she and her twin bought and delivered food to the in need.

I knew she touched many lives, but I had no idea of how many. I received calls on her phone from people she head met once or twice, and heard their stories of how she remained in contact and always ready to help, for months until her phone was disconnected.

My heart was shattered.

I saw it coming, but my surviving sister and I were absolutely powerless to help her in any meaningful way. I referred her to for counseling. She said if we institutionalized her, she would take her life. We were in constant contact. We offered as much love & support as we could possibly muster.

There are three "Hs" that together are a perfect storm for suicide – haplessness, helplessness, and hopelessness. My little sister had all three – in spades. I have since learned to be sensitive to them and to watch for them in others.

For several months thereafter, I felt that my heart was ripped open and squashed like a grape. It made me acutely conscious of the suffering of others, including my own. Oddly, complete strangers who did not know my situation would approach me and share their personal stories of pain and sadness. I was a beacon of something . . .

Being open to others is the unsolicited "gift" that grief often offers. The pain offers opportunity for personal and spiritual growth. I have been resolved to try to celebrate my sister's memory by trying to extend the kindness that she always offered.

You are not done with grief until it is done with you. There are no shortcuts and it slaps you "upside the head" without warning. Tears come easily; hearing of the pain of others; watching a sad movie; and lots of random "opportunities" are simple triggers.

Getting counseling for grief was essential, to learn ways of processing and handling the emotions and the chronic pain. It has surely helped me.

One realization that helps me to preserve my sanity is to understand that nothing in life is permanent. We will lose everyone we love eventually. So it is important to see every positive connection and interaction as gift that we have received on our journey, and to be truly grateful for those good things. Thus, the glass is never empty; it is always full.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm sorry for your loss Buzz

D
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you Buzz, a tragic story and I'm sorry for your loss.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry, Buzz.

My deepest condolences.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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She is a beautiful woman, how very sad.

I am sorry for your loss and for the pain you must feel.

Your post really touched my heart and I am glad you found help to process the pain.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you for this.

Tomorrow it will be 7 years since I lost my son to a heart defect. Some years are worse than others as far as grief is concerned; this year it's hitting me pretty bad...

Anyhow, thank you again. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sometimes it just helps to know that others know what this pain feels like....your sister was beautiful.

God bless.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No words. Teary. I do not do that. Yes- grief come a calling on it's terms. To embrace grief means working through it until it is done...whatever THAT means.
RIP for your sis, my bro- for all who suffer from this crap.
Prayers and support to you.
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