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I must have thought as a child, “if I manage to help to relief the other´s grief/pain, which I perceive all around, it will get better for all”. In the same time, to open up and to show up myself in need, asking for help to process own grief or asking for consolation took a long way. Being in balance with both ways I experience as helpful when needing to deal with grief; to look after another, to care and to support with all my heart and by now not to forget my own needing help also. Happy and so grateful to be able to ask and to feel my friends close to me then!
Just letting it happen as it comes and very long walks in nature. Almost forgot (most important) …. cuddling with a cat.
Thank God for our cats:) I look forward to cuddling with mine each and every day, especially after work. There is nothing like hearing purring to make me smile and settle in to relax.
Sitting with it and, if possible, develop a curiosity about its form, texture, depth and dimensions. My Kelpie dog settles close in these moments. Knowing that what is happening right now cannot contain me.
Journaling, Writing poetry, the voices of many authors, my mentor of 27 years, helpful sites like gratefulness.org where I have met to many compassionate people willing to be open and share their lives and their truth. When my life fell completely apart in 1995, I had 2 friends who never failed to be their for me 24/7. I have also frequently called on the strength of my ancestors.
Prayer, meditation, Mother Nature. Working on myself & tending to self care. Making myself as strong & healthy as possible. Learning resilience. These are all tools in my tool box of grief, which I have come to know quite intimately in the last 18 months. 😞
For me, it’s been family and close friends. Something everyone should have and not take for granted… a really good support system in place!
I had a supervisor at work who had experienced so many major events in her life that I think people would consider traumatic or just unbearable. (I won’t say more publicly, but I believe that a video of her discussing some of it is available online, if anyone wants to ask for more information.)
In working with her, I certainly saw traits and behaviors that I felt may have come from these experiences, not always the easiest for me to work with. That said, I am in awe of her capacity to continue. I use the word “continue” very specifically. My supervisor once talked about the idea of resilience and said something to the effect of (I am paraphrasing from memory here): I don’t know if I am resilient. I don’t feel that way. I must be if I am still here. But that’s only because I kept going. Sometimes that meant screaming and crying at the top of my lungs as I drove to work. But I kept going.
In trying to reflect on this question, I don’t know if I have a single great answer like cuddling my old teddy bear. I have rested, discussed with confidants, turned to stories, and maintained my self-care. Often, though, I do this while holding the inner turmoil of grief. In the moment, I might not feel drastically different. But I do continue.
Sharing with a trusted friend or group has helped me in times of grief. I was grieving the loss of my dad while pregnant with my firstborn. I joined a grief support group at my church. I wanted to fully process my feelings before I welcomed a baby into my life. The experience was wonderful. I have learned since then that grief is a lifelong journey but I have found that sharing my sorrows, as well as my joys has enhanced my life experience.
Prayer is what gets me through the times of grief- the times of lonliness and the times of gratitude Sometimes that is all there is- me and prayer- and it has to be enough..
Today I grieved as I listened to an interview about the conditions the imported labourers have and continue to experience as they meet the building demands of hosting the World Cup in Qatar. Yesterday I grieved the news that my other hip is deteriorating and that we still eat chocolate cultivated by exploitation, and that kids are starving and that parents are weeping because they can’t feed their children. The day before I grieved the the ramifications of privatization of health care on the health and well being or those who are uninsured. If I fail to grieve then I fail to know the harsh realities of life. Then I fail to accept my powerlessness to change these conditions, and I fail to know there is work to be done. So– acceptance pf suffering and the desire to alleviate it helps.
Carol, looking directly at the things it’s easier not to know takes great strength and love. Thank you for sharing this practice. The only thing I would word differently is “powerlessness”. Our own actions and statements are power. Even sharing this as a reminder to others makes a difference. (For those seeking to make a difference through chocolate: slavefreechocolate.org)
Everything happens for a reason and it happens when it’s meant. I try to believe in the good things that the future holds. Feel the emotions of grief and lean on the people in life who want to offer support. It’s ok to draw on someone else’s strength when feeling moments of weakness.
I don’t think I’ve ever just had grief. It has always been mixed with many other emotions.
Fear, guilt, anxiety, remorse, relief.
By staying connected to the concept of impermanence, and being here in this moment, I can attempt to accept what is.
