The Grief Diaries – From This Side of Grief – #Depression – A Silent Killer

I don’t wish to sound like a broken record sharing my moments of grief here, but besides the fact that writing about it somehow eases the weight of my grief, I know that there are plenty of us out there who are living it and may feel an ounce of comfort or kinship with these posts. And also, undoubtedly, everyone has lost a loved one, or ultimately, will, so my thoughts here may become beneficial to others somewhere down the road. This is why I’ll soon be starting my podcast on Grief – The Real Talk, for exactly these reasons.

But know this God honest truth – not five minutes of any day since the day my husband left me here, goes by that I’m not thinking of him or speaking to him. That man was woven into my soul, and not thinking of him would be like forgetting half of my body or forgetting to put on clothes. But today, I figured it was time to share more of my thoughts here in what I like to call my Grief Diaries series. In this series I’ve been discussing thoughts and/or moments that strike hard, baring my soul so to speak, but sharing not just because I need a place to vent, but sharing my realizations in hopes of spreading awareness.

Let me start by saying that this post might seem a little dark, but grief isn’t a sunny topic. And let me also state that this post isn’t me crying out for help, but more for recognition for the so many in this sometimes dark world who can’t summon their voice. Yes, I am one of grief’s victims, and I have been working diligently with books, videos, spirit and meditations since I lost my husband so that I can try and learn how to dig my own self out of the darkness that reigns because if I want to survive and find life again I must find the life boat back to the light. It’s a difficult thing to do one’s self, but I have spent my whole life since childhood ‘finding a way’ to get through adversity. I share my struggle on this journey, and I am not ashamed to admit it. But there are the so many out there who may not be able to search for or find their strength to want to go on, no matter what their traumatic issue is.

I’m a strong woman. I built myself up that way throughout my life. I’m strong-willed and minded, but I will tell you honestly, this grieving business is a Goliath of a beast. I know what it has taken from me and can tell you, it’s not difficult to see how the weaker sometimes can’t pull through. So I felt that besides letting off a little personal steam in this post, that once again, I wanted to spread the awareness to others and want to speak up for those who may have family going through some tough times who choose not to speak about their pain, so that family may clue in.

What sparked my wanting to share this post came from my scanning through a book of material I’ve written in draft to put into a book on my grief. I am suddenly getting inspired to read through just some of the material I’ve written as I witnessed my husband’s health decline to after his passing. For now they are in a Word doc temporarily titled – Conversations and Observations, and, Obituary. I currently have oodles of permanent titles on a page listed that I will have to work with once the book is put together and I find the most fitting title.

From this side of Grief:

I am a strong woman who has lived through some terrible shit in my life but nothing, I mean NOTHING is as painful as the grief I carry with me daily from the loss of my beloved husband.

It doesn’t matter that I could almost lift park benches from the strength I’ve acquired through difficulties in life, this enormous strangle hold that suffocates daily is an opponent bigger than life. And many days it can be emotionally crippling.

I often go to the dark side since losing my other half. And no, time doesn’t ease. When the grief monster and the bubble of sadness that comes along for the ride appear, I find myself in yet another duel. These duels become more and more trying and they don’t dissipate with time, despite everyone else in our circles forgetting we are in this grief for life and it can take a long time – or forever, to climb back into joyful living. Our grief never leaves. Even with however much time it may take for it to come to a slow simmer that resides within without constant bubbling over, mine never seems to leave, I am only still learning how to temporarily suppress it. So we are forced to find a way to continue on with our lives or merely just exist. I am choosing life, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy and that it some days doesn’t knock the actual wind out of my breathing sails.

