The following was sent to me by a fellow grieving dad and frequent visitor to this blog. It was originally written by Annette Mennen Baldwin of TCF in Katy, TX. It took me several years to go through the complex process of reconstructing the new me. It’s a process that is painful and scary, but I believe it is necessary to truly discover the new you. I can really relate with the article when it talks about the strange things that happen to us. I felt like I was losing my mind. I hope you enjoy the article. Peace.
Therapists often encourage individuals to “deconstruct” and “reconstruct” themselves through a complex process that takes many, many years. In this evolution of the person, the psychological makeup, past and current environmental influences and many other factors play into the slow, yet simultaneous, deconstruction and reconstruction. Usually this is done without a great deal of emotional upset at any one time.
Unlike the patient who chooses to meet with a therapist, parents of children who have died have been suddenly and completely “deconstructed.” They have been involuntarily thrust into the dark totality of personal deconstruction. The emotions and feelings that comprise this deconstruction are overwhelming.
Parents who have lost a child to death will refer to their personal deconstruction as a total numbness followed by a deep pit, a dark hole, an abyss, a total loss of self, a purgatory of pure torture and a multiplicity of the deepest, saddest, most painful feelings and emotions known to the human race.
Reconstruction for parents is the most extremely difficult work one can choose to undertake. It is often much easier to bury emotions, hide in alcohol, denial, depression and other aberrant behaviors. Underlying psychiatric disorders can surface and take over lives and families after a parent has lost a child.
Strange things happen to us — we are more accident-prone, we don’t want to get up in the morning, word retrieval and names and places slip from our minds, we over-eat,we under-eat, we slide mentally from conversations in mid-sentence. We avoid old friends who don’t understand. We do not seek new relationships. We lock ourselves in our homes or offices and shut the world out. The deconstruction is devastating.
How do we start reconstructing our feelings and emotions?