I am 3 weeks away from the 2nd year anniversary, and I feel so lost. Grieving the loss of my son has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The thing about grief is that it’s in a constant state of change. The one constant emotion that you can count on is sadness. The sadness is always there, but then there are so many other emotions swirling around with that sadness, that it often makes you feel like you are going…shall I say, crazy? Among all those swirling and pulsing emotions, I have found a new one to surface lately. Restlessness…dissatisfaction…discontent. It seem as though this feeling has been teeming inside of me over the last few weeks in particular. It’s hard to explain this restlessness. It’s not the normal restlessness you feel from being bored….it’s deeper. It’s like I’ve been searching for something….I want to get out of the house, but then when I do….all I want to do is get back home. I channel surf looking for something to watch…finding nothing that suffices. I get on the computer and go to different websites and just sit and wonder what to search for…should I buy something…should I not..? It’s been a horrible thing to experience and I haven’t heard many people talk about it in this grieving process. I just wonder if I’m the only one that’s feeling like this….cause it makes getting through the day extremely difficult. I want to work…but I don’t. I want to do some projects around the house…but I don’t. What in the world is up with this feeling? I have never quite experienced it to this degree. I mean, I sit contemplating things to do or things I need to do, but I just can’t muster up the motivation to do it. And even if I do muster up some motivation to work on a project, I find that it doesn’t bring me any satisfaction…so I stop. Has anyone out there ever experienced this feeling? And is there any connection to the 2 year anniversary coming up? The hardest thing is…I don’t know..I can’t pinpoint what’s causing this feeling. But let me just tell you…it absolutely sucks the life out of me.
Grief is an extremely complex mix of emotions that intensify without warning. This new feeling is quickly becoming a normality for me…and I’m not quite sure what to do with it or how to deal with it. I mean, I’m still learning to deal with all of the other emotions that can change as rapidly as a blink of the eye. At least with the familiar emotions, I’ve experienced them and I’ve grown somewhat accustomed to their presence. That doesn’t mean I deal with them in the best of ways, but at least they are familiar. Sometimes, I feel like I may be bottling my feelings…pushing down deep inside so that I don’t feel them. Maybe that’s causing this restlessness? I don’t know…but what I do know, is that just when I think I’ve got this grieving thing figured out, something new slaps me in the face, and I start all over again, trying to make it through yet another experience. It’s completely consuming and exhausting.
Something else I’ve been experiencing lately is a feeling of anxiousness that hits about the same time every single day. It’s almost like mini panic attacks….my heart gets all flustery (not sure that’s a word) and I feel shaky all over from the inside out. I have a sense of dread and just want to lay down and go to sleep…hoping it will subside. Does anyone else feel this way? Am I experiencing something out of the ordinary for this grieving process? And why does it hit me at almost the same time every single day? I think the trap I have fallen into is thinking that I can deal with this grief and one day it will fell better. I mean, I’ve found myself thinking…”Shouldn’t I be feeling better at this point?” Maybe thats my own pressure that I’m putting on myself…maybe its assumptions and expectations I place upon myself…maybe it’s a subconscious thing that I’m feeling from society. You know, society doesn’t like to deal with our grief after 6 months or so. Society has its own way of placing a timeline on our grief. Despite the fact that you hear people say all the time that there is no timeline for grief, there is no real support for that statement. You see, like I said, after about 6 months…people begin to grow weary of your hurt and your pain, even though it is still very real. And once you get past the 1st year and move into the 2nd year, no one discusses it with you anymore. I know that it comes from not understanding, and I know that people really don’t know how to respond to our grief…especially when it is a child that has passed before the parent. So, the world goes on, not wanting to mention your child’s death, their name, or any memories related to them. And what we parents want more than anything is for someone…anyone…to just say their name….to just ask me about him and his quirks and the things that made him a wonderful person. I want someone to ask me about a fond or funny moment that I remember about Aaron….but those questions don’t come. The reason….because people are uncomfortable with uncertainty of your response and they don’t want to see you cry, because “you’ve been doing so well”. They feel responsible for making you cry. If you are reading this and you know someone that is grieving the loss of a close loved one, please don’t think that by talking about their loved one that YOU made them cry. We cry almost every day….so it’s not you. Sometimes we cry because someone remembered, when we feel like everyone is forgetting. Sometimes we cry just because we miss them…but we want you to remind us that others think about them and about us and that they remember that our child was once alive and a part of this world. One of the things that scares me the most is worrying that people will forget Aaron. That frightens me to my core.
So, maybe I’ve just explained where my restlessness is coming from…there’s a lot going on in this head of mine…and I didn’t even really realize it. I get so caught up in trying to live in a normal world that I get lost in my grief. It’s like I’ve lost my path through grief…maybe because I feel like I should be in a different place than I currently am. So, I wander down the path that gives me the least resistance….unknowingly…subconsciously. So, in essence, I guess I am burying my feelings….I’m not facing them head on…because it hurts so very much. Whatever the reason….I’m in a new season of grief, and I’n not sure what I would call this season….maybe the season of restlessness.
PLEASE….If you are feeling similar feelings…respond. I would love to know that I am not alone in this awful world of grief.
12 thoughts on “Unforgiving Grief in a Normal World”
My response might seem a little odd, but is there a possibility that these new emotions are not solely tied to your grief, but possibly hormonal as well? I say this because when I hit menopause I became somewhat “A.D.D.” whereas I wasn’t before. I had it somewhat under control, but last year when my granddaughter died it came back in spades. Very restless. The second there is a pause I am on my phone, watching a silly video, reading something, anything, as a diversion.
