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So How So How do you Grieve?

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

When I lost my mother suddenly and sadly almost 21 years ago, I really fell into an abyss. I ended up grieving hard and for far too long. It's called Prolonged or Complicated Grief. My joke was "I am an overachiever, so I couldn't just have ordinary grief, it had to be complicated."

But it was so not funny! My mother and I had been so close, and I relied on her as a supportive friend to bounce things off of, as the person I ran to to share good news (and the good news became sweeter after she heard it), and just as a great person to run things by, to talk deeply about life, the universe, -- you know-- Everything. She also was a font of knowledge about her family and used to tell me all kinds of tales about her side of our family. Stories I still treasure today.

So when she died, it left a big hole in my life. I had little children (3 and 5 years old), and was unemployed, due to a recent layoff. I wasn't at the most stable or positive time of my life. I am sure if you have been through a loss like this, you can relate to that feeling of being blindsided by the news, by feeling like someone punched you in your guy and you can barely breathe.

Plus, I tend towards depression and when depression mixes with grief, you get (you guessed it) Complicated Grief.

All these years later, I see what I did wrong, decisions I could have made and things that would have helped me. My husband had never really lost anyone close to him in his family at that time, he just figured that this is what it was like, and would often take the kids somewhere and give me time (at my request).

But sometimes the thing we THINK we need and even ASK for (in my case, alone time) is the LAST thing we need. I was wallowing in my sadness, and I should have pushed myself to get back in the game and not be so alone and isolated. It doesn't help to give into your grief too much. I see that now.

Want to hear more? I explore how you can get through grief and things to look out for if you are worried you or someone you love is actually depressed on top of grieving. I did a short solo episode on this topic.

It's Episode 6 on my podcast "The Storied Human:"

I followed this up with another short solo episode (Episode 7) , because I had found an article about "Prolonged Grief" that contained more recent information on it:


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