I really want to finish these series of blogs on Losing a loved one, which is actually the final edge for us, from the physical relationship with them. We had two sad losses between Xmas and the new year and my heart and love sympathises with their families during these times. These two brave souls fought hard to conquer the dreaded disease- Cancer. May they fly with the angels and watch over their loved ones.
In previous blogs I discussed ways on how we can get through Stage 1: Denial and Stage 2: Enrage. In this blog I will be writing about the next stage of grieving we go through, that is Acknowledgement and Adjustment.
D– Denial E- Enrage A-Acknowledgement & Adjustment T-Torment
We have been giving ‘grieving’ a huge part of us. Over the months after losing someone close to us, the anger of being ‘left behind’ to deal with the pain overwhelms us. We continuously search for answers to the biggest questions-
“Why me?” “What if…?” “How could God be so nasty and take away what was mine?””How am I going to cope with never seeing them ever again?”
The more I ask these questions, the more angry it made me after I lost my dad, my beautiful sister in law, Nalini and my extended parents (my aunties and uncles). Recalling the anger now whilst I write this blog, actually makes me still question. This is because the void our loved ones leave behind, can never filled again. Once we move past the anger and you are forced to acknowledge that they are no longer with us, that we will never lay eyes on them again and their hugs will never be felt again, the reality of life takes over. Life and our duty to others around us ushers a natural distraction from the grieving process. For those brief moments- in between aching for them and coping with daily challenges- we realise we forgot about the pain.
We have to find new ways of doing things. My mum had to find her inner strength as a widow, and take on financial responsibilities, driving, the family business and simultaneously being a mother. My brother had to put his life on hold, and step up as the ‘man in the house’. He had to be there daily, to ease the burden after losing my dad. During this time of acknowledging that they are never coming back home, you have to quickly be a problem solver and put measures in place so that life continues. You start to shelve your feelings and be present in the NOW.
This can be quite healthy for your healing, because you start to remember what life was like and now you have to make the necessary adjustments to make your life work without your loved one. While you are changing your physical environment, you actually, on an unconscious level, give yourself permission to find new ways to carry on. You latch back onto the life that you were living, finding a way to pick up the pieces and continue the journey. At times, when you start to immerse yourself into your work, you actually feel normal again. But when you feel normal by smiling and having a bit of banter, waves of guilt wash over you. Now if you focus on this guilt and focus about what others might think and how they may perceive you, you will continue to grieve.
STOP! Missing someone doesn’t mean you have to be in floods of tears everyday, and be buried in misery. It doesn’t mean that when your loved one passes on, you have to take vows of sadness and and thrive on others feeling sorry for you. Because if you did, then you will bring upon a life of unhappiness and illness, which might take you closer to your death. You may think that you also might be better off not living but remember that you have your own life journey and you have the duty to your loved ones around you to be the best you can. Others around you, NEED you!
So what can you do to acknowledge and accept the loss of your loved one?
- Do not forget about them. Talk to family and friends about all the happy times you had with them. What really helps is making a scrap book of your favourite memories with the person you lost so that you will always have it close to you. Your tears will start to change to smiles and laughter.
- On special days like their birthdays or anniversaries etc, organise some charity in the community on behalf of them. This allows you to celebrate the love and life they lived, with others that could do with some TLC. When you make others happy, your mindset and heart set changes. The unconscious mind starts to override the sadness of your loss with gratitude and gratefulness.
- Distract yourself by keeping busy. Don’t overwork, where you would end up with burning out. Just keep your idle mind busy. Join clubs, that gives you a chance to interact with other people. Go for coffee catch ups with friends and use your friends as your distractions. But choose friends that would make you laugh and get you to have some fun.
- Surround yourself with a new way of thinking. Use the death of your loved one as an important point of reference- the REASON why you should live your life to the fullest.
- Every time you feel heart ache or you miss them, stop whatever you are doing and consciously smile- Smiling allows your brain to stimulate serotonin and endorphins that are happy chemicals in your body. I always reminded myself that when my loved ones were living, they loved seeing me smile and hear me laugh, so I will consciously do this so that they can always see me happy from which every spirit world they are in. This was great for re -framing of my thoughts.
- Many people become scared and guilty that they forget little things about the people they have lost. This can be quite overwhelming and can take you back a few steps in your healing. Therefore, watch home videos of them. Videos allow you to remember their voice, their laughter and also how they looked. It’s a beautiful feeling being able to remind yourself of the happy memories you have experienced with them.
- To rewire your sleeping patterns, can be quite a challenge. Many of my bereavement and grieving patients, who I’ve worked with, suffer with sleeping disorders. They either sleep too much during the day and at night they cannot sleep through the night. Hypnosis helps for this. Listen to calm music or sleep inducing recording to allow you to sleep properly again. Start developing your bedtime routines again; no technology an hour before bed, a soothing bath, a warm herbal drink or a book to read.
- During the Denial and Enrage stages, you might have started your education and awareness of life after death, You must have read most of the books, thinking that the experiences in these books will help you overcome your loss or makes sense about death. Yes they do help a lot but your acceptance of your loss, is a process your unconscious mind has to go through. It needs to be re programmed on how to live life without your loved ones, anymore.
When you accept something, your unconscious mind makes room for the changes to follow. Peronally, I feel Death is the most challenging aspect of life. How you pick up the pieces will determine the rest of your live. Be strong. Seek professional help to understand and get the right tools to heal quicker. There are others living around you, that need you. But most importantly, your soul needs a happy, healthy body to experience life.
I dedicate this blog to Jess Lydon- a dear friend, who was a strong, brave human being that was taken too soon and also to my cousin Vikesh Maharaj, who is now an angel watching over his loved ones.
Remember the reason you hurt after loss is because you LOVED and you were LOVED. Being loved is the greatest gift. Appreciate it.
Keep smiling and tapping into your inner strength
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