March 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I’ve recently received some emails on the topic of grief, its journey, and how to live through it.  I know grieving is very personal and there is no right or wrong way of living with it and through it.  I also know sometimes the pain is huge and we feel we can be squashed by it.  So I reflected on my own nineteen month old journey and here are some thoughts I wanted to share.

The things that can certainly help us are remembering how much the person we lost wanted to stay alive.  Life is a gift no matter how hard sometimes it feels.  We have to honor this gift for ourselves and the people we lost.

Don’t put any pressure on yourself to do anything or to be anything.  Loss is such a rupture in our lives that it gives us permission as well as a chance to see life in a different light and to live it in a different way.  With the loss of someone really loved there is also a loss of ourselves as we were.  I am today more of myself than I actually have been before.  My sense of values and needs have also been readjusted and I actually respect more the person that I am today. So take this time to give yourself the space to go through all the changes YOU need to go through.

Stay close to yourself.  Really listen to your needs.  Do I really want to stay alone?  Should I go out with a friend or a family member for some distraction?  Sometimes we feel paralyzed and if we are in touch with ourselves we know that just a bit of effort will get us out of the house and that will be a good thing.  Sometimes we need solitude to think, to feel and to be with ourselves.  We need to honor those times as well.  Learn to listen to the differences.

Do small easy things that will cuddle and sooth your grief.  We all have easy to do things that sooth us; a massage, facial, a glass of wine, a nice meal, gardening.  Think of something you enjoy doing because you need to feed your soul.

Change your living environment a little or a lot.  Living in a somewhat different home lets us know that life has changed and it’s okay.  It psychologically reminds us that we have stayed alive through the change and new things and people will be moving through our lives.

Find things to do that you REALLY think are worthwhile and important.  Helping of service gives us a sense of worth and purpose while helping us focus on others for a period of time.

With the internet being so much part of our lives it is easy to look for a group or an activity that interests us.  There are group meetings for wine and cheese tastings at different restaurants or clubs.  There are book reading clubs, hiking clubs, language clubs.  Whatever you can think there is a club for it.  So find one that interests you and join it.  Meeting new people that don’t know anything about us gives us a taste of what our lives can become; a life that is not all about the loss.

As time goes on we start building a new life.  We never forget and there will always be those moments where we feel overwhelmed by the loss.  But at those times we take a deep breath and remind ourselves that life is in constant motion that new people and situations will undoubtedly enter our lives and we will learn and experience.

I have learned to live with my loss and while knowing this deep scar will never heal, I look forward to my new experiences and new people.  My wish is for all of you going through your own loss to have the strength and the love for life to continue on in your never ending quest of happiness.