It’s been a very challenging summer and I feel I retreated into a cocoon since I last wrote about the delayed grief response I experienced. Other stressors occurred that left me feeling overwhelmed, affecting my desire to write anything on Facebook, but now I’m feeling much better and want to give an update on my son, Andy.
First of all, I want to thank everyone for your kind words and prayers for my son’s recovery. It’s been a long road for us, but even longer for him. His arm has healed with no problems, and he’s been in physical therapy 3 hours a day, 4 days a week for his heel. He can actually wear a regular shoe and walk without crutches. Of course, he still has a long way to go, but feels encouraged by his progress. He continues to rely on his dad for support and encouragement on this road to recovery.
As for my delayed grief reaction, I am feeling much better emotionally. I recognize I had been on auto-pilot when my crises occurred 38 years ago. I had 3 young children and a disabled husband for a long time, along with the responsibility of supporting our family. I didn’t have time to be aware of my losses until my son’s accident when all of those unexpressed emotions flooded me. I have not wallowed in self-pity since this realization, but rather have been able to identify my individual strengths and our strengths as a couple. It sure wasn’t easy, but then life isn’t meant to be easy.
Grief wants to be expressed and acknowledged and will sneak up on you when least expected. What’s interesting about this experience is that I’ve worked with many clients who have had similar reactions but not until my grief was triggered did I realize I had been “stuffing” my emotions for years.
So, if you find yourself experiencing intense emotions following a seemingly insignificant loss, take time to reflect on past losses and how you coped with them at the time. If you determine you hadn’t, then you may be experiencing a delayed grief response. I invite you to share your delayed grief response if you’d like.
Thank you. Kathy