How healing allows you to be whole again

healing from loss of a loved oneHealing our broken hearts from our losses is difficult and I think it takes time and it takes work on our part.  We don’t just get over grief to all of sudden become whole with our life again, it is a process and when we are actively grieving meaning that we acknowledge our loss, experience the pain and sorrow and all that goes along with that and we mourn. 

Part of the grieving process is learning who we are and how our life has changed without the physical presence of our loved ones.  This varies with the significance of the loss.  For example when we lose a spouse,  now we must learn to live life without a partner.  There will be many things that are be different and will requires some change to our life.  We may not want to deal with those changes immediately because we need time to mourn the physical loss, perhaps the primary income supporter and the myriad of other things physical and emotional.

So many people ask me “When will I feel better?”  Here are some signs that you are healing:

  • You allow for times of joy, even if there is still sadness
  • By living in the present more than the past
  • By believing life is worth living
  • You want to be social again with family & friends
  • You allow yourself to laugh and have fun without guilt

Healing does not mean you have forgotten your loved one nor does it mean you are not honoring their memory.  It means as long as you are still living, you have a desire to keep living!  I often ask people what their loved one would have wanted for them and the answer always is positive, they would want you to happy and keep living !   Healing requires you to have a positive attitude toward living, to push through even when you just want to go back to bed and cry.

Click link for tips:
–>> How to heal a broken heart and become whole again

 

 

Life is uncertain, eat dessert first!

Life is uncertain, eat dessert firstRecently I went to a nearby small town art fair, which was a delightful way to spend a nice Saturday in the summer.  While walking down the side walk of this small town, I spotted this sign in front of a restaurant.  I loved it because it spoke so much to me about how we all live our lives.

Life is so full things we “should do”

I started to think about all the things in life that we are supposed to do,  or should do and how they are done in cultural or societal defined ways. It was the start of a great conversation with my friend and we laughed about things that we still do because it is supposedly the best way, tried and true way or my favorite – the way something always has been done.

Sometimes we need to break the mold

If you are reading this blog it is because you are on a grief journey so  I will relate some of the ‘should dos’ that stand out for me and I wonder if we can change this standard way of thinking…

  • When you go over to someone’s house to express your sympathy you bring the standard green jello molded salad in your dish with your name taped to the bottom of the dish. I think everyone should stop with the jello and in fact stop with all the food in general unless it is obvious after visiting with the family that you could help by bringing food.
  • Making the standard comments to someone grieving a loss such as, “Sorry”, “He/She lived a good life”, “They’re in a better place now”, “You’ll find someone else”, – you’ve heard these right?  I might suggest those of us who have experienced loss change and others perhaps will follow. How about this type of greeting, “I’m so sorry for your loss, I can’t possibly imagine how you are feeling right now, but know that I care and will be calling you next week.”
  • Don’t make any drastic decisions for two years after your spouse died.  This isn’t always practical or realistic. I believe however, that sometimes we need to make the most judicious decision regardless of what others think.
  • You should remove all the personal belongings of the person who died so as to not remind you of the painful loss all the time. Now how dumb is that, having the memories of our loved ones through a picture or personal belonging can remind us of how much we loved that person. That does not mean we are building a personal shrine, but honoring the memory with momentos is great.

Live life now is a great motto

I think the more we live life now, the more we savor what it means to truly live.  Doing something because it’s always been done a certain way is no reason.

Life can be messy, life can be complicated at times and life can be filled with uncertainty.  Often those grieving loss don’t know what to do without the physical presence of their loved one, they become paralyzed in the past and don’t know how to move forward and live life again.  But life has no guarantees, and the magic is in the everyday moments.  Pay attention, there are miracles all around you, you just have to look because they are there.

You have gifts and talents that the world is waiting for and now is the time to set some priorities and decide how will I live? I encourage the newly bereaved to take small steps, one action a day or week toward something positive in your life is better than simply telling yourself you will be ready soon.  Life can be so fleeting and I think the best way to honor the memory of our loved ones is to keep living it!

 

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”- Joseph Campbell

 

lessons from death, life is uncertain, eat dessert firstSometimes we just need to have a milkshake for breakfast – now that’s livin’.

Lessons learned from death.

 

How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

How do you want to be remembered?When we attend someones funeral everyone is reminiscent over the person who died.  We remember their life, if they died young we talk about how unfair it is and if they had a long life we often talk about their accomplishments.  But the one thing we all realize at a funeral is that all we have are memories.  Yes, I have always said that death teaches us much about life.

Ask yourself now, how do you want to be remembered?

I have suffered many of my own personal losses and when writing the obituary following the death of my husband I wrote about his accomplishments and those things I wanted people to remember about him.  But what we all do so infrequently is ask ourselves how do we want to be remembered?  How will I live my life now?  How will I invest the time I have this day and each day before my own death?

