My fiance’s family suffered a tragic loss recently. The survivor’s wife, two sons, mother, sister, and step dad will have the hardest time adjusting to a new way of being, living, and coping with loss. I would like to dedicate this post to them.
Grieving is a personal process. What that means is you can’t tell someone how to do it. It’s different for everyone. I tried reading the books when Jim, my husband of 25 years died. They didn’t work for me. People encouraged group therapy. I couldn’t fathom telling a group of people I didn’t know what my experience has been like.
What did work is a combination of rest, exercise, fresh healthy food, a little time in public, and a lot of time alone. One thing that’s the same across the board is “you have to grieve”. You can’t avoid it. Your psyche won’t let you off the hook. It will consume you, bite you in the behind later, if you don’t go through the process.
I grieved in daily increments meaning: it’s healthiest if you spend time grieving every day. For me, counseling really helped too, providing you find a counselor you really respect and trust, one that has good referrals.
Returning to work after a recuperation period is healthy. I think I returned to part time work after about 3 or 4 weeks. Then full time in 2 months. It is very important to keep yourself in a forward motion. Laying in bed is not a healthy option. Although putting a romantic comedy on during a rainy day can be therapeutic.
Resuming pleasurable activities isn’t something you feel like doing but you will enjoy life and favorite activities again. Movies helped me a lot, and going to dinner with friends. If you force yourself at first, you will quickly learn to enjoy things again. Finding joy again is absolutely necessary to resume a healthy life.
Granted the pain doesn’t go away, but it lessens at times and eventually becomes bearable overall. To stay physically and emotionally healthy is really important. Eat right, exercise, talk about your loss, spend time in reflective thought (remembering) and take time to socialize, and in time, pursue pleasurable activities.