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  #1  
Old January 24th, 2014, 10:23
j's daughter j's daughter is offline
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Default Having a hard time

I'm having a difficult time just now. Usually I'm one of the comforters here, but a horrible fire has happened in a place I'll likely never visit, and people I don't know have been killed, and I am feeling very overwhelmed with grief for complete strangers now gone, and their families and friends who are left.

I'm in Toronto, Canada, and the fire happened Wednesday night / early Thursday morning in a tiny community (L'Isle Verte) in the next province, Quebec. It was a seniors' home burned to the ground. 5 people are confirmed dead, about 20 escaped, and 30 people are still "missing" but presumed dead in the fire. Firefighters are having an impossible time getting into the building to recover people lost, because of the ice buildup on the building. Temperatures froze the water as fast as firefighters could pour it on.

I know how to process a personal loss, having worked through the loss of my parents, brother, and other family members. While I have my bad days my mother was the last to go, in 2010 I consider that I have been doing well, and feel comfortable offering comfort to others whose loss is more recent and still acutely painful.

From news stories, residents of the building were all 85 years of age and older. Most had mobility limitations that prevented them escaping the fire without help, and there were apparently only 2 staff on duty.

How on earth does anyone accept the unacceptable? As I say, these are people I don't even know, in a town I hadn't heard of until now. I can't believe how deeply I am feeling this. I suppose it's bringing back all of the losses I've been through, too. I'm remembering my own Mom, in her last weeks and days, and so very glad I was able to look after her in our own home until she died.

I guess it shows, just when you think you're moving on, something can happen that brings memories very sharply back, and you go through it all again. What bothers me, irrationally I know, is that the TV news reporters go from the awful tragedy of the fire to chirping about the weather, as if nothing has happened.

Makes me realize even more how the world should at least pause to acknowledge someone's loss, and how very different the day looks to someone waking up to loss they don't understand. People who've lost someone are a community, aren't we?
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Old January 24th, 2014, 17:52
hazelharris hazelharris is offline
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hi my friend i am so sorry to hear of this devastating tragedy it's dreadful news my thoughts to why you are taking this so personally is because we now feel other peoples pain so intensely I remember when i lost darren i stopped reading the papers and watching the news still don't because i couldn't bear to see or hear the terrible things happening in the world Grief seems to turn a key inside us that magnifies our emotions we understand heartache and we don't just empathize with others when these awful things happen we can literally feel their pain Life will always be different when we have experienced loss of loved ones we ARE different under the surface is our heartache as time goes by we cope keep it in check but it doesn't take much for the pain to resurface on hearing of this awful fire you think of those like your mother who were lost and all the hell the families will be going through YOU FEEL THEIR PAIN .I'm afraid there's some tragedy every day similar to this around the world someone messaged me the other day to say a lady from our town was shot with her family daughter and grandchildren in america only a couple of weeks ago i felt like you do now because i felt the pain that someone was suffering and my own pain resurfaced but we can't take on all the tragedies around us as it will drive us mad i think we have to try and understand that we will feel things more emotionally and we will have to try to cope with it Those news reporters are trained to go from sad to happy stories without showing their feelings some days must be difficult for them it's just the way they have to be to get the job done
im so sorry i have no answers how to cope with days like these when we get down in grief again all you can do is offer prayers for all who are suffering i send you a hug and my friendship to say i care and am always here for you love hazel xxx
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Last edited by hazelharris : January 24th, 2014 at 20:45.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 10:15
j's daughter j's daughter is offline
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Thanks, Hazel, for responding. The tragic fire will be in the news for days to come, I fear. Devastating as it is, and hard as it is to hear more information about it, I still feel compelled to watch and listen to news reports. Somehow, I feel the horrible passing of those poor souls needs to be paid attention to, and the pain their families must be feeling needs recognition.

I understand what you're saying and agree with you: having lost someone close, my senses are more aware to the suffering of others who have lost their loved ones. Unfortunately, I have a very vivid imagination and can see the fire site, without ever being there. You are right, of course. There are so many huge tragedies in the world, and we can't take them all on as if they are ours to work through. We would go mad. All we can do is be aware of the suffering others have, recognize their pain and respect it. I feel so very helpless sometimes, though. Would like to lift the sorrow off other people, even for a few moments, just to let others have respite.

It was so nice to wake up this morning to a day just like any other. No personal loss or sadness to cope with. No burden of personal pain to carry even before I get out of bed. I guess I should be grateful to be able to feel the pain other families and individuals are going through. Means I'm still alive, if I can feel. And I would rather be someone who can feel the pain others know, share their burden of sorrow, than not feel it.

