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Shocked finding out someone I loved died many years ago

Discussion in 'Grief in Common Updates, Questions & Answers' started by Rob67, May 15, 2020.

  1. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    Year marks from when you learned of the tragedy are very hard to deal with. Last December I pretty much came apart. It may have been 38 years since Linda died, but for me it was only 1 year. It is acute pain. But it does not last forever. The acute pain will be replaced with what you were feeling before the year mark. During this acute period avoid those behaviors you mentioned. For me it is staring at her pictures. The less I do that, the less it hurts.

    Remember you have friends here that you can talk openly about it and help you through it.
     
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  2. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

    How is everyone doing? Its been quiet on here lately. Been having a few ok days which makes me a little sad if that makes any sense. The acceptance sucks and I think thats where I am getting to.
     
  3. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    Sue, we are both in exactly the same place. I have been trying to put the fact that Linda had such a short, difficult life followed by an ugly death from cancer in perspective. But it is just so difficult to accept. My poor Linda...
     
  4. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

    It's like I feel stuck emotionally. I cant let go , or I should say I am not letting myself let go but the feelings are not as strong like more of a distance. Maybe its just from thinking about him so much all this time and its finally setting in but Im fighting it cause I dont want the memories to fade anymore than they have. He is still so alive in my head with everything but just knowing its never going to change is so aggravating. It is amazing how you think you are the only one feeling a certain way but then you find others that understand like on here. It doesnt make it easier but it does help a little
     
  5. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    That is exactly what I am going through. I think it is because when you look at your entire history, almost everyone you know is just a "someone", but our loved one is etched and burned into our very soul. Even without the tragedy, if you were asked to list the most important people you encountered, not including your children, you would have listed him/her at or toward the top.

    When we found out that a tragedy happened that ended their life it is devastating, and you can't just "forget it". Try as hard as you can they are still etched into our soul and the tragedy is attached to it. Maybe "acceptance" is accepting that. I just don't know.
     
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  6. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

    Thats true. He definitely would he up there on the list. I really like how you perceive things. It helps reading your thoughts on here
     
  7. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

    That was one of the first things that hit me hard. He was one of the top most important people in my life and I had dropped contact with him. I did search him online maybe twice a year. I’m so sad that I never talked to him again. He had a tough time in the end. I wish I could have told him he was at the top of my list. I don’t know what acceptance is. I looked it up and I still don’t know.
     
  8. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    I have had an awful long time to think about it. I did not start this thread until 6 months after I found out she died 40 years ago. None of this was clear to me at all after the initial shock. But it occurred to recently that before I found this out, she was definitely the only person, besides my children, who I thought about on a fairly regular basis, even 50 years after I saw her last. I did try searching for her too, and it seemed she just disappeared. And all that time I didn't know she was dead. I think part of my pain is that I did not know she was dead all that time. That I was not there to at least comfort her and be a friend.
     
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  9. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

    I searched too but his name is common and in chicago and didn't know he moved by me. I listened to songs a year before I found out that reminded me of him just for the fun of remembering. I through out his pass the only pic i had a year before also. If I did find him it makes me wonder if I would have gotten in touch I question that alot. I mean I was looking on inmate.com for him too so I know I would have questioned it but now I just wish I searched harder or just looked to my left at the house every day I would go home. I may have seen him. What ifs are pointless but I cant help it sometimes
     
  10. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    If I did find Linda (and she was alive) I am not sure what I would have done either. I mean, how would that conversation go? "Hi, I was in love with you in high school 50 years ago and I have been searching for you. Let's get together and meet". Creepy.

    I found this picture. Seems topical.
     

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  11. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

    That quote is wise and spot on. I don’t need or want to get over this, move on, and/or find beauty in it. I just need/want acknowledgment that the grief is real. I get that here. At first, I felt like there was something wrong with me because the pain was so intense. I’m surprised I fairly quickly came around to honoring my grief for what it is, despite my own thoughts of feeling like there was something wrong with me, and one of my best friends suggesting therapy and trying to get me to put it in perspective. I love her, but she doesn’t get it.
     
