Grieving or obsession

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by timer lady, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    It's been 2 weeks since my mother passed away. It's been a whirlwind of activity ever since. In the midst of all of this activity I have watched the video tribute we put together for the funeral at the very least 4 times/daily.

    My husband is becoming concerned at the number of times I view this. My therapist feels I need to back off. I find it a comfort.

    It feels more like mom is on vacation - it doesn't seem final. I've cried & laughed; have had many bittersweet memories since mom's death.

    I don't feel this is an obsession - however, husband & others are not comfortable with my need to watch this tribute.

    I've taken to watching when others aren't around. It's only been 2 weeks.

    There's no right or wrong way to grieve - I haven't shut down. I'm confused.
     
  2. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Linda, you're still "processing" what happened and coming to terms with your moms' death, making your peace with it. Grief is such a personal thing and everyone experiences it differently. I would think that if it gives you comfort and doesn't upset you, you should do it. If YOU don't feel like it's an "obsession" and as long as you don't end up watching it 24/7, what's the harm? Probably no different than looking through old photo albums, etc. It's only been a few weeks ... you should do whatever you need to do to grieve in your own way.

    I have a good friend at work who lost his father last summer. They had a beautiful video that they were showing at the funeral home that was made up of lots of their old family pictures with their dad. And they all seemed to take great comfort from it, smiling and telling old family stories that the pictures reminded them of and all of them saying how lucky they were to have had their dad as long as they did. They all got copies of the video to take home with them and they treasure them. It was lovely really.

    :smile: Sending lots of hugs.
     
  3. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Linda,

    I'm so sorry for your loss--mothers are always with us and their loss is devastating at any age.

    I think watching this video is fine as long as--as you point out--you haven't shut down or are watching the video in place of all usual activities.

    I can understand why you are doing this alone--you are being criticized. Have you considered journaling after each viewing to put words to what you find so comforting?

    {{HUGS}}

    Martie
     
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Linda, all I could think of as I read your post is "it's only 2 weeks!" I think it's absurd that anyone is getting "concerned" at this early stage. And to suggest that you should start to move on after only 2 weeks might be made with the best of intentions but it just seems somewhat cold to me.

    Now I will admit that I have problems with loss and I grieve for a very long time. The tweedles and their needs will force you to put one foot in front of the other. Protect and treasure this private time for you to mourn your Mother. Her death is a huge loss.

    Hugs,
    Suz
     
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I think husband's and therapist concern is sincere, even if not well-placed. They are probably watching for signs of deep-end diving after the last year or so. Personally, I think it's healthy that you are confronting your grief often. I know I had to put a lot of my grief over my Dad's death on hold because of Duckie's issues. He died in late May, her hands swelled up the first time in early June, then she had allergy medication trials and more reactions until her big reaction in the fall. Then we started her diet and shots. Then Christmas flew by. I never truly had time to grieve. But I tell you, it hit me hard this year.
    {{{Hugs}}}
     
  6. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    oh, for goodness sake. My dad has been dead for 21 years, and every once in a while something will "hit" me and I'll tear up!
    At NF's wedding, an out of town friend who hadn't seen the kids in person for 2 years walked into the church and said "Oh goodness, NL (my other son) looks just like your dad!" I guess I hadn'd really seen it before, although I make jokes about him acting like my dad.

    I certainly don't think you have anything to worry about just 2 weeks from your mom's death. If you were doing nothing BUT greaving, ok, that may be a problem. But with all the other things going on in your life? You may not honestly have a chance to really "feel" for months!
     
  7. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    Linda, in my humble opinion, you are right in that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. My dad passed away 2-1/2 years ago, and I look at his picture on my desk every day. I know it makes me miss him more. I know it makes me feel like he is still going to walk through my door any day to visit. But I need to do it.

    Whatever you need to do to get through your grief if what YOU need to do. in my humble opinion.

    Hugs,
    Sue
     
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Thank you ladies. It isn't interfering with everyday life.

    Donna, this is exactly what you described. My dad, brother & I went through pictures & my mother's favorite music. The funeral home put this tribute together & showed it during the viewing.

    Suz, it has only been 2 weeks. I think our culture, as a whole, tends to have trouble with loss & grieving. Or any sad or out of ordinary life events.

    Martie, I like the idea of journaling - I've been doing that on a daily basis. It's a good idea to write down thoughts & feelings that hit me after I watch this.

    TM, I'm sure that everyone is watching for signs of deep depression - it has been a tough year. The tweedles, husband in rehab, mom's illness & death plus everything in between.

    I've been living life on the edge & at times looked down. There are times I like looking down at the crevasse, others when it terrifies me. I'm working on this in therapy.

    And having said that - while I was away at my retreat with husband the week before my mother died, the priest gave me a prayer to say as much as I needed to (but at least once daily). God, hang onto me. It seems to work & give me peace - as does watching my mother's tribute.

