No Wrong Way to Feel Grief

We’ve all felt grief. Something that absolutely tears us apart emotionally. Unless you don’t feel emotions, in which case I am so sorry for you.

When we feel grief, our body takes over. We have no control anymore and we’re just put on autopilot. We are aware of what is happening, but beyond that awareness we have nothing. We are that passenger in the back of the plane, hoping we don’t crash after getting hit with a torpedo.

I have two examples to share with you today.

The first is a friend of mine. A family member died unexpectedly. Her grief autopilot was to lay in bed. But she was worried about just lying in bed when her family was wanting her to get up. She needed that time to mourn, and was not being afforded such time. If someone just needs to lay in bed, stay home, essentially do nothing, let them.

As for me, when I’m in grief I will shut down emotions and become a calm husk of a helper. When my family experienced tragedy three years ago, my grief autopilot-ed into making sure my family members were okay. I made sure they had water and food, medicine, clean laundry, and that the cats were taken care of. I’m not a fan of my grief autopilot, but it’s just the habit of my body to take care of others before myself.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is that you need to take care of yourself. When you are mourning, take that time you need to be stable. Don’t rush yourself. But also, do what you know you need to do. Do you need to lay in bed? Do you need to go camping or hiking? Do you need to volunteer as many hours as possible? Do you need to sit in the library and read every self-help book they have? Well, do it. Remain healthy, don’t destroy yourself, and understand that this extreme emotion will pass.

Hugs

Alexandra

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