/ Grief - What Did You Learn From It?

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omerta on 12 Jan 2013
Following on from this thread - http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=534231&new=7171103#x7171103 - which ties into what I was thinking of posting about yesterday, I was wondering what people had learned from grief. Did it help you to see things in a different light? Were there positives you gained from going through it?

Just to give a bit of background, I'm 33 and lost my dad almost 4 months ago. It's made me more ruthless, more selfish, more disinclined to care about things which previously would've had me worried and upset, and that's translated into interactions with other people; I'm more intolerant of problems which people can change but yet get terribly bound up in; when confronted with a death, you understand the nature of not being able to go back, to apologise, to say something else, to behave and to interact differently; that chance is gone forever. So, I'm possibly a little less sympathetic on one hand, but immensely compassionate towards people who are grieving. And I'm more appreciative of people who've shown their friendship to me, whether I knew them well before or not, because on the other side, I had some 'really good' friends send a single text before disappearing. A real eye-opener, but mostly in a positive way

Cheers
In reply to omerta: When my dad died I definitely split people in those that had helped me and those that hadn't.

It's a very individual thing, I think.
omerta on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> (In reply to omerta) When my dad died I definitely split people in those that had helped me and those that hadn't.

Yeah, I've done that. My mum's done it, too. My sister takes more of an overview which I admire but with me there is definitely a cognitive filing system going on...

bouldery bits - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to omerta:

I learnt that death is coming to us all. So get on With life and do the things that matter with the people that matter.
joel182 - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to omerta:
My dad died when I was 14, and I guess it was quite important for me maturing. I think I started to take a longer view of things - not worrying so much about my relatively trivial problems at school, that sort of thing.
I'm not sure if it changed the way I interact with people or not. I don't think it did, but maybe I'm wrong.
balmybaldwin - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to omerta:

Interesting topic. I lost my dad about 6years ago, and it certainly changed a lot. An example of this is it triggered by brothers divorce (his ex didnt bother seeing my dad when we knew he was dieing). for me it really polarised my views of frienships too. Some people that I hadnt really thought of as friends really stepped up despite me showing little external signs of grief, others just didnt want to look me in the eye, and we have parted company... I have definitly changed my outlook as well, I dont waste time with people I see as materialistic or shallow like I used to, I now find it hard to take a chance on relationships without being sure they are what im looking for (which often means leaving it too late). this is a bit of a revelation to me as was of the opinion for a while that it hadnt really effected me at the time.

I also get more emotional than I used to, especially when I see others going through similar pain.
abzmed on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> (In reply to omerta)

> I also get more emotional than I used to,

Yes, I can relate the that, Dad died 10 years back, 2 weeks before his 1st Grandchild (my Daughter) arrived safely. Turned me from a hard cold hearted type toa big softie.
LaMentalist on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to omerta:

Deeply sorry for you loss Omerta . < bearhug >

I've lost a lot of close friends over the years , my brother & more recently my (ex)father in law who I loved ,still saw a lot of Les after leaving his daughter many years ago ( she was cheating ) . We were close , he was one of the good ones .

As for learning from grief I learned alot about myself when my bro died ( people used to think we were a twin we were that close ) , I kind of coped intitially by not dealing with it honestly , I was angry with a lot of people & TPTB for covering a lot of facts up , omitting crucial factors on the coroners report & more .

After getting over the shock of losing him (days after) It was christmas , I realised I hadn't shed a tear probably due to some macho BS, I lost nearly 2 stone in 2 weeks ( he was in intensive care for this 2 weeks before they pulled the plug ) , I'm 6'1 & was 12.4 stone before losing the weight , I was in a bad place all I really wanted was a hug .

The first hug came from someone totally unexpected she just walked upto me and squeezed me hard ( I'll never forget that ) she didn't have to say anything . Then a person who I'd always considered quite cold & callous text me & said come over to mine for the evening get out of that bloody recording studio . So I did ,it did me good we talked but also spent hours in silence , I was close friends with her fiance who I saw killed when he was 26 , that hit me hard at the time I was 25 , I mention this for context .

