How do Aspies deal with loss and grief ?

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GiovanniB
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05 May 2016, 11:36 pm

I'm 27 years old. I lost both of my parents last year. They died six months apart.

My mother died from a blood clot in the lungs. She died at the Hospital.

My father died from lung cancer that came back after he had surgery. He died at home. I couldn't wake him up. I spent two years taking care of him. The last six months I was up with him 20 hours a day and took him to his dr appointments. I gave him meds around the clock.

It's been hard for me. Now I'm trying to recover from loss. I have Asperger's syndrome. Diagnosed when I was in middle school.



Yigeren
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05 May 2016, 11:45 pm

That's really terrible. I'm sorry to hear that happened :(

I'm not really sure how aspies deal with loss and grief. For myself, I either totally ignore it, refusing to deal with feelings, or become extremely depressed. I don't seem to be able to find a normal middle ground.

I think that it would probably be a good idea to find a grief support group, even though there'd probably only be NTs there. I've heard that it can really help people when they talk to others who know what they've gone through. Do you have other family or friends to support you?

Your experience isn't something I've been through yet in my life, so I'm afraid I don't have much advice.



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05 May 2016, 11:53 pm

I'm really sorry to hear what you have been through. It is such a sad story.

I'm hopeless at dealing with any sort of grief. I'm like the eternal runaway when it comes to dealing with emotional stuff.

I think the fact that you are opening up about it on here might be a good step though.

Sorry I can't be of any use to you but I wish you well.


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06 May 2016, 12:08 am

I think that it can be harder for people on the spectrum for a variety of reasons. Generally we seem to have fewer social supports/close friends, and grief faced alone without any support is grief intensified, and the acute phase of the grieving process probably lasts longer for this reason. It will be harder still for some who are unable to articulate the complicated feelings of grief, the anger, the sorrow, the loss, the fear. So all of these may be bottled up more and that in turn stresses the body as well as the emotional and psychological self. Sometimes these powerful but suppressed emotions take the physical form of illness instead - the body takes over the grieving instead of the heart and mind. Also I suspect that a lot of people on the spectrum are uncertain about how to ask for help, and/or are hampered by memories of being misunderstood during past attempts, so there is more of a tendency perhaps to try and tough it out alone.

Also there is the challenge of communicating feelings to others, when it can be a challenge for some to identify, let alone articulate specific feelings.

This is one area that WP really covers well for this community - comfort and support during bereavement. I notice that we seem to be particularly distressed by the death of our animals (this is certainly true for me) and the suffering of innocent creatures seems to have a particular place in many of our hearts. The other side of that may be that we turn to our beloved animals for comfort during loss rather than other people. We trust the animals to understand and they very often seem to understand the immensity of our pain far better than human beings.

I have often been astonished at how our beloved animals can sense great sadness in our hearts and distinctly respond with particular efforts to comfort humans that they love.



andrethemoogle
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06 May 2016, 12:26 am

Sometimes I handle it fine, other times I handle it worse.

It differs for everyone, it's not the same for every person.



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06 May 2016, 6:01 am

You might experience and express your emotions in a different manor and intensity then typical. The onset of feelings might be delayed. I have been reprimanded for not acting sad enough when a friend first died. When most others are "moving on" I find I am just getting into it. Sorry I can be not be more specific but your personality along with Autism is determining how this is going. All I can advise is let your autistic brain do what it needs to do and when it needs to do it and do not beat yourself up for grieving the "wrong way"


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Joe90
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06 May 2016, 10:28 am

Grief affects everyone in different ways. Some people can accept it easier, others dwell on it strongly for years, and some people even become a different person after huge grief/trauma in their lives.

Men seem to express their feelings differently to women. Women are more open about their feelings, where as men often have a more logical way of dealing with things.


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VegetableMan
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06 May 2016, 10:37 am

That's tough, sorry to hear of your loss!

I lost a good friend last year and am still having a tough time dealing with it. I've found talking with someone you are close to helps immensely. If you don't have someone like that, then perhaps a grief counselor would be a good option.


