Chapter 3: Coping with your fear

Stories about coping with fear

Here are 4 stories about grieving people facing their fear.  As you read them, consider if you can use any of their coping methods.

Aaron’s storyIn the days and weeks after my brother’s death, I was actually having these moments where I thought I heard his voice in the house. Once, I was even sure I saw him on the street walking ahead of me. It really scared me.

I thought I was really losing my mind. It was only in talking to a counsellor that I found out that brief hallucinations are a common and normal part of early stage grief. What a relief!
Marianna’s storyI have been getting all sorts of advice from people on how to grieve properly. But I find that I can’t follow their advice. It doesn’t work for me. Yet I am so scared of the judgement of others. For example, I decided to keep a picture of my husband in my purse. I look at it now and then, even talk to it and ask him for help. I am afraid others will berate me for not grieving properly.

I am discovering with time that there are some people who can tolerate and even welcome conversations about my loss, whereas there are others who simply try to shut it down as quickly as possible. I try not to take this personally.
Salaman’s storyIn this new life I am living, I am full of dread. The nights are long and scary. The house is an empty and frightful place. I also seem to have lost my confidence socially. I have become this timid person I do not recognize.

I decided that I needed to find new ways to relax. Someone had told me about the benefits of meditation so I joined a yoga studio. I am surprised by how much it is helping me to get out, meet new people, and learn a new way to relax.
Shona’s storyIt might sound strange but I am afraid of forgetting the person who has died. I keep replaying some of the last conversations and moments we had together.

Even though these moments are painful ones, I find it is a way to stay connected with them. I have never done this “grief thing” before and I am learning a lot. I know at some level that there really is no danger of forgetting the person.

The more I think about this fear of forgetting, I am starting to wonder if it is just my attempt to keep the person in my life somehow. I am sure that with time I will find ways to remember the person that are not so anxiety provoking.
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