Grief isn't glamorous, but it happens to everyone. Whether it is a loss of a relationship, home, job, pet, or loved one it affects every person differently and is one of the hardest processes to go through. Last year I lost two different people I dated and loved for many years to self-harm. I had never experienced such devastation fall over me like being sucked into a current of deep water. I had to reevaluate life, death, love and move through the stages of grief back and forth until now. Now it's as if I have journeyed into the underworld and back, and I am glad to appreciate life more now than ever before.
Here are a few tools that are helped me through this process:
1. Live hour to hour. Sometimes I didn't know if I could handle thinking of the future. It felt hopeless and pointless, and the pain was so numbing I couldn't move. However, if you can manage enough life purpose for only one hour, or even the next twenty minutes, you can eventually find the strength for the next hour, or day, and so on. You don't have to live for extended plans right now. Focus only on the task at hand for small increments of time, and set small goals to get through them.
2. Dial up the self-care. Self-love is a hot button word. Maybe you don't think a bubble bath is just going to change your mood in an instant, and it can seem painful to think something so menial could help. Yet, you need to find ways to to practice self-care more than you ever had to in the past. I don't care if you have to buy yourself flowers every single day, or get a special treat you love, or go on a retreat. Whatever you have been doing for yourself before, do at least twice as much for yourself during this time. Write yourself your own self-care prescription and change it up everyday.
3. Don't distract yourself for the first couple of months. Many people think it's wrong to not be happy. Having other feelings doesn't mean something is wrong with you. It means you are having normal human reactions to life. Everyone grieves differently for different amounts of time. Let yourself feel what you feel fully. Whether is it hopelessness, despair, sadness, guilt, or any feeling. It is good to take breaks and to do things that make you happy, but you can't distract yourself from it forever. If you experience a wave of grief and ignore it it will pop up in your life in other ways and situations. When you have the courage to face your feelings, and be present with them you will truly heal and develop a grace that has the potential to be a healing light for someone else.
I am still learning to cope with grief, but I think one of the most important things to remember is the pain you feel means you are capable of a great capacity to love. To love when we know all things must end is one of the most courageous acts of humanity. I hope we can all become a little more graceful and grateful from loss.
Please message me if you need to talk more about grief.