Posts filed under healthy grieving

Why am I so exhausted?

Grieving is hard work. It is so much more complicated than people think. Other people do not see the beehive of emotions, thoughts, feelings that are buzzing around right in front of your face. I mean, right there in front of you face! Your friends and family are afraid to bring up your loss because they don’t want to bring you down. They don’t realize that the loss of your loved one is always there, always. It’s never on the back burner. Your memories, regrets, guilt, the longing for the physical body, the emptiness, the concern about the future, finances—those feelings are always there, buzzing in front of your face day and night. No wonder sleeping is often difficult.

A task like getting death certificates to the right places feels criminal at this time. Can’t the bill collectors and institutions give you a break? The bureaucracy of death is overwhelming.

The key is to ask for help, if you can, to get you through these tasks. All those well-meaning people who say, “If there’s anything I can do, just let me know.” Well, let them know. they may not be able to do the actual task, but they can be by your side as you do it. Sometimes it helps to have someone there, gently persuading you to pick up the phone or write one more thank you note. Let those kind people know you need quiet, not chatter. Chatter is exhausting.

As far as the beehive in front of your face, the key is to journal, make lists, or share with someone who will give you time (more than five minutes, if you please), to vent or complain or share a memory. It’s important to allow the beehive to be released—to move it from your head to your heart. When you share with someone you trust, that person should validate your pain, not try to fix it.

For sleeplessness, try homeopathic remedies first, since prescription medications are often addictive. But please work on this issue, as sleep is essential for your healing process.

Posted on July 13, 2016 and filed under Grief, healthy grieving.

Your grief must be expressed and...

If you keep your grief bottled up, there are repercussions. You may become irritable, or explode at some nice serviceperson when they’re trying to be friendly. Down the road, your health may begin to suffer. Gone are the days when you were just supposed to “buck up” or “get over it.” People who tell you this are ignorant and insensitive, to say the least. And these people may be the exact reason you are not expressing your grief in a healthy and positive way.

Who can you trust to validate all the complex feelings you are experiencing during bereavement? The need for compassion, understanding, and validation is essential for healthy healing through the grieving process. A child who skins her knee looks to her parent to “see” her pain. Do we not look to see how many Likes we receive on Facebook posts?

Be sure to watch an excellent TEDx regarding this subject called “Against Grieving in Silence” by Rachel Stephenson. Her mom died when she was five. No family member knew how to comfort her or help her deal with her loss because they, too, were deep in grief. This impacted her entire life.

I encourage finding a form of expression—joining a support group or speaking to a good grief counselor who can walk alongside you on your journey without trying to “fix” you. Find that one friend who can give you the time to express your pain with empathy and without judgment.

Your grief must be expressed and validated.

Posted on April 18, 2016 and filed under healthy grieving.