|Posted on 29 July, 2014 at 23:05|
Paula's husband died about two weeks ago. It was sudden and unexpected. She is still feeling numb, like this is all a bad dream, even though the funeral and burial have taken place. Her friends and coworkers have gone back to their normal lives, but Paula doesn't feel like she has a normal life to go back to.
Kate had a miscarriage a few weeks ago. She and her husband were devastated. They had waited so long to have a baby, and had begun to think it would never happen for them. Now, what should have been such a happy time has turned into a nightmare. They hadn't told very many people yet about the pregnancy, so it almost feels like they are keeping the loss a secret. Kate feels relieved not to have to give everyone the bad news, but she also wishes she had someone to talk to. Those who knew have expressed their sympathy, but now they have moved on, back to their regular routines.
Loss is a painful and personal thing. When you lose a close friend or family member you may feel numb at first, in shock. You can hardly believe this is really happening. Friends, coworkers, and church groups may be there to help initially. Maybe they bring meals, pick up family members from the airport, help host a luncheon, or even do laundry or housecleaning. Usually, though, after a few weeks these people go back to their regular lives. It's not that they don't care about you. It's just that they are "over it," and they think you are, too. After all, it's been several weeks now. Haven't you processed the death of your loved one? Well, no. You haven't. You may have started moving through the stages of grief, but it's likely you are only just starting to come out of feeling numb. This is very normal.
Processing grief takes time. If you have lost someone close to you, it may take months, or even a couple years, before you feel more like yourself again. Give yourself the time you need to heal, and don't rush yourself. Don't let the reactions of others make you think you are "doing it wrong." Grief is different for everyone. Some people need longer than others to deal with it. Let that be okay. You may feel sad, depressed, numb, confused, shocked, angry, or relieved. These feelings (and more) are all okay to have. They are normal.
You won't forget the person you lost, and you don't need to forget them. You can move from a place of focusing on their death, to focusing on their life and all the wonderful memories you have of them. There may always be some sadness there. Expect that. Expect that you will have triggers that may bring back some of the difficult grief memories. Some you will see coming, some you won't. Let that be okay, too. Life is for the living, and while you may feel dead inside at first, you can live again. Give yourself time to get there. Be patient. Don't rush. Just grieve at your own pace.