Coping With Death

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Coping With Death

Postby jimipresley » Sun Dec 17, 2017 01:56

Seriously, I've reached my limit. This has been the shittest year of my life. My mother died, then my father-in-law, then four of my close friends. And I just got news that my cousin, my muse, my inspiration, committed suicide yesterday.
I'm really fucked up. I'm at my wit's end. I've had it.
How does one cope?
Do you ever listen to yourself? - maoman

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Re: Coping With Death

Postby shiadoa » Sun Dec 17, 2017 04:17

M, truly sorry to hear you have had a really bad patch. It happens. What matters is your life .Its short . Every day is an opportunity.
Some days will knock you down ; some will bring you immense pleasure.

in your case , many days will start with a hangover :orz: When you really start to think carefully about it, you realize that there are a lot of things that are good in your life. It is all relative.
When you are hurting , you tend to focus on the bad stuff and forget the good stuff. Apologies for the lack of eloquence but at my age every day i wake up is a bonus. You can feel sad , angry and hurt and thats normal. What matters is taking a deep breath and moving on with your life and being determined to make every day count. If you could sit down and have a last conversation with those you have lost, you know they would wish you to be happy .
No magic bullet to fix the pain, you know that . Time helps but we just have to force ourselves to carry on.
You have made some great friends, lean on them a bit. Message/talk, we are there . Oh wait..... hehe.

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Re: Coping With Death

Postby Icon » Mon Dec 18, 2017 00:21

I am so sorry to hear about your situation. It is almost too much to bear. Death is a closed door that leaves only memories. Please find comfort in the good times that passed and as Shiadoa says, the friends that remain.
"Lo urgente no deja tiempo para lo importante". Mafalda
None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else

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Re: Coping With Death

Postby Just Jennifer » Mon Dec 18, 2017 01:44

I have wanted to write you privately but I just couldn't find the words. I'm sorry.

I still have no words that will bring you comfort but I know you have a wife and and kitties and good friends who love you.


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Re: Coping With Death

Postby cfimages » Mon Dec 18, 2017 08:31

Like Jennifer, I've been trying to think of words but can't find anything other than I'm sorry and best wishes. Hug D and the kitties extra hard.

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Re: Coping With Death

Postby Toad » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:29

From the other side of the fence, shiadoa wrote a wonderful response, which proves if nothing else that he can punctuate when it's important :smile:

I guess from poor jimi's side of the fence it looks the same regardless.

jimi, I'm really sorry to hear you've had such a horrible list of tragedies this year. All I can add is that shiadoa is absolutely right: when we get older, friends and relations start dying, and that's what reminds us that we ain't dead yet. For many people it helps to do two specific things: ensure the rest of your life can be spent the way you want to spend it, with the people who are important to you; and consider how you want to be remembered (your 'legacy', as some people put it) and what you need to do to achieve that. Oddly, it might help to prepare for your own death; me personally, for example, I'd like to be doing something dangerous at 500mph when it happens, as opposed to propped up in a hospital bed with some put-upon nurse cleaning up my bedsores, so at least when I'm gone people can laugh and say, that Toad, what a fucking idiot, but at least he was enjoying himself. Thinking about these things demands big, positive, concrete actions that give you something to think about other than what's lost.

It's horribly difficult not to focus on the loss, but as shiadoa said, those people who loved you would wish for you to be happy, exactly as they did when they were still around.

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Re: Coping With Death

Postby maoman » Mon Dec 18, 2017 17:26

I'm very sorry to hear about your loss(es!); it sounds like you've been hit hard.

I have no useful advice to give, as I haven't lost anyone close to me that way. But I offer these suggestions, on the off-chance my instinct is right and they help:
1. Take care of what your body needs: food, sleep, exercise (even going for walks is sufficient), fresh air. Exposure to nature wouldn't hurt either. I get a great deal of peace just from hearing waves crash on the beach, or going to the top of Yangminshan and feeling the wind pass over me.
2. Remember your friends, and communicate with others who might be feeling their loss, also, especially the ones who were closest to them.
3. Focus on the ones who love you and need you. Love them and need them back.
4. Service. Focus on helping someone else.

Hang in there, buddy.
Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

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Re: Coping With Death

Postby Dragonbones » Tue Dec 19, 2017 03:30

I’m terribly sorry to hear you’re struggling with this, jimi. I've spent some time over several days trying to compose a response, but found it difficult.

