Hi Brooke — a fresh report from the grief front.
I had two big realizations that have been so helpful to me:
1- I had a sudden realization that a lot of the pain from my father’s passing comes from cognitive dissonance: because he died so recently, many of my beliefs revolve around him being alive, doing certain things, making certain practical things relevant and possible… and now they have to coexist with this new knowledge that he is no longer physically present. And every time a thought from when he was alive pops up, my brain has to deal with the cognitive dissonance and it’s so painfully uncomfortable.
Why is this helpful? Well, I can sit with the discomfort, knowing my brain will come to accept this new knowledge, and the portion of the pain that is my current “river of misery” will ease and go away. I just have to let my brain do its fabulous actualization work.
2- Within the overall feeling of grief, I see that a portion of my pain is self-pity (I see myself from the outside and think “ooh she had such a wonderful dad and now she lost him” and that makes me feel small and helpless). Thanks to our work on indulgent emotions, I see this coming so clearly, and I can allow the self-pity for a moment while recognizing it as such, knowing that it isn’t an emotion that is useful/helpful to me in any way. Much easier not to wallow in it when the distinction is so clear.
Just wanted to share these thoughts.