There's so much more to grief than death.
Many of us may not realize we're feeling grief because there hasn't been a recent death in our life.
We may blame it on the weather or eating too much when it's really grief we're experiencing.
Grief has to do with loss but change also, because really, when something changes there is a loss of what was.
Some situations may be: - job change, in career or retirement - marriage or divorce - friendship ending - change of a routine - people moving out, or in - illness - graduation These are just a few, and they aren't dependent upon whether they were our choice or not.
Many times people feel that if it was their own choice they shouldn't feel grief.
A great example is if we move.
Many times moving to a new location is our choice and we're excited but what about the grief you may experience from the location you were in.
Everyone handles grief differently and that's OK.
We are all individuals so it makes sense we would work through grief in our own way as well.
Some may want to be alone, some may push the grief away and claim there is nothing wrong.
Some may go on a spending or eating binge.
Some may feel they've moved on from the grief but there's still an undercurrent flowing.
Why am bringing this up? I think a lot happens around us every day and we just keep on going.
We don't stop and acknowledge we may be grieving.
Sometimes that's all that's needed is the acknowledgement.
I've had a lot of loss in my life.
I lost my parents quite young as well as a brother and all 4 grandparents before I was 29.
I know after Dad died, I didn't acknowledge it for quite a while.
I had too much work to do.
I was traveling a lot at the time and worked long hours.
Does this sound like you or someone you know? Here are a few things that have worked for me with relief from grief: Acknowledge it's there.
You don't need to make this a whole ceremony, though for some things you may want to.
But it may be as simple as sitting down, and acknowledging the fact your days will not be the same.
If this is because of a loss due to a death, acknowledging you won't see them, in the physical, like you had in the past.
Put up a few extra pictures of them around you so you can see them every day and talk to them.
If this is because of a change in jobs, acknowledging you won't see the same people gathered around the coffee pot that you had for the past 5 (10, 15) years.
Take some time to think about each of the people you were used to seeing and energetically thank them for being in your life or you could send an email or letter if you wanted.
And some you may feel you want to and others not.
But acknowledge what was there yesterday is different today.
And that it's OK to feel the way you do.
Have a ceremony.
This is another way to get some grief relief.
Take some time to not only acknowledge in thought but light a candle.
This is something you can do once or as often as you like.
There are times I light a candle each for Mom, Dad and Chris.
You can do this for whoever or whatever the situation has to do with.
You could turn this into a new routine.
Grab a cup of coffee and light a candle next to the picture of someone you've recently lost.
It lets them know you're thinking of them.
Write an appreciation note.
I mentioned writing a letter above.
This is similar but this is shorter, and specifically listing what you appreciated about the person or situation.
This may not be anything that you'll share with another, in fact you may burn it after the list is written.
This isn't limited to a person.
When I left corporate, I wrote a letter of appreciation to the company for all it has brought me over the years.
This is also something that can be done several times depending which emotion you may be feeling.
Today you may be feeling appreciation, tomorrow it may be anger and the next day it may be something different.
On the 30 year anniversary of Mom's passing I took the day and did things I remembered her doing with my brothers and I.
It was an awesome day and not only was I able to acknowledge her but there were memories that I had forgotten about.
I spent the whole day with her.
It was a great way of honoring her.
And when I was walking along the trails she used to take us kids, really being in the moment to appreciate and remember her.
Just be and feel! Feel your emotion(s).
Don't do anything to try to change them, just let them be, feel them.
And if you cry, let the tears come until they stop.
If you laugh, laugh until you stop.
Don't change them, just feel and let them be.
This can be so wonderful.
And if you feel like curling up and taking a nap afterwards, do it! Give your emotion a voice.
This is very powerful.
Sit quietly and let your emotions come (as before) to you and give them a voice.
Listen to what the emotion has to tell you.
It may want a day curled up on the couch in front of the TV or it may want a nice cup of tea and a good book.
And it may want a hug!! You could also do this exercise with a doll or stuffed animal if it's easier to give it a voice that way.
Dress it up funny if that helps, depending on the emotion.
We are human and we are here on this earth to learn.
Grief is one of our lessons.
Give yourself time to grieve and give yourself credit for what you do to get grief relief.
Angel Blessings to you! Sue