To Tell the Truth - March 2019
by Dawn Phelps, RN/LMSW
Maybe you are too young to remember an old television game show named “To Tell the Truth.” It began in 1956 and was aired intermittently through the years for a total of 26 seasons until 2016.
In case you do not remember, here’s how the game went. “To Tell the Truth” had 3 challengers who stood side by side, pretending to be a particular character or person. One of the three challengers was the real person, such as a famous person with a unique story. The other two challengers were imposters just pretending to be the real character.
A panel of contestants asked the three challengers questions in an effort to try to determine the real character. Then they voted on their choice for the real character.
The exciting part came when the host of the show said, “Will the real (person’s name) please stand up.” That’s when the 3 contenders acted as if they were going to stand up—part of the fun of the show! Finally the real person did stand up, sometimes really surprising the contestants and the audience.
If you are grieving, you might feel like you are not the real you. You might have difficulty knowing how to answer if someone should ask “Will the real you (your name) please stand up.”
Many report not feeling like they are the same person after a loss, of not knowing who they are in their new role without their loved one. In a sense, your life may never be the same—you have gone through a loss that has turned your life up-side-down.
Maybe you are angry or depressed about why the death occurred. Perhaps you don’t feel safe living alone and your house no longer seems the same. Instead of being a haven, your home may be a place you want to avoid.
Maybe you are worried about finances, your friendships may seem different, and you have asked yourself, “Who am I?”
You may pretend that all is well with you, but a part of you is gone. You may be smiling on the outside and crying on the inside.
Be patient with yourself. You are on a new path, in unfamiliar territory. But underneath your self-doubts and fears you are still the same person, the same you with the same basic values. You are grieving while you deal with a heart-breaking situation, and grieving is not easy.
Someday you will become comfortable in your own shoes as you move forward to a different life with new routines and dreams. Someday you will look back and realize that you are stronger and wiser, one who will confidently rise out of your seat and know who you are when asked, “Will the real (your name) please stand up.”
By Dawn (Thorn) Phelps RN/LMSW
Call about the next "Living Life after Loss" Group at:
709 Liberty, Clay Center, Kansas
Dawn Phelps, RN/LMSW, Group Facilitator