Can we all agree grief is not linear, and it’s timeline is infinite.
October 13th is our 9 year anniversary. Not the kind of anniversary that calls for celebration. Nine years ago my daughter died in a tragic accident. She was six months old.
Anniversaries past I have found solace in some type of creative project. This year I have a garage full of unfinished projects, a kitchen baseboard still not painted white to match the rest of the cabinets, a full time job, a toddler and teenager. I just don’t have the bandwidth to start a project. I do know that if I don’t exercise my grief especially during an anniversary, I will suffocate amongst the dense fog that almost always tags along with each passing milestone.
This October, I want to help others who are grieving. I want to help others who know someone who is grieving. This blog is my attempt at putting the past nine years of messy grief into a constructive format.
Let’s get our grief fitness on:
Science says giving your brain new experiences that combines physical senses, with emotional sense will stimulate more connections between different brain areas. This will help your brain naturally produce brain nutrients. The nutrients we need to have the ability to sit with the relentless pain and then to miraculously pull ourselves out of it to somehow manage our day to day.
Let’s start with three things you can start today that will help trigger your brain to produce a nutrient dense grief journey.
1. You will need a peace space. A small space just for your mind to rest.
I can easily take myself to a white sandy shore. My toes kiss each small wave that kisses the beach. The roar of the ocean drowns out the noise. I can taste the salty air on my lips. I am there.
Everyday for nine years I wake up with her image, sometimes the image is of her smiling face, some days it’s her blue body lying in a baby size casket.
That image can haunt me for minutes, hours, days…when I need an escape I close my eyes and I take my mind, my senses, my body to my peace space and rest my weary mind. Focus on my breath and imagine myself there.
2. Find a Tribe
Grief loneliness is uniquely subjective. Loneliness is defined by what a person wants in contrast to what they have. In grief we want what we can’t have nor will ever have again. Your emptiness is that part of you that was taken when your beloved died. The devasting news about death is that you will never fill your beloved’s void. You have to work slowly, like molasses on a cold day slow, to fill the abyss.
A good starting point is to find your grief tribe.
Sign up for a grief retreat.
Find local events that will help you honor your beloved.
Hang tight to friends who aren’t afraid to do hard things.
Join a Grief FB page and engage. Spill your heart out in a post.
Find a grief mentor.
Y’all write that shit down. I mean the good the bad and the ugly. I had like four different journals going that I rotated.
Some examples of my journal
December 16, 2011
I didn’t shower nor do I want to.
August 20, 2012
I won’t repeat the four pages of this entry but y’all I went through the entire book of Psalms and wrote down every time David lamented to the Lord.
I write memories. I write about my faith and my lack off faith. My unwillingness to forgive. I describe smells, dreams, fears, experiences. Some days are empty.
When you privately honor the good the bad and the ugly grief you give yourself permission. Permission that the world will not allow, a permission that is of the utmost importance.
❤️ Summer Rae