My dad died May 11th. He was on hospice briefly and they offered grief counseling but I declined. My dad was dead, we had all been through hell, and I anticipated feeling sadness mingled with relief. And I did experience that. For a while. I certainly didn't see the need to go running off to a grief counselor!
In these past 3 months I have had problems with my memory in that I can't remember anything. It's affected my job. I've become irritable and depressed. Still I wondered why I was feeling all these things. It never occurred to me that it was grief! The other night the new kitten knocked over a plant and I proceeded to have a meltdown. I screamed and yelled and threw things, a reaction completely out of proportion to the tipped over plant. The next day I couldn't get out of bed until 4pm. Something was wrong with me and I was concerned. I felt fuzzy-headed, sad, confused. I took 2 days off work which didn't go over well with the boss but the day my dad died I called in to work to tell them my dad died and my boss said, "So you can't work your shift today?" And the 5 days I took off in the wake of my dad's death the office called me twice to ask me to come in. I don't expect warm fuzzies from my employer but I do expect her to act human. But anyway, that's not the point.
I think my dad's death has caught up with me. I did very little grieving when he died. There was so much to do and I was responsible for it all (with my brother's assistance). The 5 days I took off work when he died I grocery shopped, cleaned the house, and just did stuff you'd normally do when you have time off. The only difference was that I didn't have to drive to the NH everyday. I had all this free time and I put it to good use, or what I thought was good use. Now I'm thinking that I didn't use that time wisely because it appears to be backing up on me.
Right after my dad died, after the service and all of that stuff was done I think I just sealed up that hole in my heart and went on my way as usual. I put the grief on a shelf, I put the loss of my dad out of my life on a shelf and just kept going. Now I seem to have sprung a leak and I'm crying and thinking about my dad all the time and remembering his voice and thinking back to this time last year when he lived with us. We had no idea what was coming. I had no clue about the stress I was about to endure for months on end and how crazy it would make me feel.
I can't believe I wrapped up all of that pain and loss and sadness in a box and put it away where I couldn't see it. The fits of anger, the depression, the fogginess and lack of memory are all the result of grief! I never grieved. I got through it but I'm not sure I ever really felt it, or allowed myself to feel it. I've been going through all of this for over 2 months and it never occurred to me that grief is the reason. How dumb am I??
I made an appointment with my Dr. on Monday only because I have been experiencing things that are not normal for me and I thought it might be a good idea just to check in with him but I may call our hospice and take them up on their offer of free grief counseling. Or I'll wait and see, now that I've kind of pinpointed the problem, if these things continue to plague me. Although I kind of feel as if I shouldn't need counseling. People die all the time and their loved ones usually don't go running off to counseling, why should I need to? Except that it's interfering in my life and my ability to work.