Living in The Fog After a Loss
By Brad N. Baker
I don’t know exactly how to explain this but for over 46 years as I have watched from the sidelines helping clients with estate planning and then probate and trust administration after they lose a loved one, there seems to be a consistent pattern.
After losing a parent, or spouse, or child, or sibling, we who are left here seem to be in a fog for some period of time. I don’t know how long this will last for any individual. Everyone has his or her own journey.
You are physically more at risk than you realize.
I strongly suggest that when you’re driving, you turn your phone off. When you arrive at your destination, turn it back on. If people go directly to voicemail, they know you’re driving. I have had multiple clients who after having lost a loved one have driven right through red lights and stop signs and hitting posts that hadn’t moved in 30 years. (Something they had never done before.)
Be kind to yourself. Give yourself some slack. Things that would normally take you 10 minutes to accomplish, are now taking you 20 minutes.
There is nothing wrong with you whatsoever. That’s just the way it’s going to be. You will find yourself just shuffling papers and not being your normal productive self. It’s okay. It will pass.
How long does the “fog” last? No one can predict.
Don’t let anybody tell you that you should be doing so much better because it’s been X weeks or Y months.
Maybe you will be, maybe you won’t. It’s going to be what it’s going to be. Like I said, everybody has his or her own journey.
Embrace the sorrow and the grief. It is an indicator of how much the person meant to you. (You’re lucky if you feel sorrow.)
You won’t really even know you’re in a fog until you come out of it a couple or several months down the road…and can’t remember hardly anything during the foggy period as you look back in time.
We are all connected in ways we cannot even imagine. I kind of liken this to Star Wars. The “Force Field” has now been disturbed. There are so many more connections to our loved ones than the physical and conscious ones we perceive. Try to eat and sleep to the best of your ability and take walks.
Breathe deeply…and stay safe.