If you are, you’re not alone. The stress of grief is debilitating and it’s experienced by many after the loss of a loved one. Grief has the capacity to bring us to our knees physically as well as emotionally. We can feel totally exhausted, knackered, wiped out and depleted. How about spent, fatigued, and crippled with tiredness? There are many more descriptions of the bone crushing weariness that grief and loss leaves in its wake.
It can take us off-guard, this crippling weariness and physical struggle. Every little thing becomes a major feat and a major test of endurance. When you consider what has happened though, it’s not surprising. Yet often we do indeed find it most surprising!
This is some or most of what has come before:
Days, weeks, months or years of care-giving.
Days, weeks, months or years of watching a loved one struggle.
An unexpected call or knock at the door telling you of something horrific and unbelievable.
Having to make life and death decisions often at a moment’s notice.
Unexpected travel and associated costs.
Surrounded by happy faces in the maternity ward.
Organising a funeral service when you’re numb with pain.
Unpaid leave or pending unemployment.
Expectations of others.
The feeling of being alone and unsupported.
Dealing with the missing and the longing every single moment.
Crying day and night.
The paper jungle.
Worrying about everyone else.
And the list goes on. You could add to it I’m sure but it’s revealing isn’t it?
All of the above is stressful beyond measure. It tests you to the limits of what you ever believed you were capable of enduring and more! Dealing with the emotional fallout of those experiences can be utterly exhausting. It takes over your body and you can feel it creep into the very marrow of your bones.
Then on top of all that you have to find some resources within yourself to keep on keeping on with the routine of daily living. Anna from Pleasant View Schoolhouse writes, “Grief is exhausting. It is the difficulty of existing in two worlds at a time.” Amidst the intense pain of dealing with your grief you have to keep a home running, talk with people, get back to work, be alone for the first time in years and much much more.
Often having this awareness about where you have come from and what you are dealing with on a daily basis is enough for you to take pause. It is enough for you to recognise your great strength in living after loss and it is enough for you to say to yourself, “No wonder I feel tired!”
With that awareness of your circumstances, it may then become easier to accept the need for more rest, for gentleness to yourself, for time out from demanding schedules and a focus on self-nurturing and the restoration of your aching body and hurting heart.
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below…
Maureen Hunter is a grief coach, bereaved mother, author and speaker. She is widely known for providing inspiration and instilling hope into the lives of many experiencing grief and loss. Her unique gifts lie in understanding the territory of grief and insightfully helping individuals how to deal with grief and move forwards into their own “living after loss”.