“Telling Your Sorrow”

Telling Ones sorrow often brings comfort – Pierre Corneille (circa 1640)

Telling ones sorrow seems to be such a simple concept but one we all struggle with. It’s not easy to go to the pain and relive our experiences. It took me a long time before I could openly tell my story. I probably had a million reasons why I wouldn’t talk about it, but here are a couple of main reasons why I wouldn’t tell my story:

1. I truly thought if I didn’t talk about it I could tuck it away into a dark corner of my mind and it would just go away.

2. It hurt too much.

3. I thought I was being weak and I should be able to control my pain.

4. I never really discussed other difficult things in my life, no reason to start now.

5. I felt a lot of guilt and I really didn’t want to let others know how “terrible” of a dad I must be by not being able to protect my children.

6. I was taught to deal with “stuff” on my own.

7. I didn’t think there was anyone out there that was willing to listen to my problems.

8. I didn’t want to burden other people with the issues I was having.

9. Talking about my children’s death wouldn’t change the fact that it really happened.

10. I was embarrassed that I would start weeping in front of others when I spoke of the losses.

These are just a few of the reasons that come to mind today. Like I said above, I am sure I had many many reasons for not sharing.

I have since learned that this quote is very true. Telling your story is an important part of releasing the pain the goes to the core. Pain I never realized existed. Pain that cannot be explained with words. You have to walk in the shoes of a grieving parent to understand this pain.

Do you have excuses for not telling your story?

Do you have ideas you would like to share with other on how to start telling their story?

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This entry was posted in Bereaved, Courage, Crying, Death of a baby, Death of a Child, Debilitating, Depression, Despair, Devastation, Emotions, Fear, Grief, Grieving Dads Words, Guilt, Healing, Hope, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Loss of a Child, Loss of a Daughter, Loss of a Son, Miscarriage, Pain, Peace, Scary, Survival, Tears, weeping, Words of Encouragement. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to “Telling Your Sorrow”

  1. Grieving Dads says:

    John,

    I applaud you for having the courage to take this important step. As guys, we want to take on the role of protector, so we do what ever it takes to focus our energy on others thinking it will help us. And it does for a while, but the old saying “you can shut the door on grief, but it will peak in through the window” happens. It is not easy at first to open up and allow others to see your raw emotions, but I can tell you from my personal experience, that when I did and I realized how much it helped. You couldn’t shut me up. :)

    Keep us updated on your progress. Seek all the help you need and remember, you can’t help others until you have helped yourself.

    Peace.

    Kelly

  2. John says:

    Well, I have an update to post…I’m no longer able to process this on my own. My wife and I sat down last weekend and discussed what we’re going through and came to the conclusion that we need some professional help. It’s not an easy decision to make, and one that wasn’t arrived at lightly.

    I love my wife very much, she is my heart and soul. When our daughter died, it affected us very deeply. I was lucky enough to find this website and find some solace. I tried to pass that on to her and it succeeded for a while, but it started to take a toll on me because I was focusing most of my attention on her well being and perhaps not enough attention on my well being.

    I’m not a “me” person…I never have been. I’ve found that by focusing on the well-being and interests of the people that surround me, my well-being and success naturally follows.

    It doesn’t work when you’ve lost a child and you’re trying to focus on the well-being of your spouse.

    I’ve had two major emotional shutdowns over the last two weeks and it’s become clear to me that I need some professional help, therefore I’ve contacted a grief counselor for the both of us to go in and…I don’t know. (My wife’s on board with this, by the way!)

    I don’t know what to expect, I don’t know what I’ll say, I just know I need to do something. I’m apprehensive, nervous and confused, all at the same time, and this can’t be a good thing since the appointment isn’t until the end of the week!

    I think I’m doing the right thing…I certainly hope so.

  3. To me, sharing my sorrow also helps me create a new memory with my daughter. The only kind of new memories I am able to create now….and if anyone has a problem with it then I don’t want to have any memories with them.

    I like your new website. Just one suggestion – I realize it doesn’t apply to many people, lol. I have MS and trying to see the text in this comment box (dark gray with black text) is almost impossible for me to see.

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Sherry – Thank you for your feedback, I will work on fixing this issue with my tech guy. I agree, it is hard to read.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  4. John Wolfe says:

    “…but I am still at a loss for words and what exactly I should be feeling…”

    John, I understand that feeling all too well. I was in a daze for quite a while until I found this blog and it has helped me tremendously to come to grips with the way I was feeling. As anyone here will tell you, there is no right or wrong way to be feeling. That confused me at first, then I came to realize that each of our experiences are unique to the individual experiencing them. Your loss is different from mine so we are going to have different paths to walk in our grieving process. You lost your daughter after two weeks and I lost mine after 23 years. That doesn’t soften the blow of losing a child, but it changes the way we grieve about them.

