Surviving Grief Exhaustion

Grief exhaustion is a very real thing.  I have learned to recognize it when it is attacking me.  I didn’t catch it over Christmas though because I didn’t know that what I felt or what was happening to me was grief exhaustion.

It’s very real.  It is debilitating.

Christmas was on a Wednesday and I barely remember Thursday, Friday or Saturday.  I was immobilized.  Shock waves had washed over me Christmas night and after a long crying session I just went to bed.  I couldn’t cope.  I couldn’t do it any longer, and I am a big believer in things looking better in the morning.

Except they didn’t really look better.  I would take care of Willie and go right back to bed and sleep.  This is not me.

I got up and tried to do life, I walked from room to room, I might have thrown a load of laundry in the washing machine and I might have remembered to put it in the dryer too.

There was no heart in me to propel me through the days after Christmas.

I faked it.  I was pissed off.  I yelled at inanimate objects.

I was numb, dazed, fatigued, exhausted because I thought erroneously that I could keep the “Carole Traditions of Christmas” happening.  That thinking was fucked up.

Now here I am again – I am grief exhausted.  I recognize the signs this time.

First of all, I had a long conversation with someone whose career I respect.  She told me to follow my nurse’s gut and I have been doing that for about 6 weeks now when I realized that the timeline of that night was skewed and I started to ask questions.

I know and I understand that nothing can change the outcome, Larry died, there is no bringing him back however, there are questions and I need answers.

This is exhausting me.

Then I went for my annual Chest CT because I am in a study, and this was the first time in 8 years that I went all by myself.  There was no lunch afterwards at our favorite Vietnamese Restaurant.  I also get to wait for my results to come in the mail.  We always opened that envelope together.

More exhaustion.

This afternoon I couldn’t work on my story.  My brain is just not cooperating.

Grief exhaustion.

I know when it is happening because I cry more often and I just go through the motions of my day.

I lost my phone today.  I almost had a nervous breakdown.  I dropped everything and went back to Publix and as I ran in the customer service person asked “Did you lose an iPhone?”  I almost fell to my knees.  I unlocked it to prove it was mine using facial ID and left the store sobbing.

Grief exhaustion.

I will survive grief exhaustion but it certainly kicks me square in the ass when it happens, and it leaves me feeling like this faded rose.

Leave a Reply