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Bereaved family and friends

For anyone who has lost a family member or friend to cancer to share their feelings and support one another.

Grieving is hard

Cupoftea
Posted by

I have reposted my original post since after being directed to this group. This is part of my story.

I am going to take the time to sit and read other people's stories/posts.

I used to be sociable, positive and proactive but now seem to be co.pletely the opposite. I have lost all motivation and have not felt so down for such a long period of time. I know the reason for feeling this way but it doesn't make it any easier.

My sister passed away last September from cancer. This was sooner than expected as she witheld information about how serious her condition was. Some people may say how could we have been so stupid not to have known but even with a thought process in the back of our minds we listened to her and the doctors who gave us hope. My sister would not allow the doctors to talk to her if she did not want to listen to what they had to say and did not share all of the information with family.

Again in hindsight all of the flags were there And although those flags had been discussed on numerous occasions between family it still does not prepare you for the actual event of her passing. 

My younger sister suffers from mental health issues and has done for the last 20 years so is not coping well with the loss. My parents are also struggling.

I took on my nephew to make sure he was looked after and still live in the area so his life remains as routine as posible.

So I guess what I am saying is I am finding it hard to deal with everyone's emotions as well as my own. I have looked into support locally but as we are both considered functioning and not in crisis there is no help for us at this point in time. 

I would be grateful for recommendations of how to help myself, my nephew and the rest of my family. I know there are support groups but have not found one that fits in with our routine. It would also be good to hear from people who truly understand as friends and work colleagues don't. They offer sympathy and to listen but I don't like being constantly asked how I am or did I have a good weekend. 

Thank you if you take the time to read this. I have not written everything I could have in fear of running out of characters!! Plus I am not writing a novel! 

SunflowerCollie
Posted by

Hi,

I lost my mum in feb and it was a shock in the same way as you describe. I had no real idea that she was so far along (which makes me sound like an awful daughter as looking back the signs were there). It so hard when it’s a shock... I mean it cancer how can it be a shock - but it is sometimes!

You mention dealing with everyone else’s emotions- do you have people to talk about yours too? 

Cupoftea
Posted by

Thank you for your message and so sorry for your loss.

I do have friends to talk to and although they try to be there for me they dont really have the understanding as theh have never been in a similar situation. 

I joined this group to find others to chat to and also just to read other people's stories who truly understand the grief and also to find people whom have been through similar situations who can share what helped them manage. 

You are not an awful daughter at all and I truly hope you don't think you are. My sister withheld information and it was only at the very end that the doctors shared the true extent with family members. 

In hindsight everything is always clear but nothing is clear at the time. No matter how many times you run through things in your head there is always hope and justification. 

So how are.you doing? Do you have people to talk with? If you would like to share more I am here to listen. 

SunflowerCollie
Posted by

Thank you. It’s been a difficult start to 2020 for most of us!

i know what you mean about people being sweet but not really understanding. I have a lovely husband who is very much there for me but I do worry about him kinda getting bored of listening to the same things over and over again. I’m not a big cryer (really at all to be honest) but I think I just get a bit distant and then it takes a load of effort to be more normal. 

I don’t think I really think that... but in the night when I’m not sleeping (haven’t slept properly in a few months and get a lot of bad dreams - sounds a bit lame but it’s not very nice) it feels a bit more like I should have known. I have a background in cancer research- I’m no medical doctor but I do know quite a lot about it so I really should have been able to read the signs. Can’t change the past! Do feel I let my dad down a bit though. 

Day to day I’m pretty okay - the sleeping thing is a bit of a problem but I imagine it will solve itself over time! How are you doing? How are you coping with the virus? Such a weird time in the country!

Take care, x

Cupoftea
Posted by

This time is a bit bitter sweet for me. I cut myself off from everyone and everything at the beginning (other than my family) as I just wanted time for me to deal with the necessities, be there for my nephew and family, process my own thoughts and feelings and I also didn't want to talk about what had happened at all. In hindsight I think I was trying to gain back some control and find a new normal before going back to my old life. 

People do not seem to understand that these things actually do change you and you are not the same person you were before. I also learnt a lot about my friends, which ones who truly wanted to be there for support and others who were missing me in their lives and were more selfish in their attempts at support. 

I am finding times hard now as the choice has been taken away from me so when I have the need to go and seek comfort and human interaction I can't just go and get it.

I think another reason for self distancing in the beginning was because I am the strong one and am always ok and I wasn't strong or ok and didn't really know who I was anymore. I also have many walls built and only show the different sides of me to different people dependent on how safe I feel with them. I am learning that it is ok not to be ok, it's also ok to let people in and it's ok to let others look after me. 

This makes me sound like an absolute control freak and psychologically completely messed up I know!! (Somewhat true!!!)

My sleeping is hit and miss. Some nights I barely sleep at all, others have vivid nightmares, other nights I sleep so heavy I end up feeling rough for a few days after. 

Its not easy or simple when emotions are involved and hindsight is wonderful and our human nature makes us question ourselves. I think this is how we understand and learn. We have to be kind to ourselves and forgive ourselves because we did our best at the time in the circumstances. 

It's been nearly 7 months now since my sister passed and some days it still doesn't seem real. 

Be kind to yourself.