I can't believe I haven't posted anything in over a year! I think I tried too hard to give a meaty, lesson filled article in each posting and burnt myself out. After reading my brother's blog, I noticed that he posted almost daily and most of his posts were brief, maybe some were even just one sentence. But they were meaty, lesson-filled sentences. The lesson for me was that hopefully I could provide insight, differing perspectives, thoughts, advice, suggestions, guidelines, to those in grief, in brief - but meaningful - postings. Let's try - although I reserve the right to get lengthy from time to time. :)
A client came to see me today and was tearful and distraught. This client was doing so well, for so many weeks, that this "grief attack" took her completely by surprise and wanted to know what she was doing wrong in her grief that would produce such painful emotions, remembrances and tears.
Now you know I'm going to say she didn't do anything wrong, right? Right! She had simply experienced an "emotional trigger." She had completed some of that nasty, necessary paperwork that comes with losing a loved one, and then saw a car on the road that looked just like his - BOOM! Down she went!
The paperwork was one more nail in the coffin (sorry about that) to make her realize that her loved one was not coming back. It was the reality of the loss hitting her, yet once again. Then on the heels of this realization came the sight of the car. Another smack of reality - it's not his car. He's not the one driving.
So what could I do to help her? Nothing, really. I let her know that although painful, this "grief attack" was normal. It's an unfortunate part of the grieving process that some people feel YEARS after the loss. It's like pushing your finger into a sore spot from time to time. Yup, it's still sore! The emotional triggers do lessen as time goes on, but they don't completely disappear. Not as long as we hold our loved ones in our hearts.
So the only answer is this - be gentle with yourself when these grief attacks occur. When the emotional triggers happen - allow yourself to feel the feelings - honor the emotions. You truly do have to feel to heal. There is no way around it, only through it.
Ok, so this was not one of those short, concise, meaning filled sentences. Maybe I'll have better luck on the next posting!