In the first few days and weeks following any tragedy, you are in shock. Grief covers you like a lead blanket and you can’t see how you will ever be able to function again.
Your first step? Believe you will survive this. Keep telling yourself you will.
The way I got through each day at first was to tell myself that as bad as it was, it could never be as bad as getting the news my son killed himself. I’ve already gotten that call. The best thing people could do for me is to be there and ask, “How are you today?” And when no one asked, I asked myself. When I would get angry that the world kept spinning while my world had fallen apart, I reminded myself that others were holding it up because I could not.
When I blamed myself, I remembered I couldn’t control another human being. Even one I created. We blame ourselves at first but most of us learn we have to forgive ourselves to be able to live. I had to realize that my child didn’t take his life because I didn’t love him enough. And losing myself in coulda, woulda, shouldas was not going to bring him back or make my life easier.
The feelings you have immediately following any tragedy are not permanent. You adapt because human beings are amazingly resilient. There are many of us out here who have survived tragedy.
We are living proof that ordinary human beings can do this. And we are here to support you because we’ve been there. Use us.