Readers who are interested in this article may also find the following resource helpful: Coping with Disasters, Loss, & Change Includes a list of resources that addresses the five psychological stages of grief (DABDA), helping children cope with anxiety, and stress management.
It's a pleasure to meet you and thank you for writing me. Sorry that we meet at a time when you're going through so difficult a period. I've read the details of your situation, the loss of your husband after such a long time caring for him through his debilitating illness, and I've also read the advice you've received from others. Please accept my support with theirs.
I see that some have advised you to straighten up and fly right! Something like, "Hurry, woman and get over it. After all, he did linger." Hmm.
People on the outside are always trying to tell us when our recovery time is up, to prescribe greiving periods to others. It's not for them to say. The loss of a loved one, especially a spouse, brings a whirlwind of emotional turmoil about which most of us don't have the first clue; so, how dare we tell a widow or widower to snap to and get over it, no matter how kindly we try to say it.
If the grief of others makes us uncomfortable, it's our problem, not theirs. We are the ones who should get over our discomfort at dealing with a human in emotional pain. We are the ones who must learn how to be silent and give comfort or to speak wisely. And, dearest Jacqueline, your loss is so recent! Time. It takes more time.
What comes at the end of grief is acceptance of loss, not a total end of grief. You've probably read all this by now because we writers always go for the books. Grief is a cycle. Death hits your world like a boulder thrown into a lake. The rings from the impact move outward. The first rings are clearly defined, obviously disrupting the lake's surface. As they spread wider and farther from the event, the rings become harder for naked eyes to see, but they're still there. People on the shore finally spy only the slightest ripples from rings. But you best believe all the fish and life near the boulder's landing continue in its impact profoundly affected. Plant life remains bruised until dead cells fall, and fish spin in circles intermittently, a tad off balance, seeking a smoother swim.
I know you'll do better with time. In the meantime, give yourself time, all the time you need, even permission to be outraged at the love of your life for aging and ailing and wasting away before you, for draining you as you cared for him, and permission to be loved and to get all the loving and affection you need and want today in his absence. Who knows what you deserve better than you do now?
a beautiful, heartfelt write. i'm certain it had the postive, calming effect on her as it did on me reading it, even tho' i'm not in this situation (yet) nor ever have been. your many talents are amazing, nordette. i'm glad the degrees of separation disappeared, allowing me to enter into your world.
Why, in this country, are people not allowed to greive?! After my sister died, I was told not to talk about it-by a COUNSELOR. This is preposterous. If you don't go through all the stages of greif and stay in denial, you deny yourself the gift it gives you. You offer sage advice here Nordette. Beautifully written...
I enjoyed the article. I read long ago that grieving takes as long as it takes. One writer said it's like peeling an onion, you take off one layer at a time. So you really are on target as far as I'm concerned with this.