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Remembering Those That Passed While In Prison This forum is for all those - family, friends, spouses, wives, husbands, significant others, brothers, sisters, parents, and children - who lost a loved one or friend while incarcerated.

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  #1  
Old 08-08-2017, 07:43 AM
xolady xolady is offline
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Default Moving past the Grief??

I am coming up on two years and generally I feel like I'm stuck in a grieving limbo. I want to move on just feel like I'm being disloyal and to be honest I haven't met anyone I'd even consider dating! My family and friends don't seem to understand. I even have looked up my crazy X just to see what was up with him, lol talk about not moving forward. I feel such anger and hate towards a lot of people for having what I lost. I don't blame everyone for moving forward I just wish I knew how. I have finally started going through old stuff, that I've been able to so far get rid of. My best memories are tainted by his being in prison. I just miss him so much! I know he didn't pass in prison he was only out two months so he might as well have died there. I thank god everyday we were able to get him home at least that gives me some peace of mind. At the time I thought he'd have a fighting chance so I fought as hard as I could. I just wonder how does anyone move on?
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:52 AM
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I dont have an answer for you xolady.
I know my cousin lost her husband about a yr ago.
He'd been very ill on and off. I felt horrible for them.
(he'd not been in prison either)
But I KNOW my cousin is still grieving. I worry about her. she'd pretty busy with work, and she also takes care of her mom who is elderly. But at least she has the icing on the cake with a almost 2 yr old granddaughter. (and grandpa got to meet her too.....)
Just last month my cousin and her daughter had a celebration of life for him. It was very nice. Large party with many family and friends.

So I think you keep busy. Try to remember the parts he was not incarcerated.
I'd imagine that it would get a bit less with time. Maybe not hurt so much.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:05 AM
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I have no advice, as I have not been in your shoes, but I wanted to extend to you a hug from a distance. Your post has touched my heart.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:43 AM
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I think talking about it will help a little and just not trying to push the grief away. It's usually like a boomerang...and will eventually come back and bite you in the azz
There is no solution or a manual on how to grief and how long. Just take your time and don't feel bad.
I've lost my Dad almost 3 years ago and sometimes the grief hits me like a ton of bricks, most days are now good. There are those different stages of grief but we are all no robots but human beings. Enjoy the good times, don't "argue away" the bad times. It's normal.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:24 AM
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I am coming up on two years and generally I feel like I'm stuck in a grieving limbo. I want to move on just feel like I'm being disloyal and to be honest I haven't met anyone I'd even consider dating! My family and friends don't seem to understand. I even have looked up my crazy X just to see what was up with him, lol talk about not moving forward. I feel such anger and hate towards a lot of people for having what I lost. I don't blame everyone for moving forward I just wish I knew how. I have finally started going through old stuff, that I've been able to so far get rid of. My best memories are tainted by his being in prison. I just miss him so much! I know he didn't pass in prison he was only out two months so he might as well have died there. I thank god everyday we were able to get him home at least that gives me some peace of mind. At the time I thought he'd have a fighting chance so I fought as hard as I could. I just wonder how does anyone move on?
Based on what I am reading, I am guessing that you are so hurt your LO couldn't stay on the right path when he was released from prison. Is that the case? Did he actually pass? I know people can grieve for a variety of reasons. I don't know your history obviously. I am so sorry your stuck in this place.

I am still grieving the loss of my father who passed 2 years ago. As someone else said, most days are okay now. Losing a father is different though. When my dad finally let go, it was both pain for us being left behind and a blessing as he fought diligently to recover from a bad stroke for over 4 years. His pain was real, mentally and physically. At least now I can feel okay about his comfort even though I miss him terribly.

When you love someone truly and deeply, no one can tell you how to move past your pain. I cannot imagine life without my husband! I am so sure I would mimic your grief! Try to find someone who will just listen and let you share. Talking about my father helps me. And don't try to rush anything! There is no manual for grieving because EVERYONE is different. Cry all you need! Hugs to you!
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:29 PM
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No advice except to say that everyone grieves differently and on their own timeline. It sounds like you're taking steps to heal and that's good.

