Tips For Handling Grief
You may feel this way where there are moments when it seems like your finally moving upward. Then all of a sudden, a sight, a song, or a memory reminds you of your loved one, and that roller coaster suddenly jolts you downward, and you feel like you are falling back to where you once were.
I know, I have been there from the loss of my soul-mate to divorce to changes in jobs – it goes on and on. I have and continue to learn and apply what I have learned becoming a Christian Greif Coach to process through these ups and downs.
Since my best friend and soul-mate Michael passed away, I went through intolerable and unresolved grief. I spent years trying to handle and accept my loss, and I wish I had known about Christian Greif Coaching during this time to help me through this painful journey which would have helped reduce the time I spent grieving shattered dreams void of feelings and despair as I have never felt in my life. I spent years struggling, not caring, making poor choices to overcome my pain. But in the end my loss is what propelled me to help others who suffer; I’ve learned how much damage unresolved grief creates whether it death, divorce, end of a job, loss of friendship, loss of a pet or any other loss.
First, be patient with yourself; it takes time to heal. Don’t let anyone rush you and most importantly, don’t rush yourself. Give yourself the time to allow yourself to grieve.
I have since learned several tips from my training experiences, and I continue to put these into practice to help cope during the roller coaster ride of living with grief. I pray they help you on your journey.
Emotions will come and go, remember your loss is with you. As I stated, do not rush the process and do not force yourself to be “better.” We grieve not only for the physical hurt but also the dreams we feel are stolen from us. When the emotions take over, give yourself grace, step outside, or take a break when they become overwhelming. I find prayer walks surrounded by the beauty of nature with no distractions is helpful. I use this time to God about my pain, my fears, and as I listen to Him, I always feel a sense of peace.
I have mentioned this before and will continue to address this, and I believe it is critical to the healing process. When you take time and space to honor your feelings, it can help renew your mind to focus on the good memories. Remember, you don’t always have to be okay. Be where you are and don’t make excuses for it. It’s okay to be sad, angry, frustrated, and a million emotions in-between. Take some time for you, self-care is essential. I find that eating healthy, spending time pampering myself even when I do not feel like, reading a book, exercise and doing things for you gives you strength and energy necessary to process through your journey.
Speak up and accept help:
I found this hard to do. I have always been “strong,” and I have a difficult time asking for help. But I learned that sharing stories about your loved one, letting others bring you dinner or take you to a movie, or be there to listen to you can make a difference. I learned that my grief is mine and that most people do not know how to handle it; they may feel awkward or embarrassed to bring up your loss, thinking it’ll cause you more pain. Let them know that it’s okay. Sharing helps let others know how your feeling and can give your heart a little relief. There are people in your life that love you and want to help; they may not know how – but let them.
Create new traditions:
Light a candle on the anniversary of your loss, celebrate their birthday, if you are divorced, start new Holiday traditions. Start fresh but honor your loss. I have several things that I so, for example, each year on the anniversary of Mike’s passing I share pictures, journal a tribute, write down something I want to share with Mike if he were still here, and even take time to cry, in time, like me you will be able to reminisce with a smile.
Take a few minutes to journal your thoughts and dreams after waking up or during hard moments in the day. I get such relief when I put pen to paper and pour out my heart in my journal. I am now able to review and reflect on my journal and see how far I have come over time. Journaling is a great outlet.
Write it down or say it:
Similar to Journaling, this is a little different. If you’re missing a loved one, write them a letter. If it feels good, mail it. If they’re estranged or deceased, place your message in a safe place, rip it up, or burn it, whatever feels right. Love never dies –say their name; it reminds us they lived and why they mattered. That’s not something we should ever forget. Say their name without apology and with happiness for all the joy you shared.
How could I be grateful when I suffered such a loss? Again, this is why I wish I had a grief coach to help me through the process. I finally learned to take a few moments to be thankful for all the gifts I have in life, such as friends, my church family, and a roof over my head, a job, and a fridge full of food. I practice gratitude each day. I list at least three things each day, it can be as simple as the birds chirping outside your window reminding you of how God cares for you, or your pets who love you unconditionally to as simple as the beautify sunrise or sunset – a reminder of God’s love.
Remember you will not hurt this intensely forever, but grief is a forever part of who you are and will touch all you become. The best thing I have to offer you