Written by Lynett Getz RSW, Life Celebrant
Last month we discussed a number of common feelings and expectations that one may have after the loss of a loved one. We looked at the symptoms of shock, confusion, and anxiety. This month we will look at the feelings or expressions of anger, guilt, and sadness. The sense or feeling of anger, resentment, jealousy, rage, as well as blame, are considered to be a typical reaction after a significant loss. If anger and any of the above emotions are part of your grief experience, it is important to note that there are two paths to take when conveying ones feelings of anger; inward and outward. The outward path leads to healing, the inward path does not. It is also important to note that in order to find healing, it is essential that you find someone who you can speak to without feeling judged, and who allows you to be able to feel whatever emotion you are experiencing.
Guilt is another common feeling or reaction to grief. It is normal to experience the “if only I would have done this” or ”I should have done that”. These feelings may be natural to you, the griever, but may not seem logical to others. Keep in mind that thinking is logical and feelings are not.
Sadness is also an emotion that is experienced and with this can come various levels of hurt and pain. It may take weeks or months before you encounter the full depth of your sadness. Although one may want this pain and hurt to be gone quickly, it is best to take the time to embrace your loss and be kind and patient to yourself.
Taken from “Afterwords: Helping Yourself Heal” by Dr. Alan Wolfelt.