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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.
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