Life After Loss – Understanding the Grieving Process and Learning to Heal
Two weekends ago, when my step-daughter visited me, we were talking about our grieving process and we both couldn’t help but cry for a while. We were so tried and both mentioned we have started to feel depressed.
This grieving process is a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, highs and lows. I thought since it has been 3 months that I should be doing better. But the fact is, this process is not a straight line. It is more like one step forward and then two steps backwards. I think the first 3 months I was in shock. Now the reality finally has set in and I started to accept my man is really gone, forever.
One day, I started to cry right after I stepped into my kitchen from the garage. I cried for a long time, used a whole box of tissue and talked to my husband’s ashes for more than an hour. I finally figured out why I was crying. I am doing way too much and I am just sooooo tired. I get up at 5:30 am everyday and then get home at about 5 or 6 pm from my teaching job. Then I spend every minute I can building my blogging career. My weekends are always over booked for photo shoots or fashion events. I also need to cook, clean, and do some yard work…I was already very tired when I had my husband to share the work. Now it is just me and I am trying to keep up the same standards. Maybe sometimes even higher standards. I know, I am too crazy and too hard on myself.
I noticed I’m constantly forgetting things and get distracted very easily. My energy level is quite low. I know I need to do something to save myself. The first thing I did is to educate myself by reading many articles online about the grieving process. Here are some things I have learned that have helped me get moving on the right track:
1. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried
It is easy to bury the pain or ignore it. But trying to ignore the pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing, it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it. Talking about your feelings is part of the process of healing. I am lucky to have my family and friends to talk to. I also have my blog as my outlet for this purpose.
2. There is no need to fight everything and try to be brave.
Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to loss. Crying doesn’t mean you are weak. You don’t need to “protect” your family or yourself by putting on a brave front. Showing your true feelings can help them heal too. My family are not big fans of talking, I know I have to be the one starting the conversations and checking on everyone.
3. Give yourself time and space to grieve.
The grieving work takes a lot of out of the body and the mind. Cut down from your normal schedule and find some time to relax. I am trying very hard to balance my full time job, my blogging, and my grieving. I still can’t find as much time as I hoped to relax but I have learned to move some work into a later date. The world will not end if I don’t do something I planned to do. 😉
Photos credited: Ashley Buck.
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