Audrey G writes
I have lots of friends and family around me but I cannot get over the trauma of losing my partner. Some days it just engulfs me. What can I do to help me move on, it has been over a year now.
I am so sorry for your loss and empathise completely, having lost my beloved husband seven years’ ago. The phrase “moving on” means very different things to different people and the only one who can really define what it means for you, is you. “Moving on” implies, to me at least, an element of forgetting; to resigning that person to the past. This is why I believe the term “moving forward” allows for a more gentle, realistic goal. Grieving the loss of a loved one cannot be rushed, circumvented or ignored. On the contrary, it needs to be recognised and accepted as a natural process with all its peaks and troughs.
Grief, also, is the most isolating of emotions. On the days when it engulfs you, if you are able, just go with it, allow yourself to be distressed, cry, go back to bed; acknowledge your grief. If you are not able to do this immediately, mentally set aside some time in the near future and tell yourself that you will deal with it then, and do so.
So, for instance, it’s Monday morning, you have to go to work and you’re wobbling, tell yourself that you will brace yourself for whatever the day has ahead and that you will deal with that first but, you will only put the grief on hold for when you return home later in the day. Then keep to that promise to yourself.
I know, from personal experience, that it’s very scary to let yourself go because your heart feels it might actually break at times and that you might never come out of it again but you will move forward, just be patient with yourself and give it time.
Katie Gardner is a fully-qualified CBT Counsellor and 10-year expat based on the border of 47/24. She is here to answer your questions. www.kgcounselling.com
First published in the January/February 2019 issue of The Local Buzz