How did you recover from sadness? : LUSENET : Novenotes : One Thread

Just what it says. What stages did you go through, how did you recover?--AL

-- Al Schroeder (, December 03, 1999


I don't know really. I cry. I dwell on the depression, I think of the good times, I cry again. I do this several times, over and over, each at varying lengths, until eventually the good times memories outway the depression, and the cries get farther and farther apart, but maybe never go away completely.

-- Kev Summitt (, December 03, 1999.

Tears . . . Lot of tears . . . Then anger and more tears.

As glib as this may sound, TIME is the best 'cure' for a broken heart. The next best thing is a relationship with God and open lines of communication with Him.

Al, I wish you peace in knowing that Jamie is in God's care and all is well with him.... The joy you wrote about in "Jamie's Joy" is his fully ten thousand times over.

-- Tracey (, December 03, 1999.

I cried. Looked at pictures of my lost husband. Went to the gravesite and slept on it. (morbid I know but I did it). Drank heavly for a few years. Contemplated killing myself. Don't do any of those things I did, I am lucky to be alive and now I have a wonderful husband and we have a beautiful son. It worked out. But I had to go to Hell and come back for it too.

-- Diana Matthews (, December 03, 1999.

You don't really recover from sadness. I felt comfort in the feelings that he was trying to communicate and comfort me from beyond. It also helped to post pictures of him all over my home, and I talked to them every day as if he were still alive and *there*. The first few days I couldn't even look at them without breaking down and just weeping, but after a while I was able to function again. It sounds odd, but it h

-- Chel (, December 03, 1999.

I agree with Tracey about time. It takes a long time to feel back to yourself, especially when you've lost someone part of your daily life. Telling your story over and over again is very important. Having people around you that will just listen is a great gift. Everytime you talk about it, your heart heals a little bit. Be extremely kind and gentle to yourself, give yourself permission to let non-essentials slide for awhile. Try to make sure you are eating well, sleeping, drinking enough water...this puts a strain on your immune system. If you can, distract yourself and your family by doing fun stuff. The first time I went through a family death, I fell apart, but I learned alot from it and those lessons have helped. It sounds like you know how to do this, Al. I wish you and your family healing in your hearts. And know your readers will listen to your story for as long as you need us to...

-- Eloise (, December 03, 1999.

Al, I've been a reader of your journal for quite awhile now and have been struggling if I should come out of the shadows during this horrible tragedy, your question provoked me to do so. I am so very sorry for you and your family over the loss of your son..I have shed many tears with you. Now to answer your question:

In June of this year I lost my sister-in-law and best friend it's sufficient to say in a totally unexpected manner. (Maybe some other day I will be able to share more details)...the shock factor of sudden deaths is hard enough to deal with much less the loss. The first months everyone in the family was simply in a daze (or as you put it so well..zoned out) is later that the true sadness hit me. I still have days and moments..but they are farther apart and their is some joy in the middle at this point. Just take it one day at a time and take care of will get through simply have to believe that.

-- becky (, December 03, 1999.

You don't recover. You just wake up one morning and, unexpectedly, it's almost bearable. Then not again for a while - back into the pit - then another good morning - maybe two. And so on. Or such has been my experience. Catherine.

-- Catherine (, December 03, 1999.

I believe you can recover.. it just takes time. With horrible tramatic events in my life I went through shock, sadness, anger, back to sadness again, and the cycle continued many many times. Depending on the event, it took months, or years... But I do believe the pain will lessen. It will probably always be there, but it won't be overwhelming someday. Time really does seem to ease the pain... but it's just that you don't know how long it will take. I find that it's better to grieve as it comes then push it inside... My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Al.

-- Katie L. (, December 03, 1999.

It depends. Not all sadness is the same. When my baby sister died, I comforted myself with "well, with the way things are going in this house (drugs, beatings, alchohol abuse) at least I know she's safe." When my grandfather died after battling pancreatic cancer, I thought "he's out of pain now." And when my aunt died of AIDS, I just stopped thinking and tried to keep her as close to me as possible. I wore her clothes, I used her makeup, I remembered the way her laugh sounded and I talked to her in my mind, letting her know what was going on in my life, how I was glad that she was out of hospitals and could finally get some peace.

I didn't cry until three years later, though. Nobody can tell anyone else how to recover from sadness. I think all we can do is remind you that it does end, and that eventually you reach the point where remembering someone you lost doesn't hurt. Sometimes, depending on the memory, it can make you laugh, or just give thanks that you were able to have that person in your life.

-- Brianna Privett (, December 03, 1999.

i don't know that i can say i've ever recovered from any sadness in my life so much as set it aside, to be dealt with in fits and spurts. the most painful thing i've lived through was the death of my grandmother 5 1/2 years ago, followed three days later by the death of a good friend's mother. i put my own sadness on hold for an eternity: at home i played caretaker to my mother, who, in losing *her* mother, was reduced to a child, frail and incapable, and with my friends, of course i acknowledged my friend's grief was likely much, MUCH stronger than my own, and did what little i could to help her.

my biggest haunting sadness with my grandmother, for years, was that i never said goodbye; she'd been in the hospital, after four strokes, for over a month and i couldn't bring myself to visit. about a year ago i was thinking very strongly about her, just missing her, and i let myself call out to the heavens that i loved her, and i was sorry i hadn't been there.