    Another factor is the manner in which we lost them. My Allison simply fell asleep and never woke up, a victim of a rare disease called Hashimoto’s Disease that was never diagnosed. I didn’t have to go through the added stress of hospitalization and all that entails, so therefore I grieve differently than you. That doesn’t mean that I loved my daughter any less or more than you loved yours, it just means that the circumstances of our loss were different, therefore we grieve differently.

    I’ve found that by confronting the grief head on, acknowledging it, and pushing THROUGH it, it helps. I tried denial for a while, but just got more depressed as time went on. I’ve learned a lot about the grieving process from this blog and the people here and I hope you stick around, share your thoughts with us and let us help you get through the worst nightmare of your life. In my mind, talking about your loss is the singlemost helpful thing you can do.

    John

  5. John McKenna says:

    I came across your blog by accident this evening; during browsing for a good couples’s communication article during grief and loss. Telling a story that has such a horrible ending is difficult but here goes. I lost my second child Hazel on July 1st 2011 in my arms after two amazing weeks with my beautiful girl.
    At first glance it would seem to an outsider or a clueless husband that having another C-section at 38 weeks for our second daughter would seem like a no-brainer. Far from it actually; since the beginning of pregnancy #2 my wife has been adamant that she wants to try a VBAC. Well like most men I wasn’t really sure what I thought about her decision, but being married to a super strong willed woman I knew I wasn’t going to change her mind. By about a month prior to labor I would say I had subscribed to it. Labor went pretty standard this time; about 9 hours later we were pushing. All of the sudden; the doctors were having issues getting baby Hazel on the monitors. We weren’t that concerned since it was during pushing and Hazel had been known to move around a lot. But then all of the sudden when they went to check the face/dilation one of the doctors noticed that there was no fluid and they wheeled Emily out without saying anything. We found out later the actual C-section took about one minute and they basically had to rip my wife’s tissues as opposed to cutting. Hazel was found in my wifes upper abdominal cavity, surrounded by blood and not breathing. My wife’s uterus had burst, and after baby was recovered the doctor actually had to piece my wifes uterus back together. My mother-in-law and I were the only ones in the room aside from the nurses when they wheeled Emily out.
    I was scared and uninformed for several hours about either my wife or daughter until a young resident came to my bedside to explain what had happened.
    Hazel was rushed to the Children’s Hospital and was there until she went to Heaven. She was put on a cooling blanket to keep her temp down so we could prevent any further damage to her brain. Her heart, lungs and other organs all seemed fine. Then devastation: an Brain ultrasound was done and revealed severe brain damage disallowing her from having a meaningful life.
    After that we got to see our daughter for about two weeks before she left for Heaven.
    Why am I angry I ask myself. I’m able to accept that Hazel passed:”we did have to make some unbelievably tough decisions on her life limiting condition.” But what now: we found out only weeks after that it will be unlikely at a year minimum that Emily’s uterus could sustain another baby and even if so complications would be possible for both my wife and any future offspring. That just adds to my frustration. Aside from “why me,” I ask this void in my heart and mind : will it always be there. This is one of those times that you can’t really “deal” with things but you just have to “live with this.” Well maybe I’m capable of “living with this,” but my life is still in shambles, I’m reminded of what I’m missing everytime I see a new baby boy/girl and also of what I may never have again, although we have had a friend offer surrogacy if my wife and I can not have another child. I’m kind of allover the page with my e-motions, coming in waves with ferocity and then just as whimpers when I hear a song/read something like your blog and even purchasing something in the checkout line of a supermarket. I’ve tried counseling and that seems to be working, but I am still at a loss for words and what exactly I should be feeling. I haven’t exactly been eating well or sleeping well, but I also don’t feel like Hazel is on my mind, eventhough her presence is very much eerily with me. I just found your blog tonight and all the stories even from several years ago have been helpful, thank you for making a concerned effort to help others that have gone/or are going in my case through this treacherous path of sorrow and disgruntled and incoherent thoughts/feelings. I hope this blog can help me through this tough journey for as long as I must travel it.

  6. Jack Hobby says:

    July 18 is here again and though the pain never ends. Some of the things written above are so true. I will always have the guilt of not protecting my son. Rest in Peace Charlie July 26 1986 – July 18 2005

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Jack,

      I hope the day was kind to you. I have thought about you throughout the day. I know how hard these days can be. I am glad you were able to find a connection to this posting. Peace.

