“My husband died 2 years ago only 2 weeks after he was diagnosed with a cancer. Four months later, my dog was diagnosed with cancer and died after 8 months of grueling chemotherapy (today would be exactly a year).
I did not know what to do with all this death. I only knew I had to get through it… so I grieved my husband and was able to let go of him after a year. But I could not let go of my dog… I just could not grieve any more.
So, I tried to move forward and join the living. It kind of worked, but I could feel grief just below the surface in anything I did, so I knew I would eventually have to deal with it.”
Multiple losses and under expressed grief sound and look just like the story above. We can handle a loss perhaps two yet when compound grief comes our way it can feel very much like “I just could not grieve any more.”
So as this person did, we tuck it away just below the surface. We know full well it is still there and we put on a show in order to join with the land of the living; the land of ‘normal’. Sometimes this is a way for a person to recover some strength before stepping back into grief’s expression. Other times it is simply an avoidance of the grief left to complete.
Either way as this individual noticed, our under expressed grief is always there lurking just under the surface. Best find a support group, a grief counselor / therapist, or a church group to help you through. You do need to attend to your grief and you can’t do it alone.