Faceless Grief

When I think back to when I was deepest in grief, one of the things that struck me was that I became a nonentity.   I had retreated into my own world, trying desperately to slow down time so things would make sense.  People would whizz by me on their way to work or shopping, but it was as if I were standing still, frozen, paralyzed by my broken heart and my fear of what was coming at me next.  I was in a fog.  I was faceless to all of them, those normal people out in the world.  I couldn’t respond fast enough, think fast enough, react fast enough, and so they ignored me.  I had no face, no energy, no presence.

Cee chose the photo out of her archives and blurred the face.  She wanted to show how she has felt during the times in her life when she was working through loss.  She says she felt like even though she was there with other people, she wasn’t part of them.  Like she was separated from them by a thick pane of invisible glass.  Everyone else looked so normal, but she wasn’t there.

How have you felt when you were working through loss and the grief that comes with it?

Chris and Cee



(Written in response to the WordPress Daily Prompt, Faceless)

35 Replies to “Faceless Grief”

  1. When Hurricane Andrew hit Miami in 1992, my little house in Coconut Grove was under contract and I was in the process of moving to Central Florida. What you describe as facelessness is similar to how I was feeling. Even though I was only 250 miles north of Miami, I had had a deep connection with it for nearly 20 years. Many of my friends’ homes were devastated. It was disorienting. Yet when I walked down the streets of Orlando seemingly in slow motion, everyone seemed “normal,” unaffected by the impact of this event, this huge loss. Yes, there was an invisible pane of glass, a bubble in which i was living and grieving, separate from those with no ties to my home. I felt like I deserted my Miami. Loss comes in so many different forms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cari, I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to live through a hurricane. It must have been hard to be away from home when it hit, and feeling that separation so strongly. Thank you for reminding us that loss comes in many different forms. It’s easy to think of loss and grief as being only about death of a loved one, and negate the effect of other losses on our lives.


  2. I remember 12 years ago when my father passed and I still had to live out each day and take care of mom an hour away and then come home to my spouse and kids. I got through each day but felt faceless in my own home. As a woman who is facing widowhood at a young age, I do wonder how faceless I will become to the world outside.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do like to be alone in times of stress or sickness, so to have people around and/or hovering annoys me. Chris, I think I am OK with being faceless until I am ready to face anyone. Sorry for the bad pun…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s deep and barbed….a feeling too well understood by most. I remember too well the Laborious wading through deep waters, head barely above the waves. I was a corpse refusing the grave….sleep, oh God grant me unending sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I experienced a sudden loss for the first time in my life when I was 55. What I remember most is that I could not read!!! The words on the page were a jumble. I could not eat. And, I could not believe people were doing normal things. I never thought of it as being faceless, but that is a good way to put it. People walking by as if nothing had happened. Yes, indeed I felt separated from not only other people, but also from my own normal self which could eat, read, play.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. For the first 6 months after I lost my husband I felt nothing; I think I was afraid to feel and thereby acknowledge that he was gone. After that, little by little, the real grief came and I just wanted to give up on life completely. 4 years on life is better but I still feel that there is a part of me missing and, no matter how hard I try, I can’t get it back. I have days when I feel happy but I am not really happy if you know what I mean. In one month it will be the anniversary of his death and two weeks before that – our wedding anniversary. At the moment part of me really wishes that I could go back to feeling nothing because trying to stay positive and strong is a daily battle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I understand. You do feel numb at the beginning, and after that you feel but nothing seems real. What is happening is that you are constantly flipping between the past and future, so you’re never in the present. We call it Grief Fog.

      A part of you IS missing. Absolutely. And will always be missing. But what you are feeling so strongly is the unfinished business his death created. There were things that were left unsaid. What we do in the Grief Recovery Method is walk you through how to complete that conversation with him. You will still miss him, still have your memories of him, but you’ll feel more complete with it, and the pain will lessen.

      Forcing yourself to stay positive and strong is a futile effort, as you have found out. Please feel free to contact me. I can help, if only to give you a listening ear that understands how difficult this is for you.

      Virtual hugs to you. Chris Chris@Cee-Chris.com

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting experience of grief!
    I have recently written a post about my own experiences with grief and a few words of advice, I hope anyone reading would have a look and share their own take on my experience! Thank you x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Studenttraveller2017, I am so sorry you lost your gran. She sounds like a wonderful person and I can tell how much you loved her. I love the Dr Seuss quote you included on your blog post:

      “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr Seuss.

      I think you’re probably doing more smiling than crying, finally. You brought up so many good points.
      — if you’re feeling numb and it goes on for a while, you’re in denial. Denial delays the grieving, but the grieving will happen, and usually when you least expect it.
      — Don’t isolate yourself. Ask for help. Accept it if it’s offered.
      — Watch out for self-destructive behavior.
      — Time does NOT heal our wounds.

      Thank you for sharing. I’m going to reblog your post just because it is so good and packed full of advice. Many blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and that you enjoyed it, it was just purely honest and if my advice helps others then even better! Thanks again 🙂


  8. I remember grocery shopping after the loss of my grandson. I recall thinking to myself, “why can’t anyone see how broken I am?” I couldn’t believe nobody could see my pain.


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