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  1. #11
    Senior Member rainoneventide's Avatar
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    I can't give you any very good advice, since I've never experienced any profound loss, myself.
    But I recommend you read (if you haven't already) Tuesdays with Morrie.
    It's a book based on the first hand account of a professor's student that visited him every week while he was dying. It really puts death (and life) in a whole different perspective.

  2. #12
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaur View Post
    I've never had someone close to me die so I am unsure about the best way to deal with death. I am looking for ideas or thoughts on how to take death.

    I would like to avoid that type of thing but I'm not sure if there is a way to do it. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

    Maybe the best way you got to a stable point after a very close-to-you-death?

    How do you deal with stupid things people say?

    How do you avoid crying like crazy at the funeral? Is this even a goal?
    "Avoid that type of thing"? What, like being an immortal?

    I'm not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens.

    Is this a philosophical question or are you looking for pragmatic advice?
    Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

    As for saying stupid things, I wouldn't worry - everything seems stupid in the presence of death.

    Avoiding crying - also stupid. The grieving process is the only way to heal the psychic injury that death inflicts. It can't be circumvented and it runs on its own timetable. Trying to repress it is a sure fire way to ensure that it will never leave you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  3. #13
    /X\(:: :: )/X\ BlueSprout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaur View Post
    I've never had someone close to me die so I am unsure about the best way to deal with death. I am looking for ideas or thoughts on how to take death.

    I think the closest I've ever been was when my 4 month old had very serious surgery and I was a basket case. I could even start to cry if I saw the name of the surgeon for months afterwards.

    I would like to avoid that type of thing but I'm not sure if there is a way to do it. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

    Maybe the best way you got to a stable point after a very close-to-you-death?

    How do you deal with stupid things people say?

    How do you avoid crying like crazy at the funeral? Is this even a goal?
    Every death may be different and your response to them might vary depending on a) whether the death was natural and slow or sudden and abrubt b) whether and for how long you had to care for a terminal individual c) how old the person was who passed and how at peace they were with their lives/spirituality/religion/etc. at the time of passing d) whether you were on good terms with them when they passed e) who/what they left behind and f) what your views on the meaning of their death or death in general are.

    You could feel anything from numbness to relief to emotional chaos when they pass. Some people repress the emotions that they let out when they feel they are losing a loved one (to illness, etc.) once they pass. You could be in utter panic when they are having an operation and be totally numb at the funeral. No one griever or grief is the same in my experience.

    Of course, a huge range of reactions is perfectly acceptable in the days or even months following death. Don't be self-conscious about it. The people around you should be supportive and/or grieving themselves. You are probably going to know people who are not sure how to grieve, either - and they may be too wrapped up in their own grief to notice how you are acting. Chances are you will witness some unseemly behavior from others (odd comments, outbursts, excessive drinking, etc.) in the days following death. Try to be supportive when you can spare the energy - some people are better at regrouping in the immediate term and may take over these responsibilities for you.

    What I have noticed is that it becomes important to have a long or medium term plan regarding the grieving process. If your faith doesn't have a lot of tangible avenues into which you can channel your grief, you may need to find a more removed but steadfast confidante. You could go to short term grief counselling too, but I've never known anyone to do that, personally. You need someone to help you talk about the things you remember, the things that set you off/make you upset (like stupid comments from well meaning people), the things you regret and even the things you really couldn't stand about the way the deceased behaved toward you. You would need someone who is willing to listen and give feedback, but not judge you for your thoughts.

    If your faith doesn't give you instructions on how to grieve, you should (down the line) find your own way (intuitively, with your confidante or by reading about/coopting another practice) to both hold onto your memories and let go of the person's mortal life. It is very important to understand that grief is a process that you need to work through consciously at some point. You actually should have coping plans/techniques that will help you weather the long term emotional storm. You may find that grief (or even other feelings - like resentment and confusion) comes on suddenly, years later (like when you recover a keepsake or remember something about your relationship with them that you forgot) and you have to be prepared to 'work through' whatever comes up.

    I hope that helps.
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  4. #14
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaur View Post
    Yeah, I just find that sometimes people discussing stuff and throwing out ideas helps me hash stuff out in my own mind. I want to have a healthy view of death, rather than just focus on loss. Other people talking about their life situations help.
    Well... I guess I was scared of death at one point in my life.

    I think once my faith changed, I stopped being as scared of death and embrace it as part of life. Ironically, it was a shift from believing in a stereotypical Christian heaven to just accepting that life is ambiguous and I don't really know what comes afterward. You'd think that death would have become scarier, but it didn't; it became easier for me to accept.

