Deal With Grief
- Shock and numbness:
You can’t instantly grasp the reality of what happened, much less the implications for your life. That’s actually good. The numbness allows you to compartmentalize as needed, so you can focus on essential decisions and actions. Yet because your brain still expects that person’s presence, you may dial the number, call out the name as you walk in the door or think you see him or her walking down the street. The reality will gradually hit home, bringing waves of pain and grief.
- Unhelpful friends and family members:
Despite their best intentions, most people don’t know what to say or do after the death of a loved one because they’ve never been taught. Many don’t want to say the wrong thing so they say nothing, skillfully avoiding you or talking about anything except what happened. Others do try, yet they repeat what everyone else always does, so their attempts are often neutral or even pain-inducing.
Still others feel it is their duty to “fix” you, telling you what to feel and how to grieve or saying that you should “get over it.” This is terribly unfair, so you frequently find yourself educating others on how to support you.
- A wide range of emotions:
Every human emotion is caught up in the spiral of grief. You may be angry, sad, relieved, guilty, confused, vulnerable, afraid, searching, despairing or hopeful. You sometimes experience several emotions at once; other times, you cycle through them at a dizzying pace. You are simultaneously genuinely grateful for some things but desperately sad about others.
The unpredictable volatility may cause you to feel you’re going crazy. You’re not. It’s all normal for a grieving person.