When a death occurs, there often feels like there are no answers. But there are many questions.

Will the pain ever go away?

Will I feel better?

Why haven’t I been able to cry yet?

Why am I afraid to leave my house when I used to be active?

Why am I running all the time, filling every waking moment with frantic activity?

Why do I find it impossible to accomplish even simple tasks, or even get out of bed?

Why do I find myself breaking down in embarrassing places? Why can’t I have any control over my emotions?

Why don’t I have an appetite? Or, why can’t I stop eating?

Nothing makes sense. Am I going crazy?

Why am I so forgetful?

When I have the energy, how do I set new goals?

How do I even begin to know what I want?

What am I going to do with the rest of my life? Does this feeling of numbness get better?

I’m not used to traveling alone and taking care of myself. Will I be afraid forever?

When I get sick, how will I take care of myself?

When should I discard my spouse’s clothing? When should I stop wearing my wedding ring?

How should I talk about this to my young/grown kids?

I hate feeling so dependent on others; will I ever feel capable again?

How can I deal with the first birthday, anniversary and holiday after losing my spouse?

Why do I feel guilty about being happy again? Why do I feel disloyal in thinking about dating?

I’ve been told that the one-year mark ends the mourning time, but I don’t feel that way. In fact, I feel worse than at the beginning. Why?

What future is there for me beyond the feeling of unending, unchanging desolation?

How will I know when I’m ready to date? When is it too soon?

Am I forgetting my spouse if I begin dating? What will my children say? Why am I hesitating and troubled by uncertainty?

Am I going to spend the rest of my life lonely? Feeling like a fifth wheel with our old couple-friends, how can I have any kind of social life?

Will I ever be able to remember the joys, hopes, memories … smiles … without feeling sadness?

Excerpt from THE HEALING POWER OF GRIEF: The Journey Through Loss to Life and Laughter (Sourcebooks, Inc.; ISBN 1-932783-48-2) by Gloria Lintermans & Marilyn Stolzman, Ph.D., L.M.F.T.

Gloria Lintermans

Los Angeles-based Gloria Lintermans is a former internationally syndicated columnist. Her column appeared in English and Spanish language newspapers across the U.S. from Hawaii to New York, and worldwide from Saudi Arabia to South America. Lintermans is the author of THE HEALING POWER OF GRIEF: The Journey Through Loss to Life and Laughter, (Champion Press, 2006), THE HEALING POWER OF LOVE: Transcending the Loss of a Spouse to New Love (Champion Press, 2006), CHEAP CHIC: A Guide to LA's Resale Boutiques (1990), the "ultimate guide to recycled fashion," and forerunner of RETRO CHIC: A Guide to Fabulous Vintage and Designer Resale Shopping in North America & Online (Really Great Books, Los Angeles, 2002) and THE NEWLY DIVORCED BOOK OF PROTOCOL, (Barricade Books, New York, 1995). A freelance writer, she has also written for national and local magazines. Lintermans has appeared on radio and television talk shows across the country including: the "Donna Mason Show," Raleigh, NC; "Steve Kalk Show," Beaver Falls, PA; "Morning Drive with John Dawson," Albany, GA; "Tim Quinn Show," Bridgeport, CT, "What You Should Know About," Philadelphia, PA; "Memphis in the Morning," Memphis, TN; "Kent Slocum Show," Grand Rapids, MI; "The Michael Jackson Show," Los Angeles, CA, among others. She has hosted her own "Looking Great with Gloria Lintermans" cable television and radio shows and is a popular lecturer and commentator. Lintermans is a member of The Authors Guild, Inc., the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and A.F.T.R.A. (American Federation of Television & Radio Artists). Lintermans lives in Los Angeles. Gloria appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” with Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley to discuss “The Healing Power of Grief.” To hear Gloria being interviewed on this show, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley022808.mp3

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