It all started off with a memory.
Facebook so kindly popped this picture on my thread on Tuesday and it kind of kicked me in the gut because… grief. Then as I was scrolling on I ran across a post in one of the livestock showing groups from a Mom wanting examples of senior pictures with kids’ livestock projects in them. OMG! She’s going to be a senior next year.. my brain started firing synapses out of control. Somehow the multitude of emails and catalogs from colleges hadn’t quite registered yet. My emotions turned to panic and suddenly EVERY SINGLE THING seemed so overwhelming, unbearable and insurmountable. All of a sudden I was freaking out about my only child moving away and being left alone and the even bigger deal was that my Mom wasn’t here to see her graduate, to see her head off to college and enter adulating mode.
I spent the next 2 1/2 days days crying. Grief is a funny thing. You’re going along minding your own business and BAM!!! A truck full of emotion rounds the corner and runs over you leaving you sooo helpless you can hardly function. One would think that after nearly 5 years I would be coping better, but thats the thing, although the bouts get further apart, the intensity is just as strong. The thing I think I HAVE learned, sort of, is how better to help myself cope and that is what I want to share today:
• Grief can be emotionally and physically exhausting. It is important allow yourself the time to grieve and care for yourself.
• Seek interaction. I find I tend to close in on myself when in the deepest throes of my grief but I often feel better if I TALK to someone and share how I am feeling. Talk about your feelings with family, trusted friends on a professional.
• Take a break.. from grieving. Grieving is a good thing but its important to give yourself a break and direct your mind to pleasant distraction. After weeks of watching my mom fade away in hospice, the day after she passed, I turned my brain off and went to a horse show. I needed that distance, that break from 24 hour a day waiting and worry. The business of grief and death was waiting for me the next day.
• Explore creative outlets. Try expressing your grief/ feelings through a creative outlet such as writing, music or art.
• Get OUT! Get outside, get fresh air and get some exercise. We know that exercise is good for you as it releases endorphins. Even a quick walk can help you get out of a funk and feel better.
• Forgive yourself. Grief often comes with “I should haves”, whether they be relationship issues, things left unsaid or guilt from actions undone. Allow yourself some grace and give yourself permission to move on from this guilt so you can embrace happier memories.
• BE PATIENT. Remember there is NO TIMELINE. Everyone grieves in their own way and time. Grief cannot be hurried, and there is no end.
If you find yourself really struggling, there are services and resources available. Contact your doctor, insurance carrier or check out these resources: