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lessons in grief


nancyannee
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my earliest memories are hiding how I truly felt. being adopted, I thought if my adopted family knew I was sad or angry they might send me away....with that being said...

when I was four, we had just moved to a new house and the whole extended family was there...the family dog was let go for the first time and he ran straight for the road. a little country road that had a carpet-dye house down the road. ONCE a week a transfer truck went flying by. Just by chance the dog was hit. The whole family was hysterical. everyone was crying. I had no tears for this dog. he was known to trample me and lick me...he was a very large dog and I spent most of my time running from him. I felt so different from this family because I did not understand them.. I tried to find tears. to "act" like them. I couldn't do it...

fast forward a couple of years. My beloved favorite cousin at the age of 16 took his own life. I felt closer to him than most anyone. The whole family gathered. Everyone was there. Everything was so quiet. I saw no tears. nobody was talking. whispering and whispering... I could not stop the tears. I could not stop them. I felt so out of place because nobody else seemed too upset....again, I tried to "act" like them and show no tears...I couldn't do it...I cried and cried.

how can a group of people show grief and sadness for an animal, but not one of their own? I have never understood that.

Edited by nancyannee
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That is a very interesting question. When I was 8, my uncle died due to his alcoholism. At the time, I knew what it was but never truly comprehended the full situation. At his funeral, it was quite, and I saw some tears. Everyone knew he had his problem, but thought he had it under control. For the first time, I saw my dad cry. My parents always said that he was the closest to us (my brother and sisters), the other cousins didnt spend much time with him. However, for some reason, I could not cry. I felt like a monster for not crying. I talked to my mom about this and she said that it was normal for someone so young not to understand. This helped, but I still felt awful. The one thing that made me feel better is when on the anniversary of his death, I preyed to god and finally shed some tears.

I cant answer to why no one else was crying, but you should NEVER feel bad for crying. Holding in the tears, bottling up your feelings can hurt you in the long run. Everyone needs to cry, especially when morning over a close relative.

Maybe the rest of your family were not as close to your cousin as you were?

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thanks unsure...I am sure they were crying and grieving in their own way. it is just they were so demonstrative with their grief over the animal and not my cousin. He was a favorite among us all.

as to crying being good, I agree. When certain symptoms of mine appeared (in my 20's) I literally did NOT cry for over 10 years. that was very painful and hurtful to hold in all that emotion for so long...

nancy:)

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  • 2 weeks later...

My Mom is dying. She is 78, her colon ruptured. she is in poor health, bad heart, bad circulation.

I always asked myself why I was adopted into this family. I am NOTHING like my adopted siblings. For the last 5 or 6 years she has lived with me, for the last 1 1/2 I have been her primary caregiver. The brothers have had nothing to do with her. Maybe take her out to eat every couple of months, maybe a phone call every now and then... Now as she is dying they are all about "what to do" making all the decisions. taking over. They want to remove all life support and "get it over with" their exact words...

I am having a hard time speaking up for myself. I have always wanted their approval and usually caved to their wishes just to please. I don't want my Mom to suffer, but if she has a chance to survive I want her to....

I don't know how I am going to handle her passing. She has been my life for the last few years. I have cooked every meal. put her to bed and got her up in the morning. My whole day was centered around her. Now that she is in ICU my days are filled with nothing but grief, worry and regret...

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I'm sorry you're going through this, Nancy. I lost my mother last November, and it still hasn't really hit me yet.

I think maybe you were adopted into this family because "someone up there" felt the family needed an example.

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Hi nancyanne, I too am so sorry for all you're going through, I can only imagine your pain, having to make a decision like that, removing life support, has got to be the most horrible decision one would ever have to make. I really like what Malign said to you though, about you being placed in your family for a reason, your heart and your selflessness should be a great example for your brothers. Even if they are not showing it, they must be hurting a great deal themselves, some people just can't handle this kind of grief. I wish I could say something to make you feel better, but I know there are no words in times like this that could even begin to help. You and your family will truly be in my prayers as I know all too well the pain of seeing ones mother so helpless and my heart truly does go out to you. You may have been adopted but that doesn't make your love for your mother any different.

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thank you both malign and smallstar. I have always believed the Lord put me in this family to care for my Mom. Had I not been here she would have been put in a nursing home many years ago.

Even though you know how sick someone is...you are never really ready or prepared to lose a parent. She is my Mom. The only Mom I have ever had. It is just hard watching them talk about her and talk about wanting this to "be over" I still have some small hope she will live...all they want to do is bury her....I have to have faith that everything will work out....one way or another.

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my earliest memories are hiding how I truly felt. being adopted, I thought if my adopted family knew I was sad or angry they might send me away....with that being said...

when I was four, we had just moved to a new house and the whole extended family was there...the family dog was let go for the first time and he ran straight for the road. a little country road that had a carpet-dye house down the road. ONCE a week a transfer truck went flying by. Just by chance the dog was hit. The whole family was hysterical. everyone was crying. I had no tears for this dog. he was known to trample me and lick me...he was a very large dog and I spent most of my time running from him. I felt so different from this family because I did not understand them.. I tried to find tears. to "act" like them. I couldn't do it...

fast forward a couple of years. My beloved favorite cousin at the age of 16 took his own life. I felt closer to him than most anyone. The whole family gathered. Everyone was there. Everything was so quiet. I saw no tears. nobody was talking. whispering and whispering... I could not stop the tears. I could not stop them. I felt so out of place because nobody else seemed too upset....again, I tried to "act" like them and show no tears...I couldn't do it...I cried and cried.

how can a group of people show grief and sadness for an animal, but not one of their own? I have never understood that.

I have my two cents to add here. When a family pet is killed in front of the family they react to seeing the tragic event. You did not love the animal so you don't respond the same way. As to why nobody was crying at a funeral I believe we all grieve in our own ways. Some cry then, some later.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi nancyannee, we only cry to those that we are emotionally attached with. Other people are attached to animals like cats and dogs. They really love the dog so they cry when it dies and maybe they are not so close with your cousin so they don't react the way you do. It's kinda rude but that's the reality. Maybe your cousin has so many burdens and issues with himself and he can't carry it all so he decided to commit suicide. usually the person who do suicide are those cannot vent out. They just sulk and can't find the help they need. We all have problems and we need someone to vent out. I have known a self-help site that could help you when you are also going to an inner turmoil. Just check the www.innerzine.com. It's a good place for disturbed individuals that looks for an answer pertaining to questions about themselves

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