When grieving, we can feel trapped. It can feel like our options are stripped away, one by one.
From the Grieving Heart:
I was doing fine yesterday. At least I thought I was.
I was driving along, not paying much attention. I found myself stopped at a red light and looked to the right. There was your favorite restaurant. I lost it.
I had to pull over into the closest parking lot. I sat there and sobbed. Someone knocked on my window and asked if I was alright. I felt like a fool.
My grief is like that. It can make a fool out of me without warning. No way to prepare for it. No way to anticipate it. Every moment, I'm at the mercy of my surroundings and my emotions.
I wiped my face, started the car, and drove off. I had to pull over three more times before I got home. I sat in the driveway for what felt like an hour. I was in shock again. Stunned and paralyzed.
I go around and around in a circle. The same emotions cycle back, again and again. I feel trapped sometimes.
Perhaps this is all just my heart looking for you. I don't know. It's confusing and sad. It hurts.
Feeling trapped is terrible.
As we quickly discover, grief bursts can descend upon us anytime, anywhere. Anything can trigger a memory and release the thoughts and feelings associated with it. These sudden grief spikes can feel like an invasion, an assault on our peace of mind and heart.
Though grief bursts can seem random and unpredictable, we can be proactive in how we deal with them. First, we need to accept that these bursts of emotion will come. They are natural, common, and inevitable. They can vary greatly in length and intensity. The grief is within us, and it slowly builds up over time. Along comes a trigger, and a sudden pressure release occurs.
Again, this is a natural, common, and healthy process. When a grief burst comes, we can acknowledge the emotion we feel. We give ourselves permission to grieve. If we’re unable to express our grief at that moment, we can make a simple plan for when and where we will. Many times, it can simply mean excusing ourselves and heading somewhere close by that's more private.
We loved, and so we grieve. Our grief bursts honor our loved ones. By planning ahead, we can learn to handle them with increased confidence and peace.
Our hearts are expressing themselves. We're grieving.
I will be proactive and plan for how I will handle the grief bursts that come.
Adapted from the book, Comfort for Grieving Hearts: Hope and Encouragement for Times of Loss. To watch the book video, click here.