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Sadness Is Overwhelming Me!


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I have to go to my brother's funeral in a couple days, and I can't seem to get it together. I can't stop crying and throwing up! I just can't believe he is gone! I feel so bad that we didn't stay in touch more and spend more time together. I loved him so much, though, even though we didn't get to see each other a lot. I need to get it together for his wife and kids and my sister and other brothers. I know he is with God. I know I will see him again. But I just can't stand it right now. How do you stop this overwhelming sadness from taking over?

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My dear Sally,

I know you are feeling absolutely overwhelmed with sadness right now, and rather than go to your beloved brother's funeral you'd rather run the other way ~ but please know that all of your reactions are normal! It may help for you to know that grief is not a pathological condition. It is a normal reaction to loss, and its intensity is in direct proportion to the magnitude of what we have lost.

You will get through this the way we all get through it, one step at a time, in chunks as big or as small as you need to make them, so that you can tolerate them.

When you feel yourself overcome with nausea, try to sit down for a few minutes and concentrate on your breathing. Put your feet up. Close your eyes. Center yourself. Take in a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, then let it out s-l-o-w-l-y. Do this at least ten times, until you feel more calm.

If tears come, let them come ~ they are nature's way of clearing the toxins in your body. Wear sunglasses on the day of the funeral, and try not to worry about what other people are thinking about you. If they're there, it is to pay their respects to your brother and to support you and the other members of your family. If there ever is a place where you don't have to worry about how you behave and what others will think of you, it ought to be at your brother's funeral! I think that once you are physically in the presence of your family members, you will feel safe. Right now you're dreading the trip because it lies before you ~ but once you're there, embraced by the arms of your family members, you will feel their comfort and support.

Please know that you carry all of us with you as you attend your brother's funeral, and know that we are holding you and your family in gentle thought and prayer.

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