“No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. We experience the same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness... There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or it is perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting...” C. S. Lewis, from ‘A Grief Observed’
Many people try to handle this fear from grief by trying to distract themselves from the pain through busyness, or turning into workaholics. Others want to medicate their pain with drugs, alcohol or inappropriate relationships. All of this is understandable, but none of it helps the problem – in fact it compounds the problem.
Grief feels like fear and this fear does not feel good. There is confusion, disorientation; times we feel we are going crazy, and times we just wish we could fall sleep; and when we wake up this would all be behind us and the pain would be gone.
You may be seeing changes in yourself. If you were once a very open individual, you may be surprised if you have become emotionally withdrawn from others. This is also natural. It is your way of temporarily protecting yourself from pain. You may be seeing other changes in yourself, as well. For instance, if you were an individual who always felt in control of life and you had an ‘everything has its place’ personality you may be taken off guard by your disorganization or forgetfulness. This is also normal. For the time being, all of your emotional energy is being channelled into comprehending and understanding your loss.
It will take time to work through our grief. Over time our pain becomes less intense. This doesn't mean that the person has become less important to us. It just means that we have adjusted in some ways to the loss and our pain.
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted,” He comforts those who walk through this valley with the comfort of His nearness. He comes to us in our hour of sorrow. He draws near and walks with us in our grief and pain.
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” – C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
Margaret Anne Yost nursed for 35 years, working mostly on medical floors. She has journeyed with many clients who were dying, and she tried to comfort their families during this difficult time. She has completed two units of Clinical Pastoral Education.
Returning back to school she completed classes from the Red River College in the areas of Gerontology, Bereavement, Death and Dying. She was enrolled eight years in lay ministry training. At present, she enjoys her role at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Yorkton in the area of parish work. For the past ten years she has also been employed at Bailey’s Funeral Home working in the area of Continuing Care.
Comments and articles may be forwarded by mail to: Margaret Anne Yost, P.0. Box 554 Melville, Sask. S0A 2P0
Or phone 1-306-621-9877 (9 am-5 pm) or at home 1-306-728-4744 (evenings).