"He's dead?" Questions about Shock - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 08-07-2008, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My uncle died yesterday. He was only about 45 and was a healthy, larger than life, loud man. He electrocuted himself while working in the barn. He has a son who is 25 and a son who is 23. We are a small family and so we are very close, and I saw him at least every Sunday growing up as well as a lot of overnights at their house.

I've never experienced grief in this way before. I'm totally in shock. I haven't really cried, the closest I've come to feeling emotion is feeling VERY angry at the fact that in the last two years I have lost a great grandfather, a grandfather, a great aunt, and this uncle. That's three generations of loss!

I've tried talking about it, I've tried thinking about him, I just can't process it.

I feel like a terrible person because I just don't feel anything. Does this go away? I feel like it should be hitting me hard, but it's not touching me yet.

Please, if you are willing, share with me and help me.

Take care,
El
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#2 of 11 Old 08-07-2008, 02:17 PM
 
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I am sorry for your loss. I lost my aunt, aged 50, to a freak scuba diving accident in Dec, and I felt pretty much the same way you do. I was so shocked, I just couldn't fathom that she was just....gone. I think I felt that way because, even though rationally I knew it had happened and was real, my mind would just NOT accept it. I was just too numb. That numbness does subside as the terrible reality sinks in, but I think it is like a self-protection mechanism. The grief will come, the terrible ache as your mind reluctantly acknowledges that he's gone, but try to not feel badly now that it hasn't hit you yet. In my experience, it is pretty common to feel this way initially.
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#3 of 11 Old 08-07-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristenok18 View Post
That numbness does subside as the terrible reality sinks in, but I think it is like a self-protection mechanism. The grief will come, the terrible ache as your mind reluctantly acknowledges that he's gone, but try to not feel badly now that it hasn't hit you yet. In my experience, it is pretty common to feel this way initially.
I agree, I think it's very common to feel numb initially, especially when the person's death was so unexpected. OP, please just be gentle with yourself and try not to worry about what you "should" be feeling.
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#4 of 11 Old 08-07-2008, 06:05 PM
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I am sorry for yours and your family's loss.
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#5 of 11 Old 08-07-2008, 07:15 PM
 
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*hug* A friend of mine had a favorite phrase that I just loved: feelings are delightful little anarchists. They don't always do what we expect, and it's just about impossible to MAKE them do anything!

Trust yourself -- you are grieving in the way that is right for you right now at this very moment. I believe that you may *absolutely* process it in a more tangible or visible way at some point along the way, but just be kind to yourself and let it be OK to be experiencing what you are experiencing.

xoxoxo

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#6 of 11 Old 08-07-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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I'm new here, but I had to respond.
When my mom got the call that my Grandfather had cancer, she hung up and told me. I had to slap my hand over my mouth (I was 14). Not because I was crying, but to hide the big "you're joking" grin on my face! I knew better, I could see it in her eyes, but my first reaction was still disbelief.
Actually, it's my usual first reaction to grief. I think it's self protection, like the pp said. HUGS!!!!!! There's nothing wrong with you, grief just doesn't follow the textbooks.
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#7 of 11 Old 08-07-2008, 09:04 PM
 
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It will come. I think this initial "denial" or "shock" or "numbness" is our natural way to get through the initial emergency, to allow us to function in a time of crisis.

Once things settle in, feelings change. Don't force yourself to feel anything. There is nothing you are "supposed" to feel, there just... is what is there.

When my grandparents died, my first response was annoyance :. But, of course, that changed. Isn't it bizzare the first thought(s) that pop into our heads at time like these? Though I was never devastated by their deaths. Sad, yes. But I very quickly came to terms with it- they were older, they knew what was happening, we said goodbye.

Death can be very, very sad. But it also does not have to be traumatic for the living. Your uncle's death was sudden. But hopefully you will allow yourself the space and time to deal with it your way and grieve in a way that heals you.

I am sorry for your loss...
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#8 of 11 Old 08-07-2008, 10:28 PM
 
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I'm so sorry for your loss
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#9 of 11 Old 08-07-2008, 10:57 PM
 
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I recall feeling extremely numb when I started to miscarry. It wasn't until much later on the next day that the reality began to sink in. I didn't even cry until almost 24 hours later.

to you. Everyone processes grief differently, but no matter how you feel, it's okay. I'm sorry for your loss.
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#10 of 11 Old 08-09-2008, 11:31 AM
 
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I am sorry for your loss.

denial is part of the process and like the many processes of grief we are forced to endure. it will happen whenever it wants and for as long as it needs. Having so much loss in a shorter time frame, imo the denial is probably your bodies survival tactic to getting through it all. just my thought.

HUG

MB, mama to three, soulmate to one, pioneering cloth to many since 2002!
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#11 of 11 Old 08-14-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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I'm sorry for your loss

You are not a terrible person and the numbness is normal IMO. Last Christmas we went up to visit my family. We got there on a Friday and grandpa came to visit Saturday. Saturday night he died very suddenly with no warning. I was numb for a long time. I think it took a few months before I really realized he was gone. The numbness will fade and new emotions will take it's place. It's all the grieving process.
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