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Topic: Unsure how to reach out

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Nechama.I
    Nechama.I avatar
    3 posts
    22 May 2022

    Hi everyone,

    I lost my brother 6 months ago. I feel that the first few weeks after he died, we were being showered with support,meals, gifts you name it. However, now that its 6 months later, everyone has moved on to their regular lives and don't understand that just because I am back at work/getting with 'everyday life', the pain and greif is still as strong. People ask me how I am, but I often take that as a general hello and not sure if they are ready to hear about my greif, so ill tell them about work or my day etc. I think people are genuinely scared of asking me as to not wanted to upset me or because it is taboo and different for everyone. I'm not necessarily upset at my friends for not checking in with me, but I do find it odd that it is so taboo. I do wish that someone would ask me specifically how I am doing greif-wise, and then I can know I'm okay to open up to them...

    Does anyone have any similar experiences? Did you bring it up to your friends? Were you also scared or talking about it as to not scare your friends or vice versa?

  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9781 posts
    22 May 2022 in reply to Nechama.I

    Hi, welcome

    Grief that is experienced by someone is difficult to support for some. It means to extend yourself into what can be a depressing and sad mood and that takes a commitment away from general happiness. That sounds selfish but most people live life to survive the best they can. Generally people are not grief counsellors so to lend an ear is one thing but to actually support another that is grieving isnt so easy for many people.

    This is why we have this forum and why group therapy, psychologists and even GP's exist, to comfort you in a professional manner, a process than ensures there in minimal incorrect guidance.

    I lost my brother to suicide in 1979, uncle the same in 2002. Lost my beautiful dad in 1992 by heart attack, he was only 64. In fact it is clear I'll never stop grieving for him. However, as a motivated positive person I see positive in everything. The positive of grief is that we remember the beautiful souls they were and how they would like us to get on with the life they no longer have.

    To assist you, try planting a rose bush in honour of him. Write a short story about him. Poetry etc. Like this-

    AN UNCLE FROM A FARM


    “I’ve got an uncle from a Tassy farm”
    That’s all he seemed to be
    Some raspberries and a strawberry patch
    Is all that mattered to me

    Years went by and it mattered not
    When he passed through our town
    On his way to visit his mates
    And remember those fallen down

    Strange how I saw him then
    A man so hard as ice
    Little did I know this uncle
    And the pain of his sacrifice

    In the midst of smoking gunfire
    Along the notorious Kokoda trail
    The fabulous third fighting infantry
    Put an end to fairytales

    So now I see more clearly
    And I’ve never meant you harm
    There’s been so mch I didn’t know
    About my uncle from a farm

    So all these years ol’ Jack
    I see your life in retrospect
    If I hat I’d hold it high
    As a token of my respect….

    I hope that helps.

    TonyWK

  3. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    3940 posts
    22 May 2022 in reply to Nechama.I

    Hello Nechama.I, & welcome to the forum.

    Six months doesn't sound at all that long to me. But maybe the sense of how long is an indicator of how close someone was to us? For you, feeling close to your brother, & ten years may not seem very long. Also, just because someone seems to be no longer grieving does not mean they still have deep feelings of loss & pain. There is no set time for grief & loss.

    It seems our society discourages openly showing & sharing some feelings. Some cultures do have traditional practices, but even these tend to be kept from the general public. It may be because we've got so big & diverse, & have left little time & space for traditions to be upheld. I don't know.- I'm not a sociologist.

    It is true, in general, death, grief & loss are not 'everyday' experiences as once they were. Generally most people are living longer, healthier lives, so dealing with the death of people near us is less common. I think that has a lot to do with it. We're just not as familiar with death & dying as part of life & living.

    So, how are you, grief-wise? Would you like to talk any about your relationship with your brother?

    Do you ever bring him up in casual conversation? Maybe something like, "My brother used to do that,..." or "My brother said ..." Or

    It also is important to remember your co-workers are not necessarily the same sort of friendships as you might have with a best &/or intimate friendship, so your co-workers may feel the death of your brother & your grief are 'too personal' for the workplace. If you are close friends with someone you work with, maybe it would be better to have such conversations when visiting each other's homes. Again, a casual mention may give you a better idea if they would be open to a deeper conversation about how you have been feeling.