      Kelly

  7. Jack Hobby says:

    You have to walk in the shoes of a grieving parent to understand this pain. This is so true.

  8. John Wolfe says:

    “…but I am still at a loss for words and what exactly I should be feeling…”

    John, I understand that feeling all too well. I was in a daze for quite a while until I found this blog and it has helped me tremendously to come to grips with the way I was feeling. As anyone here will tell you, there is no right or wrong way to be feeling. That confused me at first, then I came to realize that each of our experiences are unique to the individual experiencing them. Your loss is different from mine so we are going to have different paths to walk in our grieving process. You lost your daughter after two weeks and I lost mine after 23 years. That doesn’t soften the blow of losing a child, but it changes the way we grieve about them.

    Another factor is the manner in which we lost them. My Allison simply fell asleep and never woke up, a victim of a rare disease called Hashimoto’s Disease that was never diagnosed. I didn’t have to go through the added stress of hospitalization and all that entails, so therefore I grieve differently than you. That doesn’t mean that I loved my daughter any less or more than you loved yours, it just means that the circumstances of our loss were different, therefore we grieve differently.

    I’ve found that by confronting the grief head on, acknowledging it, and pushing THROUGH it, it helps. I tried denial for a while, but just got more depressed as time went on. I’ve learned a lot about the grieving process from this blog and the people here and I hope you stick around, share your thoughts with us and let us help you get through the worst nightmare of your life. In my mind, talking about your loss is the singlemost helpful thing you can do.

    John

  9. John McKenna says:

    I came across your blog by accident this evening; during browsing for a good couples’s communication article during grief and loss. Telling a story that has such a horrible ending is difficult but here goes. I lost my second child Hazel on July 1st 2011 in my arms after two amazing weeks with my beautiful girl.
    At first glance it would seem to an outsider or a clueless husband that having another C-section at 38 weeks for our second daughter would seem like a no-brainer. Far from it actually; since the beginning of pregnancy #2 my wife has been adamant that she wants to try a VBAC. Well like most men I wasn’t really sure what I thought about her decision, but being married to a super strong willed woman I knew I wasn’t going to change her mind. By about a month prior to labor I would say I had subscribed to it. Labor went pretty standard this time; about 9 hours later we were pushing. All of the sudden; the doctors were having issues getting baby Hazel on the monitors. We weren’t that concerned since it was during pushing and Hazel had been known to move around a lot. But then all of the sudden when they went to check the face/dilation one of the doctors noticed that there was no fluid and they wheeled Emily out without saying anything. We found out later the actual C-section took about one minute and they basically had to rip my wife’s tissues as opposed to cutting. Hazel was found in my wifes upper abdominal cavity, surrounded by blood and not breathing. My wife’s uterus had burst, and after baby was recovered the doctor actually had to piece my wifes uterus back together. My mother-in-law and I were the only ones in the room aside from the nurses when they wheeled Emily out.
    I was scared and uninformed for several hours about either my wife or daughter until a young resident came to my bedside to explain what had happened.
    Hazel was rushed to the Children’s Hospital and was there until she went to Heaven. She was put on a cooling blanket to keep her temp down so we could prevent any further damage to her brain. Her heart, lungs and other organs all seemed fine. Then devastation: an Brain ultrasound was done and revealed severe brain damage disallowing her from having a meaningful life.
    After that we got to see our daughter for about two weeks before she left for Heaven.
    Why am I angry I ask myself. I’m able to accept that Hazel passed:”we did have to make some unbelievably tough decisions on her life limiting condition.” But what now: we found out only weeks after that it will be unlikely at a year minimum that Emily’s uterus could sustain another baby and even if so complications would be possible for both my wife and any future offspring. That just adds to my frustration. Aside from “why me,” I ask this void in my heart and mind : will it always be there. This is one of those times that you can’t really “deal” with things but you just have to “live with this.” Well maybe I’m capable of “living with this,” but my life is still in shambles, I’m reminded of what I’m missing everytime I see a new baby boy/girl and also of what I may never have again, although we have had a friend offer surrogacy if my wife and I can not have another child. I’m kind of allover the page with my e-motions, coming in waves with ferocity and then just as whimpers when I hear a song/read something like your blog and even purchasing something in the checkout line of a supermarket. I’ve tried counseling and that seems to be working, but I am still at a loss for words and what exactly I should be feeling. I haven’t exactly been eating well or sleeping well, but I also don’t feel like Hazel is on my mind, eventhough her presence is very much eerily with me. I just found your blog tonight and all the stories even from several years ago have been helpful, thank you for making a concerned effort to help others that have gone/or are going in my case through this treacherous path of sorrow and disgruntled and incoherent thoughts/feelings. I hope this blog can help me through this tough journey for as long as I must travel it.

