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Super Contributor
Posts: 338
Registered: ‎06-15-2015

Re: Among Friends Grief Support Group

I have a question for all who are grieving for a loved one. At what point did you feel like socializing again? It's almost been 6 months and I am dragging my feet on finding a church group and becoming active in a group of strangers. Mom was ill 4 and a half years and I was her caregiver. I took early retirement and my life involved around her and her medical needs. Friends stopped calling after the  first year. I don't blame them. Their life continued as before and mine changed drastically. I have gone back to teaching part time but it is a different school everytime. I am subbing. I visit with two friends on the phone but I usually am the one calling. I know I need friends because I have only have a brother and sister. I am open to any advice.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,035
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Among Friends Grief Support Group

There are many forms of grief. Grief is not only death ,but could be losses in life. a career, relationship, friendship ,divorce aging, or loss of your abilities to do what you want or used to do. Sometimes we forget that grief is a much larger scope of losses affecting  us and our friends and family.

 

The stages of grief vary and change , one day acceptance and another day anger, bargaining. To top it off Holidays are difficult for many. A trigger to feelings and trying to cope. Be gentle with yourself and others.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,035
Registered: ‎01-06-2015

Re: Among Friends Grief Support Group

@texassunflower There are no rules, I just take things day by day and try to get through the day.  You can't do it on anyone else's timetable. I was my Mom's caregiver too, for over three years. In my opinion that makes for an even more difficult adjustment. I lost the support that I had when my Mom was alive. From the hospice people, the home health aide, and more. And the other people in my life, well you find out who people really are. So wrapped up in themselves. 

 

Over the summer I wanted to find a new church,  I just wasn't ready and I'm still not. I've gone to a couple of grief support meetings and next week I think I'm going to try a different one. The other people there truly do know what it's like and don't spew cliches and platitudes.

 

Maybe you could find friendship at a grief support group. It's scary to take the first step to go, it was for me. I didn't think I could even speak at one but I did.

 

My Mom died six months ago in a few days. I can't believe that much time has passed. Every day it feels like yesterday to me and I have every right to feel that way. So six months, a year, 18 months...I don't think in those terms.

"Empathy is a superpower"
Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,081
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Among Friends Grief Support Group

@texassunflowerthere are no real timelines, like @Greeneyedlady21 said.  I'm very hesitant to post here because I am not a good example of someone who "bounced back" quickly, and I don't want to discourage anyone.  When my Mom died, it gutted me (and I had a lot of family support).  I was withdrawn and not myself for a very long time - maybe 3 years.  Everyone is different.  Don't compare yourself to anyone at all.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 618
Registered: ‎06-15-2010

Re: Among Friends Grief Support Group

@texassunflower I always ask myself that question. It’s been a few years and socializing as 1 after 42 years is not an easy feat. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,035
Registered: ‎01-06-2015

Re: Among Friends Grief Support Group

@Mj12 Please don't be hesitant to post here for that reason or any other reason. For me that's the opposite of discouraging, it's encouraging because it's completely truthful. I can't stand that people expect me to somehow bounce back from my Mom's death on their timetable. It has gutted me too, she was my best friend.

 

Even though she had terminal cancer and I knew it was coming that's not relevant at all. I thought I had started grieving the day I found out there was no hope. But boy was I wrong.

 

My grief is compounded by so many other factors too. The main one being that my Mom would have lived if her cancer had been caught before it spread.

 

"Empathy is a superpower"
Super Contributor
Posts: 338
Registered: ‎06-15-2015

Re: Among Friends Grief Support Group

I want to thank everyone for their kind responses. Maybe I need to reach out one on one to people instead of finding a church group at this time. The holidays will be very difficult this year and I really dread Christmas Day. I know I will get through it but I am ready for the holidays to end. Because I sub, I will have a lengthy time off and I need to get activities planned so I will stay busy.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,035
Registered: ‎01-06-2015

Re: Among Friends Grief Support Group

I just don't want anything to do with the holidays. I don't have anything planned and it's going to be so hard to get through. My Mom loved Christmas so much.

 

For her last Christmas I got her a small tree. She loved it and we kept it up, I decorated it for all the other holidays. It was up in June when she died. I took it down about a week later.

 

I feel like I should put it up to honor my Mom but I just can't bring myself to do it because of the sadness.

"Empathy is a superpower"
Super Contributor
Posts: 352
Registered: ‎06-02-2010

Re: Among Friends Grief Support Group

I am volunteering at my nephew's church tomorrow.  They are having an event for children.  I will be photographing it.  

 

Before he died he asked if I would go with him.  He didn't pause for a breath when he apologized for asking.  He understood how I feel about church.  The interesting thing is, I thought I understood how he felt about church.  We talked about the church and about the people there.  They helped him so much in the time he went there.  I promised him I would go.  I will not fail my nephew.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,936
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

Re: Among Friends Grief Support Group

[ Edited ]

@texassunflower

 

I guess I’m not one to give advice on socializing because I never liked to socialize when my husband was alive, let alone now that he’s gone.  I’ve always been a loner.  He was the outgoing one.  

 

I have a couple of relatively close friends, but all my family is out of state.  I live in a rural area, isolated on a fairly large parcel of property.  Right now, that’s just how I like it.  I don’t feel the need to socialize.  My doctor keeps trying to talk me into getting involved in some sort of group activity, and he just doesn’t understand that’s not me.  It wasn’t before, and I’m not about to do a 180 now.

 

I have animals, so they keep me busy and don’t let me get too into myself.  They’re either frustrating me or making me laugh.  And my best friend is an animal person too, so we spend a lot of time with all our critters together.  A room full of dogs and cats won’t let you sink into despair for too long!

 

You can’t expect to bounce back to what others consider normal in six months after over four years.  You don’t have to conform to others’ timelines.  If you don’t feel like getting out now, don’t.  It probably will come gradually without you even realizing it.  You’re working, so that gets you out and exposed to people.  Maybe you’ll meet someone at a new school and strike up a friendship and go from there.  

 

What was it that you liked to do before your mother got sick?  Do you have any hobbies?  Take walks and talk to your neighbors.  Go to a gym.  Just strike up conversations with strangers in the store.  My point is that eventually your life will begin to find a new normal.  If you force yourself before you’re ready, it won’t be beneficial anyway.

 

Hang in there.  There is no one way to get through grief.  And that’s what we all do—get through it.  Not over it.

 

❤️🙏🕊