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Overcoming Loneliness and Grief

12/02/01 | UPDATED 9/24/03 | ENDED 12/09/05

By Carolyn Haynali

Everyone handles loneliness and grief different.

But for me it was a struggle to get through the days and the long nights. But with the help of my faith in God it has helped me to face what life was all about. I could not change a thing but had to work through the loneliness and grief the best way I could.

I pray that this will help someone else going through the same thing as I am. I to had to face grief and know the feeling and heartaches that come with losing someone you love.

That these words will bring a message and help to start a healing in your life as well as mine.

Everyone will experience one or both of these conditions sometime in their life. Grief and loneliness thousands of people encounter this problem and face the loss in their lives daily and some never get over it. Look around you and you will see many and around holidays it is even worse.

Some have experienced the loss of a loved one; through divorce or through an illness, the grieving process is normal. Tragedy strikes and the hurt is unbearable, like you are the only one in the whole world facing this. Satan seizes the opportunity to try to bring permanent bondage causing a spirit of grief. But with God's help and insight and understanding there is a difference between these two conditions. One helps us to recover from the loss with the passing of time. The other causes us to grow worse and sink into despair I know I was heading there.

FACING The Problem

The word lonely means "solitary ...desolate ...dejected by being alone." Loneliness often manifests as an inner ache, a vacuum, or a craving for affection. Its side effects include feelings of emptiness, uselessness, or purposelessness. A more serious side effect of loneliness is often depression, which can eventually lead to suicide. There are many causes of loneliness, but many people don't realize they don't need to live with it. They can't confront it and deal with it. You can be in a crowd and still feel lonely.

When something happens to make us realize things are never going to be the way they once were, often it creates a trauma or crisis in our lives that leads to loneliness and despair.

Crisis always brings change and to change is often very hard for all that are involved.

I have lost loved ones in my life, my mom, dad, sister, and friends but the lose of my husband to Alzheimer disease is the most devastating thing I had to experience and go through. I have lost a part of me, my heart ached and I can't seem to stop crying.

So I decided to try to help others going through what I am going through have a support group and started the Caregivers Army Organization. But I still feel the grief and the loneliness and sadness.

My grief was not only for myself that I would never have my husband back again like it was before, but for my children who would not have a dad to talk to and share stories of days gone bye, my grandchildren who would not experience the fun times with grandpa and for my great grand children who will never know there great grandpa nor will grandpa ever know them. So much lose and despair I was feeling. I felt if I cried hard enough and long enough I could make the pain easier but it never was. I felt like I was caring everyone's pain in my life and I could not handle it. I have seen the sadness in my daughter's eyes and for my son who can't cope with it and never comes around to see how we are doing. My grand children who try to remember the way grand pa was and it's a faded memory……… I can not take away there pain or the loneliness I see in their eyes.

I would cry out to God why? Why? Why?, to be cut down in the prime of your life when I felt………so much more yet to see and experience. We have not done the things we talk about doing or bought the things or went places because we felt we had the time later in years but it is gone now never to be experienced again.

I was feeling hate and I had to fight against it because it was not his fault but the disease that took him from all of us. I was in a battle not only for my life but also for others. I felt at times like I was drowning and could not keep my head above the water.

Sinking slowly and drowning in the pit of loneliness and depression I wanted to take everyone's pain away and mine too.

But I couldn't handle my pain how could I handled anyone else's. So the days went on and turned into years…it will be over four years since Chuck was placed in the Ohio Veterans Home and it still seems like only yesterday. The crying never stops…but I have to go on with living.

GRIEVING PROCESS

I went through a few different stages SHOCK and DENIAL are two of the first things a person may experience when something bad happens in your life. That was what I was going through. This could not be happing to my life or me. I would wake up from this bad dream and things would be the way it was before I would be safe in my life again. As we travel the road of life many things happen to all of us God gives us the strength to go through them. To help us not to fall apart we have to adjust and adapt our way of thinking to the sudden change. We cannot stay in shock and be in denial forever. There is a turning point to bring us back to face reality and to help us learn to deal with the crises we are in. I feel I am still in it longer then I should be but I do face the fact that I have to go on and not look back because I can't change anything. God has sent people into my life along this journey to help me to cope and to move forward. Got support on the Internet and in the real world friends that I will treasure always, they will always be a part of my life.

Grief is a process of healing it is different in each person that is why it is of little comfort when people say they understand how you feel and it will be okay. But in our minds we feel they don't really understand what we are going through. Because we are all different and handle grief differently. Nothing anyone can say can help us get through our grief. Just being there and calling, and asking you to come over to eat or go out to eat with them is wonderful. The best way to handle grief is to work through it get involved with a project or help someone else going through what you are experiencing.

