Recently (a little over 2 months ago) my mate passed away in a car accident. Now I've been trying to move on but it honestly just feels like I've hit a brick wall. I have a few friends but I still feel that something is missing. I used to be happy and calm. Now I've become angry, depressed(severely), and at certain times violent. And a lot of the places around here that I used to go to with her trigger those emotions. I don't want to be like this but I don't know what to do. And it seems that even my meditation(not medication) doesn't work anymore and my insomnia has now become worse. Do you have any suggestions that could help me a little bit?
I am so sorry for your loss. Nothing Papabear can say will ease the pain of losing a mate or other loved one, but I can give you a little advice here. First of all, it has only been two months. That is not a very long time. Did you know that it typically takes two years for the average person to even begin to adjust to a major life change, such as a death of a loved one or a divorce?
Anger and depression are natural emotions to be experiencing right now. Your violent moods are connected to this. Do not berate yourself for feeling this way; you are feeling angry at the injustice of losing a loved one so early in your life, and perhaps even some "survivor guilt," as in "Why is he dead and not me?" You might be familiar with the stages of adjusting to loss, first put forward by psychologist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969:
There is no order or timeline for this process, and sometimes the order is mixed around a little, but you can expect these stages to occur in your immediate life. Eventually, you will reach stage 5. This does not mean you will not still feel some pain and loss, or even sadness, but when you get to stage 5 you will be able to cope with the loss and move on with your life.
So, recognizing that you are not acting inappropriately is the first step. Now, you ask what you can do about it? Meditation doesn't seem to be working for you, but there are other things you can try. First of all, do not try to manage your grief by yourself. Seek out other people to talk to. Do you belong to a church or synagogue? That would be an excellent place to go; talk to your minister or rabbi. Many religious organizations have groups where you can go for support. If not, look in your local newspaper. The community sections of newspapers often announce meetings for grief counseling and group support.
Also, try and get back to a routine of daily life. It might be that the routine you enjoyed with your mate has been disrupted. You will need to find a new routine and begin to move on with your life. Finding hobbies, and doing charity work can also be immensely therapeutic. Dr. Lou LaGrand has written a very nice summary of things you can try to adjust to this new time in your life: http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Top-10-Things-You-Can-Do-To-Cope-with-the-Death-of-a-Loved-One&id=524392.
Good luck, Kaza. I would love to hear from you again on how you are doing.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.