I’ve Been Quiet Lately

Quietly Taking Care. Writing & Doing Less.

I’ve been quiet lately. Out of commission. Taking it easy.

This holiday season brings tough firsts. First Thanksgiving since my father died in April. First Christmas coming up. My sister and I plan to remember him and observe our family Christmas traditions. We need each other. We miss our dad.

Seasonal affective disorder hit hard, too. As the days got shorter, I cocooned, became seasonally and situationally depressed. Seasonal depression, bipolar disorder and now my grief overwhelm me at times.

Taking care of myself….mostly. Seeing my psychiatrist and psychologist. Going to a grief support group at Jewish Federation & Family Services. Reaching out and asking for help, for support, when I need it.

SO IMPORTANT that you ask for and accept help. My insight into my need for help, reaching out for it and accepting it, has KEPT ME ALIVE.

When I was 18 years old and suicidal, realizing I needed help, asking for it and accepting it made all the difference.

Tears Quietly Roll

Now I CryNow that I’ve taken care of the business of death, I no longer need to numb myself from the pain of loss. Now I cry. Softly. Quietly. The tears roll down my cheeks. I miss my dad. I really miss him.

Do Less, Grieve More

Time to do less and grieve more. KittOMalley.com

Now Grief Feels Like Nothing

Dad and Kitt Learning How to Brush Her Teeth
Dad and Me Learning How to Brush My Teeth

Unlike grief theories that propose defined stages, grief is not linear, nor is it universal. We grieve differently.

Now I feel nothing. I’m numb. My psychologist describes it as “taking care of business,” reframing what I’m going through, my coping mechanism, in a positive way.

Quoting MedlinePlus, NIH, U.S. National Library of Medicine at https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001530.htm

Grief

People’s responses to grief will be different, depending on the circumstances of the death. For example, if the person who died had a chronic illness, the death may have been expected. The end of the person’s suffering might even have come as a relief. If the death was accidental or violent, coming to a stage of acceptance might take longer.

Symptoms

One way to describe grief is in five stages. These reactions might not occur in a specific order, and can occur together. Not everyone experiences all of these emotions:

  • Denial, disbelief, numbness
  • Anger, blaming others
  • Bargaining (for instance, “If I am cured of this cancer, I will never smoke again.”)
  • Depressed mood, sadness, and crying
  • Acceptance, coming to terms

People who are grieving may have crying spells, trouble sleeping, and lack of productivity at work.