Grief Exhaustion

ThoughtfulColumnist Maureen Dowd recently commented on Vice President Joe Biden’s possible decision to run for president. She wrote that Joe Biden has a dilemma: “How does he honor the wish of his late son, Beau, to run when the death of Beau has left him so depleted he may not be able to run?”

“I have never felt so exhausted” are words I frequently hear from those who mourn. How do grieving people live two lives at once – the life of loss and the life of managing work and other responsibilities? There is no simple answer to this question because grief drains energy even on days when you may not be very active.

Make time to be with your loss the best you can. Set limits when you need to. Manage one half-day at a time. Ask for help from those who have offered their support, and be careful to not self-criticize if you are not up to your usual energy level.

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Dr. Patrick O’Malley is a psychotherapist in Fort Worth, Texas, specializing in grief counseling. For 35 years, he has counseled individuals, couples and families in his private practice. Dr. O'Malley has recently published a book, "Getting Grief Right" about grief recovery.

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