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Thread: A Safe Place to Talk Freely to the Deceased

  1. #1
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    A Safe Place to Talk Freely to the Deceased

    Taking a page from the Healing after breakup and divorce forum, where we can post to our exes to keep us from contacting them. That is where I first posted this. I should have posted it here.

    I just read a list 20 Tips to do when you are grieving, and one is to write a letter to the deceased. Well, that is when it finally struck me that I am avoiding the grief of a loss. I need to face that loss directly. I need to talk to my long deceased ex.

    Maybe this thread can help you too. I encourage you to post here as a place to speak freely about our deceased friends, lovers, and family members. This is a safe place to say things that maybe we don't want to say to others so as not to hurt them, or to appear mean, or to reveal information that we have been keeping private. Here, we can yell at the deceased if we need to, or we can admit that we didn't treat them well, or we can yearn for them yet again. There will be no one to shush us with an Its okay or Its time to move on.

    This is a safe place to say what we want to say, without reproach.
    __________

    The 20 Tips are pasted below, for an added reference.

    ___________

    Talk about your loss with friends, family or a professional. Grief is a process, not an event.

    Grief is work, requiring time and energy. The memories, meanings and fulfilled needs provided by the lost loved one take time to work through.

    Let yourself enter the emotions of grief. Grievers tend naturally to avoid the painful emotions. Losing someone close to you means you deserve to allow yourself to feel all your emotions - sadness, anger, intense longing, guilt and others.

    Consider writing your loved one a letter. Say what you would tell them as if it were your last chance. Even if you never share the letter with anyone, writing it may help you work through your grief.

    Resume your life but leave time and space for grieving. Life marches on for the living. But try to resist the temptation to “throw yourself” into work or other diversions. This leaves too little time for the grief work you need to do for yourself.

    Take care of yourself. You have been wounded. Something very valuable and dear has been taken away from you. Give yourself time and space to begin healing. Get enough rest. Eat nourishing food. Give yourself a break.

    Resist the temptation to use alcohol or drugs to numb your pain. These can interfere with the grieving process by delaying it or covering it up.

    If you have any religious inclination, consider contacting your place of worship. All religions recognize that grievers need special help. Consider taking advantage of these services even if you have not been attending regularly. You will not be turned away.

    Consider seeking out other grievers. Someone who has also been through grief can empathize with you, and vice versa. Organizations like Compassionate Friends or THEOS recognize the value of sharing in a group setting.

    Don’t feel obligated to join groups if they are not for you. The grief process is highly individual. Some people prefer solitude or reflection rather than group work. Do what feels right for you.

    Don’t neglect your own health. Grieving puts a heavy burden of stress on your body. It can disturb sleep patterns, lead to depression, weaken your immune system, and worsen medical problems that had been stable, such as high blood pressure. Take prescribed medications and get regular check-ups. If you suffer from disabling insomnia or anxiety, see your doctor. Sometimes short-term medication can be very helpful.

    Get help for severe or persistent depression. Someone once said: “grief is not a disease but it can become one.” Grief can lead to serious depression. Consider getting professional help if you feel overwhelmed, hopeless, or helpless. Other signs of depression can include sleep impairment (too little or too much), appetite or weight change, low energy, difficulty concentrating, and feeling listless or agitated. By all means, seek professional help if you have suicidal thoughts.

    Grief work can become complicated. Mixed emotions (positive and negative feelings), unresolved emotional turmoil and losing someone after an argument can complicate the grieving process. Sharing these feelings with a professional therapist can help. Grief therapy need not be a long-term commitment. Even if you don't see yourself as the kind of person who seeks therapy, this may be beneficial.

    Anger is common in normal grieving and certainly justified when a loved one dies due to the malevolence of others. Try venting your anger in a letter. Consider channeling your anger into constructive action. Volunteer to work for causes that seek justice and prevention. Spending your energy helping someone else can help you in the process.

