When I got certified as a Grief Recovery Specialist they were quite stern that under no circumstances was a grieving person to make any major changes in their life for at least a year. I wish I knew that seven years earlier when my husband died suddenly.
I wasn’t to kill myself, quit my job, move away, squander my savings, sell my house or anything else for at least a year. That sounds so basic but when grieving we so desperately consider doing most of these things in the mistaken belief that it will help ease our pain. To know that, there was no way I or anyone in my situation, could see reality clearly enough and calmly enough to weigh important decisions, could have spared me some regrets.
Grieve first, then make decisions — not the other way around. This advice not to make decisions during such pain is echoing as strongly today as it did when I first heard it. If I had gone too far down even one of those paths, it would have been a massive mistake.
I fear that we, collectively, are not always wise enough to take this advice when we are grieving. In the immediate pain and madness of loss, the desire to do something, something big, something different, is nearly overwhelming, uncontrollable.
I know what this feels like all too well. But given my experience, I worry where we will find ourselves years from now if we allow our pain and the madness of grief to take us down a path from which we can’t return. Let us grieve, let us walk through the pain and hurt and fear.
Clear thinking will return, in time. Then and only then, let us talk clearly and calmly about the serious decisions that need to be made that might forever change our future.