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Grief and Numbness

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Old 05-02-2010, 09:30 PM   #1
Little Sunshine
Join Date: May 2010
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Grief and Numbness

I suppose I should begin by saying hey, I'm new here. My dad died about a month and a half ago after a long, arduous 7 year battle with cancer. He was in hospice for the last 5 months of his life. He was the strongest, bravest, most loving man that I ever knew. He taught me so many things and we shared a lot of interests. I would say that we had a very good relationship. However, most of the time since his death I have just been numb, almost like living on autopilot. I feel like I'm stuck in this numbness and I'm afraid that I'm not feeling everything I should be. I have cried many times since his death, but never for too long. I really just don't understand why I haven't been feeling all the emotions that I feel I should be. I guess I'm just feeling like I might be unconsciously shoving these emotions down and they will just explode at some point. Has anyone else ever had this experience? How did you get through it? Did you stop feeling numb after a certain amount of time?


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Old 05-03-2010, 09:33 AM   #2
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Ivorygirl HB UserIvorygirl HB UserIvorygirl HB UserIvorygirl HB UserIvorygirl HB UserIvorygirl HB User
Re: Grief and Numbness

Hi Little Sunshine

I just lost my little brother about 10 months ago and my mom a little over a month ago.

With my brother, he had a rare illness and was in Hospice Care for well over 3 years. So we had time to go through the reality that we were going to lose him eventually and the journey was although painful, a very beautiful experience for us to be able to make with him.

However, with my mom, who had lived a longer life and you would think one would be more prepared for losing has been even more difficult for me to get through.

Whether it is because it came to us as a shocking revelation that a perfectly healthy woman who walked 2-3 miles a day suddenly, and only months after the loss of my brother, had a late stage bile duct cancer that there was no treatment for OR that we lost her in just a few months since getting her diagnosis still remains to be determined. All I know is that I am struggling through that loss much more than I have with losing my little brother. Perhaps it was because I spoke to my mom almost daily by phone and no longer have that to look forward to each day.

Still, like you, I am walking around feeling numb and in autopilot just like you have described feeling since the loss of your dad.

So I think that it is pretty normal, we have suffered a GREAT loss in our lives and haven't completed our journey of grief. It's going to take time, I guess.

They say that there are stages to grief and loss and that each of us will progress at our own pace. That of anger, denial, bargaining, depression and eventually final acceptance.

I think that you and I are at the depression phase, the one that proceeds final acceptance. How long we will remain here is yet to be determined.

I know for me, as Mother's Day approaches I am feeling more and more a sense of the loss of not having my mom physically here with me anymore. I am trying to deal with that the best that I can trying to figure out how I will celebrate that day without her here with me.

I will have to find a different way in which to honor her and have yet to figure that out.

I would guess that you will have the same struggles as Father's Day approaches.

Just wanted to let you know, I understand and that even though I don't have the answers to your questions that I am journeying this path right beside you.

So you are not alone....I think we just need to give ourselves permission to feel whatever we do feel, even if it is numbness, realizing that there is no rhyme or reason to grief and that each of us will cope with our losses differently.

IF you or I get to the point where we do not participate in life anymore it may be time to seek out some professional help to help us progress towards a final acceptance.....but for now I think that this is all perfectly normal what we are feeling and experiencing.

Please know that my thoughts and prayers are being sent your way for your deep loss hoping that you are able to get through the difficult times ahead.

(((((HUGS)))))) ~ Ivory

Last edited by Ivorygirl; 05-03-2010 at 09:38 AM.

Old 05-03-2010, 11:07 AM   #3
Little Sunshine
Join Date: May 2010
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Re: Grief and Numbness

Thanks for the response, Ivory. What you say makes a lot of sense, but at the same time I really don't feel like I've moved through any of the other stages really. Unless maybe I somehow moved through them in the preparation for his death and then once he died I didn't need to do it again. It almost feels like my body is trying to protect my mind from going through the turmoil associated with dealing with grief by putting up a shield of numbness. That might sound weird.

Maybe I'll be on autopilot until the end of the semester next week and then start feeling everything when I go home for some of the summer, when I have more time to actually think things through and when I'm constantly in an environment where he normally would have been. This kind of terrifies me in a lot of ways. I've been away at college ever since he died, except for a couple of weekends when I went home. I'm really afraid all the emotions I haven't felt yet will just explode and come full-force once I'm back home. I don't know, I just don't feel like I'm grieving normally.

Old 05-04-2010, 02:12 PM   #4
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Ivorygirl HB UserIvorygirl HB UserIvorygirl HB UserIvorygirl HB UserIvorygirl HB UserIvorygirl HB User
Re: Grief and Numbness

Oh Little Sunshine, I didn't realize you were so young. Yes, this is going to hit you alot harder because I am sure that you were looking forward to having your dad around for many monumental events in your life.

I am older and my mom was there when I graduated college, got married, had my babies and lots of other wonderful things. Still, she was a monumental part of our lives, in fact, when I went to put together a DVD for her service and went through her photo albums she SAVED every single memory from her life as a child to her marriage, the births of all of us children to our graduations, weddings and grandbabies we gave to her and all their special was amazing how much she treasured every single memory made and kept them preserved for all to see!!

Anyway....I expect that this is most definitely going to hit you once you get home from college. It will be difficult going home and not seeing your dear father there and to be amongst the home where he was such a memorable part of your childhood without his loving presence.

But it is all part of the grieving process so let it be as it is and feel what you must. It will be a difficult journey but one you must take to come out the other side of it which will be a final acceptance. That will all come in it's own time.

Meanwhile, be gentle to yourself during this time and know that you are not alone in your grief.

We are traveling right beside you and are here if you need an extra set of ears.

(((HUGS))) ~ Ivory

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