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Grief Bursts

Day 29: Grief Bursts

What distinguishes grief from depression and anxiety (and truly any other experience) is the oscillating ups and downs of feeling ok, and then not ok at all. I have also come to observe grief as the confusing experience of feeling oddly functional amidst living in deep pain—which offers a surreal sheen to one’s life.

One of the experiences within this surreal sheen that I see often is what I call “grief bursts.” Simply put, these are those moments when you think you’re doing well or ok and then you are suddenly sobbing or overtaken by the pain of your reality.

These are the moments when the checkout person at the grocery store asks you how you are, when you go on a trip you’ve been looking forward to and find that you are sadder there than you are at home, a night out with friends when you would rather just be alone in bed, or a song coming on the playlist that reminds you of your person. Grief bursts happen often in acute grief, and they seem to come just when grievers are feeling a bit more functional.

The irony of grief is that the more time that passes (as long as we allow the grief to move through us), the more capacity our biological system has to allow in the reality of the loss. And going back into the world/becoming more functional can also place us in more situations to be faced with more memories and ways of reflecting on how different our world is now.

Welcome to my #100dayproject. I am providing a daily offering on #grief, in honor of each person who has trusted me with their story and wisdom during their #griefjourney. I hope that others may benefit from simple and straightforward talk about a topic that can be difficult. Thanks for following and/or sharing.

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