Sharon and Erica;
Thank you so much for talking to me on the phone today. I wanted to send you both a quick email and ask you a question. My mother passed away three months ago, and I am just now finished taking care of all her business. Selling her house and car and closing her accounts. A question for you: I still feel very numb and I hardly ever cry. Can I still be grieving?
Robin, first let me say that It was truly an honor to talk with you over the phone today. Thank you also for allowing us to share your question with all our friends today. What a great question.
I know that many of us want to have this huge feeling of “being over it” and for many of us that feeling never comes. I need to first say that tears may or may not be a sign of grieving. I vividly remember shopping for Austin funeral and not crying at all while in the store. However, my heart was very broken. I felt as if I could not go on one more day.
Unresolved grief is everywhere. Many of us can not figure out the grieving process we tend to do one of three things. We avoid the pain. We resist the feelings or we react to the feelings. When I say that we react in many cases that is we over react to the feelings.
One of the first tools that lean on to help with the grieving process is to resist the pain by keeping busy. It would not be unheard of for someone to keep busy by taking care of the estate to avoid the grieving process. I am not saying that is what you have done. Erica and I see many clients that only begin to feel their feelings when things slow down after the loss.
Some of the signs of unresolved grief could be:
- Preoccupation with sad or painful memories
- Refusal to talk about the loss at all
- Increase in alcohol, food, drug, or cigarette usage.
- Overindulge in hobbies, work, or exercise activities
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Isolation from friends and family
Tell the truth about how you are feeling
You have a right to feel however you do. It is completely ok to feel these feeling. Even if no one understands remember they are your feelings. Give yourself permission to process the loss you have experienced. That may or may not be with tears.
We also know that grief is cumulative, and it is cumulatively negative, and it will build up in your heart and if not release some way it can create ling term devastating effects on all future relationships and every day activities. Your work life, friends and families can all become less enjoyable.
Grievers Need to Talk
No matter how small it may be, build a support network of friends and family. We know that grievers need to talk. Whether it is that one special friend who can listen without judgement, or an online group on social media. It’s important for you to have someone to turn to if you need a shoulder to cry on or a new outlook in order to get you through a rough moment. ~ Sharon