    Thinking more about it, it was that I finally felt that I was living authentically and meaningfully, that there was no hidden agenda to life I might fail to find (and thus not live life to the full), and that all of my decisions were under my control and I was responsible for them.

    At that point, to me, death just became accepted as a natural part of life, sort of like the last page of a really good book... and good books are not good books if they have no end. The ending, the denouement, is essential to the dramatic arc of the story.

    I have always loved this song by Billy Joel:

    Good night my angel time to close you eyes
    And save these questions for another day
    I think I know what you've been asking me
    I think you know what I've been trying to say

    I promised I would never leave you
    And you should always know
    Where ever you may go
    No matter where you are
    I never will be far away

    Good night my angel now it's time to sleep
    And still so many things I want to say
    Remember all the songs you sang for me
    When we went sailing on an emerald bay

    And like a boat out on the ocean
    I'm rocking you to sleep
    The water's dark and deep
    Inside this ancient heart
    You'll always be a part of me

    Goodnight my angel now it's time to dream
    And dream how wonderful your life will be
    Someday your child will cry and if you sing this lullaby
    Then in your heart there will always be a part of me

    Someday we'll all be gone
    But lullabies go on and on
    They never die that's how you and I will be
    The song has no meaning without an end. Human minds are finite, we don't understand eternity. It makes no sense.

    I'm sorry this probably all seems very detached and intellectual, I know you hope to find something more meaningful. I just feel that by accepting my mortality, I really feel far more alive. Each moment means something to me whereas before it did not. Each moment is a chance to create and live.

    And while I can't be positive "what happens after" someone dies, I still feel like the moment and the connection are meaningful and the idea of the connection lives on, if that makes sense. I know that probably sounds ridiculous from a hard intellectual POV... but like the lyrics above, even if two people pass beyond, the song lingers... we are alive within the song.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #15
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm sorry this probably all seems very detached and intellectual, I know you hope to find something more meaningful. I just feel that by accepting my mortality, I really feel far more alive. Each moment means something to me whereas before it did not. Each moment is a chance to create and live.
    Like I said, I just want input. It doesn't seem detached, actually.

  6. #16
    Senior Member tibby's Avatar
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    "Do not think that life is short

    Think: What an extraordinary experience,

    when it's not about time at all

    but instead having experienced it altogether."

  7. #17
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    My grandfather died of a heart attack while he was out transplanting tulip bulbs and I was making dinner. I went to the back door to call him in when dinner was ready, and he didn't answer me, so I went out looking for him and found him dead. He died alone even though I was right there. What's weird about that is that I used to force myself to imagine what it would be like if he were gone because I knew it was coming. I thought if I imagined it enough, I would be desensitized to it a little. I think it did actually help me not cry so much at the funeral. We're a military family and he had a military funeral and it was important to be stoic. I remember the guns going off and standing very straight next to my male cousin and seeing tears coming down his face. We both had tears but we managed not to sob.

    My dad just up and died one day of a heart attack, boom, dead, at 51. I was in shock for several years after. I remember some stupid things that were said to me and I did drop one friend over the stupid things she said. I wrote to her repeating the things she'd said, and I told her in light of those things, I wanted her to leave me alone and that I could not forgive her. She wrote back that she guessed she could understand that.

    I agree with Fluffywolf that a death can change you forever. That's what has struck me the most -- that I'm changed and I'll never be exactly the same person I was again.

    I do see and talk to my dad in very vivid dreams, and that's a comfort. I talk to him a little in my head.

    About my own death, I just this year realized I have fewer years to go than I have lived. It never bothered me to think I would die, but lately the idea that I won't get to see how things turn out does make me feel a little clingy and want to hang on. I think that's ultimately a bad idea, though. I like the idea of peacefully slipping away and I hope it will be that way for me.

  8. #18
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    What's weird about that is that I used to force myself to imagine what it would be like if he were gone because I knew it was coming. I thought if I imagined it enough, I would be desensitized to it a little.
    It seems to both help and hurt to know something is coming.

  9. #19
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    "Avoid that type of thing"? What, like being an immortal?

    I'm not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens.
    You missed some of my post in your quote. Correct quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaur View Post
    I think the closest I've ever been was when my 4 month old had very serious surgery and I was a basket case. I could even start to cry if I saw the name of the surgeon for months afterwards.

    I would like to avoid that type of thing but I'm not sure if there is a way to do it. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

  10. #20
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I don't think you can grieve if you aren't aware of the loss, so it helps to prepare... but part of the preparation is embracing the hurt early.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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