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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Uncle Piotr by tucsonmike on 14 June 2008 6:28am
Some of you have seen me mention him before. He is not my "blood" uncle, sort of adopted. He lives in Krakow and I have been presented with a strange situation.
Here he is, this larger than life charismatic man now more depressed than you can imagine. In less than a year, he has lost his wife and daughter and been forced to retire.

I am waiting for my psychologist friend to write me back to provide me with something clever to say, so I don't make a mess of this.
I gave this as a speech to my Toastmasters club Wed. It was kind of cathartic.
Like spilling it here is. I hope to get to Poland next year (though I may have to swim). I am trying to get him to bring his kids to California and I will meet his at Disneyland.
Re: Uncle Piotr by kazzzz on 14 June 2008 12:01pm
Yes Mike you did tell me about your uncle, very sad situation. It would be hard to know what to say, when someone is in a state of deep depression it's hard to say the right thing.
It would be great if he could go to California, removing yourself from a location albeit temporarily can often help. It worked for me.
I hope it turns out well for him and that he can find a way to move on.
Re: Uncle Piotr by johnnythemonkey on 14 June 2008 12:54pm
It would be great if you could get to Poland Mike but I'm sure you will do the best you can for him from afar in the meantime.
My best wishes to you both.
Re: Uncle Piotr by mrsthing on 14 June 2008 4:58pm
I've been in some pretty awful places psychologically in my life, and speaking from personal experience, the most comforting thing anyone said was, "You're going to get through this and be happy again, eventually. Until then, know that I'm your friend and you can call me whenever you need to." I only took her up on it once, but she was true to her word at 3am. This same person occasionally called to take me to a movie or go out for dinner and NOT talk about my depression. I found it very comforting to do "normal" stuff while my life and mind were so crazy.

Just my $.02. I wish you both well.

Re: Uncle Piotr by Ginnyp on 14 June 2008 7:19pm
Perhaps it's trite to say that it's a long dark tunnel with hardly anyone sharing the journey. There's not much light and you get bitter at being on your own when everyone "up top"is carrying on as usual (or so you think)
People worry for you but just can't convey their feelings.
The nice thing about tunnels is that you know they end, you just don't know when. You'll know that day when you step into some sunshine.
It's a long tunnel but it's not endless.
Re: Uncle Piotr by MMMmmm... on 15 June 2008 5:16am
I am so sorry for your Uncle Piotr, Mike. Loss can devastate like nothing else - the people we care about and invest in are often the primary foundations for meaning, happiness, comfort in our lives, however much we are aware of it. Loss can seem to pull all that out from under us, especially loss of precious ones. Even the most charismatic individuals, have no real defense against such pain. Like Ginny said, time, and love are the best healers for now. Eventually there will be more laughter and pleasure in life again. Just support him however you can, Mike - however he seems to like best. And like Judy said, sometimes it's most helpful just to tell them and help them feel you're here for them, and their best interest.

I remember last year when my beloved cat of 17 years died, my whole life didn't feel right - wasn't recognizable as my own anymore - it had lost one of its best and most important parts - I did not even like this world, without him in it. The world had lost one of its most endearing, it took time to adjust. I can only imagine how your Uncle must feel. If you are sincere, whatever you say - he will be able to feel it, and that will go a long way.

Much Love to both of you
Re: Uncle Piotr by Rox on 15 June 2008 8:01am
Loss of a loved one represents a loss of an attachment. What we feel is grief and what we have to experience is the mourning process......There are 4 tasks to accomplish until we find the ourselves in a place to be able to move on, once we are able to deal with the acceptance of the loss..... Getting into a black hole is all about finding a way to move out of it again. It's a self discovery journey, something that can be seen in a postive light. It's about understanding Emotions, feelings and spending time with yourself to feel how you feel, and yes constant acknowledgement and support from loved ones that this will get better, that we grow and learn from it.......The four tasks of mourning are vital to lay that person or animal or whatever to rest....and for us to learn from that, and to move on......Michael Palins wife is a grief counsellor, I am pretty sure of that........and I learnt about the 4 tasks of mourning from "William Worden, 4 tasks of mourning" Amazing book which taught me how to resolve my grief, understand my constant sense of "mourning" after loosing my mother, 40 YEARS AFTER THE EVENT ! Mourning the loss of an attachment, isn't only relational to when someone dies - loss of relationship, business, anything your attached to and has gone.......Tucsonmike, I don't know if this book is written in Polish though but he has your support and others, so I am sure he will find his way again :)
Re: Uncle Piotr by johnnythemonkey on 15 June 2008 10:00am
Mike, some of the ladies here have taken time and shared some of their experiences. I hope you can take some comfort from their good advice.
Me? Well, I'll leave that one.
Re: Uncle Piotr by suzulu on 15 June 2008 11:30am
Mike, it must be terrible for your Uncle Piotr to have two losses in a year and being forced to retire as well. Maybe a trip to California will help, being away from his usual surroundings.
Re: Uncle Piotr by tucsonmike on 15 June 2008 3:58pm
I appreciate everyones input. While I am at the Railroad Museum today, I will draft a suitable response.
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