Taking emotional inventory

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.

Diagram of a Grief knot

Diagram of a Grief knot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

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3 thoughts on “Taking emotional inventory

  1. Pingback: Coping with Grief « MEDCRUNCH

  2. It sounds like you have a good advisor in your grief counsellor.

    I’m just entering the 3rd year of grief processing, following the death of my husband in March 2010. I see movement in the symptoms of grief when I look back on the past two years. You have a blog, so you’ll always have a written record of your public words and thoughts. A year or two from now, you will look back and see the road that you have traveled.

    I found that dedicating myself to a moderate exercise program helped me through some rough days. I walked or went to the gym most days. I let someone else do the programming for me, I just showed up and did the work. Walking is often mentioned as a tool in grief processing.

    Let the tears flow, don’t judge them. I just read this a few minutes ago, thought you might like it: http://400daystil40.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/321-days-til-40-its-okay-and-healthy-to-cry/

    Keep on writing, and all the best with your journey.

  3. Maura, thanks so much for your comments and for reading my post. I am however, so sorry for your loss, but it appears you are on your way to recovery. I did read the link you included. I appreciate it.

    I have no problem with or embarrassment in letting my tear ducts flow. It’s very cathartic for me. I’ve started back with my Pilates, barre & gyrotonic exercises and it feels good again to be moving. But I know me and I know that my recovery will take some time but I do look forward to a year or two from now and review my writings and see how far I hopefully will have come.

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