Response #
Past experience of grief
Respondent details
45-54 | Female | German
Q1: What was the nature of your relationship with the person who died?
I lost:
Three pregnancies
My grandmother
Very close friends to cancer
Q2: How has the person’s death affected you during the hours, days, and weeks that followed?
I felt a terrible emptiness and it was very hard to handle daily tasks.
Deep sadness and heartache.
Q3: How, if at all, have your relationships with other people (particular individuals and other people in general) been affected by the bereavement?
I was not able to be present for others. I wanted to be on my own.
Q4: Does the surrounding world seem any different to you while grieving? If so, how?
Not really. What was hard to realise was that for everyone else the world went on and I was not sure how to make it through the next day.
Q5: Has your experience of time changed in any way?
Time stood still for a while.
I was only able to take it day by day or hour by hour.
Q6: Has your body felt any different during grief?
Heavy, empty, fragile, tired, weak.
Q7: Has grief interfered in any way with your ability and motivation to perform various tasks, including paid work?
Yes, definitely.
Q8: Is your experience of grief changing over time? If so, how?
After a while I felt less sad and had moments of hope that I will make it through my grief.
Q9: Have you ever found yourself looking for the person who died or expecting that person to appear?
But I talk to them sometimes as if they were around me.
Q10: Are there times, places, and occasions that have made you especially aware of the person’s absence?
Yes, birthdays, pictures, songs, souvenirs.
Q11: People who are grieving often report experiencing the presence of the person who died. Have you had any experiences that you would describe in those terms?
I did not experience this.
Q12: Do you still feel a sense of connection with the person? If so, could you say something about when you feel this and what the experience is like?
I am very connected with my grandmother. She’s watching over me and her wisdom is guiding me.
Q13: Since the person died, is there anything that you have been doing in order to feel close to them?
I have put pictures of them in my home and 4 butterflies wall tattoos remember me my babies.
Q14: Is there anything that you do in order to avoid being reminded of the person or of their death?
No. I needed to face reminders to be able to accept the loss and to heal.
Q15: Has anything in particular helped you to cope with grief? Has anything made you feel better or worse?
I joined a network of women to talk about my childlessness.
Q16: How understanding have other people been? Have others said or done anything that you've found especially helpful or unhelpful?
Unhelpful was the fact that not a lot of people around me where aware of what happened because I kept things too long for myself.
Q17: How, if at all, has your experience of bereavement changed you as a person?
It helped me to accept that death, loss and grief are essential part of life and ignoring it is not helpful.
Q18: How, if at all, does grief over the death of a person differ from other forms of loss that you have experienced?
It’s the fact that you are not able to see that person ever again.
Q19: Are there any aspects of grief that you find particularly puzzling or difficult to put into words?
The start of grief is extremely hard when denial and anger is kicking in.
Q20: Are there any important aspects of your experience that we have not addressed?
Being able to grieve has made me a stronger person.