Is there life after repeated trauma?

by Liz
(United Kingdom)

Yes, but here I am feeling sorry for myself because my only surviving daughter is leaving home in a few days.

Why? Because she has to as she is 27 years old and desperately needs to live her own life. She is excited and it will be a happy move for her to another town about 2 hours drive from here so no daily contact. I love her and actively encourage her in every way I can but how I am going to miss her.

It is with some fear and trepidation that I too embark on this new chapter of our life together. I am suddenly going to be alone.

My husband and my daughter's father died 18 months ago of cancer, at home because that is where he wanted to be. My daughter stayed and helped us. What a girl, compassion, level headedness, beauty, talent, she has it all.

But she has suffered unbearably because her sister also died suddenly 10 years ago, - she was a few years older and they adored each other. After my eldest daughter's death I slowly slipped into deep depression and before my husband died I became seriously mentally ill. She thought she had lost us all.

I am so sorry for that time because I would not have put them through more trauma for the world but I did not understand what I was doing and I tried to drown myself in the sea as her sister had accidentally done years before.

We had gone from being a small family to one that was decimated by death and decease in the space of a few years. But I wanted to say that we have and are have coming through it, we are not the same as we were at all but I am well and some days even happy and when my daughter leaves I am going to find the courage to embark on new adventures. I am blessed with a lovely home and enough income to live reasonably well. But it will be strange in the house, so quiet and they will have all left. Soon I may sell the house and move, maybe even to a different country but not too far away.

I am lucky to have been loved and am loved by my dear family and friends through all. I am tremendously lucky. I now have a growing faith and calmness, I never feel alone because I know that their love is always there for me and always will be.

Everybody's story is different and so is mine but may God bless you in your helpful website which I am sure is tremendously helpful to others on their journey.

Liz

Comments for Is there life after repeated trauma?

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 16, 2014
A Positive Attitude
by: Betty from GriefandSympathy

Dear Liz

Thank you for writing to us, you have certainly been through a very difficult, dramatic few years. We are so pleased to hear the positive words coming to us in your letter. Just as you are wishing your daughter all the best in her new beginnings, we wish you the very best with the new chapter beginning for you.

You have been a mother, wife and family rock for many years, this is your time now. Do all the things on your wish list, go out there and join clubs. Catch up with old friends, go to the movies. None of us know how many years we have left so go and enjoy yourself for your husband’s sake too. He would not have wanted you to be miserable.

We are pleased that the site gave you some comfort and hope it continues to do so. Your letter too gives comfort as everyone realizes that they are not alone in their grief. It makes us stronger in the end.

Our very best wishes and good luck.
Betty

Jul 17, 2014
Courageous lady!
by: michelle

Dear Liz,
Your story moved me - how much you have had to cope with, and how wonderful that you have come through and can see a way forward. Its quite amazing the resilience of the human spirit! As I read your story, i felt more courage to face my particular challenges.
Wishing you joy and fulfilment and peace and contentment!
Michelle

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bereavement Forum on Grief and Sympathy.com.

Coping with multiple traumatic losses

by Lynn

How do you cope with several major losses in short sequence?

1) sudden terminal illness, travel out-of-state to care for and hold my Dad's hand as he deteriorated and passed away in 2 short months, plus his legal and financial issues I was unaware of, such as drug squatters in his home stealing all his valuables, so by myself scary face-offs with criminals led to police, court, insurance claims, etc.

2) came back home 2 days after his military funeral, forced to put beloved pet down (my main source of comfort),

3) job lost due to 2 months absence,

4) 5-year significant other bailed admitting he had no support skills, 5) was denied unemployment due to lies my crooked employer reported to avoid accountability,

5) still unemployed during energy downturn,

6) finally closest friends distanced themselves after lecturing me about religion and praying, leaving me totally shocked and overwhelmed.

"Professional" grief counselor told me "if you have a strong enough faith in God, you don't need a support system, so stop burdening your friends and family", which only sent me deeper into isolation. First and last "professional" visit, as my faith is alive and I was deeply offended.

