Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Being hit by the grief bus

The Grief Bus

Last week I had George in my office. A man in his 60's changing the beneficiary forms because his wife died  suddenly 2 weeks prior. He came in reserved but strong, braced to complete another set of forms to remind himself that she was gone, and he was alone, and things were changing.

I didn't have the form he was expecting, I had the other ones that I knew he would need. He looked confused. I said "I'm just trying to help. My husband passed 2 years ago, trust me - you'll be glad you changed your withholdings. And if you need any help with the forms, let me know. I've done them all."

He seemed to need a second to absorb it. During that time, I kept filling things out and showing him where to sign. Then, without looking up, he said "I'm sorry for your loss, but I'm glad you understand."
I gently said, "I do"
He continued... "It just hurts. Not the way people think it does, I mean actually physically hurts,"
He looks up with these vulnerable eyes and pounds the center of his chest "right here, ya know?".

Yeah George - I know

A week later, I wake up.
The day after completing my 2nd year without Mike.
I have to roll out of bed, because I can't stand.
My back is in too much pain to climb the stairs at work without stopping for a break.
And I remember George.

I remember that I'm not alone.
We all feel the pain of grief.
Not just the emotional, but the physical pain.

Our bodies react to trauma and stress.
I can't hit a significant date without wanting to sleep all the time, but actually sleeping - never.
Then the body goes out. First I'm comatose on the couch because it hurts to lift my arms.
Then I realize I'm staring at the wall because it hurts to think.
Lastly, I wake up in the morning and have to roll because I can't stand until I've done some yoga.

Whats ironic- I'm not in emotional pain today.
Just that nagging - I've been hit by a bus feeling.
I feel relieved that I've passed the date.
Relieved to have it past. I'm officially in the third year.
Now I just have to build my body and immunity back up.
And recover from being hit by the grief bus.


My plan:

yoga - I have a class pass that has to be used soon. I will use that and start yoga-ing more frequently.
read - get back into the calm of reading at night.
massage - I'm going tonight to try to work out some of the muscular issues that have been plaguing me.
connecting - I will be genuine and connect with friends and family.
truth - I will be honest with myself about how much I am going through, and try not to judge myself

Your response:

What do you do to recover from the grief bus?
When do you notice the physical symptoms outweighing the emotional ones?

With love and light for your journey,


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