Guest Author - Rev. Jaclin Meade Scott
Hereís the bottom line, and all you need to remember: In grief, there is no normal.
That should take some of the pressure off. It really is different for each person. Many people feel like theyíre going over the edge with some of their thoughts and actions. As long as you are not physically hurting yourself, or anyone else, youíre probably okay.
In the beginning, accept help from medical personnel. They will notice anything alarming, and take action. Medicines are a gift from the Creator. You wonít need them the rest of your life. Right now, it can help you manage your life. It is a sign of self preservation, not weakness. You DO need a lot of rest. You DONíT need to fall apart whenever anyone speaks to you. There IS a lot of paperwork, etc, that just needs to be done at first. Admittedly, this is not your finest hour. Let a health care provider provide!
To say you donít know HOW youíll go on living, if you CAN go on living, not sure you WANT to go on living, are all statements frequently heard and non threatening. If you start saying you WONíT go on, or have plans to join your loved one Ė now we worry. Someone who loves you should drag you to a doctor or emergency room, where youíll deny everything because you are embarrassed. Too bad. This is serious stuff and warrants instant attention.
While you are not expected to be yourself, we will get concerned if you go too far astray. Weíre going to take action if you
Start/increase drinking, gambling, drugging, or taking risks
Stop eating or start binging
Start giving EVERY thing away
Develop driving issues
Start spending large amounts of money (tv preachers, home shopping e.g.)
Completely stop socializing
Have a dramatic personality change
Suddenly buy/sell a house/RV/Bass boat
Take off with a stranger
If you are caring for the grieving person, and you take action after seeing any of this, know youíre in for a rough time. Sweet little grannies have gone Rambo when someone threatens these irrational behaviors. Stay with it, and bless you. It is extremely important you involve others in this, also. If you are doing any of this for personal gain, fie on thee! Know you will be judged in the Highest Court.
Just in case you think your thoughts are too weird, read some of the things heard from ones in mourning Ė
Dig up loved one for just one more hug
Put a blanket on the grave in winter
If it were my loved one, I couldnít handle it; God only gives us what we can handle, so thatís not MY loved one
Thought breathing was detected in the casket
Bring food to the grave
Saw/heard loved one since the funeral
Laughter is disrespectful
So relax. Youíre expected to be weird. Your world is upside down. Youíve gone down the Rabbit Hole and nothing makes sense. This WILL pass; stop adding more stress by worrying about it. Go take a nap.
It may just be a few weeks before you snap back, especially if the death was expected. If you were surprised, then it may take months. There is no set timetable. If, a YEAR after the death, youíre no better than you were the day it happened, intervention is needed. A support group is recommended immediately after the death. After a year of no healing, itís time to call in the Marines. Get professional help. Let a loved one drag you to see a mental health provider. Get your life back. Honor the deceased by living well. If you are a mess, youíre no good to anyone, most importantly, yourself.
Valentineís Day is upon us. You probably fit into one of these categories:
A. Itís always been a special Day, and youíre a wreck;
B. It hasnít been a special Day, but this time reminds you that youíre alone;
C. You could care less, letís get back to basketball.
Deep breaths. In three days, the hoopla and the out of season roses will be gone. Save your energy, youíll need it for the religious holy days coming up!
The good news is that you donít have to be ďnormalĒ to have