We miss everything. This hurts. We wonder how long this will last.
From the Grieving Heart:
I miss you.
I miss your voice, your presence, and your laughter. I miss your smile, your eyes, and your touch.
I miss everything. I love you.
I wonder if this intense sadness, this depression I'm experiencing, will ever get better. What if it goes on and on? What if I don't feel better? What if all this gets the better of me and I end up living as a shell of a person for the rest of my life?
What if this pit I'm in becomes my home? What if the depression stays, and becomes my life?
Just the thought of it is terrifying. Life looks so dark and dreary. It's hard to imagine this cloud lifting. I’ve forgotten what joy feels like.
I don't like this. Loss is terrible. Missing you is worse than I could have ever dreamed. In fact, my life is becoming a perpetual nightmare without you.
I want to be out of this pit and feel the sunlight and breeze on my face again. I want to live. Have I forgotten how?
How long will we feel this way?
In grief, it is common for us to assume that the way things are now is how they will be. We can see the past, but our future has been altered and disrupted. If we're experiencing depression, we naturally wonder how long this will continue.
Is this grief more than for a season? Is this our new life? Will we be able to get out of this pit?
If our depression deepens to the point where we don't go out, don't get out of bed, and don't function in daily life, it's possible that something more than temporary situational depression is at work. This isn’t only about our loss, but it is also influenced by our current situation, including our physical condition, financial stability, relational support network, and overall mental and emotional health. Other recent losses or major life changes can also complicate things.
If we become isolated and non-functional for two weeks or more, it's time to reach out and seek professional help. Grief counselors, therapists, physicians, and clergy are often sought for their expertise during these times. If we're having suicidal thoughts, the temptation is to keep this to ourselves. This is the last thing we should do. If self-harm is part of our thought life, it's best to call 911 or seek help immediately.
There is no shame in seeking help. Reaching out is wise and is part of taking our own hearts seriously.
If my depression deepens, I'll reach out for help. This is part of loving myself, and you.
Adapted from Comfort for Grieving Hearts: Hope and Encouragement for Times of Loss. To view a brief video about the book, click here.