    I expect that I will back off on watching this a bit at a time. My mother raised me to be a strong, competent woman & I am. I will continue to keep moving - if nothing else, in her honor.

    Thank you all - it's been a relief to "talk" to others with-o the judgements. Without the discomfort.
     
  9. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Grief is like pain. We cannot know how that feels to the other person. Each of us needs to cope with our pain, or our grief, with whatever tools we have to do that. In other cultures, mourners are encouraged to wear black, or to cover the mirrors. They wear armbands, so that others will know they are grieving and thus, vulnerable. In our culture, we seem to want to shorten and sanitize the grieving process. No one knows how to "fix" it, and so they are uncomfortable with it. What I would say about this is that you are grieving much more than your mother's passing. You are grieving and so, actively processing, all that has been lost in the years just passed.

    I think that needs to be honored.

    If your husband is concerned, perhaps you should, in addition to watching the video as often as you like ~ all night, if that speaks to something within you ~ see a therapist. Not to rush you through the grieving process, but so that you can grieve completely, and well.

    There will come a time when you are ready to put your grief away.

    You may look back on the time of your grieving and regret the present moments lost to the grieving.

    And that is when you will begin to heal, and to go on.

    I am so sorry for your pain, Linda.

    Honor your grief. Listen to what those you love tell you, but know that your grieving process will take as long as it takes. You posted earlier about a piano recital. You seem to be looking forward to that. You have not posted that you had lost interest in either your music or the recital. Because that is true, it seems to me that, while your family may be concerned, you are grieving appropriately and well.

    Have you thought about attending a grief support group?

    You will learn there, I think, whether what you feel you need to do as you grieve your losses is appropriate.

    You have been through so much, Linda.

    Your husband must love you very much.

    When I was overwhelmed by grief, I would promise myself a time alone to grieve. It got me through the days, through the things that I needed to do. More than once, those who love me suggested therapy or medications. What I needed was time to assimilate the loss, time to understand who I was, now that these things had happened and everything was changed.

    It took a long time, but I did recover.

    Barbara
     
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Linda,

    It's aggrivating when I think I'm doing something to help myself feel better in a situation that I have no control over and everyone else around me is talking hushed with their hands over their mouths, hanging up the phone, abrubtly stop talking when I come in the room or just flat out tell me what THEY think I should be doing.

    DANG-it, when I hurt I want to fix me my way, and just leave me alone, I'll figure it out eventually, but in the mean time please don't make me out to be some kind of freakish nut with obsessive concerns. How can ANYONE ANYWHERE crawl inside my head, my heart, my memories and tell me what I should be doing as opposed to what I DO Do to make myself comforted?

    I am sure you have read, seen or heard that there are seven stages to grief. And each one of us processes those steps at a different pace. Some of us, however can get stuck on a certain step for a longer period of time than seems "usual". Maybe this is what has your family worried. At this time they are looking for things to be out of sinc with you, signs of depression that may go to another level. So things to them that seem unusual, are only going to be red flags.

    I sat here and thought, if that were MY Mom and a tribute tape had been made. How many times a day did I think I would watch it after two weeks. Honestly Linda, I am kinda hoping on one hand that I go before her, because I don't think I will handle her passing at all. On the other hand if I were to go first, that would be so much for her that I couldn't bear it for her. So after 2 weeks do I think watching that video is odd? Not really. But ask yourself this - When, or how long from now will it seem unusal to YOU to be sitting and watching that same video 4 times a day? In a month, two, three? How about in a years time and you're still sneaking around to watch that tape? Will that seem unusal to you?

    Whatever time line you come up with in your head, I would say get a piece of paper and write a note to yourself with a tentative goal date that says when you feel you can start to allow yourself one less viewing a day and do your best to stick with it.

    IN THE MEAN TIME....perhaps the best medicine of all would be a new project. How about for every time you don't honor your Mother's memory by watching the video you work on a page in a scrap book or a family tree book? Or a garden dedicated to her, or a memorial fund in her name or a park bench in a zoo, or something that you can keep busy with that still makes you feel close to her, and honors her memory, with an end goal in mind.

    When my Pop passed away, oh...wow. WHat a hard time I had/have with it still. SEven years in Feb. Makes me cry almost now to type about it. And sure, I went through such depression with it. My sister - 3 years!! And she's still not "usual" but we finally said to her...LOOK..you HAVE to pull yourself out of this. And she started grief counseling. She's still going. Me? I got busy on my parent's house and helped my Mom get things that Dad wasn't able to do when he was here, but I KNEW he would have wanted her to have. It's a work in progress, keeps my mind busy, and in a way is an ongoing memorial to him. I also did a panorama type picture box, and everyone that has come to visit was shocked. In it were things that didn't mean anything to anyone but me and him. My Mom saw it and sorta joked in saying "Wonder what she's going to put in mine when I'm gone?"

