About 3 weeks after my parents died, I commented to my husband that it felt like I’d already moved on in so many ways. I mean, don’t get me wrong – realistically speaking I’m still going to be coping with this for a long time, and I know that there is still a lot of grieving to do (which is hard when my house is full of their “stuff”). But by and large I did not experience the full week of mourning that some cultures observe, I did not cease to function at most given moments, and I handled it pretty decently all things considered.
One of the things that Justin said was that part of the reason was because we live in a culture rich with instant information – we are CONSTANTLY processing information way more rapidly than ever before.
For example: It’s 8:36AM and I’ve been awake for almost a full hour. I’ve had 2 cups of coffee, read a devotional, said a prayer, read some of a camera manual, checked my twitter, email, daily comics and started in on the news. It’s been 50 minutes. Seriously? Yes.
On any given day I have access to thousands of news articles at my fingertips, most of which are sad and depressing. If I took any time to really seriously think about the situation the people in the news article are dealing with, I’d be a wreck. I absorb the information and move on. We do that while surfing the web because it’s become habit, but more and more we do it in real life because it’s convenient. I’m not saying that you’re not hurt by something your spouse does, or an offhand remark at work doesn’t have a bitter sting. I’m just saying that we (as a worldwide society) are getting pretty darn comfortable not dealing with our emotions.
This article from the Telegraph confirms part of what I’m saying, and reading it brought forth the memory of my husband and I’s conversation.
I’m not wise enough to give anyone advice on this situation, but I am observant enough to see it going on. I can’t tell you how to fix this, but I can suggest sitting down for a few minutes to make sure you’re not flying through this world at the speed of information. Make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to feel. Even when it hurts, it will bring you to a better place.