I'm mainly posting to say how glad I am to see you here.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:54 AM
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Thanks everyone. For those who don't know my husband was in prison, got sick had emergency surgery to save his life or so we thought. At the time of his surgery they diagnosed him with colon cancer, we weren't told until it was really to late to do anything. He was never treated for the cancer he was basically murdered by prison health care. We were finally successful in getting him released on compassionate release, he passed away two months after. So I really don't belong in this forum, I wasn't sure where to post. It's been a rough two years to say the least. When he died I had just had surgery so my health was pretty bad as it usually was. And still is!! I am moving forward but for every step forward it seems two steps backwards. My mother in law has been a rock for me to cling to. I'm sorry to bring him up to her as she is still grieving also. I have wonderful memories of us and even some of our best are in the prison visiting yard. I actually miss all the crazy stupid annoying stuff we all go through just to visit someone in prison. I loved the weird intimacy we developed while surrounded by guards and a bunch of prisoners and their friends and families. Anyway I didn't like him being in prison but I dealt with it and I am dealing with my anger about it. I regret all the time we lost because he was there. I'm not really looking for answers because I don't think there are any. I know if I lived anywhere near the cemetery I'd be there everyday pouring my heart out to him, not that he's there but it would at least make me get out of the house. Thanks all I guess I just needed to vent a bit.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:28 AM
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Hey! .....I was going to say something... but I'm started crying instead. Know how much I care.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:01 AM
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I want to move on
One doesn't "move on" from grieving. One moves through it and accepts that that empty spot in the heart will always be there.

"Moving on" implies that you just sort of forget it happened and get on with your life as though you never went through it. That works great for things like when some jerk cuts you off in traffic. It works great for when someone says something mean to you and you don't like the person anyway. It works great in situations where you have no real emotional investment to begin with.

It doesn't work for sheets when it's someone you were highly emotionally bonded with - whether that's death or divorce, although it's more difficult with deaths because there's not even the possibility of staying in touch or asking questions or getting answers.

My grandmother, when she was at the end stage of her life, told me "At least I'll get to see Pa again [her father]." He had died some 50 years prior. I lost a cat 14 years ago, whom I still miss, sometimes enough to bring me to tears. I lost a dog 10 years ago, whom I still miss enough to bring me to tears. I lost my Dad 3 years ago - I still go through bouts of extreme shuddering grief.

I can accept that these "people" left a hole in my heart that no other being can possibly back-fill. And I can accept that I will continue to grieve for them for a very long time, though the periods between the crying jags becomes longer as time goes by. I lost my grandmother 23 years ago. I think I've finally moved through that. 23 YEARS. There's still a hole in my heart where she was. No one will or can ever replace her in my heart. But now I can look back and be grateful for the wisdom and love she gave me, without the sting of the loss. After 23 years.

I don't think it will be as short a time when it comes to my dad. It may be the rest of my life. I've accepted that. It doesn't mean I can't go on to make other strong bonds with other people in my life, but none of them will ever or can ever be my Dad.

Allow yourself the opportunity to heal, and healing takes both time and energy. It also means being honest with yourself and not trying to pretend that just because some magic amount of time has passed, that you *should* be "over it". There are no *shoulds* when it comes to grieving. Some spouses never stop grieving and never "move on". I seriously doubt I could lose my husband and then start dating again. Ever. I just couldn't do it.

Grieving is as personal as our personalities. Pushing it away and not allowing yourself to experience the loss in all it's painful glory only prolongs the process.

About 2 weeks ago, I was hit by another bout of grief one night, out of the blue. Crying until I couldn't breathe, fetal position, nauseous, the whole horrible thing, like he'd just died. I have no idea why it hit, what brought it to the fore of my mind, or any of the rest of that. But I let it happen, as that is part of the healing process.

You did post in the right place - he may not have died in prison, but he might as well have, as you said. And this is the place to find support from people like Jadah and myself who are also grieving the loss of our loved ones.