    I'm sorry you're hurting. I think maybe grief counseling (check the hospitals locally) would be a good place to go, and heck you may just be someone ELSES source of strength.

    Hugs and Love
    STar
     
  11. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Linda, since I've been in your shoes more than I like, I have to tell you one thing. Everyone, and I mean everyone grieves in their own way. husband and I didn't even begin to grieve in the same way when our son was killed. My mom died four years ago and I grieved totally different for her, too. Whatever gives you comfort right now, is exactly what you should do. Take your time....and I think two weeks is a very small amount of time to grieve. I'm sorry you have to grieve at all....
     
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Linda

    My grandmother raised me. We were extremely close. I lost her when I was 16 to cancer.

    Everyone grieves in their own way. There is no set time to *get over it*. Actually I had thought I'd delt with my grandmother's death well. Then 6 months later it crept up and bit me in the rear. I found myself sitting in class a basket case. Honestly, I think that was when I really began to accept that I wouldn't see her again.

    Time does help. But there will always be those moments when she'll pop into your mind. At first it usually made me sad. But as the years passed the memories now make me smile.

    Give yourself time.

    (((((hugs))))))
     
  13. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    I find it incredible that people are telling you what is healthy and what is not after two weeks. As others have said, where is it written down how we have to grieve? Sometimes I htink tdocs go too far.

    A book you might enjoy is Joan Didion's recent book on how she coped after her husband's death. I forget the title, but it came out about a year ago. Oh, Year of Magical Thinking. The magical thinking is somehow if she did/didn't do certain things, subconsciously her husband might come back. My book club read it and liked it.

    Grieve any way you d*** like. Its your mother for crying out loud. If you are functioning at all, after everything, they should be applauding. Just my .02 cents.

    hugs.
     
  14. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Thank you all - I greatly appreciate the support. I'm functioning in great part due to the encouragement of all of my "cohorts in crime" here on the board.

    Couldn't have a better or more understanding group of friends. :bravo:
     
  15. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I am just wondering how the topic of your watching the video came up- how it was worded etc. Is it possible maybe you yourself seemed to wonder if it was ok or not and the therapist turned it around and made it a question for you to ask yourself? and answer yourself?
    Or-- another way it might really be is......maybe they were playing devils advocate?

    Remember- our feelings are our own and we own them and feelings are OK------noone else can ever tell us how we "should" feel. If you feel comfort watching the video- then watch it. Noone should deny another person the right to self comfort, especially if what you are doing for self comfort is not hurting anyone else.
     
  16. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    "Cohorts in crime."

    I like that!

    Makes me feel dangerous. :laugh:

    Barbara
     
  17. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    Linda,
    I am so sorry about your mom. I haven't been around on the board much, we were busy with the store during x-mas, then hubby and I went on a cruise. So I am just getting back to reality.

    It will be 9 months tomorrow that Alex died. I know that I was in shock for most of this time. The shock has been wearing off the last couple of months. I have days that I am very sad and some days that are OK. It's only been recently that I thought I should go to a grief counselor. I have a video of Alex that is on the internet. I do watch it sometimes. I do go to his myspace account almost every day. It's a strange thing this grief thing.

    I went to a group for parents who have lost children, The Compassionte Friends. Somebody said that when she died and saw her son again, if her son asked her what she has been doing all this time, she didn't want to say grieving for you.

    I do function on a daily basis. My bad days are just as bad as the day he died. They don't happen as much. Lately though I have had too many bad days. I have learned to enjoy the good days and consider them a blessing.

    I will be thinking of you and your family.

    Take Care.

    Lia
     
  18. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Linda,

    My Dad went to the cemetary to visit Mom every single day for 2 years. No one even suggested to him that he stop, we knew he would do it in his own time and he did. During that time if I was visiting him when I got ready to leave he would say OK I'll go too now to visit Mom. The cemetary was on my way home so I would follow him and visit Mom too. When it was time to leave he told me to go ahead and he would leave shortly. I'll never forget watching him standing there as I pulled away, I cried every time.

    We made a lot of memories those years. He fed the geese(until the groundskeepers asked him not to) and he watched one for months that had plastic string wrapped around it's leg so tight it couldn't fly. One day he asked me to help him catch the geese and free it from the string. We did and and I have a picture of him holding this geese and me using my nail clippers to cut the string.

    I don't know why I remember this story now. But my point is that two weeks is a very short time and if watching the video you made for your Mom helps you in this grieving process then it is OK. I believe at some point you will watch the viseo less and less, not because you are forgetting but because you will not have that need to remind you of your Mom and the love you all had.

    Nancy
     
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