Moving through grief
I have recently had to deal with the untimely and tragic death of our beloved family dog who died in a mountain accident in Spain. Grief and shock are overwhelming emotions. They bring a heavy sadness into your life that sits in the background of everything else you are doing. Loss is very challenging for human beings to process and yet we will all experience loss to a greater or lesser degree in our lives. This can be relationships, bereavements, redundancies, or the smaller losses like the end of summer, the end of a holiday and the ageing process.
I don’t purport to be an expert in this field but there are a few thoughts I have reflected upon recently.
Time is a healer, but don’t wish your life away to a time when you will feel better. Time is precious and one of the many positive things we can learn from grief is that life is short so it is important to live for today and make the most of and appreciate who and what we do have in our lives.
When your emotions and sadness are overwhelming, can you allow yourself to have some time to sit quietly with these and allow them to move through you? Can you allow your emotions to flow – cry, shout, reminisce and laugh on the fond memories? When things are truly overwhelming and you don’t have the resources to sit with them, can you allow yourself some kind distraction techniques – like watching a movie you love, chatting to a friend, asking for support, seeking bereavement counselling?
Being kind and loving to yourself is the biggest gift you can give yourself. Can you attend to what you need, having a nap, going for a walk, swim or run or listening to some music?
When you are feeling sad and low, it is important to take care to not indulge your habitual negative self-talk, which we all have. “I’m not good enough”,” I’m worried about money”, “My partner doesn’t understand me or love me enough”, “I hate my job but don’t have the energy to change it” etc. Allow yourself to process the difficult emotions of grief, sadness and anger without adding to them.
At these times, your immune system could be compromised as it may be adversely affected by challenging emotions so keep drinking plenty of water, eating fresh fruit and vegetables and boost your system with some multivitamins, some Vitamin C and D.
Find joy in the small things in life and remember, this too shall pass.