Grief is a multi-feeling experience. The closer you were to the person who died, the more your life was intertwined with theirs, the more “feelings” you are likely to experience. Some of these feelings are expected, like feeling sad, or lonely, but others can catch you off guard.
Feeling indecisive is one of those feelings. It is not at all uncommon to find yourself having difficulty making decisions. But it is often unexpected and therefore puzzling.
Especially when a person loses a partner, a husband or a wife, someone whose life, past, present and future had been linked to their own, they find making decisions great and small can be overwhelming.
When a person has lost the person who was the whoa to their go, or the leap to their standing on the edge, pressing forward and making choices alone can feel almost impossible. And yet, the death of such a partner is likely to generate a deluge of such decisions.
Hesitation is not always bad; it can slow a person down and provide time to weigh the options. It can allow time to gather information so a better-informed decision can be made. Indecision can be positive as long as it doesn’t prevent a person from making time sensitive decisions, or getting stuck in a deteriorating situation, or abdicating to a person who does not have one’s best interests at heart.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are feeling overwhelmed with the number of decisions that need to be made start by making a list. What needs to be done? Now, look at your list and begin to make sub lists.
What is time sensitive? Some things like probate must be completed in a prescribed timeframe. Make sure you are getting these things done on time to avoid complications or penalties.
What can be delegated? If you can hand off a job, go ahead and lighten your load. Before you delegate the task be certain you have thought it through. Give the person you have chosen to complete the task clear direction. Be as precise as you can about what you want done and how it should be carried out. Then let go. Give the job to someone you trust and let them do it.
Where do you need expert advice? Make appointments with the lawyer, financial advisor, or whoever can provide you with the information and options you need in order to make good decisions. Gather the information you need. Give yourself a deadline for completing the task and focus on that one thing. Ticking it off the list will lift your spirits.
What is best left to later? Many experts agree, when a person can, it’s best to wait six months to a year to make big decisions. Things like selling a house, moving, or changing jobs are best left until your head has begun to clear. Take care of the immediate needs and give yourself a little breathing space for the things that can marinate for a while.
Second guessing can be an indication that you really are not happy with a pending decision. It can be an indication that you are about to make a wrong decision. Trust your gut.
Is the decision getting harder to make the more you dwell on it? This can be an indication that you are afraid of something. Find your fear, write it down. Gather more information or expert advice. Set a time limit.
Ask yourself how much will this matter in ten years?
In the end… let go and leap. Every decision can’t be perfect. Accept that what is your best for now is good enough.