By Tracy Lee
Special to the Sun
Weeks two and three see one’s reality returning into focus. The survivor begins to feel the extreme pain of their loss. Some have labeled this a task called acceptance. I, however, label it an inhospitable awakening. The survivor begins to understand that he/she must now survive without the companionship of his/her loved one.
They may be under extreme financial pressures without sufficient means to support themselves or their dependents. They may be in danger of losing their home in the very near future. They may realize a change in their social standing within the community. They may become very afraid, realize the emergence of phobias, and react with fight or flight to any given situation.
On top of this, as their mental acuity is returning, they may feel suffocated by well-wishers. They may be unable to obtain privacy or a quiet moment to work things out in their minds.
Some survivors may become overly dependent upon their well-wishers with an overwhelming fear of being left alone. In either case, the pendulum is swinging in a wide pattern and the survivor remains unsettled. Well-wishers are wonderful and needed at this juncture as the survivor likely remains unable to tend to his/her responsibilities sufficiently. Realistically, most survivors, whether they realize it or not, remain dependent on their well-wishers.
Weeks two and three see the survivor’s house filled with friends, family, medical personnel, and others. The survivor is realizing that things are unusually stressful and begins worrying about the mortgage and other bills that are by now due, or soon becoming due.
The survivor may feel insecure as their identity may be shattered and their income may be disrupted or unstable. Organizing one’s mind and finances is practically impossible at this time as the reality of pain and sorrow has filled every aspect of the survivor’s being.
A trusted friend or relative, capable of organizing, prioritizing, and advising, is a gift of strength and comfort to the survivor. This task is a serious one and should not be taken lightly. If you are this advisor, your suggestions may deeply affect the recovery and standard of living in which the survivor will now exist. Be sure that your actions are sound with the survivor’s future in mind.