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Anxiety about anticipated grief [*potential trigger warning-death*]

Hi guys.

I've been wanting to make this post for a while because if anyone else relates I think it will be helpful to know you're not alone!

 

[Potential trigger warning *death*] 

 

Last year my dog of 9 years passed away. Her health declined drastically within a few months. It's still a bit hard for me to talk about but I have noticed that it's become easier and I have started the healing process. The reason I was traumatised was because I did not expect this to happen but also I witnessed her go through many seizures and she could barely breathe and move otherwise which was really scary. 

 

Ever since I've had anxiety about anticipated grief where I find myself worrying about death. Near that time last year this anxiety was quite bad and I would find myself thinking about it on a daily basis. It's gotten a little bit better now so I wanted to share some of my own tips if anyone else has felt this way. If anyone else has felt this way, how do you guys get through it? 

 

- My boyfriend told me something that really helps. He said 'Don't worry about the things you can't control'. 

- I distract myself with self-care activities like reading, watching anime/movies/TV. 

- Take a deep breath and remind myself that this anxiety is something that I'm holding onto that is not helping me grow but rather holding me back. Breathe and tell myself to not worry about this and focus on the positives

Re: Anxiety about anticipated grief [*potential trigger warning-death*]

Hey @missep, I think this is such a brave thing to be sharing and I also think it's awesome that you've come up with some self-care methods that you find helps you when you're feeling anxious. I don't have too much experience with this type of anxiety but I just thought I'd let you know that this post must have taken a lot of courage and I think it's amazing that you've shared your story Smiley Happy

Re: Anxiety about anticipated grief [*potential trigger warning-death*]

Thank you so much @basketofmonkeys, that means a lot Smiley Happy

Re: Anxiety about anticipated grief [*potential trigger warning-death*]

Hey @missep what a wonderful post, I feel honored to share this journey around your beautiful dog. That would have been really hard to see and to lose this companion so suddenly.

 

Anticipating grief sounds very normal given the circumstances. Everyone is different of course, for me I find the more I learn about death and grief; the more I feel okay with it. Not everyone has this approach. In terms of animal's, I think to myself how beautiful for a living thing to be so loved by me during its existence. Sometimes I still talk to my dog who is no longer with me, tell him I love him and I hoped he had a good life. Other people journal/write letters. 

Keen to see what other's have to say on anticipating grief. Heart

 

How are you feeling now?

Re: Anxiety about anticipated grief [*potential trigger warning-death*]

Hi @Bree-RO!
Thank you for such a supportive response!
In a way it's actually made me appreciate everything even more and love my family, friends and boyfriend more fiercely. I'm so appreciative for those in my life. I feel like I have healed from my experience and I'm able to talk about it (which in my mind is a good sign!). I can talk about my dog who passed without crying and I think back to positive things.
When I think about it, I think I was traumatised from the way she died. Sorry to go into detail but basically she was panting heavily, couldn't eat, couldn't drink but tried so hard to stand up and sit on our laps. There was one day before she passed where she was running around everywhere which was both beautiful and heartbreaking because we knew that she was trying so hard and for a moment it seemed like she wasn't sick. It just still breaks me heart before 'the day' when my brother took my dog out to go to the bathroom but she just lay on the grass because she couldn't get up. That's when we knew she had to go to the vet to be…you know. Event though I've come to terms with it I still don't like saying the word. I also feel so much sympathy for my dad and brother who had to drive to the vet with my dog in their arms. Ah sorry that ended up being a much longer description than I wanted but it's quite therapeutic to work through hard emotions.

Re: Anxiety about anticipated grief [*potential trigger warning-death*]

Don't apologise for the long post @missep! While I haven't been through this type of grief and anxiety yet myself, I think it's great you've shared your story and brought up this topic with us Smiley Happy.
_________________________________________________________
Hope is just around the corner; you think it's not there when you first look straight ahead, but it actually is when you turn around

Re: Anxiety about anticipated grief [*potential trigger warning-death*]

Thank you @Esperanza67 Heart

Re: Anxiety about anticipated grief [*potential trigger warning-death*]

Hello @missep,

 

Try to savour the times you were happy with your dog and know that she is in a happier place now, free of suffering. Know that she would not want to see you sad and as long as you remember her, she is always by your side; in your heart and in your mind. I think for me, to get through grief is not to forget but to face it head on in order to let go. Write in a journal, and also, do the things and visit places that you used to with your dog and then override it with happier memories. Create new ones so that the places you two used to love won't bring you pain but rather smiles at the times you have had. 

 

Death is not something most people have control over, so rather than worrying about it, live your life well so that you will not regret it when it comes and that you will be prepared. Tell those that you love that you love them often, appreciate people and be good to people because you don't want to regret not telling them how you feel, or that the last time you talked to them was in a fight. Be happy @missep, life is not long enough to get bogged down with sadness. Grief and pain is meant to help you grow and enable you to feel more, love more and be more alive. As they say "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all". Despite the pain, people still wish to remember, and that is strength in itself. 

 

You will get through this. You are strong because you have wholeheartedly loved despite knowing that everything has an end. I am sure your dog was happy and grateful to you for being by her side and that the last moments were the best she could ever hope for, despite the suffering she went through. 

 

Remember the happy memories and replay it. Then...let her go. 

 

Winter Rain 

Re: Anxiety about anticipated grief [*potential trigger warning-death*]

This wasn't relevant to me until about 2 days ago. My grandfather's health is declining - he's already suffered a stroke and is only about 10% mobile on his own. My grandmother isn't in the best of shape either. 

I wasn't close to my grandparents unfortunately. They live in Fiji, in a small and very disconnected town so even a phone call is difficult some days. We're travelling there soon. The whole family. I'm actually freaking out. I'm worried for my mother. The last few months have taken the biggest toll on her. Bullying at her workplace, abuse at home, and now this.... fear... this uncertainty of when or where or how. Or if she will be there. I don't know how I'm suppose to help her if/when it happens. Her depression manifests in the most destructive-never-getting-out-of-bed kind of way. Which scares me too. 

 

The only solace is knowing that we have the chance to say goodbye. That whatever time is left, whatever time that we get with my grandfather, and my grandmother, it is still there for now. And I think this is the only reason my mother has her sanity about her right now. And me. 

 

Loss is inevitable I guess, but whatever we have leading up to it, it's so important that we make it the most precious and valuable. It makes it hurt a little bit less. 

Re: Anxiety about anticipated grief [*potential trigger warning-death*]

I'm sorry to hear about your grandpa @Mayaa99 Smiley Sad
I agree completely with what you said. Really learning to appreciate the here and now. Going through these things develops another level of self-awareness I think, the complexity of emotions adds to how we see the world and how we relate to others.
I really hope everything goes well for you, my thoughts are with you during this tough time Heart