Shock, disbelief, confusion, sadness, regret, anger, numbness, depression, fear, anxiety, loss of control, intolerance, guilt, helplessness. Grief is individual. Everyone does not grieve the same. Some need to talk about the person who has been killed. For others, it is too painful to speak. Some want to surround themselves with others and share memories or what they are feeling at the present time. Others want to be alone to grieve in private. Anger at the drunk driver and the circumstances of the crash can often be misdirected at those we love and care about. Feelings and reactions may differ greatly depending on your relationship with the person who has been killed. Try to be tolerant of each other and realize that everyone is hurting although it may be on different levels or intensity. Treat each other with patience and kindness.
Because someone does not appear to be grieving or is grieving in a different manner does not mean their pain is any more or less than yours. Please don’t judge. Grief is immeasurable. How we handle it is individual based on our own life experience and other factors.
Physical Reactions to Grief
Stress, feeling overwhelmed, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, over eating, insomnia, sleeping too much, feeling like you are on automatic pilot, drinking, over medicating. Some people say it is like living in a dream, wanting to wake up so the nightmare will stop. Although we know at some level what we are living through is all too real, many experience that wish that the dream will soon be over and life can be normal once more.
Recovering from grief and the feelings we experience takes time. Some will begin to feel better sooner than others. Grief is not something we “get over,” it is something we get through. To say feeling “better” is often not accurate. We feel different. One of our victims said, “…we find our new normal”.
When you think you have completed the grief process there may be a time in the future when a song or a memory will bring back sadness. Often, the memories that are so painful in the beginning will become a comforting, fond memory in the future.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF AND TO EACH OTHER.