This is no news flash here for you all, "grief is uncomfortable" and we know the only way out is through in a lot of aspects of life. Grief is definitely hard and very unpredictable and grief takes a long time, longer then we want, but also it never will ever go away.
Grief is definitely a symptom of our capacity to love (watch out for a card that echoes this coming soon). When you have shared part of your life with someone who is now gone, you are bound to encounter something that reminds you of them. It can happen anywhere, at any time.
Anything can be a trigger. Something like a photograph, a song on the radio, grocery shopping and seeing favorite food items, or something not so specific like a movie about death, hearing news of a diagnosis similar to your loved ones if they had one, or the smells of something. You could be moving through your day completely normal and suddenly the pain, anguish, or anger comes flooding back to you all over again.
Sometimes we know what a trigger might be and we can easily avoid putting ourselves in that place or moment so we don't have to feel all the feelings that come with a trigger. Generally triggers are very unpredictable and for new grievers, they are shockingly scary.
I had a friend reach out to me regarding unexpected grief triggers she had when she went and saw the movie "A man called Otto". That is how my grief trigger blog came about, she asked me to write about them. She was completely blindsided and wished the movie had a warning about grieving and suicidal ideations. She told me it was sad, heavy, but also a story about friendship; but it was still too much and too soon for her. I too had a similar story after my husband Jack and my brother Seth had died and I went to a movie and it was about someone who had a brain tumor and was dying. I remember thinking to myself "why didn't I really check this movie out better before going to it".
I still have grief triggers; I am better capable of understanding what they are now and I can handle them differently. But what I will tell you is this, they can make you sad, very depressed, put you in a "heavy" mood, you can become angry, and you can feel like the grief cycle is starting all over again. You may have thought you were rocking this grief lifestyle, so how in the Hell can I feel like I'm drowning again. I've learned how to feel my feelings that allow me to heal. I try to give myself the grace and self-compassion for what I'm feeling and acknowledge all the feelings. This takes time people, it takes time to understand what can trigger. Unexpected grief triggers are definitely harder because something you think may NOT trigger, like a movie, all of a sudden sends you into a tailspin...you start fighting for all of your emotions to stay in check again.
I suggest writing and journaling out your grief triggers when they happen. I feel like you can identify and understand better what that trigger might be and how it affected you. This allows you to put all your feelings down on paper and you can turn the narrative around my writing positive affirmations after the ugly trigger you just had.
I am not a therapist or counselor, these feelings I have had or people I know have had and I feel they are VERY important to share. Many people may not even realize they are having a grief trigger (and did you know that a death isn't the only way you can have a grief trigger?) A person could be triggered by their divorce, a job loss, a financial disruption, etc. I do not have all the answers, I am just here letting you know that your feelings are validated and I care and I will be here to listen and to share positive and constructive criticism and love with you on your journey. Triggers are no fun and they leave us yearning for the past more then we could have imagined.
ALWAYS GIVE GRACE & COMPASSION IF YOU SEE OR WITNESS SOMEONE HAVING A TERRIBLE BAD DAY AND BAD ATTITUDE TOWARD YOU. THEY MAY BE HAVING A GRIEF TRIGGER AND WANT TO PROCESS IN PRIVATE.
(if you want to share with me any of your grief triggers, you can leave a comment or message me privately. ALSO, if you ever have a topic you'd like me to cover or chat about, please let me know and I will definitely take you up on it).