So maybe this new phase isn’t something tied to Aaron per se. Maybe a lesser version would be happening even if Aaron was alive and well. Maybe it’s grief mixed with hormones. Maybe it’s happening the same time every day is more physical than emotional. Just a thought. Talk to your doctor; have your hormonal levels tested. Maybe your body is telling you something that you can’t hear through your grief.
And thank you for your posts. They have been very helpful to my daughter and me.
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Your response is very valid and I have given some thought to that as I am currently experiencing those wonderful hot flashes. Like..I’ll be riding down the road in 30 degree weather and will have to roll my window down. Thank you for your suggestion! I’ll look into that. I’m glad my blog has helped both you and your daughter. Thank you for reading!
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This particular post really resignated with me ! I lost my mom November 18th 2016. Depression tries to overtake me DAILY . Anxiety is a big emotion for me and panic attack’s . My dad is remarrying this year ,so I feel like I’m losing my dad in a way too.
I feel like life is passing me by. I’m empty ,frustrated,scared ,I have no control of my emotions . Friends and family try to understand ,but most have distanced themselves as if I make them uncomfortable since I’m grieving. I took care of my mom while she was sick . I was dedicated to my mom and my family . I literally showed her how much I loved her. She was one of my biggest supporters 😦 Now I feel lost . I’m picking up where I left off trying to establish myself as a young lady . I feel like I’m going to have a nervous breakdown. So much is happening so fast . Grief and reality really consumes you . Thanks for sharing this has really helped me .
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Chloe…grief is a horribly isolating experience. I am so sorry for your losses. Have you given thoughts to seeing a grief counselor? I see one and it helps…but it has to be a person that you connect with. I will keep you in my thoughts…Thank you for reading.
I feel all of this, my last 4 years have been tied to loss. My mom April 2013, followed by my dad April 2016, my brother July 2017 and my son December of 2017. I feel like grief seizes me in my car, during my “alone” time. I cry going to work and on the ride home. The tines before and after I act “normal”. I am chained to a stage i cannot escape. I really just want to cry, daily.
All of your feelings are valid. I lost my oldest son, Matthew, almost 26 years ago and my emotions have run the gamut. Unless someone has this experience they can’t understand how we can go through so many different phases in a days time. We can laugh, enjoy, start a project, finish a project, go shopping and come back with nothing and in doing all of these things, there’s an emptiness surrounding it all. Sometimes I feel like a fake. I feel like my life since my son died I only go through the motions that society and even friends and family find acceptable after this many years. There is not a minute in my day that I’m not reminded I have buried a child. Like you said, I want people to talk to me about Matthew and share their memories with me and let me share mine with them. I want them to know that it’s ok if I cry and they didn’t hurt me. I’m already hurt and have been for many years. My son would have been 38 this year. His best friend still remembers his birthday and death date. He always sends me a nice message. I pray you have someone who will listen and talk to you about Aaron. God bless you! I will keep you in my prayers!
the first week my daughter passed (9/9/17) I found my self bobbing around aimlessly always LOOKING for something just didnt know what i was looking for and if and when I found it then what…four months later I still have moments of searching for something but sometimes a get a heart racing feeling (panic) afraid of what I might find…circles sometimes endless but I am forward moving God is Good…
I also have had moments of feeling invisible Im watching the world go by and no one notices that I am smiling today or crying ….I sometimes still feel stuck in the Day she died..This has been one long Saturday september 9 2017…Even though it is January 20 2018….Hugs to all, we do understand….God Bless HUGS and LOVE
( the name of this article could be more like: NORMAL GRIEF IN AN UNFORGIVING WORLD…just a thought
My one and only child gone from addiction…Hugs to You and an outreached hand,
I have this EXACT same feeling…restless. Set out or think about doing this with no follow through? Me too. Only in six weeks, it’ll be the one year passing on my son. In addition to all of those restless feelings, I feel my grief is increasing. The anniversary perhaps? Or knowing that, as you said, people will talk less about Jacob in the second year. I would like to share a link here if that’s ok. It’s a bit of a read, but made me feel so validated in my grief. Take care, thoughts and prayers in the coming weeks too.
I feel as though you are describing my life EXACTLY. This past Monday was the 2 year anniversary of my son’s (Jacob) sudden passing. Sometimes I feel that I spend so much energy “trying to cope” with missing Jacob, that I have little to nothing left for anything else. On the subject of people, well, I’m tired of the excuse that people don’t know what to do or say. There is so much information available on what to do/say, etc. Typing it into a search bar is easy, but most don’t take the time. Most of the people who were supportive disappeared by the end of the first year. I find myself forcing Jacob into conversations because it’s is the only way he is brought up. Aside from family, I do have 2 friends who have been wonderful and I have met others who have experienced loss. There is an instant bond.
I am here for all/any of you.
That restless, seeking feeling – I know it well. I had that feeling frequently in the months right after my son died. I finally realized that though my rational mind knew Nathan would never return, there was another part that was waiting for him to open the front door and walk in. I hope I am not overstepping my bounds, but I want to recommend two things – (1) if you are a believer in Christ, there is a depth of Christ that you can enjoy and experience that will fill that void as you never knew it could be filled. It’s not philosophical; it’s real. If your experience is just doctrinal, contact me and I can share a few little known Bible practices to contact the Lord. And (2) – NeurOptimal. Google it. It is a neurofeedback system unlike any other that trains the brain to let go of stubborn patterns – like being stuck in a grief cycle. It doesn’t take away memories, but it releases you from the pain of them. It has helped everyone in my family tremendously. I remember my precious Nathan every day, but now, 7 months after his death, I rarely cry or even feel sad. I offer sessions on a sliding scale to anyone who will travel to Central Texas for them. Thank you for your blog – you’ve inspired me to finally start my own.