There has been so much written on the subject of grief. The elusiveness of understanding it makes it so much harder to help yourself or others who are in the throes of experiencing it. I can only express my experienced thoughts and feelings on the subject in hopes of resonating pieces of shared pain with others. When I was in the eye of the tornado with my sorrow, I took comfort in what others wrote and it helped my brain understand the loss. I took pieces of hundreds of books, papers, and writer’s words that I could relate too and found a path for my grief to funnel.
In the confusion of loss, my brain shut down in shock and could not absorb the REASON, the MEANING, of why I had to lose my loved ones. My mind automatically slowed down to protect myself from the pain of what happened. Even though thoughts aren't considered a physical pain to be treated by a doctor, it is a psychogenic pain caused by prolonged mental or emotional feelings. Eventually that pain can manifest into a more physical illness.
Everyone experiences grief in a different unique way. There is no medication or drug, therapist, or treatment to make it go away. There are many books, articles and medical papers discussing how to deal with it but nothing worked for me that I could find, other than my own ability to come to terms over the loss of that connected and physical love in my life. Even though I believed that their love was still around me, spiritually, stronger than ever, it didn’t take away the pain of the physical absence of that person. It was comforting to know they were not gone, just in another place, but missing them with my tangible five senses was devastating. I could no longer hear their voice, touch their warm skin, smell their scent. I wanted to scream, BUT I MISS THEM, to all the answers from the therapists, books and other sources of comfort I went to.
Throughout all the sessions with therapists, grief groups, mediums and self-help books, I took away that I was somehow to blame for continuing to feel sadness long after my loved ones died. The strongest comfort I received were from mediums who could channel encouraging messages from Dean, Tia and my dad from the other side. But even though I understood that their essence was not really gone, that knowing did not help me stop missing their presence in my life. I began to feel shame in trying to talk about my feelings to friends, family and therapists. Grief does not go away, ever. We learn to live with it, move forward with life without their physical presence and interweave our memories into our future selves.
My problem wasn’t that I couldn’t accept that they were in a good place, still with me, living life with me, but that I didn’t WANT it to be that way. I wanted them to be physically here with me, where they were before. My conscious did not want to welcome that they were gone forever in this life time. Fighting reason was my journey and battle to come to terms with their deaths, which in turn shaped me into a better person.
In addition, my elation in knowing that they were not dead and gone could not be shared with friends and family as they did not all believe in the positive messages from mediums or that I could know Dean and Tia were with me spiritually. To this day, my way of thinking isolates me from certain close individuals in my life as they are not comfortable discussing death.
Ultimately, its not any one thing that helped me with grief, it was a culmination of every small thing I did to move forward.
Some of the steps I took to move forward through the grief:
Quit my job and started writing and creating art
Talked with therapists and/or counselors and went to group meetings with other people going through similar pain
Found comfort in a renewed form of spirituality
Spent more time outside in nature
Stopped fretting over the small things
Worked at living in the moment and enjoying life as it happened
Took more vacations
Worked at being present when with my loved ones, especially getting joy from my grandkids
Started riding my bike daily and or going for walks with my dog
Made effort to surround myself with community (ie neighbors, or close town people)
Took better care of myself with diet, exercise and sleep.
Started meditation and finding that peace during the day even if only for 5 minutes
Daily appreciation of what I have
How can I help you?
Here is a list of differing entities that help those suffering from grief:
Therapists/Counselors - (see those locally available in your area)
Grief Groups - (The one I attended was at Swedish Hospital local to Seattle, WA)
I also found so much comfort from the Modern Widows Club
Some of the Mediums I saw or took online classes from:
Listened a lot to Abraham Hicks, even went to see her when she came to town:
Excellent TED talk by Nora McInerny (a must listen for those suffering from grief)
Books I have read:
When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi (A Journey written by a terminally ill doctor)
Signs of Spirits, Joni Mayhan
Life After Death; The Burden of Proof, Deepak Chopra
On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Building a Life You Love After Losing the Love of Your Life, Myra McElhaney
Never Argue with A Dead Person - Thomas John
Good Grief: Heal Your Soul, Honor Your Loved Ones and Learn to Live Again, Theresa Caputo
The Four Agreements, A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, Don Miguel Ruiz
The Light Between Us: Stories from Heaven. Lessons for the Living, Laura Lynne Jackson
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, Michael A. Singer