The Twilight Hours - Dealing with Grief
Grieving is a process that all of us go through at one point in another in our lives. For some, it comes in waves of tragedies and sudden phone calls where your world feels like it has been turned upside down. For some, it begins a journey where the road is uneven, rocky, tumultuous, and at times frightening.
Currently, I find myself along with others who have suddenly lost a parent or a grandmother they were very close to in life, and the pain appears to be insurmountable. By writing this blog, I hope this reaches out and help those who are currently struggling with the roller coaster of emotions, as well as those who are trying to be supportive of a loved one or friend.
For the friend or loved one..
1) No death is identical. It does not matter the age of the deceased or how they died. What matters is that they are gone and they are not coming back. That sobering reality grows over time even as you begin to piece yourself back together.
2) Do not ask early on how a person died or was the person sick. Nothing hurts more than being forced to relieve the moments or details of how they died. Even though it is human nature to inquire, your curiosity can be detrimental to the well being of your loved one or friend.
3) Avoid recommending therapy to someone who is struggling. It signals to the other person that you do not seem to have an interest to personally see them through their difficult times. Your support is so vital for your loved one's turnaround.
4) Shutting down is a good way to being cut off. If you have not experienced a similar traumatic experience, going rogue or making statements that create an additional conflict creates more stress and pain to the other party. Keep in mind that your friend or loved one is going through an epic battle every day. Poor body language, use of profanity, or indirectly making the grieving party feel like a burden adds to the potential of being shut away.
5) Do not say it will get better in time. You don't know what another is feeling. Everyday from the date of death feels like a bad dream or an eternity. Time is not an issue because the aggrieved desires their loved one back or to go
back in time.
6) Pick up the slack. The adage about it is the little things that count truly make a difference. If you know of a friend or loved one who has a newfound level of responsibility after a passing of a parent or grandparent, pick it up on your own. Waiting for someone to tell you to do something paints a portrait of someone drowing in sorrow and stress and they do not have the lungs to scream for help. Go the extra mile
For the grieving party...
1) Take enough time for you and be selfish. Each person grieves differently. There is no timetable for when you are to be "normal." Do what you need to get back on your feet.
2) Live. It is not uncommon to do whatever is opposite from your routine. However, be mindful that if you do not pay attention to your newfound behavior, you jeopardize your health and mental well-being. Live in memory of your lost loved one, but be mindful that you have so much ahead of you.
3) Understand that this is perfectly normal. You will go through a roller-coaster of emotions. You will feel abandoned, lost, sad, angry. You will want to sleep alot and there will be times where you can't sleep at all. Remember, people go through different methods of grieving. But unfortunately this is normal.
4) Listen, pause, comment (or don't comment at all). You wil have a new heightened sense of instability and some words and phrases may sting more than others. Some actions are misconstrued through your lenses at the moment. Sometimes the best avenue is to take a step back and then comment but take the inflection of whatever pain you are going through.
5) You may have to go through this alone. We all want support in some ways. This varies from person to person. However, even with a support system in place, you have the sobering reality that you will feel alone and no one is there for you. But understand that particular feeling is ok.
Thank you for reading my blog. As always, I will try and put topics of relevance as it may occur through my life or real situations that others go through.
Please support my book The Four Fits of Holistic Growth, available on Amazon and follow me on Facebook (Dr. Terrence Duncan), Twitter (drtduncan), IG (dr.tduncan) and my website (drtduncan.com)