Confused about coping after mom's death

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nebrets
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22 Sep 2012, 9:14 pm

So I have been off the site for the past few months mostly because my mom died suddenly in a car accident about two months ago, and I have been less interactive and talkative. I am wondering about other people's coping after a loss such as the loss of a family member. I was on close terms with my mom and she was the person in the family who most tried to understand my AS, and it seems likely that my AS comes from her side of the family.

My dad, one of my brothers, and my sister are very NT, my other brother who does not talk to me is borderline personality. My dad and my NT brother and sister and my roommate are apparently concerned that I am not coping because I do not talk to them to reminisce, I do not cry very often, I have not had as much of a behavioral change from before and after, I am not "touchy feel-ly" (never have been), and I still dislike hugs (and they say I need hugs and that they are good for me even though they feel very uncomfortable).

After the accident I did most of my processing by researching forensic reconstruction of car accidents, and then reconstructed a model of the accident, I studies statistics of car accident deaths, car fires in accidents, and mechanisms of death by burning (the fuel tank of the truck that collided with my mom exploded and there was a bad fire, such that the police did not realize that there was another vehicle involved with the accident until after the fire went down). To cope, I beat on a punching bag, emailed my therapist, and watched the Olympics (my mom and I had been watching them together but in different cities and comparing by phone for the few days before the accident). I am still sad it occurred but I seem to have more peace about my mom's death than the rest of my family and therefore the rest of my family is worried about me. I seem to be functional (or at least as much as before) I am looking for a job, I do laundry, I am back in my Aikido class, I help with kids class at church and AWANA, I cook, I still have problems cleaning the apartment and organizing my clothes and putting them away but that is normal.

So a question for others is: Is my family right and I have not coped well? Do I need to be talking to them more and crying more? Any thoughts are appreciated.


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Ilka
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22 Sep 2012, 9:36 pm

I have never lost a close family member. The only family member I lost (my grandmother), was not really chocking to me. I did not even cry. I felt sad because I loved her, but she was very old and sick, so it felt like the right thing so she could rest in peace. I think crying is not the only way of processing the loss of a family member, but I do understand your family. Many times people who do not express sadness (crying, etc.) for a loss are in denial or very chocked. I do not think that is your case. But maybe you could check with your therapist just in case.



IdahoRose
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22 Sep 2012, 9:58 pm

Everyone has different ways of coping. Your family needs to realize that just because you're not talkative/touchy-feely doesn't mean that you haven't been coping. I think that researching car accidents, using punching bags and watching the Olympics were your ways of coping with your mom's death.



cathylynn
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22 Sep 2012, 10:22 pm

grief is different for each person. you are the expert on you. no one should try to tell you how you should be feeling.

unwelcome hugs are a form of abuse.



MightyG
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22 Sep 2012, 10:59 pm

Hi

I lost my mum 6 years ago, this sort of loss simply takes a long time to deal with, this is your mother, no-one is more significant.
Everybody deals with this in different ways. Your family may wish to conduct some of the grieving communally and would like you to be involved too (basically to reassure everyone that the support your mum gave people is still available from others), but what you do is ultimately your choice.
However, I say again, we are all different, it is something you need to work though, keeping busy, getting back into old routines and trying new things is good. What helped me was setting aside 30 minutes everyday to think about my mum and to try and not think about it for the rest of the time.
Sorry for your loss.



thewhitrbbit
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22 Sep 2012, 11:16 pm

It's really important to remember that everyone copes differently.

There way may not be your way, but it doesn't make it wrong.

What would be wrong is if you don't feel any closure or your not able to move on, or you totally ignore it.



Vashna
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23 Sep 2012, 1:45 am

Hey nebrets, I'm not going to judge anything in the situation. I'm not sure that it's even really my place to say what's normal and what's not normal. If your dad, brother and sister are extremely neurotypical I'm going to guess I'm on the exact opposite end of the spectrum from them. Therefore, I would be a pretty lousy judge of any of the behaviors here. I do want to say that since I haven't seen you around the forum in a long time, I'm glad to see you back. The fact that you're here says to me that you must be doing at least something right, and that shows that you were able to cope enough to turn here. I hope to see you around here more often, though obviously getting on the computer hardly sounds like the most important thing in your life right now. Wrong Planet isn't going anywhere.



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23 Sep 2012, 1:30 pm

When I lost someone very close to me the grief came and went in random patterns of time, and different degrees of harshness. I went through some grief counseling which was good as it enabled me to intellectualize the worst parts. It takes a very long time is all I can say. Maybe it'd be good to tell your family what you need and what you don't, if they are understanding sort of people. It seems to me you are doing the best you can under dark circumstances and I'm sure your Mother would want you to be all right. I'm sorry for your loss nebrets I wish peace and comfort for you.



BlueMax
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23 Sep 2012, 4:10 pm

Yes - people do grieve differently and some just put it on a back burner simply to keep coping with daily life!

I know if I dwell on my father's death or my kidnapped children for more than an instant, the grief can overwhelm me and throw me into full shutdown.



ObserverGirl_4
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23 Sep 2012, 5:06 pm

Like many others have mentioned, grief often differs greatly between people. Your research, along with watching the Olympics, seems to me like a way to acknowledge your mother's memory, which is like a type of reminiscing. Have you tried telling your family that hugs aren't helping, and simply make you uncomfortable?


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nebrets
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25 Sep 2012, 5:34 pm

Thanks for the info and support. I talked to my therapist today and he said he thought I was doing fine too, and sugessted that my brother who was confrontational about it may have been projecting his struggles with coping onto me.


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thewhitrbbit
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25 Sep 2012, 6:21 pm

nebrets wrote:
Thanks for the info and support. I talked to my therapist today and he said he thought I was doing fine too, and sugessted that my brother who was confrontational about it may have been projecting his struggles with coping onto me.


That is a very real possibility.



Ilka
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26 Sep 2012, 3:02 pm

nebrets wrote:
Thanks for the info and support. I talked to my therapist today and he said he thought I was doing fine too, and sugessted that my brother who was confrontational about it may have been projecting his struggles with coping onto me.


It would be nice to ask your therapist how to handle the situation with your brother.



Vashna
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27 Sep 2012, 2:15 am

I would have to say that I agree with your therapist. More than likely, your brother isn't really sure how to grieve. At least, that's what I've found in my own experience. I suppose that it should also be noted that for some people, continuing on with one's daily life is the best way to get through things. It's a way of coping with things in its own right. Some people even feel that the deceased would certainly have wanted them to continue on with their own lives.