Are you acting recovered while you grieve or have you actually recovered from your loss and grief?
I live in quite an unusual town for 2015. Neighbors in our town know each other and reach out to help one another in need.
So when my husband died initially there was an outpouring of help. Our freezer was stocked with prepared meals. Our gardens were weeded and our lawn mowed. Rides were arranged for my children to get to their activities.
But I remember one month after my husband’s death the feeling of grief just settling in for a long visit, the despair and more so the feeling of isolation and loneliness.
Friends, neighbors, and colleagues cared. I could see it in their eyes when they saw me walking toward the bleachers on the sidelines at our sons’ soccer games. It pained them to see that I was suffering. Yet they didn’t know what to say or do.
I began to work to hide my pain.
Each morning I’d get my children off to school, then sit down at my computer in my home office working. Frequently I’d sob my heart aching for my husband.
But I’d pull myself together to go pick the kids up from school at 3:30. I’d see all the mothers that felt lost and scared about what to say to me. They preferred to keep their distance. I was learning now to act recovered.
As months went on, more and more people kept their distance. As I walked down the street their eyes would avert mine. If forced to converse, they would tell me I was so strong. They would tell me I was doing so well. I handled my loss with grace, they said.
I felt alone, lost, but I hid my pain and fears from them now. They liked it that way. I understood.
I knew how to stay inside when I couldn’t hold myself together. I isolated more. I became most comfortable being alone.
I’d literally prepare myself mentally and physically to go out of the house.
As the months turned into a year, and then two, I felt more and more broken. I couldn’t fix me. No one was able to fix me. The more time passed, the more broken I felt. The more embarrassed I felt about my inability to “get back to normal”.
So I became a master at acting recovered.
But the pain was no less. My suffering was immense, just no one knew it anymore.
You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
Are you like me?
Are you acting recovered?
Acting recovered does not help us recover from the pain and suffering caused by our loss and our grief.
We have to break down the wall we hide behind to begin to recover. We have to let out the secret that we haven’t truly recovered.
Yes, in order to pass through grief we have to have our pain witnessed by another. Another who believes in our ability to one day recover, without them having to fix it for us. Another who validates our experience through grief and trusts us to find our way; to one day recover from our loss and our grief, to feel better and then begin to remake our life.
Instead of acting recovered, I want for you to actually recover from the suffering you are experiencing in grief.
I want for you to recover fully, to feel better inside and to have the opportunity to remake your life. A life you desire and deserve.