Am I entitled to feel this badly?
Yes. A personal tragedy has happened and your world has come unglued. The heartbreak caused by the death of a loved one has consequences that you feel in your body, mind and spirit.
Will I always feel this badly?
No. Some days will be worse than others; some will surprise you by their serenity. Healing does not automatically happen because "time heals all wounds." Time, all by itself, simply passes from one moment to the next. But healing is both desirable and possible, depending upon how you invest your time. You are entitled to want to feel better.
When I begin to feel better, why do I feel guilty about feeling better?
Sometimes we worry that we shouldn’t recover, because our loved one didn't recover. We feel disloyal or selfish or both. But "creating the new normal" is not disloyal. Life will never be the same again. But it is a healthy thing to recommit to life in its new form(s). Re-entering life does not eliminate the love that we had for the person who died.
Am I all alone in this confusion and exhaustion and sorrow?
No, you don’t have to be. Some people may push you away. They don’t want your grief to be contagious. Or they may not know what to say or what to do. They say nothing. Or (even worse) they say very stupid things that make you wish they had chosen to say nothing instead. But there are also people out there - nearby - who know your territory and can be companions on the journey. That’s why the Hospice Program of VNA of Care New England offers Bereavement Support Groups. All of them are open to the public free of charge.
When do these groups meet?
Four times a year. Once in each season - winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Each group runs for six sessions of two hours. The winter group always meets in the daytime to avoid night driving. The summer group always meets in the evening. Spring and autumn vary.
If you or someone you know would like to know more about our Bereavement Support Groups, please call (401) 737-6050 and ask to speak with the hospice manager.