The loneliness is overwhelming. I am naturally a tactile, social being, often dubbed a social butterfly. Nobody is physically here for me, and I’m not one to cry for help to burden others. But I can’t help but wonder, where are the people who used to be in my life? Why did family forget me after such a traumatic event that goes on daily? There I said it, and I’m going to leave that one alone – for now, because, honestly, the people I’m related to by blood give me enough fodder to write a book, erm, make that a tome.

semi colon heart

Some days I’m living on the precipice between living and existing. I am, me, myself and I. I was never that person who got depressed, but I can surely say I know what so many in this world struggle with as this visiting sadness that looms large over me has given me new understanding. I don’t want to call my sadness depression, more like PTSD. My mind too often drifts in a continuous cycle of visionary reminders of watching my husband die daily before my eyes. This is some tough shit to erase from the play list of home videos. It’s a repetitive cycle that is easily triggered by a memory, a random object in my home, or just plain looking at photos of my husband (which surround my home like a mausoleum because I need them to be all around me). I’ve thankfully, never been a depressed person despite some of the awful things that have happened in my life, and knowing depression does exist on my maternal side, I am grateful I didn’t inherit that dis-ease. I may get temporarily depressed, knowing that’s the wrong word I sometimes substitute for sadness, but I don’t allow myself to live in darkness and I fight back with all my might not to allow myself to let a sad day turn into many in a row. Perhaps I’m lucky that way? But there are plenty of people who live in deep depression and can manage to keep that under a cloak when around others. This can lead to dangerous outcomes.

I’m not that person who calls people to wa wa my troubles and moan. Instead, I am silent and solitary. My cries for help will come in subtle ways, maybe talking to a friend and almost begging them to come visit, invading that fine line with my silent cry for help so as not to sound desperate, when in fact there are days when I am.

People are busy. We don’t wish to act sucky so we stuff down our silent hell when all we are craving is some human connection, a hug, an ear for us to cast off our fears, fears that sometimes keep us in the dark and have us questioning ourselves on why are we still here. Why am I here where nobody has time when I could be with one who my heart aches for?

Often it’s the crushing, suffocating pain of having to tolerate our own existence that leads to the many suicides labeled as mental health issues. Funny how I see in my own life how nobody has the time for a cry for help, even when it is deafeningly silent. But they make time for the damned funerals.

Depression, like grief, is a silent thief that traps us at its will. It comes like a tornado sweeping over us, leaving us nothing to grab hold of in its wake, it can often be called a silent killer.

Us grievers, the sad, lonely, or depressed, don’t typically cry for help.  And for the some that do, they aren’t always heard. This is why so often these people commit suicide. They don’t feel they are being heard, loved or cared about. They’re misunderstood for craving attention when in fact, they are, and sometimes that attention  they didn’t receive could have been the very lifeline that saved them. Connection and companionship are a crucial need for a griever, especially one who lives alone. Those who don’t understand how depression can take hold of someone in their darkest moments should pay more attention to the signs, without judgement. We watch movies and news reels about people who feel there’s no help for them and choose to end their pain, all too often. And their loved ones sit in question. Asking themselves, why didn’t I see the signs? Because you don’t always see signs as many depressed are clever at masquerading their pain with smiles and jokes with their pretended happiness. But if you listen and learn not just to the words, but the silences in between, you can learn how to read between the lines and you just may hear.

I remind you all that if you have a person in your life suffering from a situation, to give them a thought once in awhile. If you noticed their silences, patterns, or dispositions have changed, check up on them. If you noticed they don’t show up like they used to or don’t call you, take that as a sign they are in retreat mode and could use a little company, even if they say they are fine – because they are not. If they are going through an ordeal in their life, pick up a phone and make a point to get together with them or just go visit them. Take it from me. I will never beg, and neither will many others. Please have compassion for someone in your life going through a difficult time. Most of the time, their silence is not a good thing. Take it from one who knows.

I wrote a post awhile ago about the symbolism of the semi-colon not just being a punctuation mark, but a survivor symbol – we are making it through, or have made it through, after a life-altering pause. Our story is not over because we choose to fight on.

Semi colon pause

©DGKaye 2022

95 thoughts on “The Grief Diaries – From This Side of Grief – #Depression – A Silent Killer

  1. It never ceases to amaze me how much difference a simple hug makes. I lived alone for many years, and one of the most difficult aspects was going for most of that time without any physical contact at all from another human being. Company at times, for sure, but just not the same. I hear you. I feel you. A wonderful, raw post on grief and depression, Debby. Thanks for your honesty. Hugs and love 💕🙂💕