Reading everything I can get my hands on, praying, want to journal, but I'm still so physically and emotionally traumatized, like a form of PTSD. Coming into the holidays, loss of closest friends only seems to deepen the grief.

I'm not suicidal nor succumbing to addiction, I can laugh with remaining friends and my adult children, etc. Just looking for ways to heal and enter 2016 stronger again, recover my balance and sense of self. How do you cope?

Comments for Coping with multiple traumatic losses

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 24, 2015
Finding Support in Hard Times
by: Betty from Grief and Sympathy

Thank you for writing to us at this very difficult time in your life. It seems that everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for you. It is heartening to hear that you can still laugh with good friends and stay strong for your family. Fair weather friends are not real friends.

Also you need to find a support group and or counsellor who is a real professional. Sometimes you need to try a few before you find someone who understands your needs. It is like getting a second opinion over a medical matter and not something unusual. It's not a reflection on you being difficult. Many people have not been really challenged in life so do not understand what you're going through.

It is not an easy pathway for you but you will cope as it seems you have managed a lot of difficult situations already and survived them.

Life can be so unfair at times, they say all these traumas make us stronger in the long term, hard to understand when you are coping with these huge painful multiple losses.

On a day today basis sort out the priorities first. A social worker may be able to help you solve some of the financial problems and may be able to point you in the correct direction for help.

Often it is just finding out what is available in emergencies. We do hope that you read more of the pages on our site, in particular this page on multiple loss.

Grief can not be rushed you will find your support person, who you can confide your inner feelings to. For others, put on a brave face, but don't be ashamed of tears,they will suddenly appear. Anxiety attacks will come and go - also the butterflies. Just let the waves pass and go on.

You will cope, sadly there is no choice, but life does get better. You are not alone. Write again whenever you need too. Our thoughts are with you.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bereavement Forum on Grief and Sympathy.com.

My sister lost our mom and a son within 2 days.

by Amy
(Pennsylvania )

My mom got suddenly ill and was on hospice in my home for 5 days until she passed. She had been in a nursing home and neglect of a simple urinary tract infection led to her getting sepsis. I blame the home, but also myself for missing how sick she was. My 3 still living siblings were here with her also.

My oldest sister talked to her son who is schizophrenic and was having a psychotic break in the midst of all this. He was 37, had a college degree, a good job and had done well for years. She has always followed him on some GPS phone app as a way of helping her not worry about him. She lost his phone signal last Saturday night.

Someone in his car was found deceased on Monday. She is in California and this happened in Texas. I am in Pennsylvania. Medical records needed to be sent to identify him. I assume he shot himself. I don't know how to help her when I haven't even processed my mom's death. I took care of my mom for 13 years and am devastated by this loss. I am numb, I feel nothing at all. I watched my mother suffer the loss of my brother from an accident 12 years ago. It was more painful for me to see my mom go through that than for me to have lost him. My sister will never recover from this. I am so far from her. I just don't know what to do. Life is so cruel.

Comments for My sister lost our mom and a son within 2 days.

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 24, 2016
Multiple Grief
by: Betty from Grief and Sympathy

Thank you for writing to us, we are so sorry to hear the sad news. This is a devastating time for the family. A double blow, life can be so unfair.

You will be in shock and it is early days so don't expect too much of yourself. Give yourself time to assimilate what has happened. Continue with day today activities. You will know how to help your sister in time and when tragedy happens somehow we get an inner strength.

She obviously did as much as she could for her son and he did well, I am sure, due to her love and support.

There is a page on the site on how to cope with multiple loss.

Also with the difficulties and guilt felt whencoping with suicide in a loved one.

I hope you find these pages supportive.

Our very best wishes to the family.
The Grief and Sympathy team.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bereavement Forum on Grief and Sympathy.com.

