Grief: A Path to Healing
Allow yourself the time to grieve…and take as much time as you need. Grieving from a loss is a normal and natural process that allows us to heal. Healing doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting but rather remembering.
The following are some ideas that may help you with your grieving journey.
Provide yourself, family, and friends a ceremony or event that uniquely honors the person lost and the space to remember them and grieve. What does your culture say this ceremony/event should be? There can be a community based ceremony/event and there can be a personal based ceremony/event.
Do you want to do an anniversary ceremony/event for this loved one annually?
Keep it meaningful.
Journal thoughts and feelings
Focus on the most traumatic experiences of the loss.
Focus on aspects that are difficult to discuss with others.
Allow your deepest emotions to come forth as well as the explicit accounts of the event.
Abandon concern with grammar, spelling, penmanship, and the like.
Write 15 minutes a day for 4 days.
Do a transitional (enjoyable) activity before resuming usual life.
Write down brief description of dream at night.
Try to interpret the dream in journal the next day.
Epitaph: A phrase or statement written in memory of the person.
It may or may not be inscribed on a Tombstone.
Finding it can be challenging and often comes without thinking about it.
Example of an epitaph “Sometimes the most powerful life experiences come from those we least expect it.”
This can bring closure and meaning.
Writing how this person has impacted our lives via…
our mannerisms & gestures
our way of speaking & communicating
our work and pastime activities
our basic personality
our values and beliefs
The imprints we would most like to affirm and maintain are:
The imprints we would most like to relinquish or change are:
No need to be trained or follow structure or rhyme.
Freely and creatively write.
Come up with metaphors that describe your grief at that time.
“This grief is like a warm blanket that is tightly wrapped around me keeping me warm, safe, and still.”
Find and exercise you can do privately as this may cause an emotional outpouring. For example, walking/running on some forest trails or exercising at home.
With an elevated heart rate from an exercise activity, think of the loss and allow the emotions to come up and flow through you.
Let the stress and sadness motivate you physical actions in exercise.
This prevents emotions from getting stuck in us physically, which will make us sick.
Be aware that this can make you feel worse at first but it will eventually help in the long run.
Consider Energy Psychology (tapping)
Based on acupressure/acupuncture principles.
Allows the grief and loss to flow throw us smoothly and fluidly.
See a counselor, acupuncturist, or shiatsu practitioner trained in this unique yet powerful approach.
Allow others to grieve in their own way.
Not everybody grieves the same.
Don't expect others to grieve the same way you do.
Give yourself this same respect and allow yourself to grieve in whatever way you need.
Finding their gift.
Each person leaves behind a gift that is meaningful to those close to them.
Discovering this gift can allow for closure.
For example, this may be something that this person has taught you or something you would like to implement more in your life (i.e. childlike curiosity, forgiving, giving, compassionate, etc…)
Thsi can be helpful to see how others process their grief.
A group supports one another during difficult times.
Find a counselor in your area that is offering group counseling on grief.
This is an ancient Native American healing tradition.
For those who don’t like to write or are nervous about talking to a counselor, this is a great alternative.
Find a place in the forest where you are alone and nobody can hear if you were to yell, scream, cry, and make whatever noises that come up emotionally.
Allow emotions and thoughts to flow while talking to the trees.
Whatever you do, don’t hold back.
No one is there to judge you except yourself.
Pour your heart and soul into this.
Express your frustrations fully and completely.
This may feel like you’re having a conversation with yourself. You may feel silly or crazy. Remember, nobody is there to judge.
Keep going until you are physically and emotionally exhausted.
This can be a very powerful release and healing experience. If you don’t feel better you didn’t pour your heart into it.