Today, my daughter and I put up the Christmas tree. Carols were playing in the background and there was karaoke (screetchy hoot owl style). Laughter was ringing out and my neighbours must think I’m crazy. It’s half way through November and I’m sure you’re claiming – it’s too early to put up the tree! Yes, that might be true. However, for my daughter and I, it beats the sadness as the anniversary of my mother’s death is washed away, and replaced with joy.
That’s the funny thing about grief. It comes when you least expect it. Grief hits you like a kick in the guts, and then it’s gone again. Sometimes it’s gentle and other times it’s like being slammed against a wall.
We all have strategies to deal with stuff in our life, some of these techniques are more complex than others. When the going gets tough, that’s the perfect time to think outside of the box and do simple things. For example, like erect a Christmas tree to distract you from the potential to fall into a sadness trap.
Four years down the track, after mum’s funeral, I have found that the trick to tackling grief and not letting it run my life is this… Honor the feelings that arise. All of them, good and bad. Remember the happiness and look at all the photos.
Take a breath in, let the feelings go, then breathe out. Don’t dwell on anything, just let it all flow. We are meant to experience thoughts and feelings, we just aren’t meant to hang onto them.
Keep living the life you were destined for. Continue to walk your journey path. The alternative, of dwelling in the sadness and feelings of grief, is simply not something that I find palatable. And if you find yourself stumbling in those feelings ask yourself this – is it easier to hurt or to heal?
If you feel overwhelmed at the thought, seek professional support. This way you involve your family and friends, without burdening them with your struggles.