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  2. So much feeling in your post, Debby. I feel at a loss, unable to offer support. Your description of grief as a tornado is powerful, as powerful as that grief that overwhelms and devours you. I admire the courage and the strength with which, each day, you choose life, difficult as it is.
    I was interested in your comment that many don’t have time to answer a cry (even if silent) for help but make time to attend a funeral. I’m still contemplating. I know your grief and longing will never leave you, Debby, but I hope your pain eases over time and that your cries for help are answered.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Norah. Like I write, I’m a strong person but even the mighty could use a helping hand sometime. I am working hard daily to find a path, but there are so many who just can’t. I want to spread the awareness. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Paulette, I can feel your hug through the airwaves. How wonderful that would be. Thank you so much for your big generous heart. Love and hugs back to you my friend. ❤ xx

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  3. Dearest Debby, know dear friend you are held in my heart.. And you are being very courageous in opening sharing your inner wounds.. Grief is such a personal journey, it hits each of us in different ways, taking its toll as we each learn the best methods of coping and moving through it.
    I as yet have not experienced such deep loss for my soul mate-husband-friend is still firmly by my side. and has been for for 52 years since I was aged 16. So how I would cope I do not know…
    So what you are doing in sharing and writing I know will help many others to navigate their grief.

    So sending you continued love and support dearest Debby.. Special Hugs your way my friend ❤

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    1. Thank you so much Sue. I guess that’s me, always the sharer and trying to help others through what I’ve learned. I wish you many more beautiful years with your soul-mate. And I don’t have to tell you, of all people, to be grateful for each day together. I know you know this. Thanks so much for the love sent my way. I can feel it. Love and hugs back your way my dear friend. ❤ xxx

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  4. This is such an important message, Debby. I was struck most by your words: “If you noticed they don’t show up like they used to or don’t call you, take that as a sign they are in retreat mode and could use a little company, even if they say they are fine – because they are not.” What a profound statement of understanding and compassion, and a powerful call to action. Thank you for sharing your broken heart and pain, your insights and strength. Hugs, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Diana. I will hope that many others will understand that passage as well as you. I’ve always felt myself a messenger of sorts, passing on life lessons. Hugs received and sending some back to you. ❤ xx

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      1. I second Diana’s comments, Debby. It takes courage to share one’s secret heart — to turn personal trauma into a cathartic message for others. Keep your chin up.

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  5. Dear Debby, your pain is palpable and I admire your strength and resilience. 💖 Sharing your experience with grief will surely help others. I lost my best friend to colon cancer in 2021. We had been close for 45 years and the hole in my life is large. Losing a soulmate would make that hole a crater. I’m so sorry for your loss. 😞

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    1. Thank you so much Deb. And I’m so sorry for your loss. Sadly, I too know how it feels to lose a close friend too, in fact I wrote a chapter about it in my upcoming book. There really are no words so I try my best to share my experience, hoping that others can learn what goes on after loss. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. 💖 I’m looking forward to the book. Another friend recently lost her husband of 50 years and I sent her the link to your post. It always helps to know others can relate.

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  6. A great post, Debby, talking about a subject most like to ignore. Just checking in and caring are such simple things and can mean so much. I’d never ask for help either, even if I needed it. You make a good point the quiet ones or those eho know how to hide their pain need someone to reach out. Sending hugs xo

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  7. wow – such powerful words, Debby. I have always admired how open you have been about your husband’s sufferings and then the grief you experienced after his death. But this post brings it all together and made me realize how difficult it can be to deal with grief and depression. I will try harder to look for such signs in the behavior of the people I know and love. Thank you for your openness; I hope that sharing your grief and interacting with the blogging community offers you some relief.

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    1. Thank you so much Jim. I appreciate you reading, and so glad that I have lit some awareness on the subject for you. That’s what I hoped for when writing it. Spreading awareness. Thanks again for your kind wishes. ❤

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  8. Thank you for your courage, Debby. This was a profound and poignant post and follow-up discussion. I am beyond excited that you will be creating a podcast!! “This is why I’ll soon be starting my podcast on Grief – The Real Talk, for exactly these reasons.” Your dedication to others is truly inspiring. I will be on the look-out for that podcast!!! Sending many hugs your way.

