Interestingly enough, some of us suffer more loss than others. Having multiple losses close together, and considering that one year is close together, life can get complicated. When this happens, one can hardly grieve one death and then another is in front of us. How do we get through it? How can a heart handle this type of deep pain? When a loved one dies the pain we feel in our chest can be debilitating. Fatigue and thoughts of will I ever stop crying can be a constant. Waking up in the morning with the thought of how in the world will I get through this day. Sound familiar? Then, maybe it is expected and maybe it’s not, another loved one passes and you’re still trying to recover your heart from the last death.
Validate the grief. Give it a voice. Do your best NOT to be strong, let it out and let it be what it needs to be. Yes, that can be so hard! Two people in my practice are experiencing multiple losses and this article is inspired from them. One lost her grandmother and her brother in the same month. The grandmother was expected and the brother was not. The other lost his mother in the same year he lost his husband. Two very close relationships as well. What I see most with this kind grieving is a state of confusion, almost as if one is in a maze trying to find their way out and they can’t. I almost have no words for this myself. I listen deeply to these people, interjecting where I can give them some hope. That hope may be to get through the next hour, that hope may be that they are safe from the death of losing another. Withdrawing from the world is a common antidote as it is much too painful.
Each and every day your grief needs to be felt. Why you say? Because it is there front and center. I compare this to a petulant toddler. Whether you have children or not we have all seen a toddler that is tired, frustrated, sad or angry. The parent does what they can to help the toddler feel secure and calm down. It might be putting him or her down for a nap, maybe they need to be held or rocked, a bath, or cuddle up with mom or dad and watch a movie. What would happen if the toddler was ignored? Would be disturbing to say the least! The toddler demanded attention as he or she had no way to voice their opinion but the actions would suggest something needs attention. Loving yourself is making grief your friend and not your enemy.
Grief cannot be walked around it needs to be walked through, if not it will catch up with you sooner or later. The subsequent death will be much harder if the first was not given the attention it needed. For example, my own mother’s father passed when she was only 11 years old. She wasn’t aloud to grieve, her 3 brothers were fighting in WWII and her mother needed her help. After a death in our family my mom finally grieved her own father 31 years later. She had no idea of the amount of sadness she was carrying around for her father.
Be there for your own heart, let your grief move through you. I promise if you can do this and not succumb to the world and all her distractions you will be better off for it. Remember, there is hope. Finding that hope in the laughter of a child, a hug from a dear friend, the feeling of a cool breeze on your face. These little things in life are what begin to instill in us once again that we will be okay and someday be able to move on.
Wishing you peace on your journey.