Allow Rest During Grief
It is okay to rest after a big, life changing event. Especially grief. Rest, be kind to yourself, don’t beat yourself up. If you can’t sleep that’s okay. If you do sleep... no matter when... allow it. Grief is a strange beast and there is no guide for it. You simply must allow, feel, cry, and let your body express and feel whatever it needs to. Grief is exhausting, especially in the beginning.
Recently a woman reached out to me about a friend. He had just lost his fiance and he was not able to sleep. He was tired, struggling and hurt. The friend wanted to know what she could do to help. I wrote to her: I wish I had a solution for her, but I don't. All I can do is share my experience and let him know that he is not alone... and that he will be okay. Tell him it's okay to be tired! A terrible thing happened to him and it's okay to simply be tired.
I remember when my husband, Ben, first passed away. I was already so tired from our crazy care-schedule and enormous-cancer-stress. It's amazing how quickly your entire world can change...at age 43, I never dreamed I could feel more tired than those months caring for Ben around the clock. 24 hours of constant worry, sleepless nights, jarring mornings, and unknowns.
I had no idea what the impact of grief from losing a spouse would do. Coming home to our empty house that night, I was so emotional and raw. I was unprepared for the first days that followed. The new level of sheer exhaustion, feeling alone, feeling scared and lost. Over-feeling every emotion and uncertain of how to get through it. I am so grateful for my sister, Lisa. She didn't leave my side for the first 5 days.
I loosely rested and slept in and out of those days, like an emotional zombie. I felt guilty for resting, not helping. I felt exhausted from not sleeping. I wondered if I would ever feel rested again. There was no solution...
Except time. And acceptance. And allowing myself grace.
And allowing myself to just.be.tired. Allowing myself to rest how I could, when I could. And sharing with those around me. Realizing that I was not alone in the big picture. I have circles who love, lift and support me still to this day. And I have days where I still feel tired. It's been 8 months since his memorial. He would have turned 45 this summer and sometimes even my thoughts tire me out.
As time passes, the exhaustion lessens and I grow stronger. I can remember, love and cherish our life with moments of joy and peace. I have faith that these moments will continue to grow and I know that I will carry them always. And in the meantime, I will honor my rest and love myself through it.
Hugs from Kris M. Fuller