Learning to live without a loved one is a gradual, daily process that soon involves picking yourself up and dealing with the daily stresses of life. For some of you, this phase will come quicker than others, either because it is how you best cope—or because your daily life will not wait for you to finish grieving.
If that is the case, then make some daily time to remember your loved one, and allow yourself to work through your grief. Cry, or grow angry, or simply find a way to remember your loved one. The reality is that your relationship with that person did not die. His/her body died and the heart-based relationship carries on.
If you lost a spouse or family member close to you, daily routine may be the hardest. Certain times will remind you more and more of your loved one, and that is normal. The important part is to just keep going, as Winston Churchill mentioned about a journey through hell. Your emotions and peace will catch up later.
Begin by making small tasks to be accomplished throughout the day, and congratulate yourself on succeeding. Attempt to focus on the positive memories, as a way of honoring your lost loved one. If it helps to change your routine entirely, then find a way to accomplish that; but consider keeping one or two same rituals with which to remember the loved one, especially if children are involved.
Kids need the stability and continuity of certain rituals, especially in grieving times such as these. They will be more confused and hurt if all rituals or remembrances of their loved one is taken away; and they will grieve more wholly and healthily if they have a way to remember him or her by.
This may involve you taking over some of the activities they were involved in. For instance, if your husband used to read them a bedtime story, with you or without, then it may help both you and the children to read this same story together, at the same time as before. Explain to them what has happened, but that their father—or mother, etc.—still loves them, and you are there for them.
HH4Heroes Grief Easing Strategy #6
Rituals that Celebrate. The transition and acceptance of your loved one’s physical absence is difficult. It is especially hard on the children. The memories remain, the relationship remains; yet, their physical body does not. Creating rituals can help you and your family maintain a deep connection to your loved one. Ritual can be anything that when performed gives you peace, comfort and a new way to celebrate your love for him/her. Consider lighting a candle for a few minutes every night, planting some of their favorite flower seeds, listening to their favorite music, cooking a their special food dish or anything that creates a comforting bond that can help bring you calm and connection. The idea is to celebrate their life and your love not to create a funerary shrine.
Another way of getting through the day, however, involves trying new things. We will discuss that in the future.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org and check out her websites at www.harvestinghappiness.com , www.hh4heroes.org & www.harvestinghappinesstalkradio.com.
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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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