Give yourself permission to let the process unfold as it needs to. Trying to "skip ahead" of the process will only make it take longer and is not emotionally healthy - that's called denial. Far healthier to be in grief than to be in denial.

I'm sorry you're hurting so much. I'm sorry Jadah's hurting so much. I'm sorry I'm hurting so much. I wish none of us had ever had to go through this.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:25 AM
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I am coming up on two years and generally I feel like I'm stuck in a grieving limbo. I want to move on just feel like I'm being disloyal and to be honest I haven't met anyone I'd even consider dating! My family and friends don't seem to understand. I even have looked up my crazy X just to see what was up with him, lol talk about not moving forward. I feel such anger and hate towards a lot of people for having what I lost. I don't blame everyone for moving forward I just wish I knew how. I have finally started going through old stuff, that I've been able to so far get rid of. My best memories are tainted by his being in prison. I just miss him so much! I know he didn't pass in prison he was only out two months so he might as well have died there. I thank god everyday we were able to get him home at least that gives me some peace of mind. At the time I thought he'd have a fighting chance so I fought as hard as I could. I just wonder how does anyone move on?
If you grieve the rest of your life, so be it, as everyone grieves in their own way. Going through things is a start, be proud that.

I believe that working through the anger and hate you have for those people is going to move you into another phase, quicker than you think. Holding onto such strong emotions (hate/anger) only eat away at your soul.

Hugs to you and I hope you can find peace, even when you are struggling.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:27 PM
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I just wonder how does anyone move on?
One moves on one day at a time...sometimes just 15 minutes at a time. Grief does not have a time table. You will experience all the stages of grief on your own timetable. You will always miss your husband. You will just learn to accept that he is gone. When you reach the stage of acceptance, you will know, but in the meantime, allow yourself to feel what you feel. Don't ever let anyone tell you it's not all right to still grieve.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:37 AM
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I'll tell you that you get to define 'moving on'.

Is that dating? Just going out with friends? Fewer intrusive thoughts? A little less anger? Put some names to the concept and it might help you figure out what to do.

As far as I'm concerned, grief doesn't go away like a cold. Some days I'm still angry/sad/disturbed about my brother's death, about my father's, even about an old boss who died two years ago. And I'm facing more of the same, because I'm almost 70 and my friends - well, you know - they're mostly old, too, and they're going to start dropping like flies. And my patient - he's 90.

It's not something you get over. It's something you incorporate into your life and whether it's a grain of sand or a pearl isn't always up to us.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:52 AM
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It's something you incorporate into your life
Yes. This!

Wouldn't it be a shame if we didn't incorporate it into our lives? If we let the person's part of in our life be forgotten? I would take the pain of the grieving over the utter blankness of forgetting any day.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:50 AM
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I'll tell you that you get to define 'moving on'.

Is that dating? Just going out with friends? Fewer intrusive thoughts? A little less anger? Put some names to the concept and it might help you figure out what to do.

As far as I'm concerned, grief doesn't go away like a cold. Some days I'm still angry/sad/disturbed about my brother's death, about my father's, even about an old boss who died two years ago. And I'm facing more of the same, because I'm almost 70 and my friends - well, you know - they're mostly old, too, and they're going to start dropping like flies. And my patient - he's 90.

