As previously stated, grief is unique to the individual, therefore so is the path to healing. In Part 1 of this topic, I discussed some supplements that can help with physiological support. In the book, “Molecules of Emotion”, Dr. Candace Pert relates how our thoughts affect body chemistry triggering or impeding certain chemicals based on emotions. So, if you feel the need, avail yourself of some of the supplements that can assist YOU in that aspect of managing your feelings of loss and grief.
Just as grief is unique to each person, so is the reason for grieving. The feelings attached to some losses are finite. For instance, if it occurs because of divorce or the loss of a relationship, it may dissipate when you are in a different and better relationship. If it occurs due to the loss of a job or having moved to a new area, again, it may disappear when a better career opportunity appears or when you settle in to a new community meeting new friends and enjoying the new surroundings.
But some grief is not finite. The death of a loved one or any permanent life altering experience usually is felt for your lifetime. For those circumstances, it’s okay to grieve forever. It’s okay to feel sadness as deep as a rheumatic ache in your bones that never goes away. But it’s also okay to feel happiness, without guilt, no matter how anyone may judge that. It’s okay to begin enjoying life once more, taking care of YOU, and not so much “moving on”, but “moving forward”.
Depending upon the stage you are currently, and the reason for your feelings of loss and sadness, these suggestions may assist in better management and help by distracting you, even if briefly, or by making you feel empowered and proactive once more versus reactive.
Begin with realistically setting a time limit for yourself for the initial stages. Enlist the support of your partner or closest friends for an accountability factor for resuming socialization. And let your focus and energy be on healthier management of your emotions versus trying to forget the reasons for them.
In the book “Cross Roads”, by Wm. Paul Young, he writes “Sometimes silence speaks loudest and presence brings the most comfort.” So consider spending time with people that understand and respect your need for silence. They won’t question your bouts of crying. Go with them to places that don’t require a lot of interaction with other people that don’t understand what you are going through, or won’t require you to put on a happy face when you don’t have the energy or desire to do so. However, spend time with those from whom you can derive comfort just from that understanding person’s presence for a no-destination drive or visit to a beach, park, garden, or other place you would normally feel some joy or peace.
As you move through the grief, know that some have found it beneficial to start a memorial fundraiser, support group, awareness group, or by participating in a cause that honors their loved one. Physical activities such as running, walking, or dancing for a cause benefits others as much as it benefits you. And there are opportunities to become a volunteer for any organizations or causes, because acts of kindness of your time or talents have healing benefits for your spirit as you help others in any way you can.
There is no one answer, or one solution, for handling grief. But when you understand it is a process unique to you, with no time limits or expectations, and you navigate the process according to what feels right for you, it can alleviate additional stress and feelings of further depletion if you do it on your terms.
Holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries are always more difficult than other times for sure. Both of my parents have passed on, as has one of my dearest life-long friends, Stephen. Stephen wanted the song by Donna Summer “Carry On” played at his funeral. That request was honored. And although I will always miss and grieve for them, will never forget them and all they brought to my life, as best I can each day, I will carry on. And I hope, any of you who are grieving, will find what you need to do the same.
Wishing you health, finding what you need to ease your grief, and living your best life.