Grief support: When you're grieving, sleeping can be difficult. What do you do to make the nights easier?

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Pam said:
I am so sorry to hear the sadness in the letters here. I recently lost my 44 year old sister by suicide. Feb 25/09. There is no one I could tell that I leave all my lights on and the T.V. all night. I don't know why the fear, I've never had it before.
My sympathy to all of you who lost a loved one at home and are still trying to deal with the losses.
I'm new here and am going to keep reading thru the site and try to find some answers.
Again, i'm so sorry, Its just so sad.
amaryllis said:
Pam said:
I am so sorry to hear the sadness in the letters here. I recently lost my 44 year old sister by suicide. Feb 25/09. There is no one I could tell that I leave all my lights on and the T.V. all night. I don't know why the fear, I've never had it before.
My sympathy to all of you who lost a loved one at home and are still trying to deal with the losses.
I'm new here and am going to keep reading thru the site and try to find some answers.
Again, i'm so sorry, Its just so sad.
After the loss of a loved one we not only grieve with our mind but we also grieve with our bodies. The physical and mental trauma that we have experienced comes out in our everyday activities. Sleep disturbance is very common while you are grieving, often because our lives are turned upside down and where once our world was safe with our loved one, it is not now. Reliving the last moments of our loved one is often part of that quiet time before we fall asleep, seeing their face and feeling the love and heartbreak of there absence is all too close now. This is natural it is grief and mourning, it takes you where you don't want to go, but it is in control now, like being on a rollercoaster. Often times if we allow grieving and mourning a specific time during your day, when things are quiet for you and you can let go of what is inside, you are releasing it can help because holding back all the time is exhausting and emotionally not productive. Before going to sleep try to make your bedroom a peaceful place, soothing music, incense and practice some meditation, quieting your mind, tensing and relaxing your muscles in your body. I understand this is difficult during this time but just trying something new is often what we need during this time. If you are wondering who I am I am a grief therapist in private practice and someone who has lost loved ones in the past.
Hello Annalise,

This is still so new to us that we are numb. I try to get through each day and at the end of the day I give myself a pat on the back for surviving and for being one day closer to my love. It helps so much to know that people feel the same as you do and that you're not going crazy. When I read messages on this and other sites about people who are further down the path and who are coping it makes me feel stronger, though I can never imagine being normal again. I feel your pain, Annalise, stay strong and keep posting.
I earlier had said that my sister, 44 had passed by suicide. She didn't. We got the toxcology report back and she had nothing in her system.
We are so mixed up. The coroner said her autopsy showed nothing wrong with her. we accepted that. She said wait for the toxcology report. We were. In the mean time we , as a family, were so in shock that she would do suicide. Nothing justified that. All of those that knew her, said no. Our 83 old mother, who she loves dearly, she would not hurt her mom that way. So in our minds we played different scenarios. over and over.
Now the coroner says in two weeks they will go back over things and the answer will be . Death by ...... Or Death by unkown circumstances. I am so upset. She died Feb 25 wed. she was found on the friday. The police kept the information from the family until the following monday. So awful. I sleep with sleeping pills, and ativan. and the next day i feel so foggy. by husband went away for 9 days. i stay awake until the pills put me out for a few hours. andi wake up crying. She should not be dead.. yet, no one knows why. It doesn't make sense. This is 2009. Hello, Just dropped by to tell you your babysister is Dead. Don't know why. See yah! I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I still can't stop crying. I can't do my job. I can't clean my house. Now i'm scared I'll loose my job . I'll end up living on the street. I can't figure out what to say to my other siblings. What or where do you go. to help her? I just can't let her disappear and no one knows why? I don't understand. Pam
DM said:
Hello Annalise,

This is still so new to us that we are numb. I try to get through each day and at the end of the day I give myself a pat on the back for surviving and for being one day closer to my love. It helps so much to know that people feel the same as you do and that you're not going crazy. When I read messages on this and other sites about people who are further down the path and who are coping it makes me feel stronger, though I can never imagine being normal again. I feel your pain, Annalise, stay strong and keep posting.
Ann Ross how can you put away a quiet place to grieve when your family members need to share online after work. At all times of the day. How can you not grieve when the over whelming grief that rocks your gut. And your bawling the really ugly cry before you can stop it. Talking on the phone , driving down the street. I've had to walk out of the safeway, cause the tears just flow. I know people pass from cancer , and children die. and shouldn't. But DeeDee was fine and than they found her in her bed dead.
I didn't take pills prior to this. Apparantly my family got me ativan and sleeping pills during the first week. I did plan the funeral, signed for the release of the body. phoned the aunts and cousins. brought down her clothes and jewlery. and dealt with things. Mostly with my husband. But suddenly other sisters and brother i hadn't seen in 10 years were in my house. This all in that ugly week. I can't go on right now. I don't know what to do. I just don't. thanks for listening Pam

Ann Ross said:
After the loss of a loved one we not only grieve with our mind but we also grieve with our bodies. The physical and mental trauma that we have experienced comes out in our everyday activities. Sleep disturbance is very common while you are grieving, often because our lives are turned upside down and where once our world was safe with our loved one, it is not now. Reliving the last moments of our loved one is often part of that quiet time before we fall asleep, seeing their face and feeling the love and heartbreak of there absence is all too close now. This is natural it is grief and mourning, it takes you where you don't want to go, but it is in control now, like being on a rollercoaster. Often times if we allow grieving and mourning a specific time during your day, when things are quiet for you and you can let go of what is inside, you are releasing it can help because holding back all the time is exhausting and emotionally not productive. Before going to sleep try to make your bedroom a peaceful place, soothing music, incense and practice some meditation, quieting your mind, tensing and relaxing your muscles in your body. I understand this is difficult during this time but just trying something new is often what we need during this time. If you are wondering who I am I am a grief therapist in private practice and someone who has lost loved ones in the past.
Pam,

I'm so, so sorry. How does anybody get through grief like that. The only truth is that, apparently, we do. Time rolls on and eventually you will start to accept. That's what I'm hoping. In the meantime know that I am thinking of you and sending you love and hope that you will come through it. Know that your sister is with you and holding you.

