By: Colleen Andre, LMHC
In a documentary called “Diana, 7 days,” Prince William and Prince Harry share their experiences in dealing with the death of their mother. “I remember just feeling completely numb, disorientated, dizzy,” William said. “You feel very, very confused. And you keep asking yourself, ‘Why me?’ All the time, ‘Why? What have I done? Why? Why has this happened to us?'”
Dealing with death is never easy. It is not easy two days after the loss. It is not easy 20 years after the loss, as in the case with Princess Diana. Dealing with death is not supposed to be easy. You valued and loved that person and grief is part of losing them. At the same time, dealing with death does not mean you have to feel constantly overwhelmed, depressed, and lonely. Here are 4 things to remind yourself as you are dealing with loss:
First, it is important to remind yourself that even among the tragedy and grief, you are not alone. You loved and were loved by this person. Therefore, there is someone else who loved and was loved by them too. Know you have support and seek refuge in them especially if they are trying to deal with the death as well. Do not isolate. It is important to be open and find comfort in people who you trust and feel safe with.
Secondly, numbing your pain and compartmentalizing emotions is not the solution. As Prince William stated in the documentary, there was a part of him that knew about his obligation and duties. At the same time, the other part of him wanted to just cry after losing his mother. You experienced loss. It does not matter if the loss was recent, years ago, or even decades ago. Death is death and it is normal to feel pain. Even the great Prince William is not immune to emotions. Allow yourself the freedom to feel. Go by what is happening to you instead of comparing yourself to others. If you are angry, allow yourself to be angry. If you feel deep sadness, allow yourself to experience your feelings.
Lastly, go by what you are experiencing instead of what you perceive in others. Refrain from criticizing or shaming yourself for “not getting over it