Last Sunday I lost my father to prostate cancer. If you have lost someone like I have, the process of grief is very complicated and complex, much like my relationship with my dad. Some people go through the 5 stages of grief, while other people have 7 stages of grief, and only deal with some of what others experience. You might also find some unexpected things happen when you are grieving and going through the healing process. As I continue on my journey, I hope I can share some insights with others who may be going through the same thing.
There is No “Getting Over it”
Remember that there is no point where you are suddenly over your grief. It will start getting better, hurt less, and you will be sad less often, but you will never forget the loss you have endured. This is one of the unexpected things of going through a major loss that causes a lot of grief. That grief creeps up on you in the most unusual and unexpected ways. You might be fine for months, then suddenly a long or movie comes on that immediately brings you back to how you felt when you first lost that person or the traumatic event occurred.
Grief Comes Back in Waves
As mentioned, it comes back in waves, sometimes at very odd moments. You might expect to be reminded by that person when you hear their favorite song, but what you might not expect is that certain times of the year, you just feel sad or depressed. It isn’t always apparent right away, but it is like your mind and body know the time of year before you do. Maybe you always get a serious wave of grief around the time you two first met, or before you realize it was the first day your child went to school. You often tie these moments of grief to something significant in your life that you shared with that person you lost.
You Find People Who Understand and Support
Another unexpected thing? Some people you thought would be your support system are, but other more unexpected people end up being your saving grace. Not everyone handles other people’s grief in the way you think they would, and there is nothing wrong with that. Though you might be surprised by the people who step up and are always there for you, providing the right kind of emotional support that you need.
In Grief, You Experience Many Different Emotions
With severe grief, you will go through a lot of different emotions, often in the same period of time. Sadness and depression is to be expected, but what you might not expect is the amount of confusion, frustration, anger, irritability, and downright rage over what has happened. It is important that you seek professional help if you feel like you can’t keep your emotions under control and it is affecting your quality of life.