When we have lost a loved one, we tend to emotionally go back in time to when that person wasn’t in our lives. When a spouse dies, for example, the surviving spouse may find it hard to be with the children they created and, instead, connect with siblings. It is as if we just don’t know how to function in our daily routine without the missing person.
This is normal grief. It is part of the stage we call “denial.” We cannot envision life without our loved one so we have to go back to something that was comfortable (even if dysfunctional) to us before we knew him/her. One anonymous adult child commented, “He left us for his sisters, and he didn’t even like them!”
As we grieve our loss, we learn how to cherish a memory and connect with those we love who are part of our lives together. To do that, we must learn to face our loneliness.
What to Do When Nothing Can Be Done.
6. Face Loneliness. One certain emotion that accompanies the aftermath of tragedy is guilt. We need to learn to deal with guilt and to decipher it. Sometimes when we feel guilty, we are really lonely. When emotion overwhelms us, we need to take time to be alone to think, read, cry, and pray. Then we can reach out in a healthy way.
I have found that the fear of loneliness is actually worse than facing it. In the days and weeks leading up to a major event (birthday, holiday, celebration), we dread having to do it alone. Our imaginations go wild. By the time the event arrives, it is usually so much tamer than what we had imagined that we get through it without a problem.
So what do we do when our emotions go crazy? Do what feeds you emotionally. For me, it is writing. I can “cry on paper” as I write letters to my love or to God or as I simply ramble and splash down my random thoughts. This gets the pain out of me so there is a little breathing room. Then I do it again.
For you, it might be music or art or dance. The key is to do what feeds you emotionally as you let the tears flow. Tears were meant to be cried.
Find peace in your lonely hours!
As I promised, I will offer one pointer each day over the next few weeks for “What to do when nothing can be done.” Check the other entries or archives for what you might have missed. When school begins again in January, I will turn the focus to schools.
Lockett Learning offers a wide array of resources to help you and your children deal with grief.
Check out our grief-related Hard Copy Books and Tapes:
Check out our grief-related E-Books:
“Like” our Divorce and Grief Recovery Facebook Page.