Part of moving on involves re-entering community and developing your support system. For some, this is harder than for others. While some of us naturally turn to others in our sorrow, or may naturally seek out the company of others, some of us retreat into solitude.
How much your social life will be different will differ, too, depending on the relationship. Grieving a spouse, partner or best friend may wield a wider change than someone who was not in your daily or weekly life. The closer the person that you have lost loss impacted your daily life, the harder the short-term adjustment will be. Part of coping with this loss involves, as you are ready, healing and wrapping your life around this empty space—filling in your different times and events with different people and activities. Involving old trusted friends, or new friends who do not remind you of the past, are both helpful in their own ways.
This is not to say if you lost a friend, for instance, in active combat, that the loss will not feel as deep, even if they were not part of your daily life back at home. You are still grieving the loss of their friendship and interaction, even if they were not part of your daily routine back home.
If you need to change this daily routine—either because the loved one was a part of this routine, or to help shake you out of your depression and sadness—then try to involve others when at all possible.
This may be difficult at first, tiring even. Grief can make even the simplest tasks seem impossible, and bring on all the symptoms closely tied to depression and anger. Other people can be trying in these days. But slowly immersing yourself back into company of close friends and confidants will begin to help bring healing to your heart. Friends can distract you from dwelling in your emotions, while still honoring the memory of the deceased and their memories. Friends can be there to hug, cry, or sit around in PJs watching movies and snacking on chocolates or cold pizza. To grieve alone is much more difficult in the long run, even if it feels easier at first. To let people see you at your most vulnerable, and respond with a hug or encouragement when you need it, keeps you from being alone and helps set you on the road to healing.
HH4Heoes Grief Easing Strategy #3
Tell the Story. People are often in shock when someone close dies. It all feels like a bad dream and yet, in this situation, there is no waking up from it as it is very real. Talking about what has happened is important to help you move from the shock through the stages of mourning. It is essential to speak about the person who died and how his/her passing has impacted your life and the lives of your loved ones. Keep telling your story. Gradually the need for repeat it over and over again will lessen indicating that you are moving closer to acceptance, the fifth of the phases. Community is key in helping you through this. If you do not have a community surrounding you during this period, seek out a grief counselor, clergy member or therapist who can support you.
Cultivate and keep that support group, and meet up with them; slowly, and as you are ready; make yourself do it. Pick up the blinking phone and respond, or send out an email. If you are too tired to do something, ask a friend to join you for a movie day, or go on a hike. Let the people who love you help you through this process. You must not isolate yourself. You are not an island and support is an essential healing tool.
(If you are suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides trained telephone counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Crisis help is a phone call away: 1.800.273.8255)
Remember…happiness is an inside job!
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Independent filmmaker, author, happiness coach and speaker Lisa Cypers Kamen creates these blogs to entertain, enlighten and educate our service men and women along with their families as well as support our troops. To contact Lisa, email her directly at email@example.com and check out her websites at www.harvestinghappiness.com , www.hh4heroes.org & www.harvestinghappinesstalkradio.com.
Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio with Lisa Cypers Kamen brings a fresh approach to the airwaves promoting happiness, well-being and global human flourishing by presenting a diverse and proactive collection of the greatest thinkers and doers who have devoted their lives to creating a better world in which to live.
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Harvesting Happiness for Heroes is a pending 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation. Our mission objective is to offer support services to Warriors and Warrior families challenged by Combat Trauma, PTSD and post-deployment reintegration issues. HH4Heroes offers Battle Buddy workshops, family awareness training, online community support, one-on-one coaching services, as well as retreats for Warriors to decompress from battle and understand the tools available for them to adapt their military skills to civilian society.
Harvesting Happiness & Harvesting Happiness for Heroes provides positive psychology coaching tools to facilitate greater well-being. This communication is provided for education and inspiration. This communication does not constitute mental health treatment nor is it indicative of a private therapeutic relationship. Individuals desiring help for trauma, addiction and abuse related issues or other psychological concerns should seek out a mental health professional.
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