Lilly, I thought maybe something that was said here from Dr. Phil might be of help for you regarding dealing with your grief. I have found much of what this man has said to be helpful to me in during my grieving times.
And it has helped me to move on to new chapters in my life.
May tomorrow pass softly for you.
Experiencing Grief after Loss
“Although the experience of grief in some form or another is universal, our reactions within the overall process vary widely. Newer research and my own experience tell me that, really, there are not stages of grief but an array of feelings that arise,” says Dr. Phil in his new book Real Life: Preparing for the 7 Most Challenging Days of Your Life. These emotions don't pop up in a specific order, and it’s rare that one set ends completely before another begins. More likely, you’ll experience a number of emotions — perhaps one at a time, perhaps three at a time.
Consider the following when you experience a loss in your life:
Give Your Emotions Free Rein
“Initially, you may feel as though you’re living in a fog, simply going through the motions of day-to-day life as if on autopilot,” Dr. Phil says. You may cry so much that your eyes feel parched. It's OK to spend days where you do nothing but cry. Or, you may be surprised to find that you’re not crying at all. Neither reaction is right or wrong; it just is. If the latter is the case, you may feel a surge of guilt wondering why you can’t even eke out a tear for someone you cared so much about. The spectrum of emotions that you may experience is huge. It can range from shock and numbness, to fear and panic, to anger and resentment.
Sometimes this can be magnified if you have unfinished emotional business with the person who died. You didn’t get to say what you wanted to say, or you didn’t hear the “I’m sorry” or “I love you” that you desperately needed to hear. Or maybe your goodbye did happen, but not the way you planned.
It’s hard to accept that a future without your loved one is your new reality; the mere thought of it can make you feel amazingly empty and alone. The yearning for their presence may feel as if it is going to consume you. As a result, you may refuse to get out of bed, want to go off alone somewhere, or push others away. "You may think being alone will ease the pain, but it rarely does."
You May Struggle with Your Faith
You might feel a sense of spiritual emptiness, or feel that you were betrayed by your faith, or experience feelings of bitterness, anger and disappointment in your religion. After all, if the God you believe in is so good, how could he take away something you loved so intensely? How could he allow a senseless or violent death to occur? This is painful and confusing and something many, many people experience — especially when innocent children are the victims.
Expect Guilt to Arise
Guilt may also factor in during the weeks and months after a loss — guilt over being unable to save your loved one or about just living your life. At some point you will likely catch yourself laughing or relaxing. It’s natural to actually start to feel better at some point after grieving a loss. It’s also natural to feel guilty about it. You may think, “How can I stand enjoying myself when my son is dead?” If you realize that a day has gone by when you didn’t think about your loved one (which may or may not happen in time), you may feel guilty that you’re “forgetting” him or her. If it takes a short amount of time to recover from a loss it doesn’t mean you only loved a little. The depth, breadth, and longevity of your grief are not a reflection of how much you cared about the person.
"What Do We Do Now?"
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Take Responsibility for Your Life
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How to Give And Receive Support
Getting Through the Grieving Process
Moving Past a Moment of Crisis
Forgiving Yourself After the Loss of a Loved One
If you are suffering from feelings of guilt after the loss of a loved one, even though the death was not your fault, Dr. Phil has advice on how to forgive yourself so that you can move on.
•Know that it isn't uncommon to play the "What if?" game: "What if I could have stopped it?" "What if I had only known the accident would happen?" "What if I could trade places and it could have been me who died?" etc.
•You may also find yourself feeling guilty if you catch yourself smiling, having a good time or simply enjoying life after your loss.
•Although there is no set timetable for grieving, if a substantial period of time has passed and you are still not allowing yourself to move on past the grieving process, allowing yourself to be crippled with guilt for something that was not your fault, ask yourself why.
•Understand that in any situation, even one like this, people don't engage in a behavior that they don't get a payoff for. Is the fact that you can't move forward a payoff in itself? If you feel the only connection that you have with the deceased is your grieving, could that be a payoff? Is the guilt a payoff? Are you punishing yourself because you feel you deserve to be punished for being a bad mother/sibling/friend/spouse because you let your loved one die?
•If you won't move on past the grieving process because the grief is your current connection to the deceased, ask yourself how terrible it is that your precious loved one is being remembered as a legacy of pain that you choose to carry around. You're focusing on the moment he/she died instead of on the moments he/she lived and the joy that he/she brought to your life. Isn't that a terrible burden to place on your loved one?
•If you want to forgive yourself, understand that guilt is all about intention. Is there a bone in your body that wished or intended for something bad to happen to your loved one? If not, why are you feeling guilty?
•There comes a time when you have to say, 'Enough is enough. If I give up the pain, I'm not going to lose him/her.' How long you grieve or how deeply you hurt does not reflect how much you loved. The fact that it's been two, five or 10 years and you are allowing yourself to live life doesn't mean that you love him/her any less. It doesn't mean you've forgotten your loved one.
•When you are ready to let go of your guilt and grief, it may help to speak out loud to your loved one, expressing your continued love for him/her while affirming your decision to let go of the grieving process: "I love you, but I have to let you go. I will love you until the day I die, but I'm going to let you go."