Do you struggle to find ways to move forward while feeling frozen in your life after loss? Maybe it’s paying bills, managing schedules, or keeping on top of the house and chores. Doing to job of two people is difficult! I want to encourage you today that you CAN function while feeling frozen!
In the early days after your loss, its a struggle to take the next breath. Your brain may feel frozen and you process your world as an out of body experience. This is actually a protective feature, and just know that it will wear off at some point. What can you do while feeling this way?
You can leverage this time to complete a difficult task.
- You may want to clean out bathroom cabinets.
- You may want to consolidate or donate some clothing.
- You may want to go through your loved ones prescriptions and dispose of them.
- You may want to organize and process some of the more neutral spaces with a friend.
- You may want to get your bills automated. A friend can help you with that.
There are several things you NEED TO DO when your brain feels frozen.
- You will want to keep a notebook that is dedicated to all things surrounding the loss of your loved one. You may want to create sections using a piece of tape folded over the edge of a page.
- You will want to keep a daily calendar to track what needs to get done, even the small things. It will help keep you on track.
- You may want to utilize an index card or Post-It note when you leave the house to help you remember why you left if there is more than one task involved. Your index card could include a mixture of errands and lists. Either way, it will help you focus.
- You want to remember to practice self love. You are going through the most difficult period of time that you may ever experience, and you deserve grace in the moment. If all you can do is get dressed, then meet yourself there. If you get half way though your list and can’t do it, meet yourself there with love.
- Enlist the help of a few trusted family members or friends. They can help you think. They can help you get the items decluttered or thinned. They can help you when your list seems more than you can manage.
Those first few months are intense! It’s hard to function, let alone remember who you spoke with and what you are supposed to do. Leverage that numbness when you can to take care of some of the things, and then leverage the self-love when you cannot.
When Jason died, my kids were scheduled to go to summer camp for a week, three weeks later. They wanted to go and I needed them to be surrounded by loving people. I also knew that I needed to get some things done because I didn’t want them to have to witness it!
So, I enlisted the help of a good friend and professional organizer, and we went through his clothes! I didn’t get rid of ALL of his clothes, but I thinned them substantially.
Things like socks, jeans, shoes, and rarely worn items went to a mens shelter. His well worn shirts and hoodie sweatshirts he used daily on the farm went back into his drawers.
I was frozen, but knew I didn’t want the girls to have to go though this. I allowed my why to be bigger than my fear.
I leveraged frozen to give me momentum, and at the end of the day Melinda and I dropped off a large load to the mens shelter, and what was left was neatly folded in his drawers or in a much smaller space in the closet.
The thinning of my husbands presence in the home stopped when the girls got home. They never registered that anything had happened, and that was how I wanted it. Over the next few weeks they would fish out one of dad’s shirts to sleep in, and they knew right where to go.
The feeling of frozen can be a shelter from your pain, or you can leverage it to complete a difficult, but necessary, task. You get to chose. Either way, you’ve got this and I’m here to help.