In the journey of life I suppose everyone has felt like they’ve come to a screeching halt at some time or another. It’s part of the grieving process. In my article Life Must Go On, I recalled three common, everyday events which after the accident became tough to do. I felt awkward and strange, even around family and friends. Despite my shattered life, I could see that life was going on. It seemed odd that most people were unaware of my grief and pain. I knew I had to move forward regardless of my sorrow and the best reason to do so was for my children.
Can anyone prepare for grief? I don’t know, but I sure wasn’t prepared for it. What I do know is that it will come in all of our lives and sometimes when we least expect it. I found this list of things to know about grief very accurate to what I experienced. It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone.
- Your grief will take longer than most people think.
- Your grief will take more energy than you would have ever imagined.
- Your grief will involve many changes.
- Your grief will show itself in all parts of your life: physical, social, and emotional.
- You will grieve the loss of many things, not just the death or change alone.
- You will grieve for what you have lost in the present and for what you have lost for the future.
- Your grief will involve mourning not only for the actual person, but also for all the hopes, dreams and unfulfilled expectations you had for/and with that person, along with needs that will go unmet because of the death or change.
- Your grief will involve a wide variety and combination of feelings and reactions such as anger, sadness, loneliness, irritability, frustration, annoyance, or intolerance.
- Your loss will bring out old issues, feelings and unresolved conflicts from the past.
- You will have a sense of loss of identity as the result of this major loss and you will experience reactions and feelings that are new and different for you.
- You may feel anger and/or guilt, or some variation of these emotions.
- You may have a lack of self-concern or interest in things going on around you.
- You may experience a grief burst, a sudden burst of feeling that hits you without warning.
- You may have trouble thinking, concentrating, and/or making decisions.
- You may feel like you are going crazy.
- You may search for meaning for why this happened.
- You may question your religion and or definition of life.
- You may find yourself acting socially in ways that are different from before.
- Society will have unrealistic expectations about your grief journey and may respond inappropriately to you.
- Certain experiences later in life may temporarily bring back your grief such as certain dates, events, sounds, smells, sights, and/or memories that remind you of your loss.
As I came to terms with my own grief, I learned this – life must and will go on, with or without you. Choose to be apart of it. Each day is precious and relationships need to be treasured. If you’re grieving, keep moving forward one step at a time. You can and will move out of the dark and will see a colorful life again.
Please share your tips on grieving or what kept you going during your time of grief.