Getting over grief is one of the most difficult processes you will ever go through. You lost the person who was there for you and now when you are most alone they aren’t there for you.
Grievers feel so alone. And family and friends think grieves want or need to be alone.
The idea that grievers want to or need to grieve alone is inaccurate.
Often when grieving people are experiencing the pain following the death of or separation from someone they cared deeply for, they isolate. I hear that all the time from people who are grieving. They feel antisocial. They spend most of their time alone. And it hurts deeply, but they don’t know what else to do.
I get it. I was there. I isolated after my husband died.
This happens for a couple of reasons.
One, grievers may fear being hurt more, so without realizing it they try to protect themselves by keeping their distance from others.
An even more common reason for isolating is that friends, family and others don’t know what to say. They accidentally say comments that hurt, or at the very least do not feel good at all to the grievers, so the griever stays away and isolates.
Frequently grievers grieve alone, but unfortunately grieving alone keeps the griever stuck in grief and unable to recover from the pain of the loss and grief.
If you have experienced the death of or separation from someone you cared about, it is important to come out of hiding. It is scary. The world can feel dangerous after a loss. You’ve been hurt deeply and you don’t want to be hurt again. But you are hurting now, am I right?
So in order to begin to feel better, you have to take a chance, stop isolating, and step out of hiding. This will mean moving out of your comfort zone. Passing through grief requires moving out of your comfort zone, no doubt about it.
Don’t be hard on yourself. You are doing the best you know how. Love yourself for all you have done and all you have tried to recover from the pain of your loss and grief.
But in order to recover, you need to do something different than you have been doing. What you have done has not worked.
How do you stop isolating when friends aren’t calling, and when they call they say hurtful comments? How do you stop isolating when you don’t know other people who would understand and validate how you feel? It’s not easy, I know. But you are stronger than you may know.
Well, it may take stepping outside your comfort zone and meeting some new people.
Possibly take a class such as an adult learning class in your area or find a group that does an activity you like to do. There is something called Meetup.com online that lets you know of loads of groups in your area for every possible interest. There are groups that meet to do yoga, hike, walk, knit, there are book groups, financial groups, networking business groups, widow groups, you name it, there is a group.
Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, it is out of your comfort zone. And yet, out of your comfort zone is where you will pass through your grief and remake your life. Out of your comfort zone is where all growth occurs.
Another way to stop isolating is to call a friend that you know has good intentions and would like to help you. Ask them if they would go for a walk with you or meet for dinner some night. Set a date. And take a chance and tell them that you are still hurting, no matter how long it has been since your loss. Talk about your loss and your pain with them. And tell them they don’t have to try to fix it, you just need them to listen.
Grieving alone does not help you recover from your loss and your grief. Being with others who can listen and validate your feelings helps you.
Commit to taking one little step out of your comfort zone and toward a place where a caring person can listen and support you while you are getting over your grief and remaking your life.