It's not something you get over. It's something you incorporate into your life and whether it's a grain of sand or a pearl isn't always up to us.
It's not dating that's for sure!! LOL I just feel like everyone else has pretty much just carried on. It's understandable that his sisters and brother mother and so on are moving on with their lives. I guess I feel like for so long I was focused on him I mean he was my sole purpose for everything and now I am very much alone and have no real goals or causes to keep me occupied. I've always had some cause to fight for and now I don't and the reality of him dying has really made me look at what my life is about. Sure I'd like to meet someone one day but really that's not what's bothering me. For years my goal was to get him home and have a life together. Well I accomplished 1/2 of that, I never expected him to be sick and die two months later, even when I found out that he was sick I wouldn't even believe he die. I really thought once he was home he'd get better because he could be treated. I don't know why this is really bothering me so much now, I mean it's almost two years ago! I'm passed being angry at him for being in trouble and going to prison way passed that. I guess I am just finally realizing I've been just going through the motions of living and the emotions have finally caught up! But again thank you, maybe I just need to vent! I almost feel like like someone who waits for years for someone in prison and he comes home and dumps them! No warning no signs no clues, just BAM he's gone. I know its not the same he didn't leave me on purpose, there was no one else, but the fact is he's gone. Sorry to sound so depressing, I wish I could take a pill and feel better but I have a feeling that's not the answer, never worked before!!! Anyway thanks.............
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:00 AM
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Thanks everyone. For those who don't know my husband was in prison, got sick had emergency surgery to save his life or so we thought. At the time of his surgery they diagnosed him with colon cancer, we weren't told until it was really to late to do anything. He was never treated for the cancer he was basically murdered by prison health care. We were finally successful in getting him released on compassionate release, he passed away two months after. So I really don't belong in this forum, I wasn't sure where to post. It's been a rough two years to say the least. When he died I had just had surgery so my health was pretty bad as it usually was. And still is!! I am moving forward but for every step forward it seems two steps backwards. My mother in law has been a rock for me to cling to. I'm sorry to bring him up to her as she is still grieving also. I have wonderful memories of us and even some of our best are in the prison visiting yard. I actually miss all the crazy stupid annoying stuff we all go through just to visit someone in prison. I loved the weird intimacy we developed while surrounded by guards and a bunch of prisoners and their friends and families. Anyway I didn't like him being in prison but I dealt with it and I am dealing with my anger about it. I regret all the time we lost because he was there. I'm not really looking for answers because I don't think there are any. I know if I lived anywhere near the cemetery I'd be there everyday pouring my heart out to him, not that he's there but it would at least make me get out of the house. Thanks all I guess I just needed to vent a bit.
Thank you for sharing your story - I know that in itself can sometimes be difficult. I do think talking about your husband and sharing your memories can be helpful. I know you fear putting things on your mother-in-law because she is also grieving, but there is no rule book that says you cannot grieve together! No one loves your man more than you and her!

I still have my husband, but I often miss him because I cannot be with him like a husband and wife should be! At times, it helps to be with his mother. It helps to be in the home where he was raised. It helps to look at pictures and share memories. I feel more connected to him when when I am talking about him and/or sharing in some of his life experiences.

I know that feeling connected to him is not really the way to "move past him," but maybe that is not what you need right now. I feel that if you are ever in a place where you can start bonding with another man, he should be understanding of your grief for your husband. He shouldn't be threatened by it! Expressing grief with others is showing a vulnerable side that should be handled with care and gentleness. You are showing that you love hard; anyone who is seeking that love should see the benefit in that!