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  12. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

    I just went to a used book store and came across this book. I wasn’t looking for it, it just caught my eye. I think it’s the book that contains the quote you just posted so I bought it!
     

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  13. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    You are experiencing exactly what we all feel. When it comes to grief there is no "right" or "wrong" grief. It is valid because you feel it. It is valid even if you have not seen them in 50 years and they died 40 years ago, as is the case with my dear Linda. The grief starts at the moment it happened...happened meaning the second you found out about it.

    We are here for each other to offer support and journey through seeking "acceptance" together. We will never be rid of it, but perhaps we can put in a specific compartment and start going through a whole day without it consuming us.
     
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  14. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

    Sometimes do you make yourself think about them more than you are feeling at that moment? I tend to do that. I feel like hes still a part of my life when Im thinking about him and if I dont I feel I will lose the closeness that I feel. I guess I feel acceptance just once in a while cause it doesnt seem to last
     
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  15. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

    Yes I do that every day. Especially when I have not been thinking of him obsessively. I make myself think about him. I also check his nephew’s Twitter feed most every day, sometimes still google his or family member’s names, and occasionally go on Facebook to see if his sister or other family and friends have posted anything new. I started reading the book about grieving that I came across at a used book store. I’ll let you know if I come across anything I think might be helpful for the group.

    When I make myself think of him, I don’t know if I’m trying to feel close to him, feel the love, fantasize about things being different, or numb myself from the pain (like if I think about him enough, eventually it won’t hurt anymore).
     
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  16. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

    I think like that too! I think if I think.so hatd so much it will get better. Been almost 6 months I found out and hasnt made a difference.
     
  17. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    I do the same thing. If I am occupied with something I don't think about her. But the moment I turn idle I think I turn to thoughts of her almost out of habit. As if that is what I am supposed to do in order to honor her memory. I feel comfort when I do that. But as Sue M said, it does not make a difference. I have been suffering with this for 20 months now. The only thing that changes that sharp feeling of grief is knowing that she would not want me, or anyone else suffering like this over her. I can see and feel her telling me that. This puts a softer edge on it for me.
     
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  18. alwaysme

    alwaysme Well-Known Member

    Sometimes I imagine him talking to me. Telling me it’s ok.

    I’ve been reading this book about grief, and I’m realizing how my grief (and I suspect maybe others here) feels different than some of what’s expressed in the book. There are many things that she says that really ring true and assure me that this is truly grief I’m experiencing. I like her insights. The difference in my experience is that this is someone I was in love with decades ago and hadn’t seen in all that time. He wasn’t part of my present life, so in some ways nothing has changed much, the change is all on the inside. I’m not faced with seeing items that belonged to him, his clothes, or his friends. I don’t have that feeling of ‘just yesterday I was talking to him and now he’s gone’. I am in deep emotional pain, but nobody around me knows about it.
     
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  19. Rob67

    Rob67 Well-Known Member

    What we have in common is :
    1. Who we are grieving for was someone we deeply loved loved, which makes them permanently etched into our memory, and out soul. We may not even have understood how much we loved them at the time we knew him.
    2. Is someone who we were not in contact with, and have not seen in a long time. Even as long as 50 years. Time is irrelevant
    3. Our loved one died and we were not there. Maybe to comfort them before they died. But we feel about being "absent".
    4. They died perhaps decades ago. Again, length of time is irrelevant.Decades pass and we wet through life ignorant of the tragedy our loved one faced. In the case of Linda, just the knowledge that she had to face an ugly death at the age of 28.
    This makes what we are experiencing grief for sure, but perhaps one that deserves it's own category; grief over what happened in the past, without our knowledge. And there is no way we can really rely on our usual support systems. Only others experiencing the same thing can understand at ll. I certainly cannot discuss Linda with my wife. It would be a hurtful thing to do. It has not changed my feelings for her, but she could never understand that.

    It is the feeling of guilt, and being all alone that is the worst part. You all are the only thing that brings me peace.
     
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  20. Sue M

    Sue M Well-Known Member

    Same here. Only place is here that makes me feel any better about it all. I wont talk to anyone anymore about it. I know they would not understand. He will be in my mind every single day for the rest of my life. I do like the category. Makes a lot of sense.
     
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