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Thinking Out Loud:  Rapid Ideas for Grief Recovery

Thinking Out Loud:  Rapid Ideas for Grief Recovery

   Recovering from grief has no set order or method.  It all depends on the individual person, what type of grief (how their loved one died), their social and cultural background, and their emotional stability at the time of the death of their loved one.

   Here are twenty practical repid ideas of recovery that will help in some way to get you past some of the pain and on your way to recovery.

   1.  Talk with as many people as you feel comfortable talking to, especially with someone who is a good listener and has empathy for your situation.

   2.  Take a walk each day and appreciate the natural things around you.  Somehow the outdoors provides a sense of peace and tranquility.

   3.  If you feel up to it, make a visit to your loved one’s grave.  Talk to the grave; even though they won’t be able to hear you can be therapeutic.  Cry if you want to, and don’t feel guilty about anything.

   4.  Create a scrapbook that will keep the memories alive of your precious loved one.  Share it with those who care about your loss.  Cut out pictures and anything that reminds you of them.  Let each picture tell a story.

   5.  Revisit your dreams and goals before your loved one passeds away.  This will reveal your thoughts and fears and help you to see what changes need to be made for your future.

   6.  Let others know how you want to be approached.  People are very uncomfortable to be around someone who has lost a loved one and they don’t know what to say.  If you need them to leave you alone, say so in a loving way.  If you need more affection, let them know.  There is no way that people will be able to read your minds unless you say something.

   7.  Think about the ‘Serenity Prayer’ — “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know one from the other.”  This is actually an ancient German prayer that makes a lot of sense.

   8.  Keep the person’s memory alive by still setting their place at the table or other rituals that you remember.  Do this for a short time until you come to an acceptance of your loss.

   9.  Plan to do at least one new thing each day.  It doesn’t have to be anything difficult.  You will experience low energy at this time, and it is important to keep your energy up.

   10.  Keep a journal; write your feelings down.  This is also a therapeutic exercise that can bring some peace of mind.  You  can do this every day or however long that you want.  Write whatever you feel.  Just let your feelings pour out on paper and read it over to yourself.  My articles are taken from my journal.  I open up my heart and share my journey with you.  If you receive a blessing from reading my ramblings, then I am double-blessed, because it blesses me to share with you.

   11.  Get as much rest as you can.  Going through the grieving process is hard on the body and the mind.  Take naps and relax as much as you like.  It will replenish your energy also.

   12.  Write a letter to your loved one.  Let them know how you feel about them and their absence. Tell them all the things you wished you had said while they were alive.  Let them know how much you miss them and what has been going on since they have been gone.

   13.  Consider joining a local support group if such is available in your area.  If the grief gets to be too much, seek professional help.  The support group will provide a place of familiarity with people who are going through the same thing you are.

   14.  If you live alone, consider getting a pet.  Having someone in your home helps to take away the silence.  Be sure you  have time to take care of the pet.  Also be sure you are ready for company.

  15.  Find something to do that passes the time, a hobby that you like or doing volunteer work for a worthy cause.

   16.  Relieve yourself from the grief by attending a movie or going to dinner or a comedy club.  Laughing is good medicine for the soul.  Your loved one would have wanted you to be joyfilled.

   17.  Don’t try to be self-reliant.  Reach out to others who are willing to assist you in any way.  Form neighborly relationships, especially if you live by yourself.

   18.  Keep away from people who make it difficult for you to grieve or think that it is time for you to stop grieving.  It is good to be around toxic people who do not understand your grief.

   19. Listen to soothing music.  It helps to soothe the soul and relax the body and the mind.

   20. Lastly, make sure you read all the good positive books that can help you cope with grief.  They will help you to understand the journey of your grief and the different emotions that are quite normal to experience.  It will also help you get through some of your bad days.

   Grieving is never an easy experience, but having good support can lead you to a place of healing and realization that your pain is real.  Grief recovery is attainable if you have the right people around you, the tools that you need, the confirmation that your grieving is normal, and practical ways to deal with your grief.
John T. Catrett, III
Scissortail Hospice Chaplain
306 North Main Street, Suite E
Bristow, OK 74010

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