The second problem is that when you do finally peek your head back in, it's usually awkward. That, of course, being due to the insane assumptions people have made while you chose to graciously handle what was going on in your head quietly. They don't understand that you were actually granting them some grace by not dumping the mechanics of your thought/feeling process on them. Instead, you're antisocial, you're weird, you're strange, and they just don't get it.
I think it all goes back to the same fundamental problem: people are uncomfortable with grief, sadness, anger, and all of the emotions they label as "negative" that go with these major life shifts. There seems to be this expectation that if you can't dive back in the fray and be your old self in 3-10 days, then something's wrong. But actually, this points to an erroneous assumption on their part, because the truth is that peoples' patience for suffering usually has a short shelf life, and they come to a point where they want to gloss over it in 3-10 days so they can get back to better things and not be bothered by "bad feelings that drag them down." And the awkwardness they feel somehow gets projected onto you because, well, that's one of the most primal defense mechanisms and most people are really good at it.
Frankly, I look at it from the other end of the glass. If you don't act weird and distant after something major happens, then I wonder if you're playing with a full deck. Because anything that changes your life forever (as in, you can't go back) should be a huge shift to your paradigm that takes time to process and integrate. There are some things that it's impossible to go back to your old self with. And that's ok. In fact, that's their purpose - to increase your strength and wisdom, and to make you a bigger, better person. If you crawl right back in the same old rut and don't show any signs of change, I'll suspect you're either faking normal, or you have something wrong in your own head.
The trick I find myself handling now is discerning my own awkward from that of other people. I know for a fact that I'm not the same person I was a year or two ago, and I'm fine with that. I can learn how to handle the aspects of that coming from my own changes. But as for other people, there's not much I can do about that. They should know enough about who I really and truly am to understand how and why some things about me have changed, and that's an adjustment they'll have to make on their own.
I just hope I've changed for the better.
That's all today. Take care. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a wonderful weekend.