Updated: Jan 5, 2019
Grief can be a powerful and sneaky emotion. It can come at you from out of nowhere, and it doesn’t matter what you are doing at the time it sneaks in. There’s no timeline for grief, and it may look vastly different for different people. Recently I’ve thought about the things that have helped me most in dealing with grief. Here are a few of those practices:
When the tears come, allow yourself to think about a particular memory of your loved one. For example, when I see flowers--and I usually see them every day--it reminds me how much my mom, Dori, loved tending the flowers in her garden. She was so passionate about it and it brought so much joy into her life that it’s hard to think about her without also thinking about her beautiful garden. So when my tears start coming and I get sad about her not being here, it helps to think about how much beauty she brought into the world with her flowers.
Talk about your loved one. Don’t stop talking about them just because they are gone. It’s good to remind yourself and others about what a special person they were. I especially like bringing up pictures or videos of my mom and sharing them with family members when we reminisce. It still makes me smile and giggle when I look at those videos of our special times together, and I love being able to share those moments with others who also knew Dori.
Do something that you enjoy doing. Maybe it’s picking up a book, or going for a walk, or simply having a good cup of coffee. Give yourself some grace when you’re grieving and find things that will bring you joy. Finding healthy ways to cope with grief and loss will help you through the long road ahead. It can also give you an opportunity to honor your loved one's life and legacy if you choose to do things that also brought joy to them.
These are just a few simple steps, but they can be very healing when that grief button gets pushed. Just recognize when it happens and allow yourself to grieve--it may last a long time or it may be a brief moment. Either way, be gentle with yourself, take a breath, and keep moving forward.