Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Fear and Grief

From where does the fear of loss come? What comes first? The fear or the feeling of loss which then sets up the fear? When do we first experience the concept of grief and loss? I can remember as a quite young child (about 6yrs) contemplating the grief I would leave behind if I died. I wept for my poor sad parents.as I imagined them coping without me. I obviously started 'thinking' at an early age. In the event it was my mother's death when I was just turned 16 yrs old that was my first experience of loss and bereavement. But maybe when I was about 3 yrs old I had picked up the awareness of grief from my mother after the death of my maternal gt grandmother.

Over these last 5 yearsI have had several losses. One after another. Each loss reminds me of previous losses. Until my whole body feels as if it is one huge receptacle of sadness. The last two were our much loved cats. The first Cagney, almost 2 years ago, followed by his 'wife' Lacey just a year ago. We had them both as 8 week old kittens from separate litters. They were almost 20 years old when they died. Our dog also; we still grieve, many years later. Our pets were our 'children'. Now I am an empty nester.

What set me thinking down this path is the latest posting from the Wife in the North. Wifey isn't the only "fright filled soul". My fears now - are over suffering any more losses of my nearest and dearest. My widowed sister who, if I've not heard from her for 12 hours, I become convinced is lying dead at the foot of the stairs. Nephews and nieces living in the City (prone to possible terroists attacks) or travelling on a gap year (terroism, natural acts of God and plane crashes) or partaking in adrenaline sports activity. All fill me with dread and anxiety.

16 comments:

Lizzie said...

Penny, I wake up most mornings with butterfliess in my tummy, totally without foundation but just brimming with fearful anticipation - of what? Death of loved ones, isolation, decreptidude, terminal illness? Yes, probably! All of them. Then I have to put my fears in another compartment before rising to face the day. All I can say is it's a good job I don't live 'Up North' with all its reported 'grimness'!

Lizzie x

Flowerpot said...

I lay in bed last night convinced my poor Mollie (dog) was going to die - why? Because she was itching. I mean, in the cold light of day it sounds a little crazy but oh, I know just what you mean. And I'm so sorry about the loss of your cats and dog. I was in pieces when my last cat had to be put down (at 19, not a bad life)and I shudder to think what will happen when Moll's time comes.

teeni said...

I'm so sorry for your losses. I too have lost pets that I have had for many years - the worst was my Peanut Butter - a tortie cat who I had for about 24 years. She was the best and most loyal friend. It makes me sad to think too much about her because I miss her even years later. So I just try to remind myself that I gave her a great home for as long as I could (which is better than some animals get) and I remind myself that although she is no longer with me, she at least is not experiencing pain, cold, hunger, or abuse. And YOU, my dear, need not worry about things you have no control over. Find something to do that you DO have control over to make yourself feel a bit better and keep your mind on less depressing things. Please do come to my plant baby - baby shower to start off with! It won't be the same without you! Who knows? It might do you some good?! Hugs to you!

a female thinker said...

Lizzie, Flower and Teeni - many thanks for kind thoughts. It's one of the reasons why I started to blog - to turn my thoughts elsewhere. I'm not sure grappling with PC and blog software etc is quite as comforting as cuddling loved pets but it does keep the mind active and free from sad thoughts - most of the time! Lovely to hear from you all. Also re 'oop north' Lizzie - every winter I get Seasonally Affected Disorder (SAD) in winter so wouldn't survive up north - even down south this summer has been trying. I think I get a daylight lamp.
Do you think it's more a female thing? I wonder, do men feel the same sense of fear just worrying about something that might happen??
Hugs to you all. x x x

Flowerpot said...

No I dont think men do is the simple answer. My partner certainly doesn't.

Mopsa said...

I do think that some men certainly feel the loss as keenly as women, but are careful not to show it. Like Fpot I shudder to think about the loss of my much loved dogs and cats, one of which (16 year old cat) is apparently on the way out but showing all signs of resisting mortality.

