As much as I say I want to heal after losing my son, as much as I have even build a business around preaching that message, as much as I believe in my heart healing after loss is vital for our ongoing happiness (and no one deserved happiness more than we do)….. My head doesn’t really want to heal.
My head tells me not to change, not to do anything different, even if what I’m doing is not healing my broken heart. My brain is where all the processing happens and it overrides what my heart truly genuinely wants. And I believe this ‘up in your head’ stuff is what keeps you from healing your grief too.
Fear after loss is pervasive – Its real and it’s powerful!
I wrote about the fear I have struggled with in the blog post. In addition I get emails on a weekly basis from people who ask me if it’s normal to feel so fearful or to have so much anxiety ALL – THE – TIME!
My answer is always – yes.
You have experienced the unthinkable, you know ‘things’ don’t happen to other people. Those ‘things’ you see in the paper and news, the ‘things’ that used to happen to other people are now the story of YOUR life. Agreed?
So much of what we fear after loss we have no control over…. being asked how many kids we have or being afraid we will lose another child. What are your fears you would add to this list?
No one tells you that fear and anxiety are part of grief recovery – Hell, it’s not even in the official ‘5 Stages of Grief’. This fear keeps you from truly living after loss. It gets in the way of everything from the simple enjoyment of every day things to taking risks that give you the rush of being alive. And let me remind you… You are alive and you deserve to live without fear (ok, with less fear).
So what does all this talk about fear have to do with your desire to heal your grief?
In order to heal your grief – You must change & change is scary.
Grief and loss put so much on your plates regarding change. The list is so long I won’t even go into here, but really there is nothing about your life that remains the same after loss. You become a different person entirely. So, you hang on to the only thing that is constant after loss – your grief, your pain, your discomfort with your ‘new normal’ (I have a love/hate thing about ‘new normal’).
Your ‘new normal’, as painful as it is, becomes the devil you know. You hang on to your pain and heartache because it is the only thing familiar after your loss. You develop an intimate relationship with this unwanted, unasked for new friend. But at least it’s predictable… You get to know what sets it off, when you’re going to cry, what twists the knife and how you’re going to feel in certain situations. Agreed?
When you are faced with opportunities to heal your grief you have to accept more change in life. Whether it’s been months or years since your loss, your ‘new normal’ provides you comfort.
Comfort is not the same thing as healing and comfort doesn’t always mean something makes you feel better. [tweet it out, give your grief a voice!]
So, I ask you…. Do you really want to heal your grief?
Because you have to make a conscious choice to put yourself in an uncomfortable position, a position that may cause fear to rear it’s ugly head. You will have to let go of some of your grief in order to heal your grief.
I have struggled with this. There are times when I would rather stay attached to what I know about my grief and the identity I’ve created around being a bereaved mother. But that doesn’t serve me or my loved ones.
I encourage you to begin to notice if you are hanging on to some of your grief just because you don’t know any other way of doing this life after loss thing. Is it time to let go of some things, behaviors, habits, attitudes that may have served you at one time in your grief, but no longer serve your healing.
This is too important to just close your browser and go on with life. I want you to comment and share with me and others who need your courage – What one thing could you change that would move your healing forward?
Comment below! And if you like this share it. Part of healing is giving our grief a voice and showing others the courage it takes to heal