Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wednesday's Woe - Depleted by Grief

Wednesday's Woe

Depleted by Grief

What is that invisible monster that swoops in and steals our energy when we grieve? When we are attempting to overcome a physical illness, doctors have always emphasized we need more bed rest.

Who knew grief would require so much out of us we often become exhausted and spent, such that it seems our bodies really do need more "bed rest" -- in fact, they seem to demand it.


Tommy was in the middle of a big project downstairs last night and was working away diligently on it when he stumbled upon a box of pictures. He set it aside, and thought he would check it out further when he took a break. Later, he stopped and examined it more closely.

Inside he found pictures of Merry Katherine's First-Year birthday pictures, taking him back to those glorious days. When he finished looking and reminiscing, he found he had no more of that non-stop energy to continue to work on his project nor to wrap up any other of his usual nightly chores, so he came upstairs totally spent and went straight to bed.


Dr. Catherine M. Sanders, a child-loss griever and psychologist, talks about this exhaustion in her book, Surviving Grief, expounded on by another grieving mother, Brook Noel (author of I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye):

Perhaps the most commonly reported symptom of grief is utter exhaustion and confusion. In her book, Surviving Grief, Dr. Catherine M. Sanders explains

"we become so weak that we actually feel like we have the flu. Because of our lack of experience with energy depletion, this weakness frightens and perplexes us. Before the loss, it happened only when we were sick."

Little things we used to do without thinking, like mailing a letter, can easily become an all day task. Getting a gallon of milk can seem monumental. The thought of getting dressed, driving a car, getting money, paying a cashier, carrying the gallon, driving home-just these thoughts alone, can leave a griever hungry for sleep.

There are many remedies for exhaustion. People may prescribe vitamin combinations, exercise, eating well, staying busy and more. You are in recovery. Give yourself some time to grieve and let the emotions work through you. If you jump to stay busy now, or sidetrack part of the grieving process, it will only resurface down the road. It's all right to be exhausted and to rest. Take your time to heal.

Picture: Thanks to Google Images

Catherine M. Sanders, Surviving Grief...and Learning to Live Again

Brook Noel: I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One



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