Complicated Grief

According to helpguide.org the sadness of losing someone you love never goes away completely, but it shouldn’t remain center stage. If the pain of the loss is so constant and severe that it keeps you from resuming your life, you may be suffering from a condition known as complicated grief . Complicated grief is like being stuck in an intense state of mourning. You may have trouble accepting the death long after it has occurred or be so preoccupied with the person who died that it disrupts your daily routine and undermines your other relationships. 

I’ve been experiencing the different stages of grief and I decided to look up its symptoms. I found that complicated grief aligns most with how I’ve been feeling. My husband and I had a complicated 8 year relationship. I often wondered what it would be like not to be with him at times, but somehow he would always remind me why I fell in love with him. I may not always have wanted to be with him, but I never wanted to be without him. He was truly my best friend. The months following his death were a blur. I was in a fog and oblivious to anything that was going on around me. For months I was just going through the motions. I would respond to texts, emails, FB messages without feeling any emotion. I was a living robot. Some took it as not caring but the fact was I was numb. I shut down to avoid feeling the pain of losing my husband. I refused to let it sink in. My short term memory became fuzzy. I couldn’t focus on more than one thought at a time without feeling overwhelmed. Normal tasks like doing household chores drained me.

The thought of having to attend a game or interact with his friends/family made me anxious. I would often burst out in tears and excuse myself before anyone noticed that my eyes were full of tears. Seeing everyone laughing and enjoying life made me sad. It felt like everyone was moving on and here I was still waiting for that moment when I could think of him without feeling a lump in my throat and tightness in my chest. Feels like every step I take forward I’m haunted with memories and the cloud of grief hanging over me. I can’t let anyone get close to me. I don’t know how to love again, so I push people away. I’m too busy to date seriously. That’s what I say. Truth is I’m afraid. Afraid to feel this pain again. I was angry for a very long time. Why did this have to happen to my husband? Not that I would wish this on anyone else, but why me? Why did this happen to my baby? They were so close and it tears me apart to know that she will grow up and may not remember the sound of his voice or forget what it feels like to sit in his lap telling him about her day.

I’m still angry because we will never get the chance to travel together and grow old playing with our future grandchildren. Angry at myself for not being there when he took his last breath. As I sit here typing all these feelings come right back like second nature. Feelings that I recently buried in a failed attempt to move on. A year later and it still feels like yesterday. He’s everywhere I go. I stare at my baby and it takes everything in me not to burst out into tears. I see him when I look at her. Her sweet innocent face. All I can do is squeeze her and tell her I will not leave her anytime soon. I look into her big bright eyes and I LIE. But how could I tell her that life is not promised? That GOD forbid if it’s my time I don’t have a choice. A piece of her heart is already missing and I can’t bear to take anything else from her. So I will continue to reassure her that I will always be here because I will be. I will fill her head with stories of her dad and everything that he accomplished. He will forever be her hero because she needs him to be. He will forever be the love of my life because I need him to be. 

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10 responses to “Complicated Grief

  1. Well written, and IT IS Fine to still have the feelings that you have… You hide them well… I will begin to Pray that GOD will give you PEACE …. He’s in GOD’s arms NOW…. Love You

  2. Hi Renate. Hun I’m so sorry about your lost. I know there’s no words adequately enough to takeaway the pain of a loved one lost. However, you’re strong, and grieve has no schedule. So just breath, hug your babies and remember. Remember the good, bad and the in-between for that’s what made your relationship what it was. And when it time, something you’ll know, you will move on. Until then and further into the future just share all your memories with your girls, they’ll remember. Because that love will always be there. In you, your daughters and the bond and memories you shared. Just give it time. Your own schedule no one’s else. Love dee

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m glad you were able to identify what you were experiencing and are finding a way to make a “new normal” for yourself and your precious blessing. One day at a time…..

  4. Welcome to Black Girls Blog. Sorry it is under this circumstances but thank you for sharing your story.

    My condolences to you and your family. It’s okay to own your feelings as it is a part of grieving.

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