Deep grief takes a toll on your health

From my journal dated November 24, 2002:

I’ve been falling asleep at the drop of a hat. I’m so exhausted all the time. Sometimes it feels like I absolutely have to lie down; if I don’t lie down, I’ll fall down. I fall asleep watching TV or a movie or just sitting resting on the couch. People come and go around me, and I don’t even wake up. Jenna’s the same. She is so exhausted all the time.

I was getting really concerned about the pain in my chest. It was in the area of my heart and went down my arm. It sometimes feels like I have a huge wound from my left collarbone down to my abdomen. I find that I breathe really shallowly. It just hurts too much to breathe deeply.

I think I’ve come to the realization that my body compensates for the stress of grief and everything else we’ve had to deal with by making me feel like I need to sleep. It seems like, after I sleep, the pain in my chest lessens – at least for a while. I need to keep walking regularly. Maybe someday the pain in my chest will go away for good. I don’t know that the pain in my heart will ever really go away completely, though.

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