Janelle's Blog

When You Are Too Busy to Grieve

Many of you may be trying to handle grief over the loss of one you love. Trying to live life while grieving doesn’t even sound natural, but it can be done. While this may be a difficult time for you, take comfort in knowing that others have gone down your path before.

Two years ago, my mother-in-law, who was one of the dearest people in my life, died. While the loss of a loved one is painful, life continues to go forward for those left behind. Look back with me on a particularly stressful day, the morning after Mom died.

My husband, Neal, and I reacted with an urgency to travel to the family gathering out of town. We made our plans to leave that morning for a 3 ½ hour drive to Abilene, Texas. I had been grieving for almost three weeks over her impending death until I thought my heart would break. Then, when it really happened, I wanted to stop the world for a little while. Instead, life sped up all around me.

A few days earlier, a repairman was in our attic and noticed our hot water heater was leaking and about to burst. The plumber was supposed to arrive a couple of hours before we left on our trip. Meanwhile, our swimming pool was in the final phase of re-plastering as a result of what I thought was simple pool cosmetics that turned into a major refurbishing. Two water hoses were pumping water into the empty pool.

The plumber arrived five hours late because his truck broke down. During the time I waited for him to arrive, I was busy trying to submit an obituary to the out-of-town newspaper while making phone calls to friends and family.

Once the plumber got into the attic, he turned off the water without notice. At the same time, the pool guy called and said, “Whatever you do, don’t turn off the water while the pool is filling up, or it could cause circles in the fresh plaster.”

On the way to telling the plumber to hurry and get the water back on, a couple of wasps flew past my head. I yelled out to the plumber to hurry, grabbed a fly swatter, and swung through the air, trying to hit any flying creature that got in my way. Then, I nearly screamed when I spotted a gecko running across my living room floor, from the front door left open. My plastic fly swatter, that was tattered on the end from over-swattage, went like a commando pilot after the gecko. I knocked him silly and scooped him up to flush him down the toilet. But, I was in a no-flush situation because the water had been shut off.

Desperate for help, I called Neal, who recommended I not leave the gecko in the toilet. “He could climb out,” he said. “No lid can keep him contained.” So, I scooped him out of the toilet with my plastic fly swatter that was now in shreds from swinging it around. I ran for the front door and with a quick sling of the wrist, sent the gecko flying into the front flower bed, never to be seen again.

I ran back to my computer to finish the obituary and sent it off with 10 minutes to spare before the newspaper deadline. The plumber informed me that the water was back on, and the pool guy said we would be OK with no water circles. Everyone was out the door by 3:00 p.m., and we were on the road to Abilene.

Time to Grieve

You may have found yourself in a situation where it seems you don’t have a second of time to yourself to grieve over your loss. Here are a few things that may help you during the grieving process.

  1. Look for quiet moments when you can pull yourself away and spend peaceful time alone. A few days before my mother-in-law died, I turned off the TV one night, turned on soothing music, sat down in front of my computer, and spent time writing a tribute to her. From that special time of quietness that I gave myself, came a treasure I was able to share with my family and friends as I read the tribute at her funeral.
  2. Take care of the urgent things that must be dealt with by focusing on them, but don’t add extra burdens to yourself during a time when you need to de-stress. Delegate as much as you can during grieving time.
  3. Get extra rest and allow others to take care of your needs. Join our MyNBCF online community to meet new friends and to share your experiences.

There is no way to put grieving on a fast track. It is a process. Time will bring about healing. Let those who love you be there for you for strength and help. Look to God for your ultimate help. He is always near.

Thought for Today:

“In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.”—Holy Bible scripture Isaiah 30:15

Live Life,


Let’s Talk: What has helped you move through grief so you didn’t get stuck within your emotional distress?

Reader's Comments

3 Responses to When You Are Too Busy to Grieve
  1. Amanda
    October 12, 2010 | 11:20 am

    Thank you for a touching article. There is such peacefulness in your writing.

  2. Leeann Norman
    October 13, 2010 | 1:19 pm

    you are truely an inspiration! my grandma is also a survivor of breast cancer! sadly my aunt died of breast cancer a few years ago in october. Things are still hard but were getting through it thankful my grandma made it

  3. Richarditamy
    November 5, 2017 | 4:08 pm

    Thanks a lot! Numerous content!

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