Coping with Multiple Losses and Chronic Illness

by Connie
(USA)

Severe depression, multiple losses of 8 close relatives and 3 in laws. My daughter and son nearly died plus I became disabled. Because I was the 24/7 caregiver for my mom and sister and we lived off their income, when they died I had no income. I worked as long as I could but finally could not carry on. I did not qualify for registered disability because of my last 10 year work history. They did not want to go in a nursing home and I honored their wishes.
WELL disability only counts the last 10 years and not your whole work history and so although I had worked plenty it was just not at the qualifying time.
The one medication that so helped my depression they won't approve and I can't buy it. I WAS on patient assistance program but once a generic came out that ended. AND it's as high as the branded. I became the matriarch at 48. AND facing my own mortality. I'm living on a poverty income which am grateful for but also in the same time frame I lost 3 in laws and my daughter and son nearly died.

On top of it all, my sister died at 39 and she left 6 children, 4 were still minors so I helped finish raising them. On top of that lost 4 precious animals also.

I so need someone to talk to and someone who understands. I feel so alone and sometimes wish the hopelessness will go away no matter the cost. I ALWAYS have been happy, light up a room. NOW to get out of bed is so hard. That medication is all that helped. Almost was Connie again. It's funny - I am good at fixing others' problems but never seem to be able to help me.

I really need help in so many ways. I always have helped others, am hoping someone may would take a lil time with me. IF busy is fine. Just a hope. PRAYERS and peace for all:)

Have a blessed day.

Connie

Comments for Coping with Multiple Losses and Chronic Illness

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 02, 2016
So sorry for your losses
by: Lesley

Dear Connie.

I'm so sorry you are feeling so lost. I will get Betty to write you a response. Do keep reading the site, and I hope you will find something to give you comfort. It really sounds as if you have been dealt a lot more than your fair share. It sounds as if you are a strong and cheerful character and hopefully that will see you through these tough times.

I don't know if you have read this page on multiple losses? Also see the link at the bottom of that page to How to Deal with Grief. There are lots of different pages available there.

Grieving Multiple Losses

Our sincere condolences. Lesley

Nov 02, 2016
Coping with loss as well as loss of health
by: Betty from Grief and Sympathy

Dear Connie,

Thank you for writing to us. Asking for help is a step in the right direction.

We are very sorry to hear about all the problems you have experienced. How you are feeling now is a reaction to the challenges and crisis that have come into your life. Despite all the hard work you have done, the problems you faced were not in your control. You obviously did your very best caring for your loved ones.

Some people are born in poverty, some are born to wealthy families. Many are born in war torn countries and become refugees. None of these circumstances are in our control. We cope with our life's circumstances as best we can.

Because we hear you have been a positive person you will survive this. Not many of us have had to face the many challenges you have. You should be proud of all the help you gave to others.

You must continue to see your Doctor for the depression you are suffering. Also you must try to sort out your finances. Your local member of parliament could check for you what help you should be receiving. Also the returned defence personnel clubs often have free consultations from solicitors to give advice. You don't have to have served in the forces. Social services should also offer an advice service to check that you have been given the correct information. Do not be afraid to ask, ask, ask. (Some of these people probably have different names in the USA, but ask your doctor, local library, anyone who can put you in touch with services you are entitled to).

Having spent a great deal of your life caring for others, it is now time to think about yourself and your needs. This is your priority now. Yes, it will be strange at first to think - I am important and my needs matter.

There are many pages on our site discussing multiple loss and pet loss. Also how to cope with chronic illness and loss of health. We hope you find some comfort in these pages.

Coping with Chronic Illness

Health and Grief

Grief for Pets


Our very best wishes to you.

Betty
The Grief and Sympathy Team


Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bereavement Forum on Grief and Sympathy.com.

