When you are trudging along the uneven path of grief, some days the pavement is completely covered in sharp rocks. You try to walk through them but they hurt and are too sharp. The only thing you can do at this point is stop and let the rocks slowly blow away until you are able walk again.
These days will definitely visit us. You never know what triggers them to happen, they just show up. I had one of these days yesterday. Several attempts were made to help it but I knew there was no stopping it. Finally, I gave up. I put napkins in my pocket and let my desperate emotions take over.
It is important, and super difficult, to not let grief take over your life. But, it is also important not to avoid grief. It isn’t healthy and it will catch up with you if you try to ignore it. We will never get over it, but we must get through it.
Finally, after battling my sadness all day, I decided to go to bed early in hopes that I would sleep this off and start a new day in the morning. I laid in bed looking at pictures of my son allowing all my tears to escape. Staring at the wall in front of me I thought to myself, is there anything else I can do to get through this?
When these uninvited days happen, I try hard to find ways to cope with them. It is very hard and almost impossible. Many times I want to give up but I know I can’t. I keep pressing on for my son. When I am at my weakest point, it seems he does something to lift my spirits.
As I have mentioned many times, we all grieve differently. It is something we will all have to face at some point in our life. It is a special time to mourn, to love, to remember, and to learn.
The following strategies are for any time you need some reinforcement or reminders of how to hopefully get through your days. I understand some days are too stormy and we simply have to let grief take over but remember, every day is a new start to a better day.
Embrace yourself in an uplifting activity
This can be something very simple as taking a walk in the neighborhood. Nature has a very natural and therapeutic way to heal. When you’re outside, you become aware of all your senses. You hear the leaves rustling in the wind, feel the warmth of the sun, and smell freshly cut grass. I enjoy visiting our local nursery and seeing all the beautiful bright blooms on the flowers.
Strengthen Your Spirituality
In the very beginning of this journey, I was so caught up with sadness that I completely forgot about God. Remember, he is here for you! Prayers are sometimes all we have.
I became very interested in the afterlife and what the spirit does after leaving its physical body. There are many well-respected and Best Selling books written by Mediums. I have shared several in the Bereavement Books section. Knowing that my son has his own spiritual journey and is busy learning helps me get through my days without him.
When I used to hear the word meditation I thought it was something weird. It is not. It is so simple and, to me, it helps start and end my day more relaxed. My mind works best when I focus on clearing it. I think it engages us deeper into spirituality and closer to God and your spirit guides so they can do their magic. 🙂
Spend Time with Family and Friends
Grief is very personal but shouldn’t be totally isolating. I am not very good at this but thank goodness my friends and family have not given up on me. They still invite me places even though I say no a lot. Every now and than I am up for an outing and do enjoy myself. Something to remember, they are grieving too. When someone passes away, it affects everyone around you.
Avoid Stressful Situations
In the beginning Stages of Grief, our thinking is very erratic and not clear. It is important not to make any big decisions for at least a year. Let the clouds clear somewhat. Focus on you and not anything that can affect your future.
Allow Yourself Plenty of Time to Grieve
This time frame is difficult for people not grieving to understand. Most employers only give a few days which is so unfair. I took a long Leave of Absence from my employer. Unpaid of course, but worth every penny.
Grief usually lasts 18 months and can last up to 5 years to fully accept it. It is not something you “get over.” Do not feel guilty if you’re grieving takes longer than others. Give yourself plenty of time to heal at your own pace.
Let the Flood Gates Open
A good cry is priceless and necessary! Recent studies show that grief tears contain toxins and stress hormones that cause grief. Crying is healthy to release these chemicals from our body and also increases endorphins which make you feel better and happier.
Be Creative in Expressing Yourself
Some of the greatest artists created their work when going through a desperate time in their lives. Writing is a great way to release your feelings. Keeping a journal allows you to go back and see how far along you have come. I am a perfect example of writing and it truly helps. If I had only one bit of advice to offer someone grieving, it would be to keep a journal and write anything and everything that comes to mind. Good and Bad!
Engaging in some form of exercise is a great way to release stirred up feelings. It also increases endorphins which can help get rid of stress and depression. A walk around the neighborhood or a park is a wonderful way to get the blood flowing and enjoy nature.
This journey through grief has many twists, turns, circles, and sometimes brings you back to the beginning. At times, we feel we are progressing and than a situation or circumstance occurs that slows us down to a halt. Just remember this is a long journey and sometimes a lifetime.
Our loved one feels and sees all of our pain and wants us to have inner peace. They are rejoiced when we feel good. I find myself apologizing to my son when I have a long sad episode. I know it upsets him.
Positive Ways to Cope with Grief and Loss will be something I will encourage myself to do daily. If not for me, for him. 🙂