I know it doesn't feel like much, but I for one am glad he did not die in prison! I am so thankful he was able to be with the people he loved most in this world!
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:10 AM
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It's not dating that's for sure!! LOL I just feel like everyone else has pretty much just carried on. It's understandable that his sisters and brother mother and so on are moving on with their lives. I guess I feel like for so long I was focused on him I mean he was my sole purpose for everything and now I am very much alone and have no real goals or causes to keep me occupied. I've always had some cause to fight for and now I don't and the reality of him dying has really made me look at what my life is about. Sure I'd like to meet someone one day but really that's not what's bothering me. For years my goal was to get him home and have a life together. Well I accomplished 1/2 of that, I never expected him to be sick and die two months later, even when I found out that he was sick I wouldn't even believe he die. I really thought once he was home he'd get better because he could be treated. I don't know why this is really bothering me so much now, I mean it's almost two years ago! I'm passed being angry at him for being in trouble and going to prison way passed that. I guess I am just finally realizing I've been just going through the motions of living and the emotions have finally caught up! But again thank you, maybe I just need to vent! I almost feel like like someone who waits for years for someone in prison and he comes home and dumps them! No warning no signs no clues, just BAM he's gone. I know its not the same he didn't leave me on purpose, there was no one else, but the fact is he's gone. Sorry to sound so depressing, I wish I could take a pill and feel better but I have a feeling that's not the answer, never worked before!!! Anyway thanks.............
I have never been the person who believes in finding a pill to solve problems! Please work the root. It is okay to still love him. It is okay to miss him. It is okay that you're still looking for something to bring fire into your existence! Just because your man is no longer incarcerated doesn't mean there isn't still a need to fight for prison reform/sentencing reform. If that gives you passion and life, do that! Do anything that makes you feel your worth, your purpose!
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:29 AM
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Yeah I know I could fight for prison reform and do lots of stuff like that, but my heart would not be in it! And honestly I'd much rather find a different direction in my life. I actually am thinking of volunteering for a hospice. I know how much it means when your loved one is dying and just having someone sit the while you run to the store or even so you can nap means. I don't know if I'm really ready yet I am still to emotional about his death to be much help to anyone else right now.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:38 AM
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I know this sounds sort of stupid, but for me?
A dog. Get a dog.
they make you do things. Like take them places. feed them. Clean up after them.
If you cannot do that, maybe volunteer at the animal shelter.
They give unconditional love. lol.

Im sorry you are feeling so low. I wish you didnt.
I guess I'd feel much the same.
I hope you feel better soon.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:13 AM
Curt'swife8 Curt'swife8 is offline
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Originally Posted by xolady View Post
Yeah I know I could fight for prison reform and do lots of stuff like that, but my heart would not be in it! And honestly I'd much rather find a different direction in my life. I actually am thinking of volunteering for a hospice. I know how much it means when your loved one is dying and just having someone sit the while you run to the store or even so you can nap means. I don't know if I'm really ready yet I am still to emotional about his death to be much help to anyone else right now.
If you can muster the strength for hospice support, that would be amazing! I've been there! I remember the need to just sleep! I didn't want to leave my dad because "what if I am not there?". The night he finally permitted himself to move on, I left for maybe 20 minutes to pick up the dinner we ordered. I think he didn't want me there. I counted his reps before I left and they seemed so safe based on what we were told. On my way back, my sister called telling me to hurry. I tried. He was gone when I returned. I climbed on top of him, in little girl fashion, and cried. I just wanted to feel whatever warmth he had left. Ugh! Now I'm crying.
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  #20  
Old 08-11-2017, 06:38 PM
xolady xolady is offline
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I know this sounds sort of stupid, but for me?
A dog. Get a dog.
they make you do things. Like take them places. feed them. Clean up after them.
If you cannot do that, maybe volunteer at the animal shelter.
They give unconditional love. lol.

Im sorry you are feeling so low. I wish you didnt.
I guess I'd feel much the same.
I hope you feel better soon.
LOL I have a dog I have had her since she was three weeks old!! She's a Shepard/Rotti mix and is so spoiled thinks she's a lap dog. I can't have another one where I live, had to get her certified as a companion dog because she is 60lbs. I'm doing ok I just am finally dealing with emotions that I didn't before. But thanks if I didn't have my monster I would have gotten a new one. I love my big mutt so much!!!
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  #21  
Old 08-11-2017, 06:46 PM
xolady xolady is offline
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If you can muster the strength for hospice support, that would be amazing! I've been there! I remember the need to just sleep! I didn't want to leave my dad because "what if I am not there?". The night he finally permitted himself to move on, I left for maybe 20 minutes to pick up the dinner we ordered. I think he didn't want me there. I counted his reps before I left and they seemed so safe based on what we were told. On my way back, my sister called telling me to hurry. I tried. He was gone when I returned. I climbed on top of him, in little girl fashion, and cried. I just wanted to feel whatever warmth he had left. Ugh! Now I'm crying.
I know I wasn't with my dad or my husband when they passed. Not that I really wanted to watch them go. Damn now I'm crying!
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  #22  
Old 08-12-2017, 08:52 AM
jadah jadah is offline
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xo-
I think you're still furious because everyone else had a piece of him and you're the one that got him home. Once he got home everyone else swooped in. You were generous out of circumstance to share the jewel you found in him.