    Warn regards,

    mmMekitty

  4. Nechama.I
    Nechama.I avatar
    3 posts
    22 May 2022 in reply to white knight
    Thank you for your response, and I'm sorry to hear about your losses. My older brother was only 29, would be 30 this year. I really like the idea of planting something in his honour, or writing a story too. Thanks!
    1 person found this helpful
  5. Nechama.I
    Nechama.I avatar
    3 posts
    22 May 2022 in reply to mmMekitty
    Thank you for your response! I especially liked the part about bringing him into conversations like "he used to do x" etc. When referring to my friends I did mean my closer inner friendship group, but I would like to bring my brother up more often and see how that goes too. Thanks so much!
    1 person found this helpful
  6. Sophia16
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Sophia16 avatar
    290 posts
    22 May 2022 in reply to Nechama.I

    Hi,

    Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums and thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like your brother was a fantastic person and that you loved and cared for him. Unfortunately, it can be annoying if your loved ones don't ask how you are griefwise. It is because they are scared to hurt your feelings, they are scared that asking you will bring up reminders and don't want to cause any pain.

    Maybe just let them know that you won't be offended if they ask how you feel about the situation.

    Stay safe and i am always here to chat.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Child@Heart
    Child@Heart avatar
    56 posts
    26 May 2022 in reply to Nechama.I

    Hi!

    First of all, I am sorry for your loss. I lost my grandparents growing up, my parents six years ago and most recently two aunts.

    Here's the thing. People get funny about certain issues in life, especially when it's emotionally tied. This is just my opinion but we are sort of made to feel like we are weak for feeling things and being affected by our emotions and allowing ourselves to be swept up in the moment. It's like when we are growing up and you're told you're getting too old to cry over "silly" things and the like. I think because of this, we learn to internalise a lot and feel like we can't be open or can't talk about our emotions or how things have affected us. This I believe, relates to others and how they interact with us when we have been through trauma or "taboo" situations (and I absolutely understand what you mean when you say it's taboo). They feel awkward and uncomfortable and therefore, don't know how to address the situation with us or even know how to begin to talk about it. That being said, there is a chance that others want to ask you and do care about how you're doing regardless of the time that has passed (I'm six years on from my parent's passing and still heavily grieving and my life is a bit of a mess.) but they just don't know how to bring it up in the right way. Perhaps they aren't sure if you are wanting to talk about it and don't want to upset you or make you feel uncomfortable.

    It's easy for us to feel alone when we go through things like this because there are a lot of people in our lives connected and unconnected that have yet to experience these kinds of things and so they are detached and unaware of what it really means to be grieving and in pain from losing a loved one. It's like if we were to watch the news and we can say "gosh what a tragedy" or "those poor people" and yet we can switch off the tv and go make dinner, you know?

    Hang in there because you're not alone and all of us here are in support of you and here for you during this difficult time.

  8. Banksy92
    Community Champion
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    Banksy92 avatar
    301 posts
    26 May 2022 in reply to Nechama.I

    Hi Nechama,

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Often in our society the 'reentering society' part of our grieving journey is one of the hardest. We feel distant from everything going on around us.

    I think many people avoid the question with good intentions at heart (even if you feel you would like to share) as they most likely don't want to bring it up if it might remind you and upset you. But I believe we should be more empathetic to those grieving and hold space for them to speak and share as much as possible. It's healing.

    Perhaps you could try to open up a little bit here and there with someone you trust?

  9. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16471 posts
    29 May 2022 in reply to Nechama.I

    Hello Nechama, unfortunately, those people who are not experienced in knowing how to handle situations like what you have to, are unlikely to keep asking you how you are handling this situation, as well as asking how you are,because they just believe that yesterday was such, and now moved forward to the next day.

    They don't understand the pain you are suffering from, unless it actually happens to themselves and then join you in asking the question,why aren't people wanting to know how I feel'.

    They believe in some way they are helping, but in fact, it's quite the opposite, I'm sorry.

    Can I ask how are you coping at the moment.

    Geoff.

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