My mother-in-law passed away. Tomorrow is her funeral.
The following is my experience. If you are also grieving, I hope there is something here that may help you.
Grief is such a strange and difficult thing to move through. As a doctor who also has a degree in psychology, I have all the knowledge about it. My education is helpful, but doesn't give me comfort.
Where do I find comfort?
️My spouse, but they are also grieving. Sometimes, I comfort them. Sometimes, neither of us have the capacity to give comfort. So, this is not a consistent source, and that's ok.
️Close friends. I have a few who are excellent right now. This is also not enough, especially because we are all social distancing.
️My work. Sometimes, I just need a break from the sadness. Taking too long of a break is not helpful, though.
My bed. Grief is exhausting, but just like work, too much laying in bed is not helpful.
️My happy memories. Thankfully, my ma-in-law and I had an excellent relationship. She treated me like her own daughter.
️My spiritual practice. This the most consistent source of comfort. Though, I don't always have the energy to make the effort.
Essentially, my comfort comes from a combination of all of these, and more.
The main thing I need to remember is that all the emotions I am having are ok. Finding comfort does not equal their removal. Comfort is there to help me experience them. Suppressing emotion takes a severe, and long-term toll that I am not willing to pay. I have decided I am willing to feel every emotion as it comes up.
I don't know how long this acute grief will last. I loved her immensely. I think it will probably last in direct proportion to how much I loved her. But, I will be ok, and knowing that is also some comfort.