It’s not unusual for those who are grieving to think that they have lost their mind or are going crazy.
At times the relatives and friends of those who are suffering from new or acute grief may wonder the same thing.
I have often heard stories about people who seem to have lost their focus and their bearings so much, that that they wonder if they have lost their mind and their ability to function.
Jayden could not remember her banking information, her address, her phone number or even for sure when the last time was she ate or what she had eaten.
Ali told me that his dad acted so out of character after his mom died that he barely recognized him.
“My dad would say things that didn’t make sense. He wouldn’t finish sentences and at times I saw him set out for a destination and end up somewhere else. I remember once he called me from his car asking me where he was going.”
There are many reasons why people who are in the throws of grief get confused and lost.
Just as it is with a physical trauma, so to do those who have had a loved one die recently, experience the shock and numbness, the disorientation and confusion that goes along with a massive shock to their body.
Those who suffer from the recent death of someone that they love have had their world completely disrupted.
I have said it before but it needs to be said again. When you lose a partner, a child or a parent that you are close to, your sense of who you are and where you saw yourself going is altered to the point of confusion and disorientation.
All of your plans for tomorrow are gone and all of your sense of stability has vanished. In these moments it is like you have been abandoned by what you have come to see and believe makes sense. Now you are left adrift on an unfamiliar body of water.
When someone who you love very much dies you will very likely have a hard time not hearing and seeing them everywhere.
Not only is this distracting, but very confusing too.
Rene remembered that after his wife Isabel died he couldn’t stop hearing her voice or actually seeing her.
“I would go into rooms in our home and she would be there. I would go to places that were familiar, places we went often together and I would see her. I guess she wasn’t actually there but it was all so real that I had a hard time getting past the sensation that she was there.”
“I saw and heard Isabel everywhere.”
If you have had someone close to you die you will very likely understand what Rene meant.
As odd as it seems and as crazy as it sounds, the person you are missing has made such a powerful impression on you and has been such an important part of your life that you really do have them imprinted on your routine to the point of seeing and hearing them everywhere.
These are very difficult times for those grieving. They aren’t crazy but they can seem so odd that those close to them begin to wonder.
Stay close and try to understand what’s happening to them.
Your kindness, support and understanding in these times will help them find the permission to go through what they need to and with your patience and support, they will begin to heal.
The kindest thing you can do for your grieving friend or relative is to be understanding.
Chances are they aren’t going crazy. Chances are they just need to be able to adjust.
That can take a lot of painfully hard work by them and a great deal of kindness and patience by you.