Commitment -- we think about this with our job, with our health choices and with our relationships; but do we think about commitment with our grief? It is very easy, and very normal, to retreat and simply want to be alone when we are dealing with grief. You don't want to work at much of anything. As I said, this is all normal, however, it isn't healthy to stay there. You will have to make the commitment to return to the world around you. That first time into church, or work, or any social setting after suffering a loss is difficult, but it is a needed step on your road to living without your loved one.
In order to commit to something, you need to have the framework in mind that you are willing to follow:
- Allow yourself time to face your emotions. Some have time to come to grips with living alone because their loved one suffered with a long illness; while others face the death in a very sudden way. There is no set time in dealing with your emotions, so don't feel you aren't doing things correctly or in the proper time frame.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. Maybe you just need a trusted friend to vent, scream, cry or talk with. Maybe you need someone that is more trained in counseling. If you need help, please give yourself permission to ask for help.
- Don't be afraid to talk about your loved one. It can be uncomfortable at first (especially for others), but then it is akin to a warm blanket being wrapped around your shoulders. Memories are one way that we can work through our grief. We remember how we lived with our loved one and that will help us to relearn how to live without our loved one.
- Be kind to yourself. In the days, weeks, and months following a death you will have days that you are so sad and all you want to do is cry or sleep or both. This is ok as long as it is just a day here or there. Allow yourself time to grieve. Your heart and mind may not be on the same page, but they will merge together again.
- Set a routine. Most of us like to be organized and know what needs to be done and when. If life is too busy, let some things go. If you feel you have too much time on your hands, find something that you can do that you have a passion for.
- There is no getting over grief or simply moving on with life, but there is an acceptance of living life without your loved one. It will take work and a little commitment as well.
We are here to help in any way that we can.