Hi @JackM, welcome to the forums. We are so glad you have reached out and thank you for your courage in sharing your story of love and loss with us. In return, you have our understanding and support as you navigate these early days in the grief process.
With the passing of your beautiful partner only one month ago it sounds like your grief experience is very intense right now… finding it hard to accept the loss, feeling confused, stuck, guilty and with no purpose…these are all the hallmarks of this early period and something our community describes often. We hope it helps for you to know that you are not alone in this.
You mention you feel like you’re letting her down by being sad, so perhaps you can’t see the brave and pro-active steps you are taking to heal every day…letting people know you’re not coping, calling the hotline, opening up to your counsellor and expressing yourself in writing here on the forums. This is all really significant work you are doing. And while you feel like you don’t have a purpose, all of this work has real purpose to it…you are navigating and processing your grief. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge the enormous strength you are mustering every day.
Right now it’s also important to take care of your mental, emotional and physical health. Here are some self-care tips which we’ve hand-picked for you from the Griefline website. There are many more here.
• Identify and name your feelings. Rather than avoiding them or fighting them, try to accept them and slowly they will become easier to manage.
• When you feel negative emotions try mood-regulating techniques such as mindfulness, slow breathing or prayer (try the Mindfulness exercise on Griefline’s website here).
• Give yourself permission to cry and give words to your distressing emotions. Work towards distinguishing grief from other feelings such as fear, uncertainty, guilt, shame and anger.
• Practice gratitude exercises. Remind yourself how grateful you are for the time spent with your lost one or how thankful you are for others’ love and support. It’s often helpful to tell them too.
• Create a safe and comforting space for yourself. This can be in real life or your imagination (try the Reflecting on Positive Experiences mindfulness exercise on Griefline’s website https://griefline.org.au/resources/rest-and-relaxation/).
We hope this will be of some help either now or over the coming months. We will be thinking of you tomorrow on the Anniversary, and invite you to let us know how you’re getting through. 🌸