Multiple losses of very close family members

by Jean L.
(Eugene, OR, USA)

In the past nine years, I have lost my: Husband of 29 years, Father in law, Mom, favorite Auntie, Brother in Law, dearest Mother in law and Sister. Also my health, career and only Child, a Son moved across country. I am overwhelmed with grief and am now suffering from depression and anxiety. I feel that these profound losses came faster than I could grieve them. Each loss piled up on the other (some with only three months apart) with sorrow restimulated from the previous one. Since I lost my Husband first, I was a widow trying to handle all the others without my life partner and our mutual support. Fortunately I had two years to mourn my Husband before my Mom died yet there was months of caregiving and Hospice for both.

My question is, how to now walk the grief journey with each one without getting more overwhelmed? One at a time? I thought after my Husband died, I learned the tools to grieve in a deep and healthy way. But now, I am simply overloaded, still in shock and not sure where to start. Just let the tears flow and do the very best at self-care and compassion until I can see my way clear?

I am seeing a licensed counselor about 3 times a month but it doesn't feel like enough. I'm blessed with special, dear friends as well as good widow friends but no one who has experienced numerous losses. Most of the time, I feel pretty lonely trying to get through this and heal.

Your thoughts and guidance would so very appreciated.





Comments for Multiple losses of very close family members

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 11, 2017
Coping with Multiple Losses
by: Betty from Grief and Sympathy

Dear Jean

Thank you for writing to us. You have certainly been at the sharp end of the slings and arrows of life's misfortunes. You are correct in saying that not many of your friends can understand your huge losses, very few suffer in this way. It is not surprising that you are suffering anxiety and depression now. I am so pleased to hear that you are going to a counselor and have a group of friends.

However you may need to talk to someone more than monthly to discuss how you are feeling or you might need a change of counselor if you feel that it is not helping. Try someone different, or there are online specialists who you can contact at any time. Just a friendly voice to cry with or get some angry feelings out of the way. Why did this have to happen to me? etc, and all those negative feelings need an outlet.

Yes, crying helps and yes having a rant gets you calmer through these difficult times, but much easier when a support person helps you.

Also have a look at our page about bereavement and PTSD in case you feel you are suffering any of those symptoms. Don't be afraid of asking for help from your doctor who may be able to refer you to a psychologist if you feel it would help.

I hope that your son moving away is not a final thing, but just the empty nest syndrome you are feeling.

You can then be pleased for his future as our children do need to find their own way in life. They usually come back at some point.

None of us can rely on others to make us happy, it has to come from our own inner strengths and being comfortable about ourselves. You had so much time visiting sick relatives and hospices that you should be proud of all the support you gave your loved ones, not everyone can do that.

You have spent so much of your life being a wife, mother, daughter or going to work. Now is the time for you.

Try to look at it as your special time and look at creating a bucket list of what you wanted to do but did not have time.

The fact that you are having counseling and written to us for help, means you are trying hard but at this moment you just need more support on a regular basis. You will cope but the journey is not an easy one.

Our very best wishes to you.

Betty
The Grief and Sympathy Team

Oct 12, 2017
Gratitude
by: Jean L

Betty,
You have given me an incredible gift: acknowledgement of the depth of my grief from the multiple family losses in my life recently. How grateful I am for your compassion and understanding of this healing journey I am taking. I was feeling somewhat alone in realizing that this is a very significant and pretty traumatic situation which few can even comprehend. Most people expect me to be the same cheerful and sociable person I was by now and be back to normal.
I cherish the friends and acquaintances that offer support and gentle kindness even if they have not experienced this.
Even in the midst of these losses, I feel hope that I can heal, for there is love, help and support. I know with good self-care, I have the strength inside me to go forward one step at a time.
Thank you so much for your wonderful website and commitment to help people as they grieve.

Oct 21, 2017
I can Identify with you
by: Anonymous

Hello Jean,

I am sorry about all your losses. I can certainly identify with your losses. I lost my dear Husband of 54 years just a few months ago, also we lost our only child in 1989.

All my family is gone except for some cousins who are not in touch.

I live alone and have anxiety, loneliness, depression. I go to support groups but have never met or bonded with anyone like me, the people attending so far have all family. I am the odd one out. I try to go out every day and walk and eat well mostly except for breakfast.

