Anxiety/Panic (Fear of Losing Control)
At first you may fear being alone. You worry about the future and may be afraid that something else will happen to another loved one. You often panic at the approach of special dates (birthdays, holidays, anniversary of the death). Usually they are not as difficult as the days prior to the special days. This is due to our unbelievable panic and apprehension. You may feel as if you are ‘Going Crazy’. It may seem as if you are losing control of yourself. Usually we don’t tell anyone that we think that we are ‘going insane’. Sometimes bereaved have thoughts of suicide as the only way to escape the physical and emotional pain. We panic at the prospect of ‘always feeling like this’. We feel that we should be doing better and panic when we don’t. Our situation may seem hopeless and our thinking becomes jumbled. Panic is normal. If panic seems intolerable, you need to do something about it. Talking abour out feelings, getting busy with something, sobbing, screaming, exercise – all may help to release the ‘panicky’ feelings. Emotional and physical fatigue contribute to our panic. Good nutrition and rest are vital.
It is a feeling of being in the ‘pits’. You hurt so much.
Sometimes you just don’t care about anything. You just sit.Mornings are terrible. So is the time and the day of the week that your loved one died. It’s an effort just to get out of bed, to shop, or fix a simple meal. Talk things over with a friend who cares and will listen. This is one action that may help a person not to become seriously depressed. Talking to others in a support group of bereaved people who know what you are going through also helps a great deal.
This phase comes and goes. Often after the reality ‘hits,’ or after a particularly troublesome time, you feel better and may even think that the difficult times are over. There is a sense of great relief at no longer feeling down. Appreciate the relief… the grief will return soon enough. It is helpful to recall the fun times.
Wholesome fun and laughter are beneficial. It is not being disloyal to our loved one to enjoy life. In fact, plan things to which you can look forward. Having a sense of humour is often mentioned by bereaved as being helpful.
A bereaved person’s confidence is often under-minded.
In a study on self-esteem using a scale of 100, it was found that an average person’s self-esteem was in the 70’s and generally a bereaved person’s was in the teens. Understanding the impact of grief on your self-esteem may help you find ways of coping.
Your loved one who has died may be in your thoughts constantly. You may think of nothing but the loss. You may even dream of your loved one, or be preoccupied with his/her image. Even at work, church, doing the dishes – in fact, no matter what you are doing – you may find that part of your thoughts are always about your loved one. The intensity of this preoccupation usually lessens with time.