It seems we will always feel broken and never feel any better. We will never recover. You might think you will never survive this, but you are surviving this. You did it yesterday, you are doing today and you will continue to survive tomorrow. Somewhere in the back of your brain, you know it will get better but in the meantime you may feel as if you are drowning or suffocating in and from your grief.
As I continue my blogs this month about the symptoms of grief and helping ourselves, I thought I might offer suggestions you might not have thought of. These come out of my experience with my grief with Lukas. All my life I have been a list maker. It comes from being an Executive Assistant to senior management. One of the things I might suggest here is for you to make a list of things you did before your loss that may have helped you to feel better when you needed to. In a previous blog I mentioned the routine of doing the same simple task the same time every day. I found that it brought me relief from thinking about Lukas all day long. I had that one thing to look forward to. Maybe for you, you don’t do that “thing” on a scheduled time, but do it when the mood hits you and you recognize that if you do this one thing, you might feel a little better. Again, this is your grief and you have to find your own comfort in your misery. Keep your list simple and manageable and offer yourself some choices so you can always choose something: shower, bubble bath, savoring a cup of coffee etc. Sometimes doing something is what will bring you comfort and make you feel better.
It is hard to think we are feeling any differently or making any kind of progress with our emotions. I would suggest you periodically take a look back a month(s) to see how far you have come. Again, this can be measured in tiny victories…less frequent headaches, or lethargy, sleeping longer or more restfully, crying less often or for shorter periods of time, or perhaps even laughing about something (and please don’t feel guilty about this). These “look backs” will show you that you are healing, even if it is only incrementally. We are not forgetting our baby by healing from their death. We are leaving the anguish of the death behind us and working on taking the love you have for your child with you into the present and the future.
Grief is both emotional (inside us) and physical (outside us). Sometimes it is what we do by our actions that can help us with our thoughts. It might seem impossible to take any action, but sometimes that is what works. And that may be your way to the light at the end of the tunnel.