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  9. I feel that, like you, I’m a strong person, and perhaps a bit of a loner. It was really good to read this post, and I appreciate your honesty as you “bare your soul,” so to speak. I think it is the kind of message that is helpful to all types of personalities, but it made me wonder how people cope who are weaker than we are. I know how hard it is to lose a parent, but a spouse would be devastating. Few people like to talk about grief of this kind. We are a death-denying society, and yet, in the end, at least half of us have to go through the loss of a loved one. Your post helps us to realize that although the pain is tremendous, we can cope. Thank you for writing and posting this.

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    1. Hi Anneli. Thank you so much for visiting, reading, and leaving your kind and wise words of wisdom. You are so right, we do live in a death-denying society. I knew this from my own experience. Even when I knew my husband was dying, I refused to believe it. I know I had to do that to continue caring for him without falling apart, and allowing the crash to hit hard in the aftermath. I share my pain and experience because I know when I was searching for truth talk on the subject, I had a difficult time finding more than clinical to try and ease the journey. So thank you again. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Debbie, thank you for writing such an important and heartfelt post. The grieving process is such a difficult Journey. Everything that you have written, I have gone through. I send you lots of love and hugs. 💙

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    1. My lovely friend Martha, thank you for validating my words as I know you have, and still do travel in this journey too. Hugs to you my friend. And hopefully see you next week when my Fakebook sentence ends. Love and hugs back at you. ❤ xxx

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  11. Deb, this post offers deep understanding for those who are grieving, and sage advice for those who care about them. I encountered grief for the first time in my adult life when I was in my late twenties. I thought I would die. It paralyzed me to such an extent that I couldn’t eat or talk or work. Crying and sleeping were my only medicine. I understand where you are, sister, and I’m here for you, 24/7. Feel the light and love I’m sending you right now ❤️❤️

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    1. Thank you so much my dear friend. I know this of you and about you. I know well of the not eating, sleeping, caring for self and the paralyzing fear you speak of. You know we are kindred spirits ❤ Thank you so much for sharing yourself here too and your wisdom. I know there are so many who can relate and need to feel like they are not alone. Feeling your love and sending it right back to you. ❤ ❤

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  12. Dear Debby,

    This is not a dark post. This is an honest post.
    Your love for your husband is a prize in life. Many never know the depth of emotion you have known.
    Your writing on grief has given me an idea about the post I want to do re: Honest Eds.
    First I need to get back there, and take pics of what it has become.
    I might need to send you an email about it, after I take the pics.

    No hurries!
    Just want to send some love and hugs right now!
    Resa xoxoxoxoxo

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    1. Hello my Lovely. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving your kind words. Yes, I was so blessed to have the love of my life, which in turn makes it equally as painful to have had to let go.
      On another note, I am happy that something in my post has given you some food for thought on that post you want to do about Honest Eds. I sure hope you may have photos of what it used to look like too! Pleaseeeeeeee, feel free to email me about it. I know you mentioned to me that you may want my input somewhere, which I am more than happy to do. If you don’t have my email – d.g.kaye.writer@gmail.com. Whenever you need to find me. Thanks for the love and hugs, and right back at you!!! ❤ ❤ xx

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  13. No reason to apologize for having normal human emotions. There is no timetable for grief. Not only is writing about it therapeutic for you, but you will also help someone else through similar emotions. Great idea, Debby! I’ll be listening.

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  14. Until you’ve experienced this kind of a loss, there is no way to comprehend the heaviness of the grief that makes it nearly impossible to move or even breathe at times. A friend of mine wrote a song about tears too deep to cry. I relate to that. I send you light and love, my sister in grief. I want to tell you things will get better, but in truth, they just aren’t quite as bad. Hugs!

