cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Highlighted

Re: Slow-mo GR: Coping with Loss, 1-7th June

What do you define as a loss? What does loss mean to you?
I think everyone's answers have been really great so far! I think that loss doesn't necessarily have to mean losing a loved one, but it can also mean having to deal with a change of some sort. For example, a loss could be being sick or having a family member become sick or disabled. I personally perceived my sister's ill health as a big loss in our family. Life as we knew it was changed. When you become a carer, there is often no instruction manual or any information at first. Some hospitals just expected us to stop everything else going on in our lives to care for my sister 24/7 without having any kind of plan or support. In some ways, I wish she had another health problem that would be easier to treat and manage.
I wrote a note on my phone the other day about what it is like to be an unpaid carer without any external support:

There is a loss of freedom to do what you want. Whole days and plans revolve around the person you care for. Imagine trying to get on with your daily activities - having a shower, having a meal, going to the bathroom, sleeping early, going to work, but having a sign on the door saying that you can't do that thing at the time you want to do it because your family member's needs come before your own. It is also like having a broken alarm clock that wakes you up at random times, no matter what time you've set it. These disruptions become more frequent if you are caring for multiple people at once and/or if you have health problems that interfere with daily tasks.
Here is an article about how disability can affect a family that I found helpful in the early stages of my sister's illness. Our situation has affected us a lot and everyone has responded differently. It has affected my relationships with other family members. My maternal grandma cries whenever we talk to her and doesn't visit us very often because she can't bear to see my sister like that. My dad also copes by being out of the house (which unfortunately means I've often had to stay at home to care for my sister and don't really have much of a social life). My mum often says that she would not have had children if she knew that we would have health problems. We've also argued with each other about my sister's treatment.

How did you deal with/cope during a loss you've experienced?
I am still learning how to cope with loss myself. I have tried things like gratitude journaling, focusing on positives, distracting myself, self-care, keeping myself busy, venting, writing down how I feel, self-help techniques, volunteering and using my experience to help others. I also try to reach out to external supports. I know I get very bitter about my sister's hospital on here but I found them pretty useless in terms of offering any kind of support to me or things that would make life easier for me. A lot of the supports that we've found helpful have come from people/services we have found ourselves.
Here is another article that resonated with my experience and provides a few tips about ways we can cope when a loved one becomes disabled.

Highlighted

Re: Slow-mo GR: Coping with Loss, 1-7th June

@xXLexi_Lou122Xx  and @hellofriend ,those are such powerful posts, thank so much to both of you for sharing them. 

 

@xXLexi_Lou122Xx  what you say about losing a sense of yourself and your identity, and losing "the real me" is something that I think will resonate strongly with so many of us here. That's one of the things that I think can feel cruelest about having periods of depression, that it makes it hard to remember what we love, and what we love about ourselves. I love the hopefulness and faith at the end of your post, you absolutely WILL get there in the end. 

 

@hellofriend I love what you say about different types of loss, and how we can cope with them differently. I love what you've said about gradually finding a way to continue with your life, but possibly as a slightly different person. That's such a beautiful way to describe it, each loss we have, whether it's a person, relationship, or aspect of ourselves, will shape us in some way, but if we can move forwards as a slightly different person that's a pretty wonderful thing. On the other hand, I totally agree with you when you say that there isn't always a lesson. Sometimes, things are awful, and painful, and we just have to sit with those feelings Heart 

__________

Check out our community activities calendar for June 2020 here
Highlighted

Re: Slow-mo GR: Coping with Loss, 1-7th June

This is a very interesting thread, and also a really powerful one, especially in the state of the world at the moment.

 

What do you define as a loss? What does loss mean to you?

One of the dictionary definitions of loss is the "state of being deprived or being without something that one has had". This quite resonated with me - being without something we once had. As many people have already explained, loss isn't limited to someone we care about dying. It can be a loss of freedom, of ideals, a non-death loss of a friend, a loss of a sense of self, a loss of a home. To me, loss is missing something you no longer have. It can be felt in a myriad of ways - frustration, anger, sadness, numbness, pain. But it also represents love - if we're grieving a loss it means we have been able to care very deeply about something or someone. And that is a beautiful thing.

 

How do you cope with loss?

It's not easy, and it's natural for humans to fear loss and to fear the unknown path that spreads from a loss. I take solace in comfort and understanding from friends and family. Allowing myself to cry, to lean on other people and allow myself to be supported. Just remembering you're not standing alone can often help.

Highlighted

Re: Slow-mo GR: Coping with Loss, 1-7th June

But it also represents love - if we're grieving a loss it means we have been able to care very deeply about something or someone

 

@JazzInMay i really love that! Heart 




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We had a live chat on Accessing Mental Health Support Online! Smiley Very Happy Check it out here! Heart
Highlighted

Re: Slow-mo GR: Coping with Loss, 1-7th June

Today's question/prompt!

 

Reflect on a time you supported a friend or family member through loss. What was helpful in that situation?

 

Sad Best Friends GIF by Lisa Vertudaches




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We had a live chat on Accessing Mental Health Support Online! Smiley Very Happy Check it out here! Heart
Highlighted

Re: Slow-mo GR: Coping with Loss, 1-7th June

@ecla34  such an important question!

My partner and their family recently lost a grandparent - which was incredibly difficult as it was still in a COVID stage. Thankfully, they were all able to say goodbye in person.

I found, honestly, just listening and being there for them helped. I am a 'fixer', I always want a solution but obviously there is no 'fix' here - it just hurts. I just tried to be a (distant, we were isolating away from each other) presence, reminding my partner they could contact me whenever they needed, talking through their emotions with them and generally reminding and reassuring that whatever they were feeling was and is valid and okay. I also chatted to my partner's sibling about this also, when they felt their grief wasn't being heard but was still being felt.

I honestly believe just BEING with someone who is suffering a loss is the greatest, most powerful thing. Sometimes people don't know what they want when they're grieving, and no, you're not expected to know either (besides, everyone is different), but as a friend, you just have to be there when they know what they need, and to quietly support.

Highlighted

Re: Slow-mo GR: Coping with Loss, 1-7th June

Happy Thursday everyone!

What are some good resources and things that we can do to help cope with loss?

giphy

Highlighted

Re: Slow-mo GR: Coping with Loss, 1-7th June

Hi all! Here's our last question:

Do you have any advice for someone dealing with loss?

giphy

Highlighted

Re: Slow-mo GR: Coping with Loss, 1-7th June

Great thread and I really liked reading everyone's answers Smiley Happy This morning, I was thinking about the loss of my dog a few years ago, but reading through everyone's posts has reminded me of the different types of losses that have occurred e.g. friendships drifting away, losing aspects of my identity...  it has been thought-provoking.

 

What are some good resources and things that we can do to help cope with loss?

  • Talking to a trusted friend 
  • Kids Helpline or Beyond Blue
  • Talking to a family member who will listen
  • Journalling
  • Good memories - maybe a song or photos

 

Do you have any advice for someone dealing with loss?

Take your time, I think it can get easier with time.

Highlighted

Re: Slow-mo GR: Coping with Loss, 1-7th June

awesome suggestions! @cupcakes_032  Heart




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We had a live chat on Accessing Mental Health Support Online! Smiley Very Happy Check it out here! Heart