When you still expect him to come homeJul 29, 2022
You’ve lost a spouse and yet there are times when your brain still expects him to walk through the door, right?
It’s easy to become frustrated with ourselves, to question our own sanity. Of course he passed, you know that’s true. Then how can you possibly wonder when he’s coming home? That seems to make no sense.
It actually makes perfect sense.
I have a truth bomb for you: you simply have a normal human brain.
You’ve lived years, maybe decades with your spouse. So your brain has what is called implicit memories of your life with him. In those memories, of course he comes home. He always does.
For example, say you spent 40 years together. That’s 14,600 days that he came home (or called if he was planning to be away).
Now consider how long ago he passed. If it was two years ago, for example, then you’ve had 730 days that he didn’t come home. That’s not even 1% of the 14,600 days that he did.
In her book The Grieving Brain, Mary-Francis O’Connor writes, “Grief is a heart-wrenchingly painful problem for the brain to solve, and grieving necessitates learning to live in the world with the absence of someone you love deeply, who is ingrained in your understanding of the world.”
Grieving, then, can be equated to learning.
Your brain, over decades, has learned that he is physically present, and if not at this moment, then he will be later. Yes, he passed, but the brain can’t update its predictions overnight. It needs enough new experiences to gradually learn this new reality.
Your brain needs time to learn, to update its understanding of the world.
And that won’t happen any faster by kicking yourself, deciding that you’re doing it “wrong,” or suspecting that you’re losing your sanity. In fact, all of that will likely slow things down.
Learning happens over time. Let your brain learn, and while it does, be kind to yourself.
If you can’t stop the cycle of self-judgement, I get it and I can help. I created a coaching program called Life Reconstructed exclusively for those who have lost a spouse. It’s the perfect combination of private coaching, group coaching and life changing tools that will help you create a new life for yourself.
There is a waitlist, so the sooner you’re on it, the sooner you can begin. Simply click here and we’ll see if it’s a fit.
Simply click here and we'll see if it's a fit.
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