Al, you mentioned the veil that seems to lift, at least for a moment, when we most need it -- a glimpse into the divine, a knowledge that everything is ok with those we love. i felt that that day, more a feeling than anything else, of love and forgiveness -- and it erased my guilt. "time" is the tried and true answer to your question, as everyone else said -- but Faith and Belief can go a long way to gradually easing unbearable pain. my thoughts are with you and your family.

-- kat (, December 03, 1999.

I don't want to put this on a personal basis, because I don't consider myself any sort of model of a successful recovery. But both my parents died in the last 5 years. I've done some reading on the subject. So, forgive me for being a bit academic, but here goes.

Back in the 1950's, I believe, there was a fire at a nightclub called the Coconut Grove. People were trapped inside as the doors were kept locked. Over a hundred people died. It was a major scandal, but also the surviving family members were intensely studied by various academics. Basically, these family members were divided into two groups--those who had some brief counselling, usually four to six weeks--and those who had none. Follow up studies showed that those people who had the brief counselling did much better than those who had had none. The studies led to significant literature on grief counselling and grief therapy. They also led to the kind of grief seminars or grief groups held at the Brentwood United Methodist Church. I attended several of these and found them helpful. Simply the ability to talk with other people who were going through similar problems was helpful. It also, perhaps somewhat ironically, helped me feel some gratitude that my parents' deaths were not accompanied by the kind of suffering and long-term debility that so many others experienced. Many churches in Nashville utilize the same pastoral counselling agencies to provide help to churchmembers in these matters. There is a vast and significant literature on this subject. Two good books on the subject are (1) Granger Westberg's _Good Grief_ (1962,1997), now in its 35th Anniversary edition. Very brief. About 65 pp. ISBN 0-8006-1114-4. And (2) Therese A. Rando's _How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies_ (1988). About 340 pp. including a bibliography and list of resources. ISBN 0-553-35269-5. Westberg has held a joint professorship in medicine and religion at the University of Chicago. Rando is a Ph.D. and clinical psychologist and has written several books on grief and loss. The books discuss various conceptions of the stages of grief. While there is some consensus on this, there is also much disagreement, and basically everyone's grief process varies considerably.

-- Joe Shedlock (, December 05, 1999.

remarkable, the different ways of coming out of sadness.............................

i am an alcoholic in recovery - since 1986 - dthe prior messages on this subject remind me of the many AA meetings i attended. i sat at the table where e said hi, i'm xxx, i'm an alcoholic and .......... i sat at that table time aftert time and heard each person tell part of my story..........sometimes the stories were an uncanny ditto of where i was and had been.

but i think all of us who were sincere had one precept . . . . . if you want to get over anything, first, you must have the will and have made the decision to do so.

my great help came from my fellow members after i stepped out of the whining, excuse line - - - - stopped my blather and began to listen.

i think each one of the foregoing told a part of my story, and i think it bears out - - - - over the time - - months - years perhaps, somewhere along the line, we have to make that decision. then the healing can begin. we all have to cope with it in our own way, but the decision eventually has to be made.

-- ici jongleur (, December 25, 1999.

this is an add on to my last. it just came into my mind, this thing about sadness - - - seems to exist on several different levels.

at eighty years of age an almost blind stroke victim confined to a wheel chair days and bed at night, died in my arms just after i went in and woke him, asking the usual, " how are you ?" question and receiving an answer, "fine." as i was lifting him up to get him to the wheel chair i heard his last gasp, and he was gone. the foregoing is just setting the stage so to speak.

my wife and teenage daughter were and church, the wife had just got over a time of sickness and the daughter had never experienced some on close to her dying.

i called the coroner (sp) and the priest at his church...... they came, did the things they had to do and father was taken to the funeral home. i had the mattress out for the trashmen, his bedroom clean and managed to be calm and collectedi i thought it would be from then on. but, one night several years later i started crying and couldn't stop, this spell lasted quite a while and finally died out. it was then that i realized, that at that late date, i was deeply mourning his demise. i presume it was deep in my inner being, but trying to be the strong man in the family i had swallowed my feelings. they did come out though............and then i picked up where i left off and pressed on. i guess this is a requiem from the "son of doug sr."

-- ici jongleur (, January 02, 2000.

Neale Donald Walsch's "Conversations With God" books have been a tremendous help. The sorrow still comes and goes, but I'm able now to see it for what it really is, and allow it to move through me. I am also learning practical means of "working it out" through meditation, with the help of some kind, gentle people. Spiritual teachers have been like a rock to me whenever I've needed their healing touches and counsel. I've been startled time and again by their effectiveness. I guess my goal is to get to the point where it no longer surprises me.

I'd like to never be sad again. It hurts. I'm working on it. The future does look bright, but actually I'm trying to make the "now" look bright.Once I've nailed the "now", I'm home free!

Bless you and your family Al. And thank you for sharing your heart with us.

(P.S. I just got the note about the demise of Decajour. Please keep your mailing list together. I always looked forward to your lastest literary artwork. I'm hoping that you will revive it in the future. You have a real talent. Drop us all a line if you decide it's worth it! Thanks.)

-- Janette Dollar (, January 13, 2000.

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