Understanding loss and grief

Dolores Robu

Post-Holiday, Grief-Related Blues! Logically, for many grieving people, the holidays are difficult but especially the first season after someone important to them has died. But many are surprised to find that the new year doesn’t automatically bring an end to the emotional pain caused by the absence. In fact, it is after the holidays that the day-to-day reality of the now missing person sets in without the holiday distraction. It’s a time when emotions can get ramped up and cause you to think that there’s something very wrong with you. Learning to function the way you did before the death, while normal and healthy, is not always the smoothest and easiest transition in the world. A grieving person once said, “My grief is the feeling of reaching out for someone who has always been there, only to discover when I needed her one more time, she was no longer there.” Those words are helpful, but words are not enough. In addition to taking actions to grieve and complete what the death left emotionally unfinished for you, it’s wise to find at least one person with whom you can talk openly and safely about the feelings you’re having as you try to move forward in your life. Any of you who are concerned about a grieving family friend, please take the time to make yourself available to them. Let them know that the topic of grief is open and that you will listen without judgment. It may be the greatest gift you can give. Many people struggle with their feelings during the holidays, not knowing how to deal with their own emotions, much less those of others they love.

Here are some tips: That person might have been a loved one or may have been what we call a less than loved one, but you will probably still be affected by their absence. Don’t isolate yourself. It’s normal and natural to feel lost and alone but don’t isolate even if you have to force yourself to be with people and participate in normal activities. Talk about your feelings, but don’t expect a quick fix. It’s essential to have someone you trust to listen while you talk about your memories and the feelings they evoke. Ask your friend to just listen to you and not try to fix you. You’re sad and you just need to be heard. Maintain your normal routines. You are learning how to move from being with someone to being alone. Go through the pain, not under, over or around it. If you don’t do your grief work, it will do you. The grief of a broken heart is the normal reaction to the death of your mate; it’s very helpful to find effective tools to help you discover and complete everything that was left emotionally unfinished. Take advantage of SaddleBrooke’s Bereavement Group which meets in the Coyote Room every Sunday from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Grieving in a group normalizes that which feels anything but normal. The group is always led by a facilitator and is free to all residents of SaddleBrooke One and Two. For more questions Call Dolores at 825-8980