Our expert says:
Hello Curious D,
Sorry to hear of your loss. Indeed, grief is not only a process, but usually it's really hard work, and does take time. Often it's useful to resume work, or other activities, otherwise one is left with rather too much time in which one has nothing to do except feel awful. Irritability is quite a common component of bereavement.
A superb book I have found very useful for many people, including myself, in print for decades, "A Grief Observed" by CS Lewis. usually a small paperback. The author, seeking to understand his own grief, found a couple of old notebooks, and started writing down his observations on himself and others. It sheds a lot of valuable light on the range of normal experiences, and how he worked through them.
It usually takes at least 9 months or more to work through the many re-adjustments needed ; don't be impatient with yourself. The people at work should know that you have been bereaved and that you're working through it, that this means you may at times be irritable or abrupt, but that you apologize in advance, and don't want them to feel hurt about this.
Often, you may feel fine for lengths of time ( though sometimes one feels a bit guilty about feeling OK ) and then suddenly there's a pang of grief, and for a while it can be difficult to ignore when someone else is making a large fuss about a tiny issue. It may be best to make an excuse to be alone for a short while, to cool off, before resuming such a discussion.
The grey sadness lit by flashes of irritation, does lift. Gradually, for longer and longer periods. Gradually one finds more contentment in remembering that they were and remain part of your life, than bitterness and gloom that they're no longer directly present.
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