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My thoughts are deep with all of you, as well as the people who I have never met who read this site. Please know that my email is always open and I appreciate and value with great confidence any comments, questions, and stories that you share with me.
Now that the funeral is over...
Grief is exhausting mentally and it is VERY physical.
Day ONE after the funeral, you have two things to do.
Task One: You need to get up and take a shower and get dressed.
Task Two: You need to get up and make your living children something to eat... even if it is just a bowl of cereal. Your home has been occupied by lots of people. Children of all ages seek out reassurance that SOMETHING normal is going to return. Everything has changed for them. Show them that YOU will take care of THEM too.
After you do those two tasks, you need to rest. Don't feel guilty. You will now need to learn to begin to conserve your energy.
Shock is good --but it wears off--normally around several weeks to 3 months. Be prepared.
Here are suggestions from one child--DO NOT shut the door to their loved ones room or favorite place. Let it be a gathering place to share, cry, sit and stare... whatever. Don't give any of their things
away at first. Don't give anything away before asking the children. Their loved one's room is where they were happy when they were living. Let it still be a happy place or one to remember.
Children have said that it is important for them to be allowed go to the cemetery. Don't keep them away from there and act like it's not a part of life now. Try not to make it always a sad place. Let them set the pace on what they can deal with.
Don't forget to laugh when you can. Remember the funny things. You can laugh and cry your eyes out at the same time. It's not disrespectful to remember them with joy as well as the many tears.Take a break from grief and rent a dumb movie or try to laugh. It will not feel like you can laugh but you need to try to take this mini "vacation" from the 24/7 mental and physical stress that you are under.
Even if you don't journal... write little things down. Little memory joggers or even a sentence or 2 of your memories. You DO forget.
You will have "Teflon Brain." It is common to forget things like paying the electric bill. Write notes to yourself about EVERYTHING.
Don't make your loved one into something they were not. Especially in front of your kids. They will occasionally feel guilty for being the one left here. Try to remember with them about the times when they WERE'NT.
At one point or another (sometimes often .. sometimes not) it is normal (very normal) to think of joining them. One lady said that I can't tell you how many times I would pull into the garage and just think... "all I have to do is pull the door down and this pain will be over." I wasn't suicidal, I just couldn't stand being in that much pain.
Grief is more physical that you can ever imagine. One person said, "It physically hurts your heart. Your everything. I am still amazed at how hard and lightening fast that kick in the gut feeling can overtake me."
You may have been able to tolerate alcohol in the past, but NOW you are at risk, my friends, for problems with this. You MUST count... to ONE... or TWO on special occasions.
Make an appointment for everyone to see the doctor. ANY little health issue that is bubbling under the surface will probably come popping up and cause you problems now. Having contact with your physician is important.
Thinking of all of you as you begin the process of grieving. Remember that grief is a PROCESS.... NOT an event! You WILL make it through this and I'm so so so sorry that this happened your family. Please feel free to email me any time. I have lots of resources which I will be glad to share.