A Poem by Langston Hughes
Life is for the living
Death is for the dead
Let life be like music
And death a note unsaid.
Sadly, at this time in my life, I know of others who grieve very badly, and one woman with whom I am close in particular. I have had to endure the deaths of several significant others in my life, including some very close friends, most recently, my mother last November. Once, I entered into a long and complicated grief over the death of my youngest borzoi, Opal, triggering a long and deep depression for which I had to see medical assistance. Perhaps those seemingly lucky people who rarely lose a close person are lucky, at least seen from my eyes, but perhaps not. I am more practiced at it, so when it happens I put well applied defense mechanism into play that help mitigate my suffering.
There will be nothing to stop the pain in the beginning or stop the seemingly endless flow of tears so let it be. In time though bring it to a close before you are damaged by too much sadness. I know it is an addiction, no safer than heroin, to which you make a strange bedfellow, that is very hard to break up with. Let it go in time and not too long at that.
Following are some suggestions:
Reach out to joy, or something or someone that gives you joy.
Pray or meditate
Visit the ill or shut in, or residents of assisted living facilities
Join clubs, churches, groups that do activities
Look for a substitute in your life to replace the one you have lost.
There can be no more “birthdays” or “anniversaries” with someone who is gone.
Stop thinking in terms of “anniversaries” and “birthdays”.
Find another companion with whom to celebrate new milestones.
I believe every day spent in grief after a short while, such as 3 – 6 months, is a loss to the living person.
Nothing is gained by excess or complicated grief.
Seek medical care for complicated grief because it underlies depression.