Don’t be afraid of your own grief.
You know when you’re about to get hit with a big ol’ wave of grief. It totally sucks. That dreadful knot in your stomach. That sick, choking feeling in your throat. Your face feels hot and your body starts to go numb from the toes up. And then it hits. You’re overwhelmed with emotions; anger, rage, fear and sadness sweep through you. The tears blur your eyes as you try to prevent them from falling. Your muscles clench and you wish you could do something to stop it completely.
There is a way to stop it. It’s not an easy way, but there is one way to make it end, to make yourself feel happy and satisfied with your life again. Here are some things to consider while you maneuver through this painful journey:
- Feel the feelings. It sounds super scary, but think about allowing yourself to feel your emotions rather than always stuffing them away. The pain we feel after someone dies is natural and avoiding our feelings will only prolong the grieving process.
- Consider finding time to purposely bring on some grief emotions. Again, it sounds counter intuitive because you prefer to avoid emotional pain, but bringing on a good cry might actually expedite the grief process.
- Keep bringing up your loved one’s name in conversations with others. By talking about them and how they’ve left a mark on your life, you keep their memory as part of your present life. Learning how to preserve that memory while letting go of the pain is partly why this grief journey is a long one.
- Be sure to not be impatient with yourself or put any kind of time limit on how long you think it should take before you feel better. Being concerned with the length of time this is taking prevents you from being in the present moment, possibly missing the chance to feel some of the necessary feelings of grief.
- Understand that grieving takes a lot of energy and mental attention too. When you find yourself feeling tired or notice you can’t seem to focus for long periods of time, recognize that your loss could be a factor. Take naps and say no to overextending yourself while your’re trying to heal.
Your instinct will tell you to run fast and far from your feelings, especially the painful ones, but your best bet is to turn around and face your feelings. They’ll eventually catch up with you anyway.