I wanted to cry for a long time but I could not physically do it for some reason ,attempted to trigger it by playing my bros fave music but it just wouldn't happen . I needed to let it out of my system . I lost another another close friend in the meantime in shitty circumstances , I was given time off work & told that if I didn't attend professional counselling I could risk losing my pension so I begrudgingly went a long to 3 of the 6 initial sessions . Didn't bother with the rest it wasn't helping all I could see was a 27 year old girl fresh out of Uni asking me questions & ticking boxes , I found it insulting at the time .

Eventually around 2 years after the death of my brother I cracked & cried for close to 3 days , it was as if my heart turned from stone to a living breathing thing . I put a lot of it down to getting severe beatings from my parents as a kid ( broken ribs , fractured skull etc , etc ) . I was angry at the world for far too long . But then one day I realised the hatred & pain was too much & it was going to put me in an early grave .

It took a while but now I fully appreciate life & all it has to offer , I also try to live for now & do all the things that my bruv & friends would love to be doing right now . Still have off days especially at chrimbo but they get easier .

Talk if you want to talk , cry if you feel like crying but most important for me is to remember to smile atleast once a day ! It can be contagious & even addictive sometimes .

Life is a precious thing that I've learnt to appreciate more with age . We all cope in different ways , try not to do it all by yourself & never forget to respect , love & look after yourself . We are fragile things no matter how hard we think we are or can be .

To this day I still get friends of my bruvs ask me Tristan how are ya doing ? I explain & give them a hug if it seems appropriate .

Leon



Ava Adore - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to omerta:

On the negative side, it made me realise that everyone leaves. This translates into my friendships and I will sometimes "reject" friends who look like they're going to be "leaving" me. Maybe that's sharing too much....

On the plus side, I am pretty much completely self-sufficient and self-reliant. I also feel more comfortable dealing with grief in others - it's a subject I wouldn't avoid with friends and that talking about it quite matter-of-factly can sometimes help and that endless platitudes don't. And that hugs help enormously. (Sweeping generalisations here - different people react in different ways of course)
Timmd on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to omerta:After the death of my late uncle, and my sis in law's father which affected me much less, I think i've learnt the importance of saying things which feel like they need to be said, of expressing love for people, and of helping/being there for friends/people, of going out of one's way to help rather than 'token help' (sometimes my help isn't always appreciated, if it's trying to nudge them into quitting smoking, but life is too precious not to try).

Has taught me that I need to look out for myself too, that life is too fleeting to worry what people think and that I need to get on with what makes me happy.

I think so, anyway...
redsonja - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to omerta: my dad died 6 years ago and i dont think it really changed me. but my mum died a year ago and my sister and step father have fallen out over her will. totally hate each other and will never speak to each other again. i was stuck in the middle trying to get on with them both. but i have realised that neither of them actually care about me, or the fact that mum died- just about how much money they can get. so it has been a bit of a shock to me. also very sad because i feel very much alone sometimes and we should be sharing the grief together. and some people have just said "sorry" then never heard from them again.
redsonja - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to omerta: i should add that when my dad died, i was working in a hotel and one of my colleagues was a polish guy, who i didnt especially get on well with. after dad died this guy started being nice to me and we got on well and i really enjoyed working with him. about 3 weeks after dad died. he asked how i was and he said he hadnt known what to say to me so just tried to be really nice to me instead. i thought this was one of the loveliest things and it really meant a lot. by comparison, after my mum died one of my friends said to me "thats tough", then has spent the last year moaning about how much he hates his job and how bad his life is since his girlfriend left!
Indy - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to omerta: it teaches you that life goes on.
Jim Nevill - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to heidi123:
yeah, people are strange. I think, from experience, that a lot of us can't deal with others grief.
DancingOnRock - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to omerta: That we're all different. There's no right or wrong way to behave, live your life, or feel, just a different way.

Before your dad died you felt one way now you feel a different way. It's why we call them life changing events. Birth of a child, death of a parent, etc, all affect us and the people around us differently.

I don't judge people anymore.
Dauphin - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to omerta:

Made me realize how close I was to the person who died (family) not in the sense that we had a wonderful relationship but as that so much of her was in me. The experience of finality allowed me to forgive people much more easily, including myself.

D
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paul mitchell - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to omerta: A friend of mine said '' You think you're tough,but you're not. '' Best admit it and work with it.
Blubbing can be very good up to a point.

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