People who haven’t experienced deep grief often assume that when the bereaved start feeling joy again then they must be healed. This is far from true. This glossy grief awareness sticker to explain the duality of both the pain and joy that can exist in life after the death of a loved one.
Making sense of or rejoining life after loss
The bereaved often speak of life being divided into Before and After the death of their loved one. In your life after loss, what do you see as the biggest difference between today and the Before? What physical changes do you see? What emotional changes? What changes to your surroundings and scenery? How do you feel about these changes? How does this affect you?
How do you feel about the future? Is it something you look forward to, or something you’d prefer to avoid? How do you see yourself in the future? Is there anything you’d like to accomplish, or anywhere you’d like to see? What is one thing you would like to do or be or feel or see?
Living in life after loss, the world feels different. There are new goals; new lenses; new priorities. In this new life, what is it like when you see others who still live in the ‘ordinary’ world? What feelings come up for you? What thoughts? Do you ever wish you could join them, or do you feel you’ve left the ordinary world forever?
Before Adrian died, I was a relatively positive person. His death shattered my belief and confidence in the ultimate goodness of the world.
I find myself living in the world again, at least in pieces. And I railed and I fought and I thought maybe it would be that way forever. And I’m realizing, even when I maybe don’t want to, that somehow I am living.
I’m feeling a bit “better” now. I don’t really know what that word means. But I woke up this morning, and it didn’t hurt to get out of bed.
I think one of the strangest things I’ve learned about grief is that it’s expressed in the most unusual ways. Beyond the big moments, easily understood, I’m finding it lives in the details.
I have days when I think I’m okay. I have days when I think, “I’m healed now. I can be a normal person again.” This started out as one of those days.
When a Type A personality grieves, at some point grief becomes her job. She finds old focus and determination. She reads books and attacks her grief with her previous energy.