This post is a continuation of my generated list of 30 words that could be used to describe grief.  Obviously this list relates to my experience with grief, so I am interested to see if anyone else can relate with some of these words.  I plan on continuing this series of postings that will not only define these words, but expand on why I thought they would be good descriptors.

The fifth word I chose is:

Agonizing:  Defined as “Causing great physical or mental pain”

I certainly felt both, physical and mental pain while in the depths of my grief.  I started to have physical pains about a month after the death of my daughter Katie (my first child loss).  The pains started with mysterious headaches that I had never had before.  Not bad ones, but ones that would always be around my right temple. Given my mental state at the time, I was convinced that I had something really wrong with me.  I was convinced that these were not “just headaches”, there was something else going on.  I did an online search for causes of headaches, which was a mistake, and settled in on the fact that I might have a brain tumor.  I got to the point that I started to obsess about it so I called my general doctor and made an appointment. 

When I arrived at his office, I walked into his room with a detailed list of when the headaches started and what my eating habits had been for the week prior.  I had started a meal regime that consisted of only “25 Super Foods” and vitamins.  I have a tendency to do things that require disciplined behavior, but that is a whole other issue for a different blog posting.  About this same time I started to get a really bad rash all over my body.  I told the doctor about my new headaches, but didn’t bother to tell him about the recent death of my daughter.  I couldn’t speak the words without complete meltdown, so I wouldn’t speak them.  He ordered a CT Brain Scan for that afternoon. 

Looking back, my guess is he knew I wasn’t going to leave his office until he ordered that scan because all of my research pointed to possible tumor.  So in order to put my mind at rest, he ordered the scan.  All results came back negative.  He told me to stop the diet and see what happens.  The rash was gone in a week but the headaches continued on for a few more weeks before they went away.  The spoon full of wheat germ was causing the rash and stress was causing the headaches.  I look back at the situation now and kind of laugh giving my irrational behavior, but given the fact I had just lost a child, I knew bad things could happen; so I had fears of other bad things starting to happen.

The out of character paranoia of having a tumor was brought on by my mental state at the time.  These types of situations continued for another couple of years with other health issues with shingles, chest pains, numbness in arms, fatigue (physical and mental), mental cloudiness, bizarre dreams, nervousness, the list goes on.  Most of it brought on by the extreme amount of stress my body and mind was going through in coping with such a profound loss.

I think we can all relate with these types of stories.  The grief and side effects of trauma and profound loss that goes along with the death of a child is the most agonizing thing I have ever experienced.

Do you have any stories of “great physical or mental pain” you would like to share?

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User Comments ( 2 )

  • Grieving Dads


    One has to ask if the amount of stress that is placed on us mentally results in the physical ailments.

    Thank you for sharing.


    PS: How does the new text box look? Does that help? I agree with your comment, I too was having a difficult time with the contrast.

  • “Great physical or mental pain”? Well. The mental pain, I think we all know and share. For me, my health collapsed. I have Multiple Sclerosis and since my daughter died it feels like I am collecting new diseases with my grief. In those two years, I have lost 50% kidney functioning, developed colitis and chronic O2 and low blood pressure problems.

    I was fine before she died. Is it related? I don’t know.

    I think I’ve said this before but my MS makes it very difficult for me to see the comment I’m typing in this box…it’s hard to read gray lettering on gray. I have contrast problems. =( Yeah, that since she died too.