But I'd be mad as hell too.

This is the hardest thing I've ever done. I thought being a prison wife was hard... Ha! that's cake compared to this. - Ok so its a hell of a piece of cake but DAMN!!! I'd take prison wife any day over grieving wife.

All I can do is to remind you to focus on what you did have. You two could talk without speaking. When he would breathe in, you would breathe out and you agreed without saying a word. Its a rare and beautiful person that can be a bridge for others to depend on. You were that person. You were the only person he allowed to do that for him. Yeah people talked the talk, but you walked the walk.

But we still just want more.
Focus on what you had that no one else had. He knows and can't thank you enough.
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There is no question that in virtually all circumstances in which people are doing things in order to get rewards, extrinsic tangible rewards undermine intrinsic motivation." the New Scientist (12th April 2011, pp 40-43)

" Every life you touch, every fear or pain you ease, every loved ones' heart that you ease the burden from is the reason you are here."

Last edited by jadah; 08-12-2017 at 08:54 AM..
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  #23  
Old 08-12-2017, 09:19 AM
xolady xolady is offline
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Oh you're right Jadah but I can't hold on to anger about that. I did for a long time even while he was waiting in the county jail I was angry because I was the only one willing to help him. But ya know what I think now if anyone thought he'd get cancer and die they would have helped. They have to live everyday knowing they didn't, I on the other hand have no remorse when it comes to that. I figure at this point I like to believe that when you die you have to answer for your life choices, I have no problem with that. I have come to believe that we all have to follow our own path or agenda in life. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't do all I could to help someone I swore to love. But that's me, not everyone. See I can honestly say I have no guilt associated with everything. Everyone else can't say that but I really don't want to cast stones because ultimately it was A's fault for doing what he was knowing exactly what the results were likely to be, not death but prison. So I can't really be so mad at others for not trying to help him. Besides I can't keep driving the same route and think it will change!!
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  #24  
Old 08-12-2017, 11:00 PM
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GingerM GingerM is offline
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I don't know if I'm really ready yet I am still to emotional about his death to be much help to anyone else right now.
I think this is very astute insight into your own personal workings.

I still struggle with losing my Dad. It's been 3 years. About 2 weeks ago, for not apparent reason, I had a massive grief meltdown. Sobbing, crying till I couldn't breathe, like he'd just died. Completely out of the blue.

I know the relationship between husband/wife and father/daughter will bring different flavors into the grieving process, but it isn't easy either way. And some days just seem to really hit hard for no apparent reason.

Have you considered a grief counselor? I know some hospitals have them for free, but don't know about where you're at.

I've read opinions that say that in general, the survivor grieves for 6 months for each year they were associated with the deceased. And grieving is not always missing the person either - it's missing the future one thought they were going to have, it's missing the routine that was in place, it's missing the reminders of the past. It's far more complicated than most people understand, even when they've gone through it.

I can only tell you that 3 years later, at 50+ years of age, I'm still grieving my Dad. I think it's emotionally healthy to let the grief happen as it comes. The worst thing you can do is tell yourself that you should "get over it". That kind of loss isn't something you get over like a bad cold. It sticks with us for a long time.
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  #25  
Old 08-13-2017, 09:11 AM
xolady xolady is offline
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I appreciate everyone's kindness and understanding. I have been having car problems and this I'm sure triggered the worst of my feelings of being alone. I have been dealing with health problems since for about 5 years. I just am finally really excepting that he's really gone and nothing I do will ever make it better. Ginger you really hit the nail on the head, grieving for the future I though we'd have. Never did I think this would be it. I mean all my hopes and dreams were about us, not me alone. I actually feel better because I can't understand my feelings and recognize what's triggering my melt downs. Thanks xo
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