Dealing With Grief

The regular routine of life is returning: work, cycling, core training, music. And I welcome that routine.

I went through a number of symptoms last week. Shock was the first one. When I received the news that my mother had died, I had great difficulty accepting what had happened. I really did not know what to do. Within a short time, I would say less than thirty minutes or  so, I was overcome with profound sadness. I broke down in my office. I was emotionally unstable and that profound sadness lasted for several days.

Guilt came along. I had so many regrets. Things that I should have said to my mother. Things that I should have done for my mother. Anxiety and insecurity decided to make an appearance as well. And there were physical symptoms. I was unable to sleep. My body was in pain.

These are all common symptoms of grief. From what I have read, they are normal symptoms of grief.

There were a few things that really helped me to deal with the grief over the past week.

Never grieve alone.

My faith provided great comfort.

My family was there with me. My amazing and wonderful wife was truly an incredible source of support.

I heard from so many friends and colleagues and just knowing that they were thinking about me during this time was of tremendous help. One of my friends took time away from his family and from his touring schedule to come and talk with me and to show his support. Trevor, I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that time. Thank you.

Look after yourself.

I had to face my feelings. This is not something that comes to me naturally or easily. It was very difficult to acknowledge the pain. And it was hard to try to suppress the grief. I cried. More than I think I have cried during any time in my adult life.

I wrote a letter to my mother. This was also not an easy thing to do but it allowed me to come to terms with the loss.

After four days of grieving, I got back on my bike and I resumed my core conditioning work with my trainer. The best way for me to combat stress and fatigue is to ensure that I get enough sleep, eat healthy foods and exercise.

I know that this will be a journey and that it will take time to heal. I know that there will be triggers that will reawaken the memories and the feelings. I will have to plan for those moments and accept them as part of the process of dealing with grief.

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