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In Grief, Long-Term Thinking Doesn't Make Sense

Day 87: In Grief, Long-Term Thinking Doesn’t Make Sense

Around the second month of the pandemic, I began to have a new relationship with time. I noticed that I could only think in blocks of one day at a time. This one-day-at-a-time thinking was not the flavor of being present in each lovely moment. It was different—it was more about survival. The energy towards goals and hopes and dreams and risks and future time markers did not only fall away—that kind of thinking just didn’t make sense when all else seemed to be going to hell. My brain and heart and mind were plastered to the present—yet not in a pleasant way that I would ever describe as “mindfulness.”

My point is that there seems to be this phenomenon when we are grieving—that 95% of our energy is taken up by 1) figuring out what happened/is happening; and 2) learning how to get to the next day. Any sort of thinking about future or planning for days in advance or being asked about the holidays even weeks prior often feels absurd to those in grief.

Early grief is about survival to the next day, or even hour.

Welcome to my 100-day project. I hope to provide a daily offering on something grief-related. I am a grief therapist and educator working with people in Oregon, Washington, DC, Maryland, and Maine. This feed is in honor of each person who has trusted me with their stories and wisdom during their grief journey. I hope that others may benefit from simple and straightforward talk about a topic that can be difficult.

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