Grief: what a roller-coaster ride!

To say my emotions have been all over the place is an understatement! Having just lost my baby sister (June 7th), I knew a little of what to expect: sadness, depression, lack of energy, lack of motivation, crying for 'no reason', forgetfulness, over-eating, isolation....for starters. But I have been so surprised at the 'up and down' nature of this time. I feel joy at times, mostly when working with my beloved clients or when surrounded by my sweet family. But I notice that even when I'm feeling happy there is a veil of sadness with me. It's like when you have a tiny headache: too mild to feel actual pain but enough that you are a bit distracted by your head. Same with grief. I have been able to get thru my day-to-day activities for the most part (not saying I haven't made some silly mistakes, forgotten things, had brain-freeze), but my sadness over losing her is always there.

I think there is guilt for feeling good after losing someone. 'Survivor guilt' is where you feel bad for still being alive when someone you love has died. As Robin's big sister, I do feel some of this guilt. I got to live 9 years longer, have 9 more years with my family, with the grand kids she didn't get to have, with my amazing husband. Guilt.

And I have noticed that I feel guilt when I feel happy/good/engaged with my life. 'How dare I feel happy when Robin just died last week/month.'  Guilt is a big part of my life and a lot of what I process with my clients. There is definitely guilt in grief.

The thing that has been the hardest is to be gentle with myself; notice the guilt, the need to isolate, the tendency to snap at people.......and let it be okay.  It IS okay. We can just do the best we can do. I tell myself that she understands what I'm going thru and is loving me for it.

Grief is a roller-coaster of emotions. Ride on!