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  1. #1
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    Dealing with Loss

    Hey,

    I have a question for fellow RPS peeps. How do you guys deal with loss? More specifically death of a loved one?
    I have a family member dying of Age and Cancer. She is very old around 90+ years old.

    She is not going to make it.

    I known this person but my whole life I have not really connected so to speak with this person.

    I just visited her at her home today.
    I feel sympathy but I feel nothing. If that makes any sense. Now to clarify I do feel emotions but I do not feel anything in regards to this.

    Does dealing with loss take time?

    I know that she is going to die. I just do not know how to feel. Let alone what to feel.

    I know that this sounds weird but am I crazy? Or is this normal?

  2. #2
    Network Hub Hanban's Avatar
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    I don't think you're crazy. Though, maybe that makes me crazy. A couple of years back my grandfather died. It was during one of my work holidays so I was at home with my parents when it happened. When I woke up that day mom told me, visibly distraught and that really hurt me. I decided to take a walk after breakfast feeling bummed out, and called my wife. During that conversation I sort of calmed myself down and then didn't feel sad any more. I told myself he had been old and we'd kind of seen it coming. That was the worst I ever felt about him passing, which really bothered me. At the funeral, I didn't really feel bad about my grandfather having died, I felt bad for my mom and my uncle who were very emotionally struck by it.

    A couple of months ago my father's mother passed away and I barely felt anything. Again, I felt really bad for my father, but I barely knew her and had met her maybe twice. More than anything I felt and still feel guilty for not having been more sad when they passed..
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  3. #3
    Be honest with yourself. There's a sense that "you're supposed" to feel bad for the death of some people especially if they're blood related (which is a really meaningless thing anyway), but if you don't care, you don't care. Especially if you've never really known them/got close to them, it wouldn't make sense to care too much.

    That's fine.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
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    If you have not connected with the person, then there's no way you'll feel real emotion. I guess the only emotion you could feel now is regret for not having knowing him/her better (which is my general advice for grandfathers/grandmothers: talk to them! you'll regret not doing so later).

    That being said, the best you can do is to be available for the people who will really feel that death. They will need you.
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  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Still, you might have relatives who do feel strongly. Now is an excellent time to be strong for them.
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    Hey there. Sorry to hear you're going through a tough time.

    All my grandparents are no longer with us, and I have felt a range of emotions for each one's death. The first was pretty matter of fact; it sounds similar to what you are experiencing at the moment. I didn't particularly know her well and as Hanban above mentioned, the effect it had on others affected me much more than the actual death.

    When my last grandparent died, about 5 years ago, it affected me quite a bit. Nothing I considered excessive but yeah, I was 'sad'. I was older at the time and later in her life I'd got to know her a lot more than my other grandparents. I remember feeling obligated to visit her and eventually found ways to enjoy the time I spent there, really enjoy it actually.

    Long story short, it's OK to be conflicted and it's OK to be confused and it's OK to be nothing at all. As I've got older and had a kid, I'm a lot more cognisant of my mortality and you might find these things affect you more as you get older too.

    No matter what, death fortunately is not something most of us have to deal with too often, so I think it's completely normal to have questions about the feelings we do/don't have.

    I'll stop rambling now. I hope things work out as best they can for both you and your family.

  7. #7
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    I'm terribly sorry for you and as much as I dislike responding with a quote, I find Epicurus to be quite fitting in this situation:

    “Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.”

    Realizing that a person is gone often takes a while to settle in, so it's not uncommon or crazy in any way. And while it's always hard to deal with these kind of situations, you may find relief in knowing that 90+ years is a very accomplished life.

    What's important is that resolve any unfinished business that may exist between you two. Regret is a far bitter emotion than loss.

  8. #8
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    Thank you for all the advice everyone and comments everyone.

