Grief

On the twenty first of this month, Bethy will have been gone for 22 months. Since starting my new meds, I've been MUCH better, still have a few quiet days, but generally, there seems to be more to smile about, the sun seems that little bit brighter, the grey-days seem that little less grotty. Jo, however, has had a shitty couple of months, and has been sinking back down into that nasty place.

I know exactly what has caused it: the Anti-Depressants she is on are similar to mine, in that they mess with the brains Seretonin levels. However, if you take them at different times during the day, or skip a dose (or doses) then the effects are lessened with each late/missed dose. Jo went several days in late October without her meds, and now she's very down once again.

So, the reason for this post. Jo went to the doctor and saw a lovely she-doctor, which tend to be slightly more compassionate than the he-doctor variety. So anyway, the doc has increased her dosage of her meds and ordered her into Bereavement Counselling. Her reasoning, and my entire reason for this post, is that in the medical world, "Bereavement" lasts for a total of six months. Any more than that, and, well, I don't know, but that is what the "Doctor Book" says.

Six Months?! You're kidding me. How the buggery hell can they say that after six months, you should be right as rain again. I'd never wish ANYONE to go through what we - and other parents in our shoes - have had to go through, but I wish the Medical World understood exactly what happens. Dates, Sights, Sounds, Smells... So much can trigger a bad memory, but how can the medical world state "Six Months"?

So, while the doctor was a lovely woman, this info kind of rattled me. But anyway, Jo has been given more pills, and also some Beta Blockers, which should help with her anxiety, and counselling which starts in early January.

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9 Responses to “Grief”

Cassandra said...

i agree with you 100%. 6 months...thats absolutely ridiculous. i know we've talked about this before, but real grief isnt something that you just get over in ANY length of time.
both of you are always in my thoughts, though.

xx

debbie said...

OH bloody hell Dan, 6 months is no time, in fact the rest of your years are going to be full of ups and downs, Drs really do piss me off, sorry to be crude, but how the Hell do they think Jo should be over it,, Please pass on my Hugs to Jo, I know I dont know what she is going thought even trying to imagine it would come no where near.. I hope Jo starts to have some better days, but I know those Dates are comming so fast again..which is something I will not forget.

Nancy said...

I can't believe they said that you should have a bereavement period of only 6 months! Even in the old South the women had to wear black for a full year to show that they were still in mourning. I'm sure that the shock of the loss alone can last more than 6 months. One of Brandon's teachers had a baby die of sids and she told me that it took her family a whole year to regroup and realize it had really happened. I hope that Jo's therapist realizes that everyone grieves differently and goes through the stages at different times.

6 months? pah!

Mark said...

Hmm, doctors do mean well but they sometimes don't see anything other than black or white, this takes time but will get easier I promise you it took me a few years and my mum a bit longer but even today certain things bring it back and that's after 29 years shit is it really 29 years!! well I can remember the hospital vists, the day she died and most of the good times, so you see you never get over a loss of that magnitude but you will start to focus on the good times and when things jog the memory you'll look up and smile.

What got me through was knowing that she is now in a far better place and looking down saying to me to be strong and I'm still with you in your heart.

I know that no matter what people say you still feel the same and the feelings don't go, but deep down I don't want the feelings to go I want to remember as much as possible for the rest of my life.

so after 29 years I still remember a lot but it is easier and it now brings a smile to my face when I write about it, but I can still remember the when she died Saturday 4th December 9pm 1977 I was aged 7 my sister was aged 4. Be strong Jo & Dan ;0)

The Special Zipper said...

What can I say except that even to someone who has no idea, there would seem no logic to six months being a grieving period. Like Mark says, Doctors definitely mean well ... the only comparison I can draw is through our own struggles with Connor and some of the instructions/stategies some have suggested to use that if Connor was a heavily disabled child that couldn't move and was wheelchair bound, would work however being an active toddler .. they had no idea that it was totally crap idea and Tarnya and I walked out on several occasions going "yeah .. we won't be doing that"!

Best wishes for the whole family and I hope the medication brightens Jo up a little.

Em's way said...

Shocked , six months ??? Six months ?? You carry a child for 9 months, you love her, cherish her, and protect her for her whole life, you watch as she fights back, you fight with her, you would quite literally do anything to save her from all the bad stuff, then you lose her, and you are supposed to 'get over ' it in SIX months ! The medical proffesion really astounds me sometimes :(

Sending Jo hugs and tell her that I am thinking of her xx

( and a hug for you too !)

jenny said...

Dear Dan and Jo,
Well, as we say in my store, that doctor is full of ca-ca. Now, I know she likely meant well, but I have to be honest in saying that this was not good information. Sounds way too text book to me.

Bethy came into your lives, and will always be in your lives. You both loved her, cherished her, and still do. I do not think there is anything wrong with bereaving her-for the rest of your lives. What parent does not miss their child? Of course you are going to miss her longer than six months! Good grief! (no pun intended) I do not mean that the grief has to look like something that you are unable to cope with, but simply that there will always be a part of Bethy there, and a part of her you miss. Some days are good, and I am certain many days are bad-taking the time to walk through that is not wrong in any way.
Please don't concern yourselves with what this doctor said. And, ignore what I say if you don't like it. That is ok too. :)
And, hug yourselves for me.

The Brian said...

I guess six months is just some random thing they throw out.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy... 6 months... that's simply not true! They obviously haven't experienced the loss of a child! My baby hasn't died (thank God), but I'm still greiving that he was born this horrible heart defect and it's been 19 months!! I couldn't begin to imagine losing my child.. it's too painful to even think of for too long!!!! I truly don't know what I would do, I feel that I would die for sure.
I know one thing ...
my little brother was hit and killed by a a car on October 7th, 1974 and my poor mother has never ever been the same...
she changed forever on that very day. I swear to God, I thought she was going to die of a broken heart back then. She didn't take his room down for about a year.
She still has a little trout that he caught a month b/f he died. My mom still cries when she speaks of Danny... everything reminds her of him... Every birthday she cries... the anniversary of his death... she cries... I personally don't think you ever get over something like that... you just learn to live with it....though it's still painful.
Every time I hear of a parent that suffers the loss of a child...
all I can do is pray for them...
my heart breaks for them.
Terri