Friday, May 01, 2009
The first sentence of C.S. Lewis's A Grief Observed is, "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear." I've been thinking about that lately, because although I'm not scared, exactly, I have been very anxious: waking up with my muscles in knots, that kind of thing.
This is counter-intuitive. It made sense for me to be anxious when Dad was sick and I was running around nonstop trying to take care of him, but you'd think I'd be more relaxed now that the long vigil's over. Gary says that I'm probably anxious about losing other people, now that I've lost a parent (for all our differences, my father was definitely someone who loved me no matter what), and that makes sense, but -- although I'm even clingier than usual with Gary, poor patient soul -- I'm not conscious of that kind of fear. For instance, I'm not (consciously, anyway) more anxious about the prospect of my mother's death than I was before Dad died, and there's no one else I'm immediately worried about.
Of course, anxiety often goes along with depression, which I certainly have, and which I'm sure is kicking up right now, although I've actually been feeling pretty good, moodwise. The anxiety feels physical.
So has anybody heard of, or experienced, anxiety as a side-effect of grief? And if so, do you have any clue what to do about it, aside from my usual staples of prayer, exercise and knitting?