Among the emotions of grief, jealousy is one people are surprised to feel.
Recently in the forum, we have had questions from people who have been shocked and somewhat dismayed to find themselves feeling emotions such as hate and jealousy when seeing other people happy, or living long healthy lives when they have lost their loved ones too soon.
These were emotions which to them had previously seemed quite alien. It shocked them that they could feel hate or envy towards anyone.
These strong, violent emotions of hate and jealousy can hit us out of the blue at any time on our grief journey.
Shortly after I had lost my beloved husband of 52 years, very suddenly, a lady sat next to me when a group of friends were meeting up. She promptly started to complain about her husband. She’d had to collect his prescriptions, post some letters for him, and was upset about the rush she’d had! I didn’t know her, and she obviously didn’t know I’d recently had such a loss in my life.
At that moment, I certainly could have screamed at her and I just had to walk away.
I’d have given anything at that moment to have had to do those jobs for my husband.
A friend lost her husband suddenly just before they retired and she found it so difficult when her neighbours were getting divorced. To her it seemed so unfair when she had been happily married.
We have all known elderly relatives and wonder why a fit, younger person or child should die and others live on. There are no answers. That is life. Whether we live for 3 months, 3 years, 60 years or 90 years, everyone is unique and life spans are varied. We just have to be grateful for what we get and take each day as a gift.
No-one ever said that life was fair. Everyone has problems at some time in their lives, but our emotions are especially raw during the grieving process.
Until we are really challenged and tested with huge difficulties in life, how do any of us know what our emotions will be?
Until we manage to work through those emotions and realise that losing a loved one happens to many, many people every day and not just ourselves, it is difficult to move on and accept the situation we now have. There isn’t a choice, sadly, we have to cope with our world as it is now.
Guilt is also a major emotion we feel when grieving. We blame ourselves for so many things. Please don’t feel guilty about the normal feelings of hate or jealousy in grief. Know them for what they are, just feelings. Learn to cope with them and move on.
Sometimes it is good to spend time with others who are in the same boat. I have a group of lovely friends who are all in the same situation. We support each other and our motto is ‘Think Positive’.
Plan each day and try to do something meaningful for you. Don’t put off visiting friends and family, but perhaps avoid gatherings where there are going to be only couples for a while.
Maybe go on a holiday you have wanted to do for a while, but choose a group of singles, or go with a close friend. Tick off all the things on your wish list.
Try to think of it as ‘Me Time’ and most of all, be kind to yourself.
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