Friday, December 12, 2014

How do YOU deal with death?

Because we are about to lose a dearly loved one (I know I said I was going to keep some of my life private but I can't pretend this isn't happening) I've become a compulsive researcher into how people deal with grief.

This is how I roll.. when I come up against something I research, research, research. My work has been all about researching (journalism & documentary researching), my studies have been all about researching (popular culture & media ethics), giving up booze for me was all about researching (how does one become a non-drinker?), when I first got sober I researched like crazy (how do people deal with emotions?) and now this.

I went onto YouTube the other night and typed in "How do you deal with death". Watched some great clips. This one was cutely animated and reassuringly told me "You can expect grieving to be rough." Also loved the way they illustrated the word 'grief' as a roller coaster and said of grief "there are peaks and dips and they don't always happen in predictable ways".

This man I loved - he was so reassuring about the process of death, he's studied near-death experiences and has undertaken major research talking to numerous hospice and palliative care workers etc to examine what happens for people when they die. His talk was fascinating and made me feel a lot calmer about the process.

There are sooooooo many Ted talks on dying and grieving and mourning etc.

And of course I've been listening to my beloved Tara. This talk and this talk are both great.

So where have I ended up?

Sometimes I feel very calm and at peace and accepting of what's going on.

Other times I feel deeply, heart-breakingly, devastatingly, gut-wrenchingly sad.

I think it's definitely what you could call a roller coaster.

Do I want to escape this feeling? Well… I'd rather my loved one wasn't dying, for sure. But they are and they will.

Do I want to numb the pain with booze? No fucking way. I am however eating as much as is humanly possible every day. It's like I can't possibly be full enough. So I know that I am hurting emotionally and I'm not dealing with that 100%. It's so dumb. But then again… emotional pain sucks.

I'll try harder not to eat so much from now on. Maybe confessing it here on my blog will help me with that.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. Oh Mrs D, I am so sorry to hear this. It is so painful and in my experience - I guess much like alcoholism recovery - it just takes time, lots and lots of time. And the pain doesn't go away but the sharp, raw, edges dull into something manageable that you can live with and move forward but not forget. So much love to you.

    Kiha kaha,

    Lilly xo

  2. Dear Mrs. D,
    I am sorry. Lilly said it very well.
    Wishing you peace.

  3. biggest of hugs to you. this subject FREAKS ME OUT.

  4. I'm so sorry that you're going through this. It's absolutely shattering and I wish you all the strength that I never had. I drank my way through my sisters suicide. I drank my way through my brothers death and I drank my way through the grief that followed. People used to think I was so strong but in reality I was dulling everything with alcohol.

    Have strength, have faith in yourself and your own strength and allow the feelings to flow.

  5. Mrs D - eat what you feel you need to eat and take care of you, I'm so sorry to hear that your family is in pain. When you were researching did you come across Kubler-Ross and the 5 stages of grief? Might be worth a look although as a thorough researcher I'm sure you've already been there :) Big hugs from the other side of the world xx

  6. I lost my husband 9 years to an alcohol related car accident and I was similar to MrsH, I drank my way through it. Every one praised me for how strong I was but in reality I was just a coward and tried to escape the raw feelings. Stay sober through this Mrs D and you can truly say you are a strong person.

  7. May the love of friends and family surround you and fill your heart with comfort as you journey through this loss. Be sure to be kind and gentle with yourself. Sending you and your family warm hugs and love.

  8. I'm so sorry you and yours are going through this. Plain and simple, death sucks but the grief of the one's left behind sucks way worse.

    The pain does subside eventually, but the memories remain forever.

    Love and hugs,

  9. Mrs D I am so sorry to hear this. Emotional pain sucks. It really does and experience tells us that actually, numbing our pain with alcohol doesn't really help. Certainly I have felt the last 9 months has been the first time I have properly grieved for my mum, who died 10 years ago; like others I simply drank my way through my grief originally and was praised for being strong when I was anything but. Thinking of you all. Xx

  10. Hi Mrs D :-) When my dad died I wasn't surprised because I thought that it was coming but I was still shocked when I got the phone call. Even though I had expected his death and thought that I had rationalized it to myself it was the way it impacted other people in my family that caused me the most grief. It was upsetting seeing them upset and in one instance angry- drunken anger which was turned on me: "you never loved dad, etc". .. I remember being fairly upbeat at his funeral - aided by a hip flask of whiskey - and consoling people I barely knew and telling them it was going to be fine...... In the weeks and months after his death there were several instances when I could have swore that I saw him and my over-riding thought at that time was: Where is he? I don't think that I could quite accept that he'd gone, although now after six years his death has become a fact which is just part of the normal order of things.

  11. I am sorry Mrs D :( Losing a loved one is a very hard thing. Intellectually it is easy to say that death is a natural part of life. But the reality of it is just heart crushing. It is so hard to let go. It is so easy to numb pain with food just like we did alcohol as well. I wish I had advice but I don't. *Big hugs* from across the pond.