After Melanie died, life as I knew it came to a screeching halt. Today, I’m still figuring things out. This grief journey continues to teach me things. Although I hoped I’d be much further ahead by now, I guess I’ll always be learning something about this road I didn’t choose to be on.
I’ve always been hard on myself. I’m my own worst critic, and with a Type A personality I’ve always strived for perfection. Oh, I’m certainly not perfect, only Jesus is, but I always strived for perfection in whatever I did.
Today, in the midst of this grief journey, I don’t have the energy I used to have. And quite frankly the things I strive for now are quite different than before Melanie died. Perfection has been thrown out the window. Some days we do the best we can simply to survive and get through the day.
The main thing I strive for today is peace. My goal each and every day is to maintain a peace and calm within myself and my home. Grief affects each of us differently and the output from it shows up in various ways. Anxiety and fear are among the two things I’ve battled since my girl ran ahead to heaven.
After your loved one died did you find yourself becoming more anxious or fearful? Have you begun to feel safest only when you are close to home? Are you afraid of driving for fear of getting into an accident?
Maybe you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop and afraid something is going to happen to your loved ones who still remain here on earth. Do you find yourself worrying that your other family members are going to die unexpectedly, too? Do these thoughts play out like a bad movie in your mind?
Do unnatural fears begin to creep in and stir up anxiety within you? Heart-palpitations? Hands-shaking? Sleeplessness? Bad dreams?
If you answered yes to any of these, take a deep breath and know, you are not alone.
Anxiety + Fear = G R I E F
But, if you’ve been agonizing over these thoughts and feelings take another deep breath. There is nothing wrong with you! You are grieving.
Sometimes the anxiety and fear also end up causing us to have trouble remembering things. Is this you?
Your mind is as foggy as a day by the San Francisco Bay. Things you used to be able to recall so easily, are not so easily remembered now. My mind used to be like a steel trap. Today, I could walk from one room into the next and completely forget why I was even going in there!
The good news is this is as common as rain in Springtime. Maybe not as nice, but truly common and normal.
What are some things that you can do to help during these moments? I’ve tried various things and I can’t say I’ve found one thing that is tried and true. Sometimes I have just had to walk through it. These are just a few things that have helped me when I’m feeling particularly anxious or fearful:
• Listening to uplifting music
• Crying – tears are actual scientifically known to be healing
• Journaling – getting my thoughts out and down on paper oftentimes brings light into the dark places
• Call a friend
• A few drops of Lavender oil to the inside of my wrists
• Drinking a cup of hot chamomile or lavender tea
• Going for a walk outside
This song came on the radio the other day and it really spoke to my heart. I hope it resonates with you too. It’s called I Will Fear No More, by the Afters.
Every anxious thought that steals my breath
It’s a heavy weight upon my chest
As I lie awake and wonder what the future will hold
Help me to remember that You’re in control
You’re my courage when I worry in the dead of night
You’re my strength ’cause I’m not strong enough to win this fight
You are greater than the battle raging in my mind
I will trust You, Lord, I will fear no more
What do you do when you’re feeling this way? Fear, anxiety, and grief brain are no fun, but knowing we are not in this alone makes all the difference.