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Surviving the Loss of a Parent
9/23/2010 - Dorothy Sander

Christy's recent blog "Where Are My Bad Dreams Coming From" perfectly describes the feelings and issues I had after my mother died and gave me a whole lot of food for thought. Here's just some of them.

Caring for an aging parent and going through the whole process of their death and the personal loss, as well as settling estates and households, is often a process that goes on for some time. The extra effort it takes, the extra space it takes up in our psyches and in our life is something we may willingly give up but is also bound to take it's toll.

Throughout this process, we put our own lives on hold and quite often we neglect our own needs, both personal and physical. When all is said and done and space and distance starts to settle in, room begins to open up within us for us to begin to process everything. Most of this "processing" will take place all on its own if we give it the time and space. We humans are natural healers both physically and emotionally.

It has been two years since my mother died. For the first year or so I was where Christy is ~ nightmares, an uneasy feeling, restless, out of sorts ~ I too fought against this feeling, trying to make it go away, fix it, figure it out. The best thing I did for myself was to put my brain in neutral as much as possible and in any way I could. Mostly I listened to books on tape and read. I replaced my thoughts with someone else's when I was conscious and ruminated on any dreams I had.

Now, I still dream about my mother almost every night., but I have begun to feel less uneasy.  I recall dreaming about my Dad for quite a while after he died as well. My dreams are always of taking care of them, carrying them places, protecting them ~ they are always frail and helpless. When dreams become repetitious, it may be time to think about them. They can provide tremendous insight into the conflicts we are trying to resolve.

2 Comments From Other Members
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9/23/2010 from wrote:
That's a very insightful blog, Dorothy. No doubt it is grief that causes this uneasy feeling. I have experienced it in the past.
9/26/2010 Christy Steiger from Crown Point IN wrote:
Well put, Dorothy. Grief takes many forms, and time is much of the answer. You have reminded me that I must give myself more time and just let my responses be. Some can't be controlled or fixed.

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