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woman grieving in clouds

Yes, We Do Grieve Our Old Lives

A couple of years ago on a grieving site, a person wanted to grieve her old life. Some on the site said that this was for grieving because someone died.  This lady said that she was grieving because she died, her old life died.

This triggered quite a thought process in me.  I agree with that lady. Our old lives have died.  We live a new life. We too go through the grieving process:

Denial:

This can’t be real. It can’t be happening to me. How could I get this? I didn’t smoke. I didn’t smoke very much. If I would have quit sooner. Wouldn’t I have known sooner? After time, you may realize that it probably is real and you probably have it or something like it. Whatever it is, COPD, asthma or just a cold.

Anger:

Why did this happen to me? It’s the cigarette companies fault; they keep pushing them on us and making them more addictive. I can’t help that I grew up around other people that smoked or worked in a place that had chemicals. That person smoked more than I did, why did I get COPD?

Bargaining:

God, if you take this away, I’ll pray more often or give more money to charity. Praying to whoever might be listening that you will do better if the COPD is gone. Going from doctor to doctor to find a diagnosis that says there is no COPD.

Depression:

How do I go on like this? No one understands. I don’t want to tell my family, I don’t want them to worry, who will I talk to? They probably wouldn’t understand anyway. It’s so hard to do things, no one will want to help. I’m so tired, I don’t want to get up. My anxiety has really gone up and I’m more prone to panic attacks.

Acceptance:

This is my new life, I have living to do. I am going to find a COPD group. I am going to talk to a therapist to help me through these adjustments in my life. I am going to find a way to help my family understand and maybe find a group for them. I am going to participate in what I can and what I can’t, I’ll ask for photos and find something pleasant for me to do, maybe watch a movie so I can rest and relax. I’ll do the best I can and on the bad days, I’ll give myself approval to do only what I can do. I’ll make sure that no matter what, I will get up and move around periodically; if I can’t get up, I’ll sit or lay in my bed and move my hands and feet, legs and arms. Today I’ll look out and see the sun and know that it’s a brand new day, one to be celebrated and I’ll smile.

I believe we grieve with everything that alters our lives.  I can see some things that I struggle with and have trouble letting go of.  Being human, let’s us go through so many things in our lives; it helps us to be who we are. Yes, we do grieve any life changing things, until we can let go and accept them we stay stuck. If we allow ourselves to grieve, we will get to the place of acceptance and we will be able to open a new chapter in our lives and go on, to whatever we find, in our journey of life.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Gentlewinds
    6 days ago

    Great article. Especially like your ideas about what you do when you can’t participate. Thank you.

  • Janet Plank moderator author
    3 days ago

    Hi Gentlewinds, thank you for commenting and welcome!
    I hope that all is well with you.
    Janet Plank (author/moderator)

  • blegarza
    1 week ago

    After having a nagging horrible cough for years, totally ignored by my provider I finally reached a point of nearly critical condition without meds, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 COPD, for 3 month on meds my condition got better but not great. I changed providers and now have been diagnosed with Asthma. The change in meds are helping but my health really failed while being unattended for so long. So now I see what the future holds, and will stay on this site, a lot of good information is available.

  • Janet Plank moderator author
    1 week ago

    Hello blegarza and welcome.
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I hope your new doctor treats you well. Doing better is a good start to slowing the progression of your disease. Have you talked with your doctor about pulmonary rehab? This isn’t available in all places. If it is available, do discuss this with your doctor. Maybe he/she will sign you up. If not, your doctor might recommend an exercise program specific for you. Exercise is so very important, as is nutrition, medications as directed, oxygen when ordered, doctor appointments, counseling, and/or support groups.
    I’m glad that you will continue using our sites. We will be here for you
    Hoping that you have a breathe easy day/night.
    Janet (author/moderator)

  • Janet Plank moderator author
    2 years ago

    Jnaphys we all need to vent and this is a safe place to do so. It’s easy to remember the busier and active days, how much better we are just having been able to live that life. I’m grateful having read your comments today. Thank you! Janet (site moderator)

    MaritaF laughter is the best medicine. Thank you for smiles. Janet (site moderator)

  • Janet Plank moderator author
    2 years ago

    MaritaF you are an inspiration! Talking does help and with your sense of humor, you have made it acceptable. Thank you for sharing that.
    Janet (site moderator)

  • MaritaF
    2 years ago

    I have gone through the process, am accepting right now. I want to live the fullest that I can.
    It has been hard, scary, and anxiety , panic a part of the process. I now am exercising regularly, going to dinner, etc. My life is much better. Thank you for this topic, grief has been a huge part for me.

  • Janet Plank moderator author
    2 years ago

    MaritaF, thank you for sharing. I’m so happy that your life is better and that you are living and able to do things.
    Janet (site moderator)

  • Janet Plank moderator author
    2 years ago

    Finding me, you are right. The difference is how we choose to live it.
    There is something good in every day, sometimes we need to look for it.
    Thank you so much for your comments. They will likely help someone along the way. I know I learn from them.
    Have a good day!
    Janet (site moderator)

  • Finding Me
    2 years ago

    I meant we must live the life we are given.

  • Finding Me
    2 years ago

    This is so right on! I went through each step. Fortunately, I went through them rather quickly. I did make a couple of rash decisions, but they all turned out well. I hope everyone who has this disease finds their way to acceptance quickly and smoothly. We must live the last few we are given. There is always something good to find in everyday!

  • Janet Plank moderator author
    2 years ago

    gracefulgailg56, my heart goes out to you. The body and mind goes into protective mode and can cause such reactions. You are not alone. I think that most of us feel feel and have reactions, even panic to situations that we encounter. You are not alone, we are here for you. You come back anytime. We wont know your old self, but will know you today and we help each other on this journey.
    Janet (site moderator)

  • gracefulgailg56
    2 years ago

    I know I miss my old self and wanting to go back. I’ll admit I cried and screamed a few times as I wish this was a dream. The screams came when I would get all tangled up and the hose pulls on my nose. Mostly because I didn’t slow down and felt trapped. It’s not something you can accept easily. I found online support like this site helped a lot. Especially when I’m scared as I know I’m not alone.

  • MaritaF
    2 years ago

    Talking about everyday challenges has helped me s much! A sense of humor helps me, if I get tangled up I try and make fun of it, and laugh. I couldn’t do that @ first I was to frightened. I wondered if I would ever be able to laugh, I can and I do

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    HI Bruce – You’ll note that Janet’s comment is right on target – right now there is no scientific consensus on a cure for COPD, but it’s progression can be slowed down. I thought you might find it helpful to look over this article on that aspect of COPD; https://copd.net/uncategorized/expert-answers-progression/. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Jnaphys
    2 years ago

    I am so glad I found this web site it is very imformative to talk about our feelings, when we are grieving and when we are happy. I dont think anyone that doesnt have COPD realizes how we really feel. It is a tuff road if you had been an active person like I was, somedays I feel sorry for myself, I know that is not right but it is what it is, Then I say to myself I am really lucky it could be worse and I have great support. Allright I just felt like venting today thanks for listening.

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