Going through the grieving process takes time and in time it does heal and the hurt will fade away slowly. Life is a series of loses in one way or another through illness or death. We all will experience loss one day.

If you need time to be alone that is ok, if you want someone to listen find a close friend and say I just want to talk will you listen to me? You grieve the best way that it is for you. Myself I cry a lot but it is getting less I don't cry as much as I use to. I am working through it and each day is important and I handle it the best I can.

Anger

Wow anger was another step I had to deal with and I was angry at every thing and everyone. Even myself because I felt I could hsve done something more to help Chuck and maybe he would not have gotten this terrible disease. I have cried out in anger to God because He could of changed things and made things better.

I was angry at Chuck because he left me, at my son because he was not here for me, at some of my friends because they were not here to help me get through this. I was angry at God because he could change things. So much anger I had. All this is normal but we cannot stay angry all the time. There comes a time when we have to just let go of all this and go on with life that was what I tried to do but some days it all came back again. I'm not going to say I have gotten over all my anger and fear and I know there are many out there going through the same thing as I am. All I can say is never give up the fight God is still on our side and will see us through these rough times.

Recovering from the Loss of a loved one

Without God and family and friends and I would not of gotten to where I am today. I could' t help myself I was letting my grief and the crying and going into my own little world get the best of me. But there comes a time when you must let go of the past and look to the future. I am trying to move forward with my life and to help others along the way

Writing articles for newspapers and magazines and poetry of what I have experienced and maybe it will help others going through the same thing.

Chuck is getting along fine and is happy and smiles and is being taken care of really good. Now I have to learn to do the same and go on with where ever work God has for me to do.

I pray that these words help in some way and the crying stops and the depression leaves and life will go on.

You will always have memories to look back on and to remember special times together you never really forget.

The Grief Goes On

As I watch Chuck go down hill the last few months it has been terrible for me the crying never stops.

He refuses to eat now and clinches his teeth together if I can get the food past his teeth he will chew. But at the home they can't force him to eat it's not allowed. So now they have his food pureed and I don't believe he will eat that either. The next step they tell me is tube feeding Oh God I don't want to go that way but don't want to see him starve to death either. The choices we have to make are not right. I need some help with understanding this disease at this stage. Is he refusing to eat saying he wants to go and for his life to end because he knows what is going on…. or is it the disease and he is not able to open his mouth to eat? Question but no answers

This is a long journey and not sure I can make it through any longer. I want what is best for my love one, as I know others do also. Chuck would never want to be a responsibility to anyone nor would he want me to be burdened down with grief. But he can't help me work though this like we used to when we had problems to face. I am on my own with only God to direct me each day. I wake up each day and pray and wonder what will be in store for me today. What more heartache will I have and to be facing it all alone… people that still have their loved ones really can't understand what I am going through nor do they have the time to stop and reflect that it could one day be them. Life is moving so fast and people are so busy caught up in the everyday pressures of life. I pray there would be more understanding and research into this disease Alzheimer's.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF LOSSES

There are different kinds of losses not only with death do we feel the loss but with illnesses comes along its a different kind of loss. When you have a loved one that has Alzheimer's disease the loss is the same as a death. For me it was my husband. Many years together and he doesn't know me or his family. That is a terrible loss but I feel in his heart he knows who I am but he can't talk or say it,. That's is how I can survive in my own mind.

I can see it in his eyes when I look at him. Some people say to me well you have not lost your husband to death you still have him. Yes I can still see the body but the mind is no longer there he can not talk and tell me what he wants, he can not ask for food or drink, can not say how he feels, or if he is In pain. He can't walk but is in a wheelchair and totally depends on others for his every need.

Each day I see the illness taking hold of him more and more and the pain gets harder to bear and I can't help him. I want to do so much and try to bring him back to normal. But the days go on and the year's pass by and our life will never be again. So I have to let go and let God be in control of what is to be and to give me strength to go on with my life.

Where do I belong? I am not a widow, I'm not married, and I'm not single

Where do I fit in? I feel so out of place at times, people say to go on with your life. But how can I…? this is my life.

This is a long, lonely journey and I am seeing that my loved one gets the best care that I can afford. So as I have said before there are different kinds of losses. We all grieve the way we feel about the situation that we are in. So if you know someone that is going through a loss of a loved one. No matter if it's a husband, wife, mom, dad, sister, brother, a child, baby, grandma, grandpa, the loss is still the same and we grieve inside because in our heart apiece is missing.

God bless and try to take care of you

Chuck's life is over now, no more pain or suffering and I am left here to go on with my life.

It still seems unreal and the grief I am going through is still real.

Yes my care giving days are over now and I wonder what I am to do with the rest of my life.

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