When the person who shares your life dies, and your soul is screaming for comfort, no one can anticipate how intense that feeling will be. There is no way to fully prepare emotionally for this kind of loss. It doesn’t matter how much time you have in advance to “prepare;” nothing informs or readies your nervous system for such an enormous shock.
How to hold yourself up becomes the immediate necessity.
How do I breathe?
How do I stop crying?
How do I walk?
How do I stop replaying the last moments?
How do I care about anything in my life?
How do I feel comfortable around people?
How do I feel comfortable in my skin?
How do I choose life!?
How do I continue to choose life is a theme that is too often felt? How do you take what was your joint vision of walking-into-the sunset, til-death-do-you-part feeling of bliss and security and flip your vision 360 degrees to imagine a vision of your life alone? It requires a new depth of purpose, a new understanding of a life that you are now literally changing because you are the one still living. You are the one that must stand up again. So your once shared vision of life becomes the foundation or floor that you stand on to continue living while you regain a sense of who you are: single — not a unit in the same sense. Always a unit in your heart, but not in the reality of the physical world that you currently find yourself in.
There is so much to be done in the immediacy after the loss. Shock takes hold of our nervous system, and we tend to walk through the next few hours, days, weeks, numb. Not completely numb, because when you are alone, an unforeseeable, unbearable amount of pain may fill you completely. The longing for a loved one after they have departed from this world is not a feeling easily described, just as love is not a feeling easily described. However, this feeling can now be added to our arsenal of feeling-states that we energetically know. It is, or can be, very isolating, especially if no one in your immediate circle of support has lost a spouse which then seriously altered the trajectory of their entire life. So as you make immediate plans for memorials, finances, etc., numbness can also be a friend because it also allows your body to continue walking, and choosing, and completing tasks.
This is a sacred time, don’t forget that.
This is the time when you are alone in yourself; you need to hear an empathetic, reassuring, self voice that holds you. The words, “I will be OK,” only become believable, when YOU hear you saying them to yourself. The only voice that comforts you in this particular time is your inner knowing, your soul voice. If those words feel like you are lying to yourself, try “I will eventually be OK.” This may seem closer to the voice you can believe.
The other truth about the shock is that most people do not understand or know how to help get you out of pain. So with seemingly good intentions, they say or do things that give you the message, “Get over it.” When this happens, just know that you truly are right where you need to be. Everyone moves through shock at a different pace. It can range from months to years. Yes, years. Don’t forget you can still operate through shock, make decisions through shock. However, re-visioning your life from an entirely new reality, takes re-connection of circuitry in your nervous system. It takes an evolution of the soul towards choosing life and recreating an emotional well-being that revolves around you.
It is a process, not a light bulb moment.
Knowing this is life saving when experiencing other people’s inability to understand true grieving. What a loss of the self feels like, and the amount of strength and courage it takes to rebuild a life worth living. Be patient with yourself as you begin to understand what a true loss of the “self” feels like. And what a relief it is to live in the spaces between painful moments, to hear yourself laugh, to feel yourself breath deeply, and to finally experience your life not only feeling dread, but leaning into a life broken open and evolve to wholeness “with a twist”
HOLD ON; IT WILL HAPPEN.
Joyous moments cycle back.
Eventually, life reminds you to live.