“Grief is like an earthquake. The first one hits you and the world falls apart. Even after you put the world together again there are aftershocks, and you never really know when those will come.” -Author Unknown
I read this quote online this morning and thought, “Yes! This is what it is like!” Mortality is a fault zone and who knows when grief will hit.
Here are some thoughts about what you can do to make you and your world more seismically sound.
1. Make sure you rebuild on a firm foundation. My foundation is based on my belief in God and His plan for me and my family. I believe in an afterlife and I will see my husband again. If you don’t have a firm foundation, thoughtfully consider who/what in your life would be good building materials. My strong network of friends and family create the rest of my structure and they help me when aftershocks hit.
2. Remove or secure items that can hurt you when the aftershocks hit. Are there habits, people or possessions you are better off without? Are there habits, people or possessions you want to have in your structure but you don’t currently have? For example, I am almost 2 1/2 years out and am going through my handyman husband’s stuff in the garage (a post for another day). There are things I don’t want or need in my life, so I got rid of them. I do not have an emotional attachment to them, but recognize if I am in the midst of a grief aftershock, they may whack me on the head. I have also really tried to incorporate prayer into my world to help secure me.
3. Recognize warning signs. I have read articles describing how some animals will start behaving differently right before an earthquake. Do they know? I haven’t any idea. Are there times you know a grief aftershock is on its way? If so, get under your table, so to speak.
4. Ride it out. People survive earthquakes and aftershocks and you have so far!
5. Seek help. Just like those who help after earthquakes, there are those who are trained to help us through our grief. If you are experiencing continuous grief aftershocks, please seek help.
4. Go on living! I grew up in California and experienced earthquakes. We didn’t go around in constant fear of an earthquake and its aftershocks, but we were prepared and knew what to do when one came. Do the same thing with grief.
We widows live in a grief earthquake zone and if we recognize that and prepare the best we can, damage will be a lot less.