The thought of returning to work after the loss of my son was very difficult. Thinking about all the questions my clients were going to have made me full of anxiety. Each time I tell the story, it feels like I've hit a reset button in my grief process. There are times when I want to talk about my son and there are times when I don't.
Some people offer words of sympathy and condolences, while others stay quiet because they don't know what to say. Either way, it's hard for me to hide the sadness. One month after the death of my son, I started accepting a few appointments a week. Working on a light schedule is the best way for me to try to balance how I want to handle my grief at work.
There are 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). I'm sure there is an order of the stages, but I have been through all the stages already. From day to day, I never know what stage I might be in.
My clients are very understanding and on days when I can't push through, they don't pressure me. I am not the same, after losing my only child, I am now a different person. Grief affects people in different ways, in time my grief will heal, and I will get back to my normal self again (maybe).
The joy I once had is gone, and it's hard smiling at times. Going to events, and family functions are awkward during these times because I feel so disconnected. There are times when I find myself staring into space, and other times I will cry just from thinking about him. One of my struggles is looking at pictures of him and watching videos of him. I know this is the "denial" stage. For me to get past this stage, I've decided to put the most recent pictures of him throughout my house. Doing so will cause me to cry every time I pass one, but If I don't do this, I will be delaying my grieving process.
Several people recommended that I seek grief counseling. Experts suggest that I leave some space for the natural grieving process to take place, usually about six months after the loss, unless I feel like I need it sooner. There is no deadline to seek it out. There is a possibility that support might be needed to restore balance in my life. Grief is like a circle without an end. The pain dulls, but grief is still in the background. Some can't move on because they feel stuck and feel guilty moving on, almost like they are too happy too quick when they feel they should still be sad. It's hard for some to move past those feelings. It's too early for me to pinpoint what I feel.
Grief can't stay hidden within me forever. God, please give me the strength to push through and let it out.