guest column by Sandy Walden
I was going through some old messages looking for something quite specific. What I found was a message that I had sent to a few special people about 8 weeks after my son’s death. It helped me to explain my thoughts and feelings and also let some of these people know where my head and heart were at the time. I’m sharing it in hopes that it may help others.
I was visiting a site this morning and found the helpful post that is below. I apologize for not knowing who the author is, but I still wanted to share.
This sums up and explains more clearly than I possibly can the ups and downs, clarity and confusion, interest and lethargy, etc. that have been occurring. You have been very patient and I’m afraid that if we are to continue to ‘hang out’ together I’m going to need to beg for more patience.
While I have searched, researched, read books, visited websites, etc. I cannot seem to find a guideline for moving through this time with any sort o grace or even a way to minimize the bumbling.
I’m working on not being short-tempered. Trying to hear what is said and not interpret (often in the wrong way) what is said to me. I am very aware that I often do not hear or read what is actually said or written. It’s almost as though something in my brain is filtering, but the filter is faulty.
My patience is short and my energy is very limited. It surprises me every time, but there it is. I have no idea how long this will last. It may be over by 2:17 pm this afternoon, that would be my preference! But I suspect these things may hang around or at least visit from time to time for quite a while. Only time will tell.
I want to thank you for the patience you have shown, I’m very aware of it even if I am not always able to thank you as I should and would like to do. Please know that the gratitude is there. It’s deep and it’s real.
I’m still in here, but it’s a bit murky and foggy and I’m simply finding my way one step at a time.
I have no doubt that I will resurface entirely at some point. Until then, I’ll keep bobbing up and I want you to know how much I appreciate having you around when I do.
What Your Loved Ones Can Expect While You Grieve
My grief process will take much longer than you want it to.
You can’t fix this for me by doing anything but you can just be there for me.
I will be in a sort of fog for at least 3 months. When the fog lifts, I might get worse.
I will have periods of doing okay, then I will feel despair again.
I will be exhausted. Grief is hard work.
My desire, creativity, and motivation will be gone for quite awhile.
My ability to experience joy may also be absent.
I will have a range of emotions from irritability to inexplicable rage and it may be targeted at you. Please forgive me.
I am vulnerable, I feel brittle, and I do not feel resilient.
I can’t take too much stimulation. I probably won’t feel like being sociable.
I know you miss the old me, but I’m forever changed by the loss of my loved one.
It will feel as though I haven’t made any progress. However, I am slowly healing with occasional normal setbacks.
I will heal. Please be patient, loving, and understanding.
Way for Hope
My name is Jan McDaniel. I speak grief. I also speak peace and healing. I started A Way for Hope blog and website to house projects I create that might help others who are grieving. The blog has expanded to include guest posts by my dear friends and fellow survivors who wanted to speak hope for others, too.
We understand how difficult losing someone you love is. We know how much it means to hear from others further along on this journey and how it is possible to live a life of happiness and joy even while still remembering and honoring those we love.
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