After a loss or grieving event, isolation can take two forms. Either the griever isolates him/herself, or those around them tell others to leave them alone, because they just need time to be by themselves.
Self-separation may be happening for several reasons, either because the griever may feel embarrassed by their emotions or needs, since we are taught not to have them, or maybe because they feel like they are imposing their intense feelings on those around them.
Now, different people heal and cope in different ways. For some, you may need a period to keep your feelings private – you want to have those deep sobs by yourself and just not have to worry about prying eyes. You may feel self-conscious about the intensity of your feelings, whether they be sadness, anger, confusion or even relief. And sometimes being by yourself can allow you to release those emotions, which can be healthy.
But it is a tricky balance between that and isolation. You could be cutting yourself off from the support and resources that facilitate healing. Finding a supportive community and taking Active Steps to Heal is what will open the heart again.
In a way, this is the opposite reaction to Just Keep Busy, one of the other Ten Tall Tales that I discuss HERE. Keep Busy forces you out into the world to distract you from your feelings. Isolation keeps you away from the world and cuts you off from healing resources. Both are done in the effort to stave off the pain of our loss.
Of course, our hearts are aching and wanting relief - pushing away the pain in whatever way is happening for you is totally understandable. The trick, though, is that emotional truth will still be there when you step back out into the world. Feeling alone after a loss can be greatly magnified by isolation. It is human contact, compassionate support and friends that are so very important, especially in times of suffering.
So if you have a friend or loved one who is locked away from their grief, alone in their home, check in on them. Ask how they are doing. Don't insist that they come out into the world, they may not be ready. But offer a helping hand - listen - LISTEN some more, without judgement or recrimination. Be their connection and support. They may thank you later.
If you would like to speak to me personally about the above subject or any topic surrounding Grief, Loss, coaching or healing, click here to set aside a personal Free ½ Hour Empowerment Call. You are not alone.
Claire M. Schwartz
Leading You Back into the Light after Loss