    Allow time to grieve. One to two years is not a long time to allow yourself to work through grief. We need to remind ourselves that the healing process cannot be rushed; it will proceed at its own rate.

    Be patient. The grieving process often includes setbacks. Don’t expect to set an “I’ll be over it” deadline and succeed. Often, grieving resumes after a time, sometimes even months or years. Reminders can trigger a flood of emotions. Don’t be surprised if this happens, and don't consider it a sign of weakness. Instead, your psyche is telling you more grief work needs to be done.

    At some point those who have lost a partner or love companion will face the decision of whether to be open to a new relationship. Consider imagining the situation reversed. That is, if you died and your lover or spouse survived, what would you want them to do? It may help you to see your situation from this angle.

    If you feel stuck in your grief, try a new approach. We are creatures of habit who learn very quickly how to avoid painful situations. However, this may hinder working through the entirety of your grief. To “jump start” the process, consider reviewing memorabilia, photos, home movies, or videos. Talk about your loved one at holidays when his or her absence is most obvious. Don’t avoid it so as not to spoil the festivities. This is the perfect time to check in with other family members about how they're doing with grief work, and share mutual support.

    Create your own memorial service. Celebrate their lifetime accomplishments, values, and principles. Consider carrying the torch of a cause they believed in as a memorial. Start a scholarship, plant a garden, or make a donation in their name.

    The grieving process has run its course when you feel weary of rehashing events and memories and finally accept the fact the your loved one can remain with you only in spirit. For some, the process never really ends; it just gets easier over time. You will know you are ready to move forward when you feel you can reinvest the energy once invested in your loved one in a new place. This takes time. Good grief means being good to yourself during the process.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    Um, hi. I can not contact you. You are dead.

    I have been failing at work. I have been failing at work since you died, I now realize. I could not speak my pain of your death at my old job, and it had not occurred to me how much it is still affecting me.

    I need you. You made me work hard, you expected me to stand up to my opposition. You expected me to put everything on the line, and you let me set the price. You held me accountable to my own goals. You expected me to be an adult, to speak my needs and wants, and to satisfy yours.

    I miss you terribly and have not had a best friend like you, since.

    I went on a website today. I went on several. I asked the mighty google, Why am I failing? It led me to grief. Well, I have experienced a lot of grief, so I clicked. Most of it was... avoidance, yeah yeah. Then, it said to write the deceased. And the bells went off. I have been avoiding you something fierce. I kept you in a corner when we were together, and I kept you in a private corner as a, well, dead person. And you do not belong in a corner. You belong as a front and center gift in my life, one I never valued publicly as much as I valued you privately. A gift that got me through the most difficult, anxiety-ridden period in my life. A gift, a piece of my survival, a source of joy and self-discovery. You were, in lots of ways, nearly everything good when nothing else was good, anywhere.

    You are gone now. My job, now, is to do for myself what you did for me.

    Guess what. It isn't working. I miss you terribly and I am doing an awful job without you here. Maybe what I need is to put a picture of you in my office, where I am reminded of what you expect of me. Maybe I need to process you as with God, fighting, wanting control, getting frustrated with my behavior. You told me you were worried about me in the public dating environment. You knew I was a lamb in the lion's den. I did not believe you. I felt hardened and strong. I was so very wrong. I was naive and ignorant.

    After you passed, I could feel you judging my romantic (!) partners, none of whom were good enough and none of whom would have earned your approval. And you were right. But it was a feeling I wanted to shirk, because looking for someone who met your standards seemed impossible. Who could be you? Who, indeed? Well, I haven't met him yet. I finally met someone who, I think, would not offend you at least, though I am quite certain you would say he can't take care of me. Because nobody has taken care of me as well as you, ever, in my whole life. Not my father, not my exH, not any lover since. You set the standard, you. Older, physically unhealthy and unappealing, brusque in nature, of few select friends. You set the standard. And I never was good enough, in my heart, for the gifts you gave me. So how could I expect to find you again?

    OK that is Post #1.

