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flashbacks of grandfathers death

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  • #364777
    greenshade
    Participant

    Hey all,

    Hope you’ve been keeping well and safe in these times.

    Unfortunately I have been spiraling a bit. Today I keep having flashbacks of my grandfathers death. He passed away when I was 4 yrs old and I loved him more than anyone else. I miss him. For a very long time I thought I had not been impacted by his death as I had not cried or anything and remember playing around and going to buy cookies at the funeral. For the past couple of years I have started thinking of his death and crying (infrequently but happens). Now tonight I had a flashback to being back in the car when we was being driven to the hospital. I was in the front seat looking back. He was in the backseat and unconscious. He was wearing his brown sweater. There were bits of food on it. I remember my mum telling me he was sick. I assumed he had been throwing up. I am feeling and remembering very strong feelings of fear and helplessness. And I am having thoughts around why did he leave me, if he loved me he wouldn’t have died. I am trying to sooth my inner child by saying things like it was not really in his control. I am feeling very overwhelmed as these feelings are very strong and I don’t really have anyone around I can go to for support so I am posting here. I don’t know what I want/need from responses I guess, just trying to feel a little bit in control of the pain.

    M

    #364781
    anita
    Participant

    Dear greenshade:

    You had a flashback about being in the car with your grandfather in the backseat, unconscious, in his brown sweater with bits of food on it. You felt strong fear and helplessness, and when he died, you thought: why did he leave me, if he loved me, he wouldn’t have died.

    Like you said to yourself, indeed his sickness was not in his control, he didn’t choose to get sick and die. It just happened, as it does to every human being. No one beats mortality because of loving someone, or because of any reason.

    It is scary, isn’t it, to think of death, death of those who were there and are no more, and our own future death. It is interesting that something we fear so intensely, happens to every single person. Heaven and reincarnation were invented to soothe this fear.

    When I feel this fear, I think of how universal death is, I take it in, that no one comes of this life alive, as the saying goes. I mean, it does happen to every single person. When you think of your grandfather having died, and it feels so tragic, think of your own death, the death of the person typing these very words you are now reading, the death of all of us: we are all in the same boat.

    * I thought it is interesting that exactly four years ago, Aug 14, 2016, you posted the following:  “recently reentering the work force at a temporary workplace. this place is triggering a lot of anxiety for me. People are generally perfectionistic here, and everything is a competition. I am trying to leave behind the over critical, perfectionistic voice in my head”- I wonder how your current work situation is, and what is the current status on that over critical, perfectionistic voice in your head (?)

    anita

    #364801
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    It must feel lonely to not have anyone to share these feelings with. It concerns me that you are isolated and alone and struggling with these flashbacks. Do you have professional help for your anxiety that you could talk this over with? You wonder many things and feel overwhelmed, and that makes me concerned for you. Sometimes people have complicated long term grief and sometimes our brains need a little help from a professional.

    #364812
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear M

    Thank you, I hope you are safe too.

    I understand how that feels. I truly do. I know it is so difficult to feel all these overwhelming emotions.

    “It is scary, isn’t it, to think of death, death of those who were there and are no more, and our own future death. It is interesting that something we fear so intensely, happens to every single person. Heaven and reincarnation were invented to soothe this fear.” anita has beautifully written this. Thank you.

    As a kid, when somebody passes away, you don’t understand the intensity of it because you don’t know how to feel or how to express your thoughts. When we grow up, we develop more understanding of our thoughts and emotions, and also self expression. A lot of things from our childhood remain unresolved, and need love, care and compassion, tending to, when they open up in you adulthood, in different forms.

    Our dreams replay so many subconscious thoughts going inside our head.

    It is wonderful that you tried to soothe your inner child.

    At the same time, it is okay to feel all these things.

    You loved him immensely. And you miss him. It’s okay to feel this pain for someone who was an important part of your childhood- and it’s important to grieve for them.

    Grief is complicated. It comes in waves. As Rose of Yellow rightly said, it would be good to talk to a professional about it.

    We are here for you, if you need to talk.

    #365012
    greenshade
    Participant

    Dear all, thank you for your replies.

    It has been some week :).

    @anita it is very scary to think of it, especially the deaths of the people closest to me – that they will one day just not exist – their voice, smell, everything will disappear – it really makes me feel like everything is worthless.

    <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; font-family: Arial,’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14.53px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>”No one beats mortality because of loving someone, or because of any reason.</span>” This is very true. I think sometimes feelings of love feel so strong I don’t understand how they can’t top every other natural law lol.

    That is very interesting. In the last 4 years, I found a permanent work situation (lets all it x) that felt safe and aligned with my work style although I did feel a little codependent with my coworkers. Overall, I was excited and happy and feeling good about life and the critical voice in my head had also softened (through meditation and modeling by others). After 2yrs I left to do my masters in a different country. I came back to x and things were different (the working environment had changed, pays were not frequent, my input wasn’t as welcome). I left x mostly because I wanted financial stability to move out of my parents, and am now working two jobs, one of which feels perfectionistic, rigid and critical and the critical voices in my head and guilty feeling are back and I feel frozen and unable to work. So this is where I am at.

     

     

    #365014
    greenshade
    Participant

    @Rose of Yellow Thank you for your words I feel supported by them 🙂 <3. I am in long term therapy, I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow. She usually supports my PTSD work so I don’t know what it will be like discussing grief with her. I also feel concerned for me lol. Connection is a pretty big need for me, but I also have relational trauma so I don’t feel safe connecting with any of my friends at the moment.

    @S thank you for your words. He was a wonderful grandfather. We would garden together and then cook what we had grown. He also would tell me bed time stories he made up in which I was a detective and helped catch the bad guys. He had a definite impact on my personality even though I just had the four years with him.

     

    #365023
    anita
    Participant

    Dear greenshade:

    I am still smiling, having just read how you and your grandfather gardened together and cooked what you had grown, and that he told you bed time stories he made up in which you were a detective and heled catch the bad guys. Still smiling and I never met him. Isn’t it amazing: your grandfather brought a smile to the face of a stranger so many years after his death.

    As to your post to me” “they will one day just not exist- their voice, smell, everything will disappear”- again I smile, as something about your grandfather did not disappear, not yet. We all  leave something behind that lives on in other people, and when these other people die, they leave something behind that lives on in other people, and so on, and on. Better pay attention and leave behind something positive in the lives of others.

    “it really makes me feel like everything is worthless”- everything is temporary, but what we leave behind in other people is ongoing, it doesn’t disappear as long as humanity lasts.

    “I think sometimes feelings of love feel so strong I don’t understand how they can’t top every other natural law”- a profound statement, and true: nothing is more powerful in our individual lives than our emotions, energies-in motion. A desire for someone to be in our lives can be so powerful, that we confuse it with real power.

    You shared, and if I understand correctly, 4 years ago you were living with your parents, and you had a permanent job (x) that felt safe to you. Overall you were excited and happy about life during that time. After 2 years of x, you left to do your masters in another country, then came back to x, and to living with your parents, but the job was no longer good for you and didn’t pay enough. You wanted to make more money so to move out of your parents’, so you left and are now working 2 jobs, one of which is rigid and critical and in so  being, it energizes your own rigid and critical voice, and you “feel frozen and unable to work”, and still living with your parents.

    “So this is where I am at”- good to be updated as to where you are. I wonder what is next for you. If your grandfather was in your life today, what story do you think he will make up at bedtime, for you?

    anita

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