    I guess this is as much as a blessing as much as a curse.
    I really want to feel something. Going to visit her again today providing hospice will let me.
    If anything I can be a rock in someones storm so to speak.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    I too don't feel anything towards death. It's kind of useful in my opinion, perhaps not normal but not crazy. I'm always able to take charge of the bulk of the work with regards to funeral arrangements, etc, because I keep my usual state of mind throughout the ordeal. Since you feel emotions normally, you can also offer emotional support to grieving family and friends I imagine.
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  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    When you say you feel nothing, do you mean that you don't feel personal bereavement and loss? That sounds normal if you don't have a personal bond with this person. If you mean that you don't even feel empathy with a person who is sick and dying then that's not entirely normal, but it doesn't necessarily mean you're horrible or a crazy person either.

    And yes, it's perfectly normal for emotions to take time.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skalpadda View Post
    When you say you feel nothing, do you mean that you don't feel personal bereavement and loss? That sounds normal if you don't have a personal bond with this person. If you mean that you don't even feel empathy with a person who is sick and dying then that's not entirely normal, but it doesn't necessarily mean you're horrible or a crazy person either.

    And yes, it's perfectly normal for emotions to take time.
    I feel sympathy yes. I just have no emotional bond with them. I really have not know them my whole life.

    Hope that clear things up :)

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    I was a few years ago present for the death of a middle aged complete stranger. Kicked me far harder than either of my relatives who were elderly.

    :/
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  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    I was a few years ago present for the death of a middle aged complete stranger. Kicked me far harder than either of my relatives who were elderly.

    :/
    I can imagine. I only have one grandparent remaining, and she isn't doing too well either. When her husband (my grandfather) died, years ago, I was really sad, because they lived nearby and had a really active role in raising my brother and me. When my other two grandparents died, I didn't really feel very much. I never bonded with them, because I didn't see them too much and because they weren't very active people (and couldn't talk about anything I could relate to). As a kid, I never actually experienced them as anything other than "old strangers", as harsh as that might sound.

    tl;dr: it's normal to feel different things when different people die. If you've never bonded with someone, it's normal to not feel a lot of grief. The fact that you've known them a long time or that they are related to you doesn't have to change that.
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  14. #14
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    I'm speaking from experience I'm afraid. Being born to young parents has meant that my great grandparents and my grandparents have been present in my life.
    I've gone from having 5 great grandparents and 7 (2 divorces and 3 marriages) grandparents to only having 1 great grandparent and 3 grandparents.

    Dealing with loss can be hard, I'm not going to lie. There are however many different types of people which means different types of grief. For the first couple of times I balled my eyes out, I was angry. How dare they take them from me? It was hard to deal with. After a while I just stopped, enough people had died that I had become steeled to the feelings. People would ask what was wrong with me? What aren't you crying? Did you hate them or something?
    The answer was always no. This was just my way of dealing with loss now.

    You may feel bad for not crying but you shouldn't. It could be your way of dealing with grief or it may be as you said that you don't really feel a connection to her. Nobody should tell you how or if you should grieve.

    I hope I helped a bit and didn't just ramble on. If you need to talk then message me and I can try to help.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    There is no correct way to respond to death, so never let anyone tell you that what you're going through isn't proper.

    For me, I always have a hard time when loved ones die. No such much regarding death itself as once they're dead that's it (well stated by Epicurus, quoted above), it's more than I acutely feel the pain of others who were close to them and I can feel their loss, if that makes any sense. When my uncle died some years ago I was quite distraught, mostly because I knew that my mother was devastated, and I hate seeing loved ones feeling such intense pain.
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  16. #16
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    I think one way is to accept it first. That passing away is normal, and it's not the end. Your loved one has lived her life fully until Death (or God) comes pick her up. It's not regretful, think of the memories. Accept that it is sad, but the sadness doesnt mean the end of you. It's ok to cry, it's ok to not cry. It's ok to feel very strong emotions, or very empty. It's just part of it. You're not crazy :)

  17. #17
    Network Hub dudebro's Avatar
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    Sometimes it takes time. Given that you're not "connected" to the person, you'll likely only feel a sense of melancholy that you DIDN'T connect when you had time. Such is life.

    I was pretty rock solid throughout my father's death and funeral and aftermath. It was only later, when alone two months or so later, that I allowed myself to let the grief in.

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