DM
Hi Pam, I am so so sorry about your sister, and I am sure it must have been a terrible shock to you. I lost my daughter in law about a year ago. She was 41, and she had not been sick, and it was such a shock to us that she died so quickly from a blood clot. One minute she was with her and the next we are making funeral arrangements. We were all in shock and nothing at all made any sense, and to make matters worse she left a little 3 year old boy. I don't know if you are a person of faith, but I do know that my faith was sorely tested when we lost her. But someway as time went on, we all managed to deal with it as best we knew how. We still miss her desperately, but as a family of faith, we just ask God to be with us and help us bear it, because we know we can't bring her back, as much as we would love too. Life isn't always easy, but I will surely keep you and your family in my prayers. It will take you some time to begin to heal, but just remember that your sister would not want you to stay so unhappy. Cherish her memories and stay strong. Glorianna
Do not ever feel that what you do to get through the death of a loved one is wrong or abnormal or whatever term you may hear. Through group therapy I have come to realize that you will have the same thoughts and/or actions as others that are grieving as well. Ironically, I use to sleep with a light on and now I don't. I do; however, fall to sleep with the tv and set the timer to shut it off automatically. My husband was killed almost three years ago to the day and I still do this. It is my way of coping with the night as your ritual is yours! You are not alone!
Thank you for your insight. I did finally figure out a way to sleep but I still wake up during the night almost a year later. I used to also leave a small light on and I started that the first night. I think it made me feel less alone. I was not afraid. Suep
Pam,
Thank you for sharing your story. I understand you have so many questions about your sister's death that are still unanswered. Not only are you missing her and the impact of her loss with the rest of your family but the mystery of how she could have just died so suddenly. The griefbursts that you have experienced will come at anytime they want which is very normal, in a grocery store or driving down the road. Often after the death there is a numbing period, remembering all the details after the news and through the funeral can be very foggy. This is the minds way of protecting you from the trauma that you have just experienced. You may then experience intense feelings of sadness, anger, depression, lack of focus, disturbances in eating and sleeping patterns are which are part of the grieving process. You will not feel this way forever, it will change and be different. Try to remember that you have every right to cry for your sister, your heart is broken and we are never the same after the death.
Be kind to yourself, if you do not want to clean your house, that is okay, you need time to heal and that can be done only by giving yourself time and not feeling guilty about jumping back into your usual routine. I have seen such loving, tender moments made when you make a sacred memorial in your home for your loved one. Such as wonderful pictures, figurines or special items that remind you of them, maybe a candle or other items on a shelf or table which keeps their memory alive and living with you. Please know you are in my thoughts. Peace, Ann

Pam said:
Ann Ross how can you put away a quiet place to grieve when your family members need to share online after work. At all times of the day. How can you not grieve when the over whelming grief that rocks your gut. And your bawling the really ugly cry before you can stop it. Talking on the phone , driving down the street. I've had to walk out of the safeway, cause the tears just flow. I know people pass from cancer , and children die. and shouldn't. But DeeDee was fine and than they found her in her bed dead.
I didn't take pills prior to this. Apparantly my family got me ativan and sleeping pills during the first week. I did plan the funeral, signed for the release of the body. phoned the aunts and cousins. brought down her clothes and jewlery. and dealt with things. Mostly with my husband. But suddenly other sisters and brother i hadn't seen in 10 years were in my house. This all in that ugly week. I can't go on right now. I don't know what to do. I just don't. thanks for listening Pam

Ann Ross said:
After the loss of a loved one we not only grieve with our mind but we also grieve with our bodies. The physical and mental trauma that we have experienced comes out in our everyday activities. Sleep disturbance is very common while you are grieving, often because our lives are turned upside down and where once our world was safe with our loved one, it is not now. Reliving the last moments of our loved one is often part of that quiet time before we fall asleep, seeing their face and feeling the love and heartbreak of there absence is all too close now. This is natural it is grief and mourning, it takes you where you don't want to go, but it is in control now, like being on a rollercoaster. Often times if we allow grieving and mourning a specific time during your day, when things are quiet for you and you can let go of what is inside, you are releasing it can help because holding back all the time is exhausting and emotionally not productive. Before going to sleep try to make your bedroom a peaceful place, soothing music, incense and practice some meditation, quieting your mind, tensing and relaxing your muscles in your body. I understand this is difficult during this time but just trying something new is often what we need during this time. If you are wondering who I am I am a grief therapist in private practice and someone who has lost loved ones in the past.
I am a widow of 4 years now and my blog has suggestions for small changes one can make to help make a more restful night and peaceful awakening.
Can be found on this site... susan w reynolds or blog@ revivalredesign.blogspot.com
Any other suggestions or critiques are greatly appreciated. Sweet Dreams Swr

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