I realized something just this weekend about grief and the process of grieving (not trying to be redundant...I don't think they're actually the exact same thing). Grief makes you self-absorbed. Grief makes you self-centered. You're thinking about yourself! How can you get through the day? How can you keep from crying? How can you find something to look forward to? How can you do something that will cheer you up? How can you manage your grief?
It's a difficult process to do and simultaneously be self-directed in a position where being self-directed is what you need.
I feel I'm gradually starting to stick my head out of the little hole I've dug for myself, and I'm looking around and reaching for opportunities and scheduling things I need to do, instead of just showing up at my desk and at meetings I've committed to. I'm actually starting to think of things that need attention, visits to make, people to check on.
I feel like I need to apologize for this time when I have been so holed-up with myself, but at the same time, I think it's a good realization for me as a pastor, and as a friend to those who grieve. I realize why people go MIA when they are in the throes of a recent loss. It is hard work and sometimes the "extras" in life just fall by the wayside when you're in your head so much.
I pray that the good thing that comes out of this is increased compassion and understanding, and also the ability to articulate what is happening with me so that others might understand, or at least try to.