Events that trigger grief-ways to cope

Grief is not linear. It can strike when you least expect it. It can occur months, or even years after the passing of a beloved pet, person or event. Major change in one’s life like moving, loss of a job, divorce, loss of a relationship constitutes loss. Grief excludes no one, even grief counselors.

Today, I find myself going over some of the lessons I teach others for myself. Grief is a form of releasing attachment. The attachment to the memories of the person, pet or event.

Tools like journaling, mediating, writing can help . Today, I am taking time out to give grief a voice so I can move through it and not let it weigh me down. My grief is not a new wound. It is several years old.  I’ve worked my process around the grief for my mother. Even so, I find moments that suddenly open my container of sadness.

This morning, I searched my freezer for some chinese herbs to heal my cold. A brown paper package with the cold formula had a date written on it. It was written in my mother’s handwriting, a few months before her death.

I find that writing helps me to gain clarity when my mind is feeling foggy, especially today, when I am fighting a cold at the same time.  As the words come tumbling out onto the paper, thoughts and feelings are released versus staying tight inside my throat. I write about the things that are disturbing my peace, emotions, worries that unfounded, inner dialogues about the next path to take.
Sometimes, I dialogue with my inner counselor, the wise one that resides in a place of calm and peace when while the external world swirls. When I close my eyes and sit quietly, she comes forward.

Here are some things you can do to move through moments of grief

-find a quiet place to sit with your feelings
-take some time out to be in the feeling if you can (if you are angry, allow yourself to be)
-cry, punch a pillow, scream out loud, to release any emotions you might be holding onto
-write about the memory that triggered the loss
-write about any fears that might come up (fear of abandonment)
-reach out and call a friend who supports you unconditionally
-tell your friend you need someone to listen without responding, without need to change or fix
-practice acceptance
-practice surrendering what we cannot change

Things not to do
-be hard on yourself
-beat yourself up for what you thought could have, should have been different
-withhold love from yourself and others

The bittersweet herbs reminded me of my mother today. It is also a reminder of how my mother’s death helped me move deeper into my grief work. I am grateful for this reminder. Bittersweet.

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