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  15. An incredible post, Debby – I’m sure I’ve never felt anything like that, it really breaks my heart to hear how you continue to suffer. Healing hugs to you, my friend. Toni xx

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  16. I’m very familiar with this movement. I was quite distraught when I heard that Amy Bleuel, the founder of this movement, passed away 😦

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  17. I think the intensity of one’s grief is related to the intensity of one’s love for the person. Thank you, Debby, for your honesty in sharing the depth of your grief and your loneliness. Not only does your grief have a purpose in healing yourself but also in helping others who are grieving. I am looking forward to listening to your podcast and know deep in my heart that you will touch many, many people who will need to hear your words and feel comfort in them. ❤

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    1. Thank you so very much Carol. That’s my saying…the more you loved, the more you will grieve. And thanks for the interest in my podcast. I am happy to report, I finallyyyyyyy got it set up and ready to go. I will have it out next week! 🙂 ❤

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      1. Wow, I’m really impressed, Also, Debby, I want to tell you that your post hit home regarding my sister whose husband died last May. It reminded me to be more present to her. To listen to her and recognize how lonely she must be. Your podcast on grief should not only attract those who are grieving a close loss but also those who are around to support the griever or make them conscious of doing so. Or how shitty they are not to do so. 🙂

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      2. Carol, your sister is so lucky to have you. Mostly what I got were the shitty people. My first podcast is really an intro into why I’ve decided to start the podcast. Following episodes will all touch on a related topic of the journey. You can be sure I’ll be discussing support – and the lack of it. Hugs to you my friend. I hope once I post, you will share my podcast with your dear sister. ❤ xx

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  18. Hi Debby, thank you for opening up to us in the most personal and raw manner. I, like everyone, has lost a loved one, but if I lost my husband or a child, I fear the loss would break me. So, I hear you and feel for you. Grief is such a diverse path for everyone, and no one can possibly understand what you feel and the dark moments you experience. Anyone can be strong, but life is life with all its joy and with all its strife, and sometimes, that strife will hit like a tsunami. But by sharing your grief, I know you will help so many people who are in similar situations. Sending much love and many healing hugs. I hope the light will shine a bit brighter for you very soon. ❤️❤️

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    1. Hi Lauren. Thank you so much for your wise words here. You hit the nail on the head. I too have gone through quite a few losses. When I lost my father, that was the worst grief I’d ever known. But losing my soulmate was another whole different kind of grief. Like I’ve written before, each individual loss we endure is different. And of course, the more we loved, the more we will grieve. Thanks for the love, and sending some back to you. ❤ xx

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      1. You’re very welcome, Debby. I think when both of my parents passed away, the grief hit me hard. Our family foundation had slipped away, and it felt surreal, to say the least. Anyway, take good care of you. I appreciate all you share. Hugs ❤️❤️

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    1. Thank you so much Sal. If anyone knows my grief well it’s you. Thank you for being one of the most supportive friends through this journey. Your daily checks up on me, and your allowing me to vent has meant so much more to me than you will ever know. I love you my dear friend. ❤ ❤

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  19. Hi Debby, I went to a care home for the elderly yesterday with my outreach team from work. We arranged to host a spring morning tea for the residents and took the food (sandwiches, cakes and some other treats). A DJ was organised who played appropriate music and did drumming and other music activities with the residents. The thing that struck me hard when we arrived was how quite and listless the elderly people were. Most of them had a very dull look in their eyes and were lacking in animation. It was a nice home, the garden was pretty and had lots of flowers and the staff were lovely, but these elderly people live in rooms and are very lonely. It is almost palatable. By the time we left, that dull look had left many of them and they were smiling and talking. Our visit made a difference to their lives.

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    1. Robbie, thanks for sharing that experience. Sadly, you have witnessed loneliness, and you have witnessed how much activity and communication can make such a huge difference in one’s life. Bless you. ❤

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  20. Sending you hugs and love across the border, Debby. I feel all of us struggle one way or another and we should make more time for each other. Love is important. Friendship is important. Some days, I’m painfully aware of the disadvantage a nomadic lifestyle brings – family and dear friends are more than just a phone call or a hug away. Despite your blood relatives lacking in their support, I’m glad you have a lot of friends who care – and even visit. 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much my lovely friend. I can only imagine how your nomadic lifestyle can stir feelings of loneliness. I live alone in my home and often feel like a nomad. You can take these hugs from me. 🙂 ❤ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi Debby! Thanks for honestly sharing your personal experiences during a time of grief. I also had these experiences (as all other humans will have, sooner or later), and only trust in ourselves can help to overcome flashbacks of it. As you said it’s not easy, but it shows us we are living, and also empathetic. Best wishes, Michael

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