 

  • Will I invest more time with my family?
  • What time do I choose to invest in my business or work life?
  • When will I take the next vacation and stop putting it off?

These are some of the questions we should be asking ourselves in life NOW.  There are no do-overs, all we get is now which reminds me of the famous poem by the American Poet Mary Oliver called “The Summer Day”.  The last half of the poem is what moves me the most…

…”I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

I know you might be reading this and saying to yourself when you get through this then you will invest some time into something, but then the weeks turn into months that turn into years and before you realize it so much of your life has passed you by. People who have regrets at the end of their life wonder why they wasted so much time putting off life until something was different.

You make the choice, what are your priorities?

Don’t let a crisis or death push you into asking the question of how do you want to be remembered, spend some time and ask yourself that question today, think it through, write it down and start living.
What is important to you?
Do you have a set of priorities in life that you own or are your priorities someone else’s.

  • God
  • Self
  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Work

Life takes courage & commitment

So now that you have a priority list, make ONE decision a day and follow through.  Sometimes that means taking a risk – what does that mean?  Maybe it means just stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a stand in your life.  Will you have fear? probably but that’s why we need that shot of courage to step up to our life.

Mary Oliver quoteSo how will you live your one wild and precious life?  By doing so, you will honor the memories of your loved ones that have passed because I believe they are in heaven cheering you on to do just that!!

 

…Share with me in the comments below, how do you truly want to be remembered?

 

This Can’t Be Real – The Shock of Grief

Guest post By Gary Roe

Jeff was a good friend. He sat in front of me in seventh grade English. He was quiet, respectful, and smart. He was easy to be with.

The day after Christmas break, Jeff was absent. He wasn’t there the next day either. The third day, the principle came in, looking somber.

“I’m sorry to tell you this,” she said. “Jeff got very sick with spinal meningitis during Christmas. He didn’t make it.”

I stared at her in shock. I dropped my eyes and gazed at the empty desk in front of me. “He didn’t make it,” echoed over and over in my mind.
The rest of the day was a blur. I kept thinking, “This can’t be real.”
It was real, all right. It just wasn’t real for me yet.

Loss hits us that way. We can’t digest it. It feels surreal, as if life suddenly stopped and abruptly changed direction. It’s like a dream, or a nightmare. We wonder when we’re going to wake up.
For several weeks, I dreaded going to English class. I would ease into my seat, hyper-aware of the empty desk in front of me. I had trouble concentrating. I didn’t know it, but I was still in shock.

Shock is a part of healthy grief, and it can last a while. It can come and go over a period of months, triggered by certain memories or situations.
We feel for our loved one next to us in the bed. We expect to hear them in the kitchen. We find ourselves looking for them, wondering where they are. Their fragrance lingers here and there. Our houses, and our lives, seem unnaturally quiet.
We long to hear their voice. We miss their touch. We hunger to look into their eyes. We miss everything.
Our lives have been altered forever. How could we not be in shock?

What can we do? How do we get out of this daze?

1. Don’t be in a hurry. Your grief, and the shock of it, honors the one you’ve lost. It proclaims how important they are to you. You’re never going to get over them (you’re not supposed to), but you will get through this time.

2. Be nice to yourself and patient with yourself. This time is unlike any other. Things aren’t normal and routine, so don’t expect yourself to be either.

3. Do what’s best for you, and let the world keep spinning. When my father died (I was fifteen), I got very angry that the world dared to go about its business as if nothing had happened. Right now, it’s almost as if someone pushed the pause button on your life. That’s okay. Do what’s best for you, and try not to worry about the circus around you.

So when your loss is triggered by that fragrance, song, or special place, take a deep breath. The shock you feel is real, and normal. Let it come, and let it pass on through. Then ask yourself, “What do I need most right now?”

Gary Sykes pics 076Gary Roe is an author, speaker, and chaplain with Hospice Brazos Valley in central Texas. He has written threes books, two in the grief and loss realm. You can reach Gary at: groe@hospicebrazosvalley.org
Saying Goodbye: Facing the Loss of a Loved One (co-authored with Cecil Murphey)

Surviving the Holidays without You: Navigating Grief During Special Seasons

 

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Remembering Those Who Served-Memorial Day

photoToday I went to visit my Mom’s grave as I have every year for the past 7 years to leave some flowers and tell her how much I miss her.  What always touches me are the flags that are carefully placed at the grave of all Veterans.  I felt both proud and sad that there are so many flags…

But there are so many organizations that are helping our wounded veterans and the families of those who died serving out country.  If you feel so inspired, check out some of these great organizations, who knows maybe you will want to volunteer or support any of these groups. photo 1

Also check out this great article,  9 simple ways you can help veterans   photo 2

 

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