Feeling Nothing During Grief: The disorienting experience of emotional numbness
Feeling nothing is not akin to feeling ‘okay,’ underwhelmed, or unenthused. Feeling nothing is more like feeling empty, dead inside, emotionless, as though you have nothing to contribute, or as though you can’t relate to the feelings and emotions of others (thus rendering social interaction problematic).It’s hard to understand how the absence of feeling could actually equal extreme pain and distress, but it does. When you feel nothing, the world seems to make less sense. You look in the mirror and barely recognize yourself, without emotions you feel alien and it’s hard to imagine being a person ever again.
The emotional numbness sometimes experienced in grief can feel especially disturbing because after a death you expect to feel so much. You might wonder, “What is wrong with me?!?! Why don’t I feel anything?!? Maybe I’m not a human being at all. Oh no, what if I’m a sociopath?!? Or a robot?!?” Feeling nothing during grief is alienating and isolating because everyone else seems pretty in touch with their feelings. You know you’re sad about the death, but you can’t actually access the emotions and so you feel different than others grieving the death.
while I’m not sure what he will feel I’m documenting this to be able to be his witness. This numbness is not uncommon. Yet, due to the level and depth of love between him and his father my mother and I are actually worried about his capacity to cope with this. As we recognize there is nothing we can do, we still worry about him.
And sometimes you just have to acknowledge the truth of your worries and your fears because in claiming them, they have less power over you.
The decision to let a love one go is not an easy decision to make but his father has a living will and does not want to live without a quality of life. They are respecting his wishes but still, these kind of decisions made and my son having to make this kind of decision breaks my heart. I feel a lot of sensation while he is numb.
I’ve already got a list of all the love troops of people and men who love my son a lot -whom I will pull the trigger to contact them all so he has the type of support he will need. Numb is okay for now but eventually this young man is going to feel a level of pain he’s never felt before and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.
Being a mom is no joke.
I am also grateful 🙏🏼
Love and prayers are most welcome.