[06] Bereavement by dr seuss

Catch-22

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 16, 2001
Messages
4,526
The loss of someone close changes our perspective on life itself. For many of us, it will be a resounding shock to our system; an end to anaesthetized idealism. Tragedy strikes, and things change – often forever. Yet death is an inevitable counterpart to life, and it is important to realize that everyone will, at some stage, have to confront it.

Often, despite feelings of rage, anger, depression and guilt, the best we can do is to be there to support and protect our friends and family – to help each other pull together and pull through. The grieving process (such a clinical name, such an emotional journey) is different for every person; the methods by which we try to cope with what’s happened are as individual and important as our short-term response. Hopefully the words below will help, if only a tiny bit, to ease that process.

The immediate reaction to loss is almost indescribable to people who have not experienced it. I was gripped by a terrible emptiness, a hollowness that echoed around my soul, and a pain that could not, would not be relieved. It’s completely natural to experience rage, guilt and numbness in quick succession; one minute you may be torn up by immense anger at what’s happened, the next you may be empty and hollow inside.

Enduring the death of someone close to you forces your soul through the full gamut of human emotion. It’s important to try and remember that all this is natural, and is part of the unique process by which we say goodbye to those that have passed away. This period immediately following tragedy can be very disorientating and alienating; you may question the meaning of being alive, the reason we have to undergo such pain, the reason you’re here breathing and your loved one is not. Again, this is (inasmuch as it can be) normal behavior.

I remember waking up two or three days after my mother died; for one single moment, I forgot. I was happy, until it struck me and a wave of seething depression shook through me. In times like these, the presence of a shoulder to cry on was just so important for me. Talking can be a lifeline that keeps you from slipping over the edge. Don’t be afraid to talk to friends or family; don’t be afraid you’ll bore them or bring them down. Try to keep close to everyone close to you - they are your safety net, as you are theirs. Try to be there for them – if there is one thing that can reunite families it is loss.

Most likely, the short-term impact will be simply too intense to comprehend. I found myself thrown through a whirlwind of conflicting emotions; looking back at the period, I have very few concrete memories. Often that indescribable numbness will prevail; it’s like your soul has gone into shock. But it’s important to try and remember – however hard it may be – that it will get easier. Day by day, step-by-step, it will get easier.

Yes, sometimes it will feel like there’s no fucking point to living at all, sometimes the smallest thing will set you off into a spiraling depression; but it will get easier. Slowly, the painful memories will be overshadowed by the good ones; you will always remember the hurt and pain and sense of loss, but slowly the wonderful times will creep back into your mind, and eventually you will be able to look back and smile, even laugh at the memories that remain so precious to you. It will get easier.

People will try to help you; they will often try to console you without having any real idea of what you’re going through. Sometimes the only comfort you can draw will be words from people who have been there, who’ve felt the pain and can empathize with you. Often, the words of people who’ve been fortunate enough not to suffer such a loss can seem hollow or empty, even insignificant. This is not the case; try to remember that they are only doing their best to help.

Methods of dealing with bereavement vary immensely from person to person. There is no correct way to grieve, only a variety of different responses. Finding what works for you can be a difficult process, but it’s important never to feel like you’re a bad person for not grieving enough, or that you shouldn’t be smiling or enjoying yourself after someone so close has lost their life. These responses are completely natural, but can only serve to make the grieving process more difficult; try to remind yourself of what the person you care so much about would want you to be doing. This was really helpful for me personally in dealing with loss.

We on Bluelight are a community mostly united by our preference for recreational drugs. Again, responses to loss are very personal – but I would really discourage anyone from turning to drugs (and that includes alcohol) to block out the pain; you’re only delaying the inevitable, and the comedown will be that much worse. I know the temptation could be there, but escapism carries a whole new set of problems which you probably don’t need at this difficult stage in life. Becoming reliant on something to comfort or anaesthetize you is a dangerous, no-win situation.

Personally, I gave up drugs in the aftermath of what happened to me; I wanted to feel the pain, feel the anguish, I wanted to plumb the depths of rage and depression so that I could try to regain my perspective, to regain my love of life. Being sober was really, really helpful for me – and although I wouldn’t presume to stop anyone doing what is right for them, I would offer my experiences as a possibility to be considered.

The absolutism of loss is what’s probably difficult to cope with. It’s just so definite; so irreversible. The person who meant so much to you, be they friend, lover, colleague, mother, father, child – that person is gone forever. It’s often difficult for us to truly understand the meaning of this at first, and as it sinks in it can be the source of most pain. Coming to terms with death is a long and difficult process, but it is entirely natural and can shape you as a person. It may seem impossible, but time can and does heal things.

Trust me, it will get easier.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Catch-22

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 16, 2001
Messages
4,526
Reminder: I am posting this essay on behalf of someone else. Whether you want to agree or disagree, please put your thoughts in this thread. Do not send me PM's or emails unless you are contributing a new essay of your own. If you are dealing with issues of bereavement, the author of this essay encourages you to visit The Dark Side forum. Thanks!
 

