Throughout the grief process you can feel uneasy or removed from your body – almost as if your skin doesn’t fit correctly.
Consider thinking about it as follows. Shortly after your loss, you can compare your life to a movie where you’re an observer of the film rather than a participant. You’re not quite ready to step back into the action, so you sit on the sidelines until you are able to take charge of your pain vs. the pain being in charge of you.
As you prepare to reengage with life, you may try on different “skins” or personas. At times, this may feel awkward until you become used to the new roles you are assuming. This is all part of figuring out the “new single you.”
Here’s my suggestion on how to view and move through this awkward phase.
As you come to accept your circumstances, you’ll begin to realize that it’s virtually impossible for you to be the same person you were before your great loss. However, it may take some time for you to recognize how much you have changed and to make the appropriate adjustments to the picture you hold of yourself. Feedback from others can help you to “see” the new you who is emerging. With this information, work towards finding the place in your life where you can feel comfortable in your skin again.
The preceding is an excerpt from my book, “Understanding Grief From A to Z,” in which I present an alphabet soup of emotions that mourners may experience in response to the loss of their loved one. After each emotion is described, the reader is given an actionable suggestion on how to develop a change in perspective that can help her move from the darkness of grief to the light of renewal.