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I'm seeking your personal stories here, if you'd share them, to help me navigate what I think is delayed grief:


My sister passed away in 2012 at 38 from cancer. Five months later, my healthy 67-year old mom died of a heart attack. Immediately following these deaths, my brother and I took on sole caregiving for my ailing father--commuting everyday to check in/care for him. He passed away in 2014 from liver failure.


It's now 2017 and I'm feeling like I just starting to deal with each loss individually as well as the totality of losing most of my family in less than 2 years. You'd think after 5 years (mom and sister) and almost 3 (dad), I'd be well on my way to healing. I just don't think I had time in between losses to recover and process. Some days I feel at peace and other days I feel like I've regressed....


I know I'll hear recommendations for therapy -- thank you -- and I've gone several times. Anyone have experiences like mine they would mind sharing?

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Dear Hurting,

I'm so sorry for your pain and sorrow. You have been through so much and its only natural to still feel the grief many years afterwards. Talking with friends and family, this really varies from individual to individual.

It is hard to know what to do to feel better or to cope better. Please know you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings. We are all so different, but for me, I have tried the following:

I find these websites helpful:

What's Your Grief
The Grief Healing Blog
Tiny Buddha
GriefShare.Org
The Grief Recovery Method
I let myself cry as much as I want
Talk to friends and family that are willing to listen
Visit different grief forums
Journaling
Taking new classes
Meditation and prayers
Walking
Grief support group
Taking it moment by moment

Thinking of you. Hugs, my friend.
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There's no roadmap for grief. I know about the 5 stages and that's fine but I think we all grieve differently.

In your case maybe you put up your armor in order to protect yourself. The mind and body are amazing when it comes to protecting us. From what you wrote it sounds like you're beginning to feel it. You had so much loss in such a short amount of time maybe your grief doesn't know where to land.

When my mom died it was early November '08. By Christmas I still hadn't felt anything. I went to the store with my brother and daughter to buy my daughter a TV for Christmas and a young man was waiting on us. For some reason I became furious. There was absolutely no reason for me to feel this way, the guy helping us was very polite and accommodating. Even my brother turned to me and hissed, "What is wrong with you?!" I couldn't explain it.

We got back home with the TV and I felt terrible for the way I treated the guy helping us. I realized then where it was coming from (anger over my mom's death) and I called the store and apologized to this young man. He was all of 17 years old, he didn't care, but I did.

Let yourself feel the losses. My dad has since died and when I mourn for him (to this day) I let myself feel it. I let myself cry instead of bottling it up because it's so painful. I let it wash over me because I know that's the way we heal.

There's no wrong way to grieve so long as you grieve.
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I also have suffered similar losses. My Mom passed last week. My Dad passed in 2005 and then my sister passed in 2010. What do we do with all this grief??? I am thankful for having my family, I am thankful for being alive. I did reach out to my MD and explained I needed help. I am on a anti anxiety med which has helped me tremendously. My thinking is not all over the place but rather able to think straight. I also try to pay it forward when I can, my love for animals have helped me through this difficult period. I got involved with greyhound adoption and I make sure there is a dog in my home. That's how I deal with these loses. Surround yourself with positive people, move one foot at a time, get involved in a passion. That's my story. Hang in there. I hope this helps.
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