One of the hardest things for most people to go thru is the loss of a loved one. Most often it doesn't seem fair that someone passed on and worse, is if the death is unexpected. There are a lot of different ways that people deal with death and in my own experience having lost both parents & my husband of 3 1/2 years, grieving doesn't always go in an accepted line. That you experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. Those 5 accepted steps that Elisabeth Kübler-Ross writes about in her classic book On Death and Dying.
While I experienced the death of Pierre in somewhat that order I also found that emotions jump around for various reasons. I probably came to acceptance way before what was "normal", always being the person to see the "bigger picture" and the "lessons" I was learning because of his loss. It's been nearly 10 years now and I still can get depressed and often times I get very angry. My husband and I were supposed to be together 'til we were 90 and I just didn't get why he died. I actually spent a lot of time feeling like he left because I wasn't a good wife. That had I done things better he would have stayed.
One thing I know is that beating myself up for how I felt was fruitless. There is nothing constructive in that process, except to feel worse. In my grieving I took help from others, read a LOT of books, and kept busy during the day. I spent my evenings alone initially, writing in my journal and talking to my husband on the other side. To this day I talk to my loved ones on the other side, often when I'm going to sleep. Sometimes they come back in dreams and I get messages. I like that.
My mom has been gone since 1982 so in my mind I have many life events that she was not at. Because I believe very strongly in God and an afterlife and also, re-incarnation, I have felt an extremely strong presence of my loved ones at these life events. The first was at my wedding. I wrote my mom a letter the night before and asked her if she would be there. It was a lengthy letter and very detailed on my life that she had "missed" since her passing. The next day, during the ceremony there was a Unity Candle that was lite. The presence of her at that moment was so over-whelming I burst into tears. I felt as if she was standing right next to me. After the ceremony I had several people come up to me and tell me they felt her there. One woman had never met my mom, but she described her as if she knew her. There was no doubt in my mind this was true.
In my 100 Mile Tevis Cup ride in 2012 I had such a strong sense of all of my loved ones rooting for me while I rode the last 31 miles in the dark. I was mostly alone and coming around the "Cal Loop" above the American River at around midnight it was thundering and lightning. There was a light rain that night, somewhat unusual for the time of year, but it was beautiful. As I rode along in the partial moonlight with my horse Khemali'i, I could feel everyone there with me. Pierre, my parents, my grandma, many other relatives and friends who are on the other side. Even now as I write this, I get choked up because I know sure as the sun rises every morning this is real. And, in my healing of my grief, the belief that I really didn't lose anyone, only that they left on a trip before I did, keeps me sane.
Life coaching is something that can help someone get thru their grief so they stay functional in their lives. Taking time to be "un" functional is a good thing and no one can tell you when you are done. But if you feel like you're not moving past the grief, that it is taking over your every thought and action and you want to get back into regular life, consider doing grief counseling or hiring a life coach. There are so many different ways to deal with grief and sometimes we just need extra help. Our loved ones want us to be all we can be and if we stay in a heavy state of dysfunctional grief we are missing out on the beauty of the life we are still here to live. And that is our gift we give to them and to ourselves. And it is a life lesson we all are here to experience.