Re: It's been a month since Mom died
My condolences on the loss of your mom. I just lost my dad about a month ago so I empathize with the emotional numbness. I sometimes feel like it has taken me this long just to think about the fact that he has died. The emotional trauma has been excruciating, and I spent almost two weeks in a non-functional state. I also had only one day after he died where I cried really hard, the rest was just profound sadness and anxiety. At night I would wake up, remember he was gone, and lay there for hours. Then the next day I could barely move, it felt like I was in a vat of molasses.
Since I still had kids and a household to take care of, and frequent trips to my mom's more than an hour away, I finally went to see a grief counselor at Hospice. She has helped me to take better care of myself and let a lot of the little things go until life evens out--I was rushing around trying to do everything and take care of everyone and was completely exhausted.
What also helped me tremendously was preparing a slide show for a family celebration of his life, which we held last weekend. Instead of thinking constantly about his death, how he looked in the hospital and the fact that he was gone, each day I worked on the show and sorted through pictures, I was reminded of good times our family had with him and what an amazing life he had. With your 4-year-old this might be an avenue you could explore: look at pictures of your mom when she was younger and healthy, or when you were four years old, so that your daughter can gradually come to understand that yes, grandma's body wore out at the end, but once she was very different (and fun, or a good cook, or a great story reader, or whatever). And of course, over time that may also help you to think more about about the good times you had with her and what a gift she was.
One thing the grief counselor said was that grief is not a measured series of steps, it is a process, and no two people will go through that process in exactly the same way....anxiety, sleeplessness, sadness and a million other reactions may be unsettling, but are perfectly normal while we are grieving.