According to Dr. Patricia Pitta one of the various stages of grief is to seclude. Being that I am such a social creature, I was not prepared for my need to be alone, but am comforted in the fact that it is a normal part of the passage. Ahead is what I found:
III. Conservation and the Need to Withdraw
As we journeyed first through shock and then through exposure to the loss, we are now exhausted from feeling so much psychic pain. In the next stage, withdrawal, we need to conserve what little energy we have left. Now, we welcome being alone; we fear falling apart if we continue feeling such intense emotions. We may find ourselves not wanting to return phone calls, preferring not to communicate with others.
Characteristics of this stage are:
- Great need for sleep
- Weakened immune system
- Feeling a loss of control
As we hibernate, we obsessively review and ruminate about the death. We question why it happened, we wonder if we could have done something to prevent it from happening.
Finally, we come to an understanding that life will never be the same as it was in the past. We start moving at this time to a realization that, without forgetting our precious memories, we will need to find new experiences and ways of perceiving life.
Main tasks of this phase are:
- Allow yourself to withdraw. In order to grieve at this time, you need to be alone.
- You might fear you are going crazy. Reassure yourself that you are not. It is a time of deep emotion and exhaustion.
- Learn to conserve your energy so that you may heal from your shock and stress. Sleep more; take little naps. Nurture yourself. Do things that make you feel good (massage, baths, walks).
- Simplify your life. Find shortcuts for everything possible.
- If you are developing dependency behaviors (drinking, drugs), break the patterns and attitudes that are perpetuating them.
- Allow yourself to think about your lost one—the good and bad times. Review photos or videotapes of your life with the deceased. Visually looking at your life puts it in perspective.
- When feeling low emotionally, know that these periods will begin to get shorter and shorter.
- If your own grief pattern doesn’t seem to follow the stages, don’t be concerned. Grieving patterns are individual.
Ahead is a link for more information on the grief passage: