In bereavement we are likely to feel depressed once the numbness has worn off and we are through the first crush of raw emotion. We are wrung out from everything we have gone through.
We can feel lonely and full of sorrow. Don’t panic, this is normal! Naturally we would like to avoid feeling this way. Our culture tends to say that we should feel happy all the time.
I know that when my husband was no longer at home the house felt empty!
There was such a loud silence!
My grandma said that she experienced the same thing when Grandpa died. In talking we discovered that in that first year each of us always had the radio or TV going. The noise somehow helped “fill” that silence. It is lonely being home with no one else there.
We must allow ourselves this time of mourning.
When we try to avoid or hurry through the grief cycle we are actually more likely to prolong the process. What we may not realize is that stuffing feelings down only makes our grief show up in a different form. It might come out as sickness instead.
We must allow ourselves to work through the grief journey.
Often during this time we will have to make ourselves go through the motions of daily living. We must try to eat healthy, get enough sleep and get some moderate exercise. It might sound obvious but we need to make sure to continue to take showers, get our hair cut and get out of bed.
We also have to be careful to avoid misusing drugs, alcohol or even food. These may be used to temporarily mask our pain yet they might only deepen your sadness.
I remember a phrase I picked up somewhere along the line that works for this stage….
You can’t go over it,
You can’t go under it,
You can’t go around it,
You have to go through it.
This saying helped me to realize I must hold on, cling to my faith, and trust. Let your emotions be what they are. Accept them, yet at the same time try not to wallow in them.
We must remember that “this too shall pass” - that this stage of feeling totally depressed and lonely will gradually ease.
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