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christophelambypie
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07 May 2016, 9:10 am

Really sorry for your loss....
I have always had trouble with emotional stuff, its hard to see the way through to normality again and I hope you find your way there soon..
When my father passed away, I felt quite alienated from my own family, they were all like despondent and emotionally irratic and I just simply said" I'll put the kettle on then!". What helped me with the loss and grief that I obviously did feel was to write a poem which I read out at his funeral, I think that was about as close to emotional that I got ( on the outside anyways), it was how I saw it, a nice way to say goodbye..
I guess we all deal with grief and loss differently, whether aspie or NT, but what's important is that we come through it. It may take a long time, it may even be a wound that will never completely heal, but it does get easier.
Stay strong and best wishes..



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07 May 2016, 9:21 am

I've dealt with a lot of death in my life. I don't know what I believe religiously but there's always been a poem that made me feel a little better, I thought I'd share it with you.

It's blocking me from actually pasting the poem here, not sure why, here's a link.

http://allpoetry.com/Gone-From-My-Sight


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07 May 2016, 9:29 am

I'm sorry about your loss. I handle grief differently each time.


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07 May 2016, 2:29 pm

:(

I've never known anyone dealing with loss/grief well, in particular what you're going through. It was more about how well they hid it or doing their best. Me included.

Hang in there.


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07 May 2016, 3:21 pm

After my dad passed away in early '13 I drank my way through the next two years. I wouldn't recommend going that route though. I have never been good at dealing with emotions, ugh.


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JimSpark
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07 May 2016, 11:30 pm

When I've received news that a family member or friend has passed away, I have never had an immediate and outwardly visible reaction. No tears, no emotional breakdowns, just nothing anyone can see, only a quiet sadness over the loss. My mother passed away over three years ago, and it took two months after her death for me to shed my first tear about it, and since that day, I haven't cried about it again. I loved my mother deeply and we were always very close, but tears and emotional breakdowns over her death didn't occur as most people would have expected. My father died several months after my mother, and I felt the same reaction -- no tears, just a quiet sadness over knowing he's gone.

So in the eyes of others who've seen how I react to loss, they would probably think, "he doesn't feel anything." :(


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ZombieBrideXD
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08 May 2016, 12:06 am

Everyone , autistic or not, deals with grief in their own special way.

I personally cannot express my emotions appropriately, when my grandmother died I was sad, I cried and moved on, a month later I had a mental breakdown and was hospitalized, the mental breakdown was probably related to my grandmothers death and additionally my sister moving in.

Overall death is change, change is difficult.


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10 May 2016, 5:29 am

I am very sorry for the loss you have experienced.

in case it can be of help to you in some way, here are a few things that have helped me through the grieving process.

-have compassion for yourself. engage in things that would normally bring you peace and tranquility (even if you don't acquire as much as you normally would). treat yourself to things/experiences that bring joy and happiness.

-accept invitations to engage with people who value you, support you, are kind and nurturing. try to refrain from exposure to people who might bring you down, or lower your spirits.

-exercise for, at least, 30 minutes per day. I have found physical activity that demands significant mental focus to be most effective, as it provides reprieve and a restorative component. It keeps my mind occupied/off of the loss and can, effectively, speed up the grieving process. Although, it is equally important to allow yourself to feel all of the emotions that surface. It is most important not to try and rush the process, but rather, allow it to take it's natural course/ to completely and fully process the grief.

-eat a balanced diet/ foods that support mental and physical energy, stamina and well-being, and avoid foods that can be depleting. eat foods rich in antioxidants, b-vitamins and amino acids.

get as much sleep, as is possible.

I have, recently begun practicing yoga. Four weeks, ago, precisely. I am experiencing changes in thought processing, a decrease in stress and anxiety, and my emotions have evened out/regulated, considerably, which is something I hadn't anticipated or contemplated.

I hope you are currently doing well. I noticed that you haven't returned since your initial post.

warmest wishes to you -