Emotional Wellbeing During the Grieving Process

angie harris

funeral-flower.jpgA couple of weeks ago, the husband of one of my favorite aunts passed away. Prior to that, my father had passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. Obviously, my mother and siblings knew what my aunt and our cousins were going through. We were very familiar with the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

For anyone who has gone through the grieving process, you know what it is like.

Emotional wellbeing after losing a loved one can be quite difficult to attain. Everyone wants to do their best to help. Emotions run high, and sometimes result in anger, frustration and fear. Other times, we shut down and do nothing or bury ourselves in our work. Hunger doesn’t seem to be an issue anymore as you are too busy trying to get something completed or you are lying there crying your eyes out. Everything just seems to go by in a dazed and confused state of being. Like you are walking through a dream, only this is reality.

I’ve noticed that funerals tend to bring out the worst in people.

When I found out the news, I decided to wait until the end of the day to call them as I knew they were probably making preparations for their father’s services. I also decided not to call them immediately as I am sure that they didn’t want to be bombarded with calls of condolences for their recent loss. Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t mean any disrespect by not wanting to call them right away. My thoughts and prayers were with them, but I wanted to give them time to grieve.

When I did get around to calling my aunt and cousins, the only thing that came out of my mouth was “are you okay?” And in the back of my mind – my own internal dialogue said to me, of course they are not okay. They just lost their loved one. How can you be so insensitive to say something like that!

Stupid brain.

During the services, I was asked to watch over one of my cousins, the toughest of them all. As we were leaving the church to get into the procession, I asked her for the keys so that I could drive her car instead of having her drive. She was so stubborn about the fact that she wanted to drive. I tried to convince her that it was not a good idea (due to her emotional state), but she insisted on driving.

During the procession, she began driving rather aggressively and every little thing set her off: the “Funeral” sticker that flew off her car, the other cars that couldn’t keep up with the procession, the cars that were cutting into the procession line and wouldn’t get out, and the weather (it was raining that day).

When we arrived at the cemetery, due to the rain, we had to go to a gazebo-like place to finish the services. It was a beautiful military service. Then we went back to our cars to drive to the burial site. At that point, my cousin insisted on driving again. But this time as we got into the car, she broke down and began to cry. I got out of the car so that I could comfort her and also get her out of the driver’s seat, but again she refused to move. So I continued to comfort her. I don’t think anything I said registered with her, which I expected as much. After all, I knew exactly what she was going through. Of course, that doesn’t matter at that point. Any words of comfort can never replace a loved one.

I wish my cousin would believe me when I tell her that her father is still with her. I wish I could tell her that she will start to see things differently now, even though the physical world has stayed the same. How all the colors in the world seem to be more vibrant then they were before his passing.

I sound like a madwoman! But that’s kind of how I see things now.

Unfortunately, there is no way to speed up the grieving process. Everyone is different. As I am sure my cousin will figure out.  However, I think in the long run it will bring them closer together.

[tags]emotional wellbeing, losing a loved one, death, funeral, death of father, losing father, dealing with the death[/tags]

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