Friday, 7 March 2014

You're grieving wrong

Loss is quite a thing. The brain has built in functions that will set  it aside indefinitely until you are ready to deal with it. 

Yet even while you are setting it aside, allowing yourself to perform whatever task you decided subconsciously required the delay of that loss, the brain is iterating through it one small chunk at a time. 

The greatest piece of advice I ever got about dealing with a loss was this:

"There is no wrong way..."

As in, whatever you are doing, that is the right way. That is what you need to do. It's terrible to be lost without that knowledge. To feel guilt because you don't seem sad enough, or you're functioning how you need to, to carry on.

The only people who will tell you you're doing it wrong either have no concept of loss, or no mechanism for analysing what they themselves are doing, or they have lived with a guilt for not doing it by somebody else's standard for some time. 

Screw standards. This is your future, and your recovery. Whoever you lost, they would not wish you to live with guilt as well as the pain of loss. 

The other thing that struck me today, after 19 years; you cannot underestimate the trauma that surrounds death. The loss itself is entirely separate to the trauma of witnessing it, and the pain, suffering and degradation of quality of life that leads up to it. 

Today I broke down in tears as I shaved my head. There was no trigger. I am not even sad. Perhaps my brain just finished another chunk. Go brain...

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