My dear husband worried about me being left alone before he died. Take care of yourself.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bereavement Forum on Grief and Sympathy.com.

Did I just experience grief overload?

I'll try to keep this short. I'm a 31 year old male. Marine, college educated, have a lot going for me. I've been dealing with some pretty bad depression as of this past year which I am now seeking help for.

To sum it up for you, I was sexually abused by an older step cousin when I was 6 or 7. Never met my biological father. My adoptive father and mother divorced when I was 4. He moved away when I was 10.

Fast forward 11 years and in the matter of three years, my mom and stepdad father split. My grandma died. My mother dies. Both dogs die. Had to sell the house we grew up in. GF broke up with me. Step father died. Grandpa died. Fast forward 8 years and my ex-fiance cheats on me. I am now the most, miserable bastard walking this planet. I'm in a deep depression and meet someone amazing. After 8 months of ups and downs and self sabtogage on my part she and her three little girls leave for good, forever. I tried to play some calming music this morning after getting out of the shower and I literally WEPT like stopped breathing, whimpering for an hour. Did I just let go of some that grief? Because I'll be perfectly honest with you. I never really grieved any of that growing up and getting older.

Comments for Did I just experience grief overload?

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 05, 2017
Men Do Cry
by: Betty from Grief and Sympathy

Hi

Thank you for writing to us. It is a huge step forward for you, not only for asking others for information, but for getting rid of a lot of that pent up anger and grief.

No one ever said life was fair, some of us get more than their fair share of misfortune in life. You seem to have hit the jackpot in yours. They do say that these misfortunes make us stronger, in fact, able to cope better with what life will throw at us next.

To cope with what you did as a child, then achieve success at college and in your career means that you are a survivor and will get through this latest painful episode.

You have to put yourself first for a change, enjoy your freedom and your own space. Learn to like yourself and realise that all the tragedies that happened to you were not of your making.

To be alone is not to be lonely when we learn to be happy with ourselves. It is far better to be alone than living with partners who make us feel unhappy.

You have a right to be depressed after everything that has happened to you and yes, men do cry and it is good to get rid of pent up feelings. I hope you felt better for it. You have probably tried to be a big strong Marine for too long. Crying is NOT a form of weakness but a natural emotional reaction.

If you haven't already, do read our page on Grieving Multiple Losses

We wish you well for the future. Good luck.

Our best wishes

The GriefandSympathy team.

Feb 05, 2017
So sorry!
by: Michelle

That's just huge! Seems too much for one person. I do think giving in to the tears was a very good thing. Sending best wishes that the help you have reached out for will make a very big difference!

Wishing that things turn around for you very soon!
Michelle

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bereavement Forum on Grief and Sympathy.com.

Multiple losses, abortion, family deaths, loss of job, loss of family support. . .

by Z
(NJ)

Hey. I'm a 21 y old girl from NJ .
I just want to share my story.

At 20 Years old I met the love of my life. We've dated for a year. We plan to move to Florida together, where his family resides.

First 6 months he has to return to Florida; death of his grandfather rocks him to the core, he flies home to be with his family and kids.

I'm left alone for our first summer and it's a cruel loneliness that overtakes me. I quit my old job.

He returns by the fall and we rejoice in seeing each other again, although separation from his mom and kids is hard for him.

We throw ourselves into work.

21st birthday. Few months later I get a great job.

I begin training for this great job, only to suddenly discover positive pregnancy test. I panicked, knowing that the stress of this job and my life habits are not good enough to sustain myself or my child. Money would start to flow in but at the expense of my health and health of the child. My family hasn't even met him yet, at this point.

I chose to go to Planned Parenthood and get an abortion. We are both distraught, especially me. I descend into deep depression, loathe anything to do with kids and pregnancy. It doesn't help that his roommate just discovers she's pregnant, and my supervisor at work is thrown a pregnancy party.

