What comes so abruptly
And treats us corruptly
Is this scathing reality of loss,
Why am I confused?
Feeling like I’m abused?
Why am I at such a loss?
Why does life have to change?
Why does God rearrange?
Why am I so damned cross?
Why can’t I believe?
Why do I struggle to breathe?
Why is this grief now boss?
Why do I feel so low?
My capacities are so slow,
Every feeling I just want to toss.
But with time I came,
To accept a new game,
One where love is central to loss.
SUDDEN losses inflict the pain of grief in many different forms, but largely confusion reigns. As the grief journey commences so suddenly we have no way to prepare for it. But we can be advised of these sorts of considerations:
1. Do understand that the emotional pendulum can swing drastically and harshly as we grapple with what we could not have possibly anticipated.
2. Don’t judge people for what they think and feel in the midst of sudden grief, where they may be just trying to make some sense and meaning of the new situation.
3. Do take the time to gather with others who share in your grief, or can feel your pain with you, like people you trust.
4. Don’t think life has now sunken to such depths as it is right now. Life’s hope will brighten again.
5. Do think of others who have also suffered loss during your process of grieving. Band together with them if possible.
6. Don’t plan ahead too much if you don’t need to, but get the help required if you are the decision maker.
7. Do be gentle with yourself. Too many people feel guilty for something or other in the midst of losing a loved one or precious friend.
8. Don’t judge yourself. You did what you could at the time. You weren’t to know life would now be like this.
9. Do enjoy fleeting moments of humour. Levity at heavy times is very desirable when it’s respectful and appropriate.
10. Don’t settle for unnecessary regret. If a situation can be amended, set out to do just that. Take heart and be of good courage.
11. Do understand that the grief process ebbs and flows between logical and illogical thoughts, and wavers into denial, anger, resentment, bargaining, being depressed, despair, all of which are intermingled with bouts of acceptance.
12. Don’t make too much of the emotions. Allow yourself some grace. Forgive yourself promptly and frequently.
13. Do promise to search for hope and to journey by faith. This is the best of plans.
14. Don’t worry about the mistakes you make. Everything can be fixed.
Sudden loss is heart-rending as much as it’s heart-breaking. Being overwhelmed by confusion is as valid as being stricken with sadness, as is every other emotional response. Go gently into the depths and, before plunging in, get some support.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.