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Sensory Overload From Multiple Losses

by Tammy
(Temple, TX)

Two years ago I went home to help with my father's treatments for leukemia. Two days after I came home, he decided he had had enough and went home. Before Hospice could even really get started he passed away.

A few days later a close family friend was found dead in his apartment. I began a normal grieving process and was managing to hold things together, then in October I received a call at work that my uncle had died.

The next morning, my husband and I awoke to 20 missed calls each. The voicemail that was finally left...our 18 year old grandson had been struck and killed by a train. It has been two years and we have supported each other through the pain and grief.

Many times we were in different stages and had to be very understanding, but we have managed and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I came to this site today in an attempt to get info to give to the father of one of my students whose mother passed away the day after Christmas. I still have a ways to go it seems.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Tammy, and thanks for telling your story here. It sounds like, from what you’ve written here, that you and your husband are doing a good job of working through your grief together. I congratulate you for that.

Healing and recovering from multiple losses like you have experienced can be very challenging. The capacity to process grief shuts down temporarily, when there is another and then yet another loss, when you haven’t had a chanced to fully grieve the first (and second) one. Grief can become “impacted” for a while, until you have enough time to sort through your emotions and release the sorrow that you need to.

I suggest that you focus on each loss, one at a time and follow the guidelines of the grieving process separately for each loss. This requires some discipline on your part, but it will reward you greatly with the resolution you want.

Remember that grief and loss is all about love. This entire effort to recover is a matter of remembering the love and honoring the lives of those who have passed away. Remembering this can help some.

I feel strongly that you will do just fine with this, Tammy. Remember the love. That is who you are, and where you’re going.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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