There’s no five-day forecast for our emotions, especially during bereavement. We can’t predict how we’ll feel tonight, tomorrow or at any point during the Year of Firsts – as well as every day thereafter. What we can expect are grief surges – an unexpected rush of emotions.
We brace for grief on the usual markers, those dates in our calendar imbued with meaning: birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. But there are moments – sparked by a song or the aroma of that signature dish or a glimpse of a photo – that sets us off. Although many times there’s nothing in particular to identify in terms of a trigger, the grief just comes crashing over us.
And it doesn’t just wash over us with sadness, it knocks us down. Grief impacts us mentally (in the form of anger, guilt, anxiety); physically (by disrupting our sleep and affecting our appetite), socially (with the tendency to withdraw), as well as emotionally.
There are no easy answers for coping with grief, but it’s often comforting to know that we’re not alone; others are going through the process – only their version of it. Here’s what we can expect…in the unpredictable realm that is the New Normal.
- Grief cannot be scheduled, rushed or avoided.
- Mourning does not adhere to a timetable.
- There is no antidote for bereavement.