Response

Response #
4
Person who died
Sister
Category
Past experience of grief
Respondent details
25-34 | Male | British
Q1: What was the nature of your relationship with the person who died?
My Sister
Q2: How has the person’s death affected you during the hours, days, and weeks that followed?
Completely, tapered to tolerance after about two years. Anti depressants didn’t help. Thought about nothing else for a long time. Resentment of the living that didn’t deserve it was the main source of my bitterness. Concern over nephews helped and gave me purpose.
Q3: How, if at all, have your relationships with other people (particular individuals and other people in general) been affected by the bereavement?
Strained relationship with my wife to point of almost breaking. Relationship with parents was damaged as dragged up past wrongdoings. Relationship with brother in law and nephews became stronger as did with friends.
Q4: Does the surrounding world seem any different to you while grieving? If so, how?
Became less important, became irritating. In some ways I don’t care for much of what happens to this day. Other people seemed to be behind glass.
Q5: Has your experience of time changed in any way?
Time was strange. Knew it was happening, couldn’t tell you if fast or slow.
Q6: Has your body felt any different during grief?
Loss of appetite, nails and hair didn’t grow as quickly, got weak but still functioned
Q7: Has grief interfered in any way with your ability and motivation to perform various tasks, including paid work?
Yes. Was working as expat and didn’t want to return home but didn’t want to work either. Still continued to function throughout. Got frustrated when I got things wrong at work so must have still cared about outcomes.
Q8: Is your experience of grief changing over time? If so, how?
When thinking about the lost I don’t get the sinking feeling anymore. Still resent. Focus shifted when I had my own child. Still think daily about her but the memories are getting fussier and easier to handle. Sadness has been/is being replaced with a lack of fear for some reason.
Q9: Have you ever found yourself looking for the person who died or expecting that person to appear?
No
Q10: Are there times, places, and occasions that have made you especially aware of the person’s absence?
Birth of child. This questionnaire. Birthdays. Visiting the family home of sister. Quiet times.
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?
No
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?
The situations when we would complain about stuff together. When our parents were being stupid etc. The times of expected happiness, frustration or sadness is when I feel like I can “talk to her” as that is when I would’ve talked to her. Catch myself after a few minutes of doing so and realise that it’s a pointless exercise.
Q13: Since the person died, is there anything that you have been doing in order to feel close to them?
No
Q14: Is there anything that you do in order to avoid being reminded of the person or of their death?
Tend to block them out or not to think about them as much. Sometimes not possible. Take greater risks at work to focus the mind.
Q15: Has anything in particular helped you to cope with grief? Has anything made you feel better or worse?
Helping my brother in law get though it helped me. I was mainly focussed on him and nephews for a year or two to the detriment of other relationships.
Q16: How understanding have other people been? Have others said or done anything that you've found especially helpful or unhelpful?
How could they understand? That was the main feeling that I had in the beginning. Feel that grief is very personal so there’s not much that anyone can understand. Didn’t feel that anything anyone said had any meaning. Could see what they were trying to do but I didn’t care. Was thankful on a certain level but they all have their own lives and worries so, rightly, they couldn’t care about mine.
Q17: How, if at all, has your experience of bereavement changed you as a person?
Colder, less fear, bit more reckless. Don’t feel connected to anyone. Really easy to pretend to get on with strangers and other people but find the exercise exhausting.
Q18: How, if at all, does grief over the death of a person differ from other forms of loss that you have experienced?
Never experienced anything like it
Q19: Are there any aspects of grief that you find particularly puzzling or difficult to put into words?
The amount it overwhelms you. Completely consuming. That’s the most I can put into words.
Q20: Are there any important aspects of your experience that we have not addressed?
Anger has become more difficult to manage, I think that is the main change to my personality. Never had the longest of fuses before but now I have become much more quick to temper.