Chubba75

Bluelighter
Joined
Dec 11, 2003
Messages
3,308
What if the *ONLY* person you care about dies? and what if they die young (20 years old)? There is no possible way to deal with this in my eyes.
 

ksi

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
882
Location
Netherlands
Good read.
And as hollow as it sounds from my mouth. You will be ok Chubba,
good luck!
 

Empty

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 2, 2002
Messages
42
An excellent post that all who have lost a loved one should read. This kind of post could probably have saved a few of those people who killed themselves in response to a loss, if they could have read it at the right time. I myself have experienced everything you described, and you're right, turning to drugs for escape really does make the comedown that much more harsh. Also I have to agree with ksi, Chubba, good luck.
 

SigmaSis03

Bluelighter
Joined
May 1, 2000
Messages
2,243
Location
CA
I have experienced loss at all levels and the experience couldn't have been described more accurately than in this essay. I've tried grieving both ways, with and without drugs, and I assure anyone who has or will go through it that it is much easier without. It may not seem so in the beginning, but using drugs to escape what has happened will surely backfire and the pain will be that much more unbearable, if you can imagine.

Wonderful writing.
 

Shimmer.Fade

Bluelighter
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Messages
4,554
Location
Germany
Yea, this was really touching. I think it is really hard to find someone out there who hasn't lost someone, and when you think about how you feel when you lost someone and how someone else must feel it really brings people together. Death is final and horribly sad, but when it is natural and the person has lived their life i feel that they belong wherever they go. I don't deal very well with unfair/unnatural deaths...they shock me beyond what i can imagine when i am not in such pain.
 

jaymie

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 16, 2002
Messages
3,305
Location
new mexico
When my father died last October of a heart aneurism from chemotherapy side effects to treat his lung cancer I was far away from him physically, but spiritually very close. My first response when I got that news was the most pure and unabashed happiness for him. He was freed from the bondage of his dying body and that made my heart soar and gave me great release. We were never that close when I lived at home, but close enough that we had a very strong and deeply abiding respect for one another as we watched eachother's personal progressions through life.

I never seemed to go through any issues of anger after his death, but there were times when I felt a deep sadness and loss followed by immense joy that sent me spiraling into an abyss of awe. Something inside me just said to let go and embrace the joy I was feeling because for me, there would be no other way. At one time when I was in the passenger seat driving down the freeway to go back home right after I found out, I was listening to some very loud trance music, started to cry and had a vision of my father's spirit dancing on top of the roof of the car. I'll never forget that moment because it came out of nowhere and I'm absolutely sure it wasn't summoned up by my own mind. I was like, "whoah, I don't know if I like the idea of my dad dancing to trance music, but whatever floats your boat man." Nonetheless it brought me to tears and much laughter that I was at a loss to explain to my driving companion.

For a while I felt as though my dad was resting and then something changed around the time my family gathered to say good bye. It no longer felt like he could stick around anymore and I knew he had other business to do. I still wish him well and think about him often and wonder what and how he is doing

It helped me to think about what my father would have wanted me to do with my future and how he would want me to cope with the loss of him in my life. I still look at pictures of him and I've taken up collecting coins for him and playing his old harmonica. He always told me to make learning my life long goal and that's what I'm all about.

Death is a beautiful part of life and one thing I've learned from the loss of my father is that we are all souls progressing on our own paths. We are very connected to some and not so to others, but no matter what we will always know the people in our lives that have long since passed. Death is impermanent in this girl's eyes and nothing to fear.

My best wishes to you dr. seuss and to everyone who has ever lost someone
 

proto

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 27, 2001
Messages
1,990
Location
Midlands
Dr. Seuss, I've thought this many times reading your serious posts but never expressed it before: your writing has more sensitivity, power and conviction than almost anything I've ever read. Your ability and willingness to help people through your own experience of loss is something that is quite incredible. I feel truly privileged to count someone like you as my friend.

Just wanted to share that . . .
 

AcidRain

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
Messages
1,464
Location
Australia
Chubba75 said:
What if the *ONLY* person you care about dies? and what if they die young (20 years old)? There is no possible way to deal with this in my eyes.
The assumption is that someone this happened to would care about themselves as well as the 'only person'.

If someone didn't care about themselves, they would probably already be dead and not have to deal with this problem.
 

mariacallas

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
23,785
Location
tropical sauna
Personally, I gave up drugs in the aftermath of what happened to me; I wanted to feel the pain, feel the anguish, I wanted to plumb the depths of rage and depression so that I could try to regain my perspective, to regain my love of life. Being sober was really, really helpful for me – and although I wouldn’t presume to stop anyone doing what is right for them, I would offer my experiences as a possibility to be considered.

It’s often difficult for us to truly understand the meaning of this at first, and as it sinks in it can be the source of most pain. Coming to terms with death is a long and difficult process, but it is entirely natural and can shape you as a person. It may seem impossible, but time can and does heal things.

Trust me, it will get easier.
 

SmC

Ex-Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
6,199
Location
London, England
Sometimes people become comfortable with wallowing in their own sorrow, in this case, healing is unlikely.

I know i'm guilty of this.
 
Top