Being faithful to some kind of daily prayer ritual; a hospice sponsored support group specific to mother loss; rituals of remembrance; time in nature; and being with supportive listening friends. Watching World War II movies tho filled with tragedy-many survive.
Thinking of you on this Prayer Tuesday, dear Diane. How is your family faring? What is your weather like on this November 1? Have you read any good books lately, my friend? I seem to be re-reading old favorites these days. I’m glad I kept my favorites around when I moved!
Blessings to you and yours!
Hello my friend….we are living life one day at a time here. Which I suppose is really a wise and healthy way to live no matter the circumstances. Living in the “present” in God’s “presence” has long been the desire of my heart and I am getting to practice this more these days, however imperfectly.
It has been a spectacular autumn here in Colorado. It’s been a blessing to see the changing leaves, something I experienced with wonder my entire life living on the east coast. The trees here in our 55+ community are new growth comparatively, but the colors are brilliant nonetheless.
I love that we are both such avid readers…in this, among other things, we are kindred spirits. I have been re-reading old favorites too lately! Most recently Barbara Kingsolver and Ann Patchett. Highly recommend these 2 brilliant women novelists.
I also enjoy mysteries that are set in the backdrop of Native American culture, like those of Margaret Coel, William Kent Krueger and of course Tony Hillerman (and his daughter).
Such a joy, as always, to meet you hear Pilgrim. I hope you are enjoying this season in your new surroundings. Blessings friend ♥
Memories and sometimes sharing these with family or others I am close to.. Music. Long walks while remembering. If I didn’t have so many eating restrictions/allergies, I would add making family recipes.
I channeled my grief from two of my big losses into writing stories about my loved ones that turned into pretty big notebooks of stories, photos, and art. It was helpful to work on it as other healing forces, like people have mentioned, helped including time.
It may sound silly but I also use their names for passwords to help them live on in my life. Memorial stones in the community and creating funds at our Community Foundation also have helped. My mom is helping young women get a college education and she is helping other seniors in need in the community through funds at the foundation.
Thank you Rabbit, I too use deceased’s birth years for passwords. My Depression era born mother had acquired lots of beautiful clothing. They were re-purposed into her former childhood, now an impoverished challenged neighborhood.
Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.
My friends and of course my family, meditation, counseling, and answering the question what do I need to be true to myself? Usually it is time alone. In my busy world, I set time aside to grieve. I can be easily distracted by other things, or people and if I set time aside to be alone and grieve, it is a gift to myself, a way for me to be true to myself. So for me, that is very important.
To me there are various levels of grief. I have grieved in different ways through out my life. My past behaviors have been the cause of some grief. I have passed times of grief with drink and have passed times of grief sober. I have yet to experience grief in my current journey of sobriety, gratitude, mindfulness and meditation.
Your courage, openness, and encouragement to others in sharing part of your life are so admirable and helpful. Thank you.
. It used to use alcohol as a means of dealing with pain. I haven’t drank in 11 years and now listen to my feelings and to others for support. The love and support of others is a means. Learning to knowing what grieving us, going through the stages. knowing that this is Normal and that better days will come. Life is a series of waves that move up and down.
My daily practice (mantra, affirmative prayer, meditation)–which reminds me that I’m more then the problems I’m experiencing. Also, connecting with my spiritual communities, talking with my girlfriends (they are so insightful), spending time in nature, and being held by my infinitely supportive husband.
Reaching out for help. Tending to the wounds that grief has opened, or re-opened. Counseling, talking with a friend, journaling and reading have all helped me. The hardest lesson was to learn not to run from the pain. I subscribe to Robert Frost’s advice, “The best way out is always through.”
Faith and gratitude.
Family, friends and the saying ‘and this too shall pass’.
Prayer, and being near loved ones and friends has helped me in times of grief.
Cry well, then call a friend who genuinely cares about me. Think of beautiful memories. Thinking of that love that can never disappear and then feel it. Convinced that one day we will be reunited. Enjoying all the signs that he, Karel, my husband has not really left me.💕
Meditation has helped me in times of grief and all other kinds of times. The act of seeing whatever is arising and embarrassing it is more helpful than my old ways of aggression. The three things that help me are recall, reflect and release.
I noticed whatever is coming up (recall-see it) reflect that it is grief or worry or whatever it may be and lastly I let it go.
Much like what brother David tells us to do with stop, look and go. They are the same actually. We pause and look at whatever is happening in us, look at it and let it go.
These practices are gifts.
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