In my last post: Woman, heal Thyself – find it here: https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/woman-heal-thyself/
I spoke about coping mechanisms and gave you an idea of where I am on the “coping with grief” scale.
Last week (Wednesday) I celebrated my first birthday without BOTH my parents. My dad has not been physically present for my last twenty (or so) birthdays although he was still alive but I had my mom and sister to share it with. With my mom dying in October 2014 and my dad in January 2015, this was now my first birthday as an “orphan”. I’ve given myself the nickname of “Orphan Annie”.
As I progress on this journey of grief and mourning, I’m finding that I’m spending a lot of time re-evaluating my life – how I spend my time, what I spend my time on, relationships I have (those relationships that serve me and those that don’t). I’m doing a lot of thinking (meditating some call it), taking time to “smell the roses”, slowing down – trying to stop being so busy with being “busy”.
Throughout my fourteen months as primary caregiver to my mom, I managed to maintain my exercise routine with my Personal Trainer three days per week (for one hour each). This definitely helped neutralize the stress hormones which helped me cope with the physical, mental and emotional challenges I faced during this period. Exercising also gave me the opportunity to focus on something other than what I was going through.
TEARS CLEANSE THE SOUL:
Having suppressed my emotions for fourteen months, I am now allowing myself to cry irrespective of when it happens (mornings, evenings, on my way to work, on my way from work – whenever it happens I allow the tears to flow freely). It has been said that there is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness but of power. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief and unspeakable love. Tears are definitely giving me a release of my emotions (like a pressure-cooker letting off steam).
FEELING MY EMOTIONS:
I am no longer blocking my feelings. There are times when I feel deeply sad about the loss of my mom. I’ve postponed my feelings for fourteen months and it is now time to let it go – no more denial or covering up my pain. I am with my pain now – living in the moment – everything else can and just has to wait. I’m giving myself the time I need to heal because the sooner I allow myself to feel my emotional pain, the sooner it will pass.
The word “emote” is Latin in origin and it means “I move”.
WRITING LEADS TO HEALING:
I don’t keep a daily journal so I write through this blog. Using this blog to write helps me gain understanding and insight into what exactly is happening in my life – through sharing my story with you, my readers. This blog is my outlet for my thoughts and feelings. Writing is a powerful and highly recommended exercise in recovery.
JOINING A BEREAVEMENT GROUP:
I have nothing against joining a bereavement group but I believe that there is a time for this to happen and it just is not the right time for me right now. When the time is right and if there is a need, I will definitely find one to join.
HONOURING MY OWN TIMETABLE:
As Executor of mom’s Estate, there are certain tasks relating to the winding up of the Estate that has to be taken care of immediately and