Merri said...

Penelope..Men do get SAD!!
One of my fav fellow bloggers whom you may like is
Mike(Urspo Reflections)
http://sporeflections.wordpress.com/about/ He is a sweet man (who by profession is a shrink ..his words..lol)
He writes that he starts to get SAD this time of year, but that writing really helps.
We had a kitty who lived to be 20 years old. I try to think how she had a wonderfully long life and was so loved and pampered,and now is not in pain or suffering..
take care, and stay active!

teeni said...

I do believe men feel these things too, but they are built differently and react differently than we women do. Hey Penny - what is keeping you from going out and getting some new pets? You could use the huggability of them and there are so many that could use a good home which I know you'd provide since you had your others for such long lives. Shelters always have some available!!

lady thinker said...

Mopsa - my male cat was 'fading' with an over active thryoid and feline HIV for 6 yrs - almost 20 when I had to take him on his final trip to the vets. A day i had been dreading for 6 yrs!
Merri - I do know my cats had a lovely life - just that its hard to replace them at the moment.
Teeni - I know - I'm beginning to look at all the shelters websites. But as home life is a bit tricky at the moment i'm not sure I have the energy to cope with caring for an animal companion just yet. However, at some point I may fall in love and sense will fly out the window as I haul home my next pet!

lady thinker said...

Thanks merri - I've saved his site to take a look at later - meanwhile - he has lovely brown eyes - just like may man's.

vichchoobhai said...

The fear of loss i think is a mechanism by which the real loss when it occurs, is somewhat blulnted. I am a great fan of Dale Carnegie and his book "How to stop worrying and start living" was almost like a bible to me. In that book he talks about preparing ourselves for the worst possible scenario and then preparing ourselves for it. Anything that happens thereafter could only be an improvement.

I also feel that worrying nedlessly about something which may or may ot occur is a kind of anxiety neurosis which is at the lower end of the spectrum of mental illnesses. Those with a strong mind donot suffer from anxiety. Cowards die many times before their death, the valiant taste of death but once - so said the bard.

Men do have emotions they do grieve the loss of their dear ones or pets but not by sobbing or shedding copious tears. It gnaws them from inside and makes them sullen and thoughtful. I lost my pet dog Poppy when I was 13 and for several days the face of that dear pomerian would float before my eyes even when i was trying to sleep. I could not eat well for about a fortnight. Time of course, is a big healer.

Beautiful blog from u there, Thinker and thanks for starting a stimulating discussion.

lady thinker said...

You got me there Vich - bang to rights. I do cry, sob, weep and wail copioulsy. Usually as I pour [mistype here but leave it in as appropriate!] over photos etc. But I think it helps to get the grief out.
I've also been working along some other point as a follow up to this - which takes in some of your comment. I hope to post it over next couple of days.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

This posting struck a real chord with me. My partner's mother has cancer and could go at any time now - we're in limbo waiting for the awful day. My mother, although as fit as a fiddle,thank God, is 86. I have one uncle who is 87 and another who is 84. We know we are going to have some grieving to do over the next few years. Then we have a 16-year-old cat (he's the one in the picture!) who is our 'baby'. He's getting on, of course, so with him too we know we must face the inevitable soon.

lady thinker said...

OH AMKT - I know - it's all so sad isn't it but think how sterile life would be if we didn't love or didn't have someone or some animal to love...

Reese said...

For those who dont think men care as one bloger susgested ,though I wish otherwise. You are wrong. I am a 40 year old man and yesterday I had to put my best friend to sleep. Her kidneys had failed and I couldnt bare the thought of her suffering. She died in my arms and I felt her leave and I cried good bye to her. My wife and I are a wreck. So I know what you are feeling.

lady thinker said...

Oh Reese, I am so very sorry for your loss and sadness. It doesn't help much knowing when you've done the right thing for them but ..... at least you were selfless and spared her more suffering. Hugs to you and your wife in your time of this sad loss