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?

  • Be creative.

  • 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.

  • Dream Journal

  • 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.

  • Life Imprint

  • 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:

  • Poetry

  • No need to be trained or follow structure or rhyme.

  • Freely and creatively write.

  • Metaphors

  • 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.”

  • Exercise

  • 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…)

  • Group counseling

  • 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.

  • Tree Preaching

  • 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.

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