“No one can ever prepare for the feelings of anguish, vulnerability, fear and profound loneliness that come with the experience of loss. Indeed, there is no experience that can tap into our primitive, childlike terror than anticipating or experiencing the loss of someone or something we love and value….our ability to cope with life can feel utterly unmanageable. During these times, we may begin to question our sanity.” -Thelma Duffy
One of the feelings that I find difficult to explain to my clients is the sense of “feeling little” following a devastating loss. This is the “childlike terror” mentioned in the quote. We feel lost and alone. We feel scared and overwhelmed.
It’s like our own existence is threatened and this is all very bizarre because we know we are not little and that we are not being threatened. But the feelings feel real and that is where knowing that what you are experiencing is common AND why you need a lot of support and nurturing right now.
The difficult part is accepting where you are, but if you do – really do accept that you feel like a mess, that you feel little, that you feel lost and allow your self to feel it; I have found that it does seem to lift. Remember the line: what you resist, persists.
As always, get the support you need for your difficult grief journey from people that get you or who are understanding and compassionate. This might be a family member, a friend or an experienced grief counselor. Let yourself be nourished and cherished by those safe people in your life who love you during the times you “feel little.”
Source: Diversity and Development: Critical Contexts That Shape Our Lives and Relationships. Editor: Dana Comstock