This may seem a strange thing to write about, but it really doesn’t matter whether the loss of a loved one is sudden, or it happens over a prolonged period of time, the impact on those left behind and the aftermath of what people need to deal with mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, can vary quite dramatically.
When someone close to us dies, then our emotions and our own mental health and wellbeing is of paramount importance, yet this is often forgotten about, as we swim in the minutia of getting through a very difficult time in our lives.
Then before we know it there is a wider impact and we are not living in the present the hear and now, instead we are treading water, we are no longer in control of our own lives, instead we drift with life, work-home-repeat, work-home-repeat, work-home-repeat, we stop socialising with friends and family, we ignore paperwork and bills, we drop hobbies and interests, we can’t be bothered to make an effort and yet we keep going and keep going, work-home-repeat, work-home-repeat. Wrapped up in grief and Internalising our feelings, just ploughing on!
Everyone tells us “it takes time” “time will heal”, which yes these are true statements, however recovery from grief and moving forward with your life, needs to be more than ‘time ‘ dependant, after all, if we are bereaved of a family member or close friend, things will never go back to how they used to be.
Looking back I remember the inner turmoil , the self-questioning, the what if’s, why’s and wherefores and it can catch you totally unaware, even just when you think you’re getting yourself pulled back together again, something comes out of the woodwork and it can become a vicious spiral with what feels like one step forward and two steps back.
This happened to me two weeks ago, and I am 20 months into recovery from grief, this left flank took me 3 to 4 days to process and to regroup and come to terms with, as my heart broke and deep sadness kicked in, taking me back to events of 2017.
After getting over this latest shock, I recognised this painful and deep sadness which had overtaken me again, and don’t worry I am now OK, but I have had to put in place a number of coping strategies to re-lift the inner me out of this deep sadness, because this time I recognised it, I was able to do so, and into day 2/3 I realised I had to do something for my own self-preservation and not to let my inner thoughts take hold and drift me into places I didn’t want to go.
Here are the top five things I did
1. I acknowledge that …IT’s OK NOT TO BE OK and from time to time things may happen that I have no control of, but I need to deal with them as they arise and not worry about things I can’t influence and change.
2. To lift myself out of the spiral of deep sadness I turned my thoughts to GRATITUDE and how I am grateful for the here and now, my family . This mindset tactic/tool over rides the negative thinking ‘tenfold’.
3. I found peace and quiet on Alnmouth Beach to process my thoughts and having a very early morning walk, consciously giving myself a plan to move forward.
4. I shared my heartache and emotions, getting out the anger, the frustration and the tears with my daughter – having someone to share emotions with can bring you a sense of release, rather than bottling it up inside which creates additional stress.
5. I used my inner strength to take control of a situation that mentally has an impact only if I choose it to have an impact and I choose NOT to succumb to latest events.
If these top 5 tips help you, then let me know, if you know someone who may find this useful, then please feel free to share.