Like many here, I’ve suffered losses which give me at least a glimpse of the pain you must be feeling. You’ve labeled the discussion “Coping with Death”, so I imagine some may share how they have coped. I can only hope that such sharing can somehow help you to cope with what you are going through.

In some cases, like the brief period in which I lost my very close maternal grandmother, who lived with us, as well as my sister (suicide) and my dog (obviously not like losing a person, but it still sucks), it sent me into a serious depression needing medication. I would call that coping badly, except for the fact that that seems judgmental, when in fact I don’t think I had any choice. It was simply the spiral that the situation sent me into (and stress and burnout after years in a Ph.D. program were almost certainly contributing factors). Only time, and a complete change in my life situation (by getting the hell out of my Ph.D. program and moving to Taiwan) helped. So, from that, helpful strategies are allowing yourself to grieve, keeping yourself busy in good ways while you let time pass, and make positive changes in your life.

In other times, like the few years when I lost my other grandma and my mother, I was able to cope better. I was on stronger ground psychologically, but by then, I had also already lost enough people in my life that I started understanding the inevitability of such loss, given our mortal nature, and I had come to accept it in a philosophical sense, rather than a religious one (clearly, different approaches will work for people based on their faith, if any). So part of the battle is learning to accept our mortal nature somehow, or embracing a faith which softens (or avoids) this sad fact.

So based on my own experiences, which are all I can share, the best ways to cope are allowing oneself to grieve, and then just trying to move on. Get back into activities you used to enjoy, even if they don’t seem as appealing at present. In particular, social activities, activities where you help others somehow, and exercise, are probably particularly good ideas. Make positive changes in your life. Of course, also let friends and family and the things you love in life help you. And try to either embrace your faith or gain a real acceptance of our temporary nature.

Remember that you're surrounded by friends and love, and that life is still a wonderful thing. Remember to embrace that. Big hugs from all of us here!

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Re: Coping With Death

Postby Taffy » Tue Dec 19, 2017 18:48

Christ, jimi, that much tragedy would put anyone down for a while. I don't have much to offer in the way of coping strategies. My cousin died when I was 17 (he was 15, hit by a car) and I even though it was twenty years ago certain things can drag me right back to that time. He loved Dire Straits, and I remember at his funeral they played Brothers in Arms over and over while everyone filed in to the church. Even now I can't hear that bloody song without tearing up. The other thing I remember is my grandfather telling us it should have been him. The old fella is still knocking about now, he'll be 94 soon.

Shortly after that one of my classmates died on New Year's Day of meningitis – signs of illness were masked by the partying the night before. I started playing truant a lot (for that and other reasons) and I remember the head of sixth form collaring me and telling me "this is not how you deal with grief". When I asked him how you were supposed to deal with it, he (in the sort of moment that made teenage me hate adults) gave me a pat homily about living life to the full to honour the people who had gone.

So, er, read that back and it doesn't help with your question one fucking bit. A human universal and we're all varying degrees of crap when it comes to dealing with death. OK, there is one trite thing that happens to be true, in my case: it does get easier. The worst time is now, and in the future it will be less bad. It will.

Lots of love.

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Re: Coping With Death

Postby jimipresley » Fri Dec 22, 2017 19:30

Thank you everyone, for your kind, generous words. They mean the world to me.

I've been in such a haze for the last two weeks, losing two of my dearest friends. I just feel so numbed.

I had a good cry today.

I don't feel better, but I certainly feel more dehydrated.

:heart:

Do you ever listen to yourself? - maoman

How clever of you to take an orange and a dog biscuit and build a time machine. - Bunks

Some countries cultivate vast populations of idiots for the purpose of maintaining sham democracies. - Toad

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Re: Coping With Death

Postby sandman » Sat Dec 23, 2017 15:38

Just give Dylis a huge hug and say: "love you, laopo." You came through, as did I. Make of it what you will. You have some very good friends. I wish you peace.

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Re: Coping With Death

Postby Kal El » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:13

jimipresley wrote:I had a good cry today.

That's always the best.

I've wanted to reach out, but despite my history of death and loss, I have no words of comfort, except: I love you. You are one of my best friends. I understand your pain.
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Re: Coping With Death

Postby zender » Mon Dec 25, 2017 20:19

Bummer. I feel I've been fairly lucky in not losing many close friends and relatives so far, but it's just a matter of time.
I got nothin' to add, but I'll reiterate that you have my condolences, too.
I'm useless in these cases.
Carry on. :heart:

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