I attended my first grief support group session last night. I think it’s going to be a good thing.
Although it was just two of us, we both had a lot to unload and cry about. It was about a seven tissue session for me.
The other person suddenly lost her mother in October while caring for her husband who died Feb. 29 in hospice. She probably hasn’t even had time to grieve for her mother.
I grieve for mine everyday — at my desk at work, in the car, lying in bed, while shopping for a dress for my daughter’s wedding. It doesn’t matter where I am. Thoughts and images of my mother just pop up. I know she would feel absolutely awful knowing what the effect of her death has had on me. She would never want me to be so unhappy.
But I am.
I don’t seem to care about anything that I had an interest in before. I have an attitude of indifference. It’s hard for me to make decisions.
The grief counselor assured me that this is normal. The average recovery time for a significant loss is one to two years. And, it’s possible to grieve actively for up to five years without becoming pathological.
Our first exercise is to identify from a list grief symptoms we are currently experiencing. Mine are:
- Changes in appetite
- Loss of logical thought
- Short-term memory loss
- Difficulty focusing on details
- Stuck in “if only” thinking
- Think about your loved one or the loss by constantly going over the same thoughts repeatedly
- Feelings of loneliness
- Cry unexpectedly and at times over seemingly insignificant issues
- Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy doing
- Desire to talk frequently of your loss
- Feelings of guilt over things done or said or things not done or said
We were told there are four activities for grief: Think, Talk, Write and Cry.
Our first assignment is to start a diary or journal from a list of suggested topics. I haven’t decided my topic yet.