Dealing with Loss

Grief comes in waves that last for a while and then abate. We get distracted for a while by something else - a phone call, hitting our thumb with a hammer, having to park the car in a very tight space. Lonely times are interrupted for a while by visiting friends. Pain and fear-filled thoughts temporarily yield to happy or amusing reminiscences. We feel better, and mistakenly, think grief is over, only to be discouraged by its return with the next wave. We do not pass through grief in a straight line. We do not start feeling better and then, bit by bit, get better and better, each day an improvement over the day before, each week easier than the one it follows. The recovery from loss is much more erratic than that. It is characterized by times of feeling pretty good, in which we dare to believe that crying time might be almost over, followed by crushing times of feeling much worse, in which we believe crying time will never end.

The bereft are exhausted. Emotions activated by grief - sorrow, anger, fear, remorse, and so on - require a lot of energy. Expressing emotions, whether by crying raging, or sulking, uses energy. Suppressing emotions to conceal them from ourselves and others uses even more energy. Becoming increasingly vigilant in response to strange circumstances uses energy. Struggling to understand and solve problems with which we are unaccustomed, especially when resources are already depleted, uses energy.
Grief is hard work.

~ taken from the book, "The Orphaned Adult" by Alexander Levy. I haven't read the book, just found the quotes. Also, I haven't lost a parent. Just dealing with another kind of loss.


Inside My Shell said...

I'm sorry to hear that. Just wanted to let you know I'm with you in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs, Esther

kontrabanda said...

i think going through it is like a roller-coaster ride. one moment you are up and things seems like they will be ok. the next moment you are down and don't know how to get through the next half hour. it's really hard and people, friends around you are definetely a key. also, sticking to God is really important - it gives you hope.