    Post #2. So what do I do now, big guy? Huh? What do I do to get past this? I don't have you, I can't replace you. I must carry on and I must succeed. What do I do?

    Oh, on re-post of this I hear you growling. "Get to work."

    I need to find a piece of you and carry it with me. That will be my next project.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Well, I suppose this is something that will be useful to some but I prefer to write a letter to my deceased friends/family and then keep reading in in private until I no longer need to read it and then I burn it and let go with the smoke and ashes.

    Good luck with your thread, hope it helps you, IthinkIcan. Oh and call me crazy but burning a braid of sage grass along with the letter helps me along with my "letting go."

    E-hugs to you for your personal loss.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    Well, I suppose this is something that will be useful to some but I prefer to write a letter to my deceased friends/family and then keep reading in in private until I no longer need to read it and then I burn it and let go with the smoke and ashes.

    Good luck with your thread, hope it helps you, IthinkIcan. Oh and call me crazy but burning a braid of sage grass along with the letter helps me along with my "letting go."

    E-hugs to you for your personal loss.
    TWT in fact, the list of 20 Tips includes holding your own ceremony. You are right on top of things. I am not there yet. I went to his service but I was not vulnerable there. I will likely use your example of burning a sage sprig and finding a way to let go. It is a sound idea.

    Thanks for the E-Hugs.

    First, I am deciding to be explicit about the loss of a man who was my lover, mentor, best friend, and safety net. I dated him in private because we ended up working in the same industry and because I was sensitive about a few things. And probably, because of his looks, though he deserved better from me. I am just saying it now to force myself to say it. When he passed I had no official role, I was among the people who lost someone but still expected to go to work the next day etc.

    That was several years ago. I went into a tail spin with chaotic relationships and isolation from work and friends. I am trying to recover it now.

    Its the consequence of living a lie, really. It is time for me to bare the truth, if only on ENA, and move on.

    Maybe others will have reasons for writing; I hope this thread spurs some people to let it go, knowing they can find those thoughts again if they need them.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    New idea: dating with you fully informed instead of behind your back. Ok.

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    I can't tell you this because you are dead. I will never understand how I took second place to a violent criminal.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    Hi B

    I am getting close to hiring someone.

    Way back when you were sick, you said maybe I need a therapist to process your imminent death, but I was busted broke and never went to one. I was fine, right? Ha, yeah.

    So, now, I am dropping every ball you watched me build up the strength to carry, and it turns out it is because I haven't replaced your role in my life. I am struggling learning to become my own manager, my own task master, and my own cheerleader. When I try it, I get sick and injured. I am also my own source of comfort, relaxation, and world view. The intensity of ambition and peace collide within my neck muscles and my right arm stops working. Honestly? It works when I don't have the kids. I struggle being their parent and my own task master at the same time.

    So:
    (1) I am close to hiring someone. Please root for me.
    (2) I am close to getting rid of the man I like: he treats me in a way that you can respect, but he is not my last man and if I had to look you in the face I would have to admit that.
    - In fact, I would waffle and rationalize, because I would want to hold onto him. Because I like him. Because I need and want companionship. Because I learn while teaching. But, no, you are right. I have given the keys of the sports car to an amateur and you were a professional. May I please wait a bit before I pull the trigger?
    (3) I am going to try out this new guy. Let's meet him first. I think you might like him.

    Okay okay, I heard that. I am working now. I promise.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    I went to the GP. He said

    (1) I need to govern myself. And (2) I am avoiding my work because I know it will drag on and draw me in, and I have a fear of failure.

    I am adding: I have anxiety that I do not have enough time.



    I am remembering that you believed in me, thank you.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    I am glad to have moved on from you.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    Had a dream you asked me to your beach house for the weekend. I had a little catch while I wOrked out whether I had promised someone else (the gent? ) the same weekend away. Then it worked out I'd go with you this weekend, and then after you'd be gone.

    Apparently I am just through a new laYer of letting you go.

    Maybe inspired by me having someone on the horizon worth dating?

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