Managing after loss

This week was going to be bumblebee butt or fly’s eyes. (Future blog post) Real-life stepped in the way. Another young person has been taken from this world. I have met many beautiful charismatic souls in my journey. Some leave artwork in your heart.

How do you say so long my friend?

  • Write a letter, to them, their family or just a letter that is only for you. (If your emotional or holding negative feelings, it is ok to write that to yourself)
  • Find a song that reminds you of them or one you loved together
  • Put up a reminder or memorial (Creating a scrapbook or memory book)
  • Post on their social media if it is still up.

If you’ve had to face grief head-on you may know grieving has many emotions. Learning about grief can ease your passing through the dark path. We have had friends, loved ones and people in the community’s lives cut short due to suicide, drug-related, sudden accident, violence, terminal illness and old age. No matter what ended a human’s life we need to help each other and learn ways to cope with each of our losses. Takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to deal with the loss of someone.

As children, we are dependent on our parents, and as aging adults at the end of our lives we are often dependent on our children. Conversely, the chapter between those two phases is characterized by independence. And yet adulthood is actually the time in our lives when we experience the most hardship, the most intellectual challenges, the most loss, and the most mental anguish.
For a large majority of us, we were never prepared to deal with these situations. No one teaches us how to go through divorce, handle depression, support a family member through addiction, bury our parents or worse, a child and keep on living through the grief.
During adulthood we need our “village” more than ever, and yet it’s drilled into us that we must bootstrap our way through life, going it alone. Many of us find our people, our village through work. (I used this from below link, the words summed up my feelings.)

The brain and body go through so much when we are dealing with grief. We release stress hormones into the bloodstream. The hormones can be there for a long time, many months can pass when our hearts are broken. This is a time to be mindful of your own health and wellness. Things that might give you clues into your own coping and well-being: are you getting headaches (or more headaches) gut changes (diarrhea, nausea) energy levels, sleeping changes, weight changes and mood are so important when you are feeling grief, anxiety or sadness. If you are struggling with any long term stress, please get help. You might need to talk to your doctor or a therapist. This kind of pain is often hidden from the world, it is ok to not be ok. Being a quiet martyr might not benefit your long term health and healing. When a Loved One is Dying: The Unspoken Emotions & Impact

Please have water, light snacks every 4 hours, light exercise like a walk or stretching, resting, watching funny shows, you might think oh I’m too sad to watch anything that makes you laugh ( laughter is medicine) Laughing even smiling starts to change the sad chemicals in the brain. 

What can you say to someone that had a sudden tragedy? 

  • I care about you
  • I’m sorry this is hard
  • I hope you find peace
  • May the day have some light
  • Can I make you tea or a meal (with the pandemic you can offer to drop off or have a meal/tea sent to them)
  • Are you able to do something kind for yourself.

What makes some of us shut down?

  • Coping mechanism
  • Defense mechanisms
  • Fears
  • Anxiety
  • To much thinking. Our heart and brain become overwhelmed.
  • Not having or knowing the words to say.

Sometimes we just need something to hold on to a memorial. Sometimes we don’t have a picture or an item. Perhaps you could make your own special thing to remember the living.. Planting a plant or making art. Write them a letter. Maybe set a day and feed something or someone. In our wedding ceremony, we had photos of the people we had lost. I really have a value of honoring the people that are not with us still. Not everyone shares my openness of talking about death, I believe death is part of life. The western cultures around dealing with death are sad. Death is sad, loss of any kind is not something we enjoy. 

A friend of mine writes notes, attaches them on balloons and let’s go, remember the loved ones that have left. I type or write notes to the ones that touched my heart. Please live life like you are a value! You might not know it, someone might be here because of your smile.

Photo by Snapwire from Pexels

lady with candles Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Holiday self-care

Holidays can be very hard at the best of times. This will be the hardest year many of us have had. Remember we all come from different backgrounds, traditions and upbringing. Some had loving memories of time spent with people they cared about. Others struggled with negative memories. Stress and anxiety may not play kindly.

Whether you are relieved to spend time alone or you are missing people. Taking care of your physical and mental health is very important. You are important! If you are someone that takes vitamins please know the best mix for the changing seasons. If you don’t maybe talk to your doctor or alternative practitioner about what might benefit you. I switched my vitamins last month to help fight the blahs of longer, darker days. 

Setting a water goal can help. Clean water helps our bodies run better. Like an engine needs oil our brains and bodies need water to function. My friend and I were using the little Genies on the cell phone emojis that would be our “Water genies.” There is a blue one and a red one if I had hot water I would use the red one with how much water I drank. She did the same. We did better with keeping track.

I have made myself and my family stress reduction boxes. You can use whatever works to keep your things in. You want it to be portable so you can grab something on the go to aid in feeling better.  A care box is something you build to help when you feel stressed, blah, sad  or angry. If we need to distract, defuse or change our pattern of thinking. This box can be a blessing.

Things you can put in a shoebox, backpack, basket, really anything that is easy to pull out the things to aid you in feeling calmer and work towards healing. Non-alcoholic drinks like tea or a juice box, sparkling water. You can put a small craft in or game, gum, bubbles to blow ( they help with deep breathing and opening our lungs) writing pad, drawing pens a stress ball, a kaleidoscope, essential oils,  any small things that help you feel better. I found a plastic smiling poo in a dollar store for a box I made for someone, I called it when poop hits the fan box. They ready liked it. Handwarmer and a healthy snack can be great things to add. 

Eating at regular times can help balance you mood by keeping blood sugars regulated. People in the health field suggest small meals or snacks ever four hours. Healthy foods prompt wellness and give you better immune support.

Make a list of things that help you feel better. Maybe soak your feet, have a shower a bath while watching a funny show. You can add people to contact that promote your feeling better. Get into the fresh air, loving a pet or nature. Hang out in a cozy spot and read. Remember it is ok to take time for you.

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova

Humor when we are having a hard go, sometimes it is hard to find humor. Laughter has health benefits and is very healing. Comedians I enjoy is Gabriel Iglesias and Michael McIntyre Tonight when I was finishing up the post, I had some of my own stress, my 16 year old dog was having a hard health night after making sure he was stable and calling to make a vet appointment for him I watch the above videos! I feel a bit better.

If you are on medication please remember this is part of keeping you healthy. Please follow the instructions from your practitioner. 

If you need help please contact a support line.

Take time to smile and be thankful.

The bath tub photo is by Photo by Taryn Elliott