Thanks, hazel, for being here.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 18:14
hazelharris hazelharris is offline
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hi my friend it's the caring in us to think every time we hear of the passing of someone whether it's tragic circumstances illness accident or just the peaceful end of someones life that it was a life lived they are all people just like us gone through many experiences they have loved and have people that will be grieving their loss i would rather care too much than not at all and there are many people who don't You say you would like to lift the sorrow from people if you could well you do and of all the many friends i have met on the forum i know you have helped more people than anyone and have made a big difference to those in grief you have an amazing gift with expressing your feelings and giving words of comfort
i'm so glad you woke up this morning and felt a bit happier i send my love to you hazel xxx
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  #5  
Old January 26th, 2014, 02:31
gumek gumek is offline
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Default dear loved friends

hello dear chris, its been a while since I last visited the site. I was very sad to read your post love, yes how sad it is that terrible news like that is soon pushed aside and forgotten, I read hazels message dear friend too.

your dear mum was very blessed to have such a precious daughter as yourself and have your love and care. my heart hurts for the many elderly in this world who are abandoned. I have always loved to sit and listen to older ones since a child, they have such stories to tell, don't they?

something like this will bring the pain of losing mum back, as you wrote chris, we will have those times of sadness, we cant escape it can we? I miss my love, it would have been our 35th wedding year together on the 21st jan,
lets all hold on to the joy of one day of the re union that will one day come and be comforted that those dear souls are now home at last, no more pain or loneliness, my prayers are for the living because life on this plane is so very hard.

I hope you are keeping well dear friend, I miss all our friends that were here
but it was time for me to go, please be blessed, have peace in your heart.

sending love

chrissie. xx
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Old January 26th, 2014, 11:08
j's daughter j's daughter is offline
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Thank you, hazel and chrissie, for your replies.

chrissie, I understand the sad / happy feeling you must have, recognizing the anniversary that was on the 21st. And I feel as you do / did about it being time to move on a step from being here and from grieving. I took a needed time away, too. While I didn't post here for a time, I did continue to read, in case I might have been of help to someone.

As more news comes out about the awful fire in the seniors' residence, the loss to families and friends fades, and more focus is put on finding the cause of the fire. Today the local church is holding a service just for the families, which I think is wise. The priest there has publicly said there will be a more open service next week that "dignitaries" can attend, but today is for those close to the ones who died, for families and friends. I see the wisdom of encouraging people to grieve together, privately. The burden of grief is lightened just a little, when it is acknowledged and shared by others who have lost someone, too.

Listening to the news stories, I can't help but feel a companionship with others left behind by a loved one's passing. I guess that will never change now. But I do wake in gratitude that I am able to feel, able to cry for someone else's sorrow and loss. It means, I think, that I am not all-consumed with my own losses, and am moving forward, that I can notice other people along the way, as you both have done and continue to do.

Thank you both again! I hope you both are doing well, and have more good days than sad ones.
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  #7  
Old January 26th, 2014, 19:34
Cammy Cammy is offline
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Hi J's daughter

Greetings from the frozen north

Yes it is strange how something can trigger our emotions. I saw that story and it hard to hear. I agree we are a community of people changed
by our exposure to loss. The message and lesson as you show so well is to provide empathy and support to each other.

I lost dad years ago an a family member told me the emotions would hit me when I was not expecting it - usually around something that triggered a reminder. Her wise words prepared and made me feel normal when it came.

Glad today was better. I think our loved ones are glad when we are happier.

My regards to the other ladies in the string also. As I have said before I suspect your thoughts have meant a lot to many a soul out there !

Cammy
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Old January 27th, 2014, 09:55
j's daughter j's daughter is offline
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Hi Cammy, and thanks for responding with kind words.

I come back here from time to time, first to see if I can be of any support or help to others here, and then to see if old friends are checking in and saying they are doing well, moving forward a little. I'm always glad to know someone is finding something to smile at again. If my words give someone something to hang onto for a while, that's encouraging for me. I do get "down" just as other people must sometimes, but with reflection, I see how much I still have, despite the losses. And some things sometimes do make me smile.

The awful fire in Quebec hit me hard, because of all the loss, and I can so well imagine the desolation of that place, and the numbing shock felt by family and friends of the ones lost. And it makes me remember the sadness of losing my mother. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that happened.

Perhaps one way to keep ourselves on the path forward is to believe that those we've loved and lost are with us still in spirit, and are happy when we are happy. They wouldn't want to be the cause of our sorrow.

I will always remember my Mom, in the last stage of Alzheimer's, when she no longer knew I was her daughter, but she would stroke my arm to comfort me. She had no idea why I was sad, that I was sad because I was losing her to that horrible disease, but she offered comfort anyway.

We have to come back to life after the sorrow, because the spirit of the ones who are gone lives on in us, I think. Their spirit sees through our eyes, smells a rose because we do, hears beautiful music or hears the birds singing because we hear it.

You're right, Cammy today's events can trigger reminders of yesterday for us. It takes a while sometimes for me to work through to that point after repeated loss, but I do come back to it eventually. And I do believe it. I hope it helps someone else to reach that point on the path, too, the point where we realize there is a purpose, a reason to go on.
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