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Reply by Nouce
14 Nov 2016, 7:52 PM

Greetings, Katherine,

No, there's nothing linear about grief. And outside events (so, for me, this past week's American presidential election) can blast one into outer space of grief.

But there are also the little places of beauty--the full moon. It grieves and carresses.


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Reply by Wingman
13 Jun 2017, 7:06 PM

Grief is not linear. Grief lurks.

Change of season, rise and fall. 
Come and go and then stay for awhile.

Move ahead, move ahead, inch away..... Oh, hello sadness:(

Grief is not linear, grief lurks.
Grief remembers and hesitates to move on, waiting instead to move in.

Hello grief, you are the 60/40 trade. 
60 percent of happy in exchange for no longer bearing witness to the human struggle.
Grief is round, grief is square.
I will tamp it down
but I don't know when.

Grateful today to re-read this thread. 
Not as alone as I overwhelmingly feel these days, thank you for sharing your stories
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Reply by Nouce
15 Jun 2017, 6:05 PM

Greetings, all,

Thanks, Wingman. I just also re-read through this entire thread. What a gift. Better than the help manuals I sometimes pick up.

In summer, grief and loving memory intersect when I hear the chimney swifts twittering far overhead.



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Reply by Sunnie
19 Jun 2017, 6:47 PM

Dear new friends,
I wanted to say I'm glad I found you all here.
My grief has taken it's course over 40 years. This April was that many years ago that my mom died of CML, she was 32 and I was 12. I have two younger siblings, and since my father was out of the picture my mother's sister (with 3 children of her own) took us in. When I was told my mom had died after 2 yr battle with CML I cried but was then overtaken by shock. I can remember like it was yesterday sitiing in the chair in front of her casket and in complete shock,then  a bolt of reality hit me , I asked myslef "why am I not crying"!?
Furthemore all eyes were on her children during the wake and All's I could think of was I am such a horrible person because I'm not crying, (I Thought I Should Be Crying!) But I'm numb and crushed because my mom had died. 
I told myself to Cry even though I was so numb and still in shock that
my mom whom I loved more than life was laying there and would never be alive again. So my fake tears came out but It was because I felt guilty that I was numb and crushed beyond words.
There is No way to guage "proper" grieving , or the right or wrong way as I've learned. The spurts of deep pain have lessened over 40 years but they still come.  There is never closure, the time passes and the  pain lessened but it does not leave for good. I have gotten over anger towards God and her for leaving us and made my peace with him. For whatever reason God needed her in Heaven and she had to leave me and my siblings. Every mother's day the wound opens and I feel depressed for a week or so and then go back to missing her a lot  and wished she was here , but I know she can see me(from Heaven) and I feel her in my heart. Also when I see a Monarch butterfly it reminds me of her and my heart smiles. There os no right or wrong way to grieve and if it helps anyone here please give yourself room to breathe and feel the loss or the love of the one you lost at your own pace and give yourself a hug if you're by yourself alone with your thoughts with the one  you lost.
God bless and keep you all 💕
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Reply by Rock Girl
07 Nov 2017, 3:56 PM

Hi Sunnie
I love your comment about the Monarch butterfly reminding you of your Mom, and how your heart smiles.  What a lovely way to put it!  For me it has been both butterflies and birds that make my heart smile.  I am convinced that when they appear, usually closer than I expect, it means that my partner Tyson is thinking of me. Tyson and I loved birds as well as butterflies, and I have had many amazing experiences with them since he died.  I find that birds fly across my path quite often and way closer than I have ever experienced before.  When I was driving home from the cabin we both loved, a large pileated woodpecker flew towards me along the road directly at my face, swerving up from the car at the last possible moment.  Also I have found feathers three different times, right in my path, and I've kept them.  The most special was a smaller woodpecker feather I found where he used to park his truck at the cabin, which really made me smile.  It is very peaceful and quiet at the cabin, and when we used to visit there was one woodpecker that would suddenly start hammering on the metal roof soon after we arrived, making us both jump out of our skin and then laugh when we realized what it was.

I still find the grief comes in bursts, especially when I miss the companionship and sense of comfort and connectedness we had together.  It is 16 months since he died (to the day), and I do find that the grief is easing, and evolving into a calmer feeling grief coupled with gratitude that I had him in my life as long as I did, and for the things he gave me (and I don't mean material things).  I love what you say about giving yourself room to breathe and feel the loss or the love of the one you lost at your own pace.  That is so important.  

Has anyone else had experiences with birds or butterflies?
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Reply by Rock Girl
07 Nov 2017, 3:59 PM

oops - editor can you help - in the last paragraph I meant "calmer feeling of grief", not "calmer feeling frief"
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Reply by KathCull_admin
07 Nov 2017, 6:21 PM

Happily done Rock Girl. What a beautiful story of birds. My story about butterflies... Before my husband died he talked to my daughter about his body being a like a chrysalis and that after death he would be free to fly - he was always better with words than I am - and since that time butterflies have a special significance for us. On his birthday this year - in october in the middle of Canada - a sincle Monarch flew in front of me as I was leaving the house.

Take care all

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Reply by Nouce
07 Nov 2017, 7:47 PM


I too loved the story of the butterfly. My father loved birds. His last years were hard, and my walking with him didn't always go well. But after he died, a song sparrow came and sang outside my door. It seemed like him saying, "It's OK."


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Reply by Nouce
26 Mar 2018, 3:53 PM

Greetings, friends,

My partner, Pablo, died February 19. Although his decline was excruciatingly long and slow, his death was sudden and unexpected.

Last week I started back to work. I have discovered that I am overwhelmed by fatigue, multiple times during the day. I welcome any thoughts on how to walk through this time when you have a job. Everyone was greatly supportive in the immediate but have now gotten back to their routines.

I read about this; now I am living through it...


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Reply by Rock Girl
29 Mar 2018, 1:27 PM

Dear Nouce
My thoughts have been with you the last few days, even though I haven't had time to reply.  I went back to work too, a few weeks after Tyson died in August of 2016.  I found the distractions of work to be helpful, even though there were times when I would have a "grief burst" (it's another thread on this site, a wonderful description of the way grief will suddenly come out).
Although I could have taken bereavement leave, I knew I needed something to do while I walked the path of discovering who I was without my partner.  I did take a sick day every week for a few weeks, booking mundane appointments to justify them, but then also just having some extra time to myself to begin to catch up on all those things that were tossed aside when the most important thing was just to be with my partner when he was dying.  

My advice is to be gentle with yourself, and try to carve out some time for you, to do the things you love.  Walking my dog every day helped me, to be outside, and also for me, very physical work like digging in my garden.  And I taught kindergarten at that time, and somehow being with the next generation and helping them on their path through life helped me accept the great cycle of life.  Bereavement is a powerful time of reflection, to think about what is truly important in what you do, and make changes if necessary.  Journalling helped me too.

This site is excellent too, little threads that speak to parts of what you are experiencing.  I did look for a local group so I could actually meet in person with people who were experiencing bereavement.  I didn't have much luck at the time, but I just found out that the local hospice has a "Grief Club" which meets regularly.  So I would encourage you to try those too.

It's difficult, and it's scary, but try something new too.  I knew I needed to get out and be with people, and not necessarily close friends but new people, and to be physical, so I looked into the local rowing club (they row inside in the winter) and I saw an ad for Scottish Country Dancing around the same time.  I contacted both groups, and went with the latter.  Of course I don't know what would appeal to you, but browse the local community newspaper and the local parks and rec department and see if anything strikes your fancy.

It will get better.  Some days it takes everything you have just to keep putting one foot in front of the other, but it will get better.
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