Posts tagged “Loss of partner”

Why the people you expect to support you after loss can disappear 
 
If you’ve been unfortunate enough to go through a significant loss, you may have found that the loss continued in the form of friends who didn’t show up. 
 
This is something that we hear from grievers on a regular basis. While we’re not here to make excuses for them, we can give you some plausible explanations. 
 
The Kiss of Death on a Friendship
“If only I could tell them I love them one more time.” 
“If only I could touch them again.” 
“If only we could have one more day together.” 
 
Wishes like these are incredibly common for grievers and are not only heard after a death, but also after a breakup, divorce, or a loved one moving far away. They may seem like factual statements, but they’re actually emotional statements that reflect the pain of longing. Two partners in a long-distance relationship, for example, may experience longing even though they can routinely talk on the phone. A mother may yearn for her child after she leaves for university. We may even have dreams where we reach out for our loved one and are never quite able to grasp them. 
Yearning for partner
How many times have you heard one of the following? 
 
“It’s really time you should move on, get on with your life.” 
“You should really go out and meet people.” 
“Don’t worry, there are plenty of other fish in the sea.” 
“What’s in the past is in the past. Stop dwelling on it.” 
 
Even though this is well-intentioned advice, it’s rarely very helpful – if we could move on, most of us would have done it long ago! 
How to get over your ex
Father’s Day can be a very triggering time for many of us especially if: 
 
your father has died, even if it was a long time ago 
the father of your children has died 
you didn’t get the chance to get to know your father and they were absent from your life 
you’re a father and your child has died 
you’re male and a child you conceived was never born, or was stillborn, or was born but lived for a short time 
you’ve experienced infertility and there’s never been a pregnancy, as we establish relationships to the child we want and have hopes and dreams about 
Father's Day is complicated
As Fathers’ Day approaches, it is quite common practice, especially in early education, to make Fathers’ Day cards and even gifts. Sadly, not all children have a dad around. Their dad may have died, and it could be their first Fathers’ Day without their dad. Their parents may have divorced, and their dad might have moved away and lost touch. They may be in foster care and not have built up enough of a relationship with their foster father to feel comfortable with giving a card. 
Father's Day without a dad
When someone you love, or are close to dies, it’s hard enough, but suddenly things have changed. Our hearts go out to the families and friends who are now not able to share last moments with their loved ones who have been hospitalised with COVID-19, who can’t see family for a hug, and instead have to self-isolate after a loss. 
 
The order of things has been turned upside-down. People can’t say goodbye in the way they would expect. There may be a ‘guilt’ element that your loved one has died alone, even though it’s out of your control. Lives and indeed relationships have suddenly been cut short. And then the funeral. Many friends and relatives have had the ritual of saying goodbye taken away from them; something that is part of the normal grieving process. 
When You Can't Say Goodbye

Dealing with unresolved grief 

When we usually talk about unresolved grief, it’s to do with things that have been left unsaid. However, this presents to us a new variant of unresolved grief; the inability to say goodbye, which may then limit grievers from becoming complete with their loss in the future. 
 
How can you get around this? As with many aspects of our lives, we’re having to recreate and reinvent what we already have. Using FaceTime, Zoom, House Party, WhatsApp and the good old-fashioned telephone all offer ways to connect you with your loved ones, so you’re not grieving in isolation. Keep talking and sharing with one another. Planning a memorial event can help those who are unable to attend a funeral have an opportunity to say goodbye. Lighting candles at a set time and sharing photos with one another also shows solidarity. You could even set up a Facebook group to share photos and memories that can later be used at a memorial service. 
 
If you’re struggling with a loss of someone from COVID-19, or you’ve lost a loved one during this time and can’t say goodbye, we have Grief Recovery Specialists you can speak to in real time via weblink. Click here for our online directory. 
I remember vividly within days of my husband Kevin dying being asked about his stuff. Honestly! You would imagine that there would be a whole host of other topics people would ask about before this, but no. Everyone wanted to know "have you done anything about the clothes yet?" 
 
If you are reading this and grieving yourself I bet you will have immediately noticed that these possessions which sat next to his skin have been de-personalised. THE clothes, not his clothes. "The Clothes", as if they are wild animals which left untamed & uncaptured will riot around the house (i.e. your life) out of control. 
What to do with the clothes when someone dies
Whether you always made a big deal of Father’s Day or it barely raised a mention in your household there is no doubt that this year it will feel like it’s everywhere and unrelenting. 
 
Continual reminders of the life you no longer have, rubbing salt into your wounded heart. 
 
Unfortunately, however much you want to put your head under the duvet and not come out until Tuesday you can’t. You have to continue to be both parents to your kids who also are being bombarded with images of kids playing or bonding with their Dad’s. So what can you do to get through this as best you can? 
Widows Guide to Surviving Fathers Day
Age is not a factor here, as in it doesn't matter how old you are. 
 
If your Dad has died Father’s Day sucks. Yes I know that is an American phrase but it’s one that I think says it all really succinctly without swearing. 
 
If you are a Dad whose child has died Father’s Day sucks. 
 
If you are a Dad whose child has run away or gone missing Father’s Day sucks. 
 
If you are a Mum whose husband has died Father’s Day sucks. 
Father's Day when you're grieving sucks
In 2006 my husband Kevin died aged 41 from the most curable form of cancer. When his life ended so did my world. When people said (trying to be helpful) 'he’s out of pain', I’d look at them in dumb shock. On a bad moment I’d reply “lucky him, mine has just got unbearable.” 
 
How I could still be alive and in so much pain? I wouldn’t let myself think of continuing to live with this pain and without him, I started to exist from moment to moment, these were the darkest days of my life. I remember sitting on the harbour wall in Malta at Christmas – I’d fled there to try to escape – leaning forward and contemplating letting go and falling in. 
The Grief Recovery Handbook Saved My Life
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