  10. Jack Hobby says:

    July 18 is here again and though the pain never ends. Some of the things written above are so true. I will always have the guilt of not protecting my son. Rest in Peace Charlie July 26 1986 – July 18 2005

    • GrievingDads says:

      Jack,

      I hope the day was kind to you. I have thought about you throughout the day. I know how hard these days can be. I am glad you were able to find a connection to this posting. Peace.

      Kelly

  11. Jack Hobby says:

    You have to walk in the shoes of a grieving parent to understand this pain. This is so true.

  12. John Wolfe says:

    I’ve been fortunate, I think. Initially it was hard to tell someone my daughter had died, but as time went on, it became easier for me and I think several things had an influence on that. Some of my thoughts here may not fit with the “norm”, but they are my thoughts and feelings nonetheless.

    First of all was the overwhelming support from not only family and close friends of ours, but from the many, many people, a lot of them total strangers, that showed up at her memorial. As I shook each person’s hand, accepted their words of sympathy and listened to their stories about Allison, I couldn’t help thinking that we had raised one hell of a daughter.

    The second thing is that I am a very strong believer in the power of positive thinking. I believe very strongly that while one must prepare for the worst that life can throw at you, thinking positive things makes positive things happen. Losing my only child was the worst possible scenario I could have imagined, and I thought about it off and on through the years as she grew into her own. Now that she is gone, the only things I can remember are the postive things…the way she made friends so easily, her good grades in school, her bright smile, her marriage to a wonderful man and they shared, so many things to list…

    I find it very difficult NOT to talk about her now…that’s all I want to do, is talk about her and the way she had about her that positively affected so many people. Her light shined so brightly here on earth that God called her to his side to help so many others. I truly believe that.

    Recently I had the cable guy out to fix the cable box. As we were talking about mundane things, he asked about my family. I explained that we had just moved in, the reasons for moving here, which included telling him about the passing of Allison. That gave me the opportunity to tell him about her and her penchant for collecting all things Christmas, as that was her favorite holiday.

    I don’t go around initiating conversations about Allison, but I do not shy away from the questions when asked. She was and is a vital part of my life and she inspires me to live my life in a positive way. We recently had to put down her first dog, Penny, a chiuahuah mix. There’s no doubt in my mind that Allison met Penny in heaven and they are happily playing together again.

    I still have my days…and make no mistake I miss Allison every single day. I do get depressed at times and sometimes feel like, “What’s the point? I’ve lost my only child. Who cares about us now? We have no future. We’re it…we’re done…end of the line.” But these moments almost always come at a time of negativity, when something isn’t going my way, when there is high stress situations.

    But a good night’s sleep and the beginning of a new day will almost always bring me out of it. My attitude is that Allison is gone and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. I can choose to wallow in self-pity and agony, or begin to embrace life again and remember Allison for the angel on earth she was.

    I choose the latter.

    • GrievingDads says:

      John,

      I too choose the latter. It is not always easy to do, but I refuse to accept the alternative.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this issue.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  13. Steven Stuart says:

    sure, Kelly has it linked here…Colin’s Corner

  14. btobin25 says:

    I have also started a blog and find it to be a constructive outlet for my thoughts and feelings. It also helps those who read it get a better idea of how painful losing my son Charlie is for us. I’ll never be able to describe the depths of our pain in words but it gives them a look into our hurt. It also, more importantly to me, serves as a living and working memorial to Charlie.

  15. Steven Stuart says:

    I had a million excuses for not telling the story of Colin’s death and yet they all boiled down to the same excuse…telling his story felt like I was giving a piece of him away and I was not willing to let any more of him go since all I had left was his story and my memories. Now I started my own blog where I talk to him and share thoughts, things I (and his sister and Mommy) do, and just try to share him as much as possible so a greater number of people can help keep him “alive”.

    As for helping someone else tell their story, I would say treat your story like a painter treats a blank canvass…just start. Once the fist mark is made on the canvass, it isn’t so intimidating since it is no longer this blank thing staring back at you. You will find that once you get over your fear to start, your story will pour out of you, and you will have shared some of the most beautiful and terrifying things you never knew you had in you. Once you do, you will feel less alone in your grief.

    • GrievingDads says:

      “your story will pour out of you, and you will have shared some of the most beautiful and terrifying things you never knew you had in you.” Very well stated Steve.

  16. Grieving Dads says:

    John,

    I too choose the latter. It is not always easy to do, but I refuse to accept the alternative.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this issue.

    Peace.

    Kelly

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