I threw up the first week of my new job, before my planned parenthood appointment.

Nobody except our mothers know. I'm in anguish by the time the appointment rolls around and I'm exhausted.

Then the death of my own grandfather happens right after the abortion.

Then I lose my job. I request time off, but I am let go after I return.

I've been unemployed almost 2 months, relying on my boyfriend's support. I'm in and out of the house due to difficulties with my family mentally and emotionally.

My only hope has been reaching out to family members hoping they will understand, but it's hard.

I just learned today that my Dad's godmother passed away.

Three family deaths in 4 months. Less than a year.

Depression eats me alive and feels like forever, but I refuse to let myself sink.

I am managing.

Thank you for letting me share my story, it feels better to share it the way I've felt it.

I write in a journal and write down my feelings usually but its comforting hearing the stories of others.

Comments for Multiple losses, abortion, family deaths, loss of job, loss of family support. . .

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 31, 2018
Writing about your grief helps.
by: Lesley

Thank you for sharing your story with us. You have certainly had a lot to deal with at a young age, but you are being positive and doing the right thing in writing and reaching out for help.

Do read the page on this site about Multiple Losses.

There is also a page about Abortion Grief.

and a page from a young woman who lost her grandfather: How Yoga Helped Me When I Lost My Grandfather.

We wish you strength and comfort on your grief journey.

Lesley
The GriefandSympathy Team

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bereavement Forum on Grief and Sympathy.com.

Get Private and Confidential Help in the Privacy of Your Own Home

Do you feel alone and sad with no support and no idea how to move forward?  It can be tough when you are stuck in grief to find the motivation to get the most out of your precious life. 

Online counseling can help by giving you that support so you don't feel so alone. You can have someone to talk to anytime you like, a kind and understanding person who will help you to find meaning in life again, to treasure the memories of your loved one without being overwhelmed and to enjoy your activities, family and friends again.

  • Simply fill out the online questionnaire and you will be assigned the expert grief counselor most suitable for you.  It only takes a few minutes and you don't even have to use your name.  
  • Pay an affordable FLAT FEE FOR UNLIMITED SESSIONS.  
  • Contact your counselor whenever you like by chat, messaging, video or phone. 
  • You can change counselor at any time if you wish.
  • Click here to find out more and get started immediately. 
  • Or read more about how online counseling works here.  
  • To be upfront, we do receive a commission when you sign up with Betterhelp, but we have total faith in their expertise and would never recommend something we didn't completely approve.  
Woman Crying. Get Started with Online Counselling

Sales from our pages result in a small commission to us which helps us to continue our work supporting the grieving.  


Heart Shaped Sterling Silver Pendant for Cremation Ashes, Engraved Forever Loved

Memorial Jewelry to Honour a Loved One

Check out our lovely range of memorial jewelry for any lost loved one.  Pendants, necklaces, rings or bracelets, we have them all in all kinds of styles.  Choose for yourself or buy as a sympathy gift. 

Click here to see our selection


Beautiful Memorial Trees to LAst an Eternity

What a memorial for a loved one. A tree that will live and grow for many, many years to come. 

You can get all sizes from majestic oak trees to smaller magnolias.

Any of our range of memorial trees will make a beautiful living monument to the deceased. 

Choose a memorial tree here




Hypnosis for Grief - 10 Ways It Can Help You

Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind. Learn how self-hypnosis can help you cope with grief at any time of the day or night.  

Read more about it here. 


Join us on Facebook for articles, support, discussion and more.  Click 'Like' below.




Sign up for our newsletter and receive:

"The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do
To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life"


Our free downloadable and printable document "The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life" will help you to be positive day to day.  

The 10 points are laid out like a poem on two pretty pages which you can pin on your fridge door to help you every day! 

All you have to do to receive this free document is fill in your email address below. 

You will also receive our newsletter which we send out from time to time with our newest comforting and helpful information.   You can unsubscribe any time you like, and don't worry, your email address is totally safe with us.