The days and weeks following the death of a loved one, whether human or a beloved animal companion, may pass in a blur. It is human nature to want to wish away grief with disbelief. It is possible for belief and disbelief to operate in our sub conscious minds at the same time. There is a part of our mind that helps us to endure that which is unthinkable.
While we may acknowledge that a loss has occurred, we keep looking for clues or signals that our loved one is still living and will continue in our loving relationship. This may continue for many years that you think you spot your loved one in a crowd, or you smell the special smell that belongs only to him or her.
Reactions to Bad News
Unexpected announcements of a terminal illness, untimely death or sudden emergency will bring about many inevitable questions and decisions that you are unprepared for. If you have had no warning and no time to prepare disbelief is a protection of a shattered heart.
You may very well react with statements like; “oh no, you have made a mistake. He was fine this morning.” What we really mean is “This is too much to bear at once and so I must resist the fact.” This is the part of the grieving process and is perfectly normal.
Grief is an Emotional Weight
In addition to the weight of the loss, there is also another major reason that we tend to put off truly believing in the death of our loved one. That reason is because by acknowledging and accepting the death of someone close to you, means that you accept that you too will die. There is a reluctance to admit your own mortality.
This may force you to face your own deep-seated fears about death and dying. In addition to the multitude of practical matters to decide, you may welcome the busyness involved so that you don’t have to deal with the spiritual issues.
Bereavement is a Shock
Loss of a loved one is first encountered as a shock to your system. You may feel as if you are covered with cotton batting or layers of gauze. You take care of the necessary details, but almost in slow motion.
It is a blow to our lives when we lose someone and the weight of the grief will take time, thought, tears and lots of friends to get through this period in your life.
Do not be concerned if you feel numb, disbelieving or in shock. Don’t allow anyone make you feel guilty because it seems that you are not dealing with this as they would like. This is your personal journey and one that you will take at the pace your heart and soul can handle.
Healing From the Pain Takes Time
Grief is a slow process and often takes one or two years to begin to feel “normal” again. That does not mean that you will always hurt this badly, but you do need to give yourself permission to heal your way.
You may find comfort, sympathy and support with a group of people who have undergone similar losses. It has helped me in the past and I am confident it will also help you to understand the feelings and emotions you are now experiencing.