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home : columns : dear harriette February 25, 2021

12/1/2020 8:10:00 AM
Grief over loss of loved one lingers

DEAR HARRIETTE: The worst part about death is that it's permanent. It happens with no warning, and you just don't know when it'll happen. Heaven has no visiting hours. Losing someone who you are used to seeing every day -- and then all of a sudden they are gone in a split second -- is tough.

Watching my grandma take her last breath last year hasn't been easy for me. Trying to grasp that she's gone is so hard. One moment I can be fine, but a certain song, phrase or anything that reminds me of her hits home sometimes. Trying to cope with death is so hard.

What are ways you think I can overcome some of these challenges I face with coping, besides doctors wanting to put you on a prescription, as they call it depression? I know I'm not ill and don't want medication, but I am definitely becoming and behaving as someone I don't recognize anymore. This loss has consumed me. -- Filled With Loss

DEAR FILLED WITH LOSS: First, I am so sorry for your loss. I was very close to my grandmother and I remember how unbelievable it was that she was gone, even though she lived for a very long time.

Grief comes in waves for many people and can last longer than you might imagine. Be patient with yourself. And seek out more help. Go to a grief counselor who can help you sort through your feelings and reach a healthy state of mind.

You may consider joining a grief group where you are part of a small group of people who are going through similar experiences. Sometimes hearing other people's stories can be helpful in processing your own.

Pay attention to how you are managing, and listen to the medical professionals. If your behavior continues to reflect someone that you don't recognize anymore, you may want to revisit the idea of medication. There is no shame in taking medication for depression if you need it. By the way, taking meds for depression is often short term. Be gentle with yourself.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My son has health issues and needed family members to be tested to be able to donate blood. Through sorting out our family members' blood types, I found out that I was adopted. My mother had no intention of telling me about the adoption. But with my son's health, she knew there would be a chance that she wouldn't be a match.

I feel completely betrayed after all these years. I love my parents and my family, but I am considering looking into who my birth parents are because it may reveal some background into my son's health. I am completely blindsided by this information and have no idea of where to start the search for my birth parents. I haven't told my friends yet and need some guidance in this new journey. -- Rebirth

DEAR REBIRTH: Some families who adopt children are uncomfortable with how and when to share the news with their children. On the one hand, the children are theirs, and the bond is undeniable. On the other hand, someone else gave birth to them. It's challenging for many parents to pick their moments and tell this part of the family story.

It is likely, though, that your parents know the name of the agency they used to adopt you. Chances are they should still have the paperwork. Ask for their help. Especially since your son is ill, make it a priority to get their help.

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