DEAR HARRIETTE: The worst part about death is that it's permanent. It happens with no warning, and you just don't know when it'll happen. Heaven has no visiting hours. Losing someone who you are used to seeing every day -- and then all of a sudden they are gone in a split second -- is tough.
Watching my grandma take her last breath last year hasn't been easy for me. Trying to grasp that she's gone is so hard. One moment I can be fine, but a certain song, phrase or anything that reminds me of her hits home sometimes. Trying to cope with death is so hard.
What are ways you think I can overcome some of these challenges I face with coping, besides doctors wanting to put you on a prescription, as they call it depression? I know I'm not ill and don't want medication, but I am definitely becoming and behaving as someone I don't recognize anymore. This loss has consumed me. -- Filled With Loss
DEAR FILLED WITH LOSS: First, I am so sorry for your loss. I was very close to my grandmother and I remember how unbelievable it was that she was gone, even though she lived for a very long time.
Grief comes in waves for many people and can last longer than you might imagine. Be patient with yourself. And seek out more help. Go to a grief counselor who can help you sort through your feelings and reach a healthy state of mind.
You may consider joining a grief group where you are part of a small group of people who are going through similar experiences. Sometimes hearing other people's stories can be helpful in processing your own.
Pay attention to how you are managing, and listen to the medical professionals. If your behavior continues to reflect someone that you don't recognize anymore, you may want to revisit the idea of medication. There is no shame in taking medication for depression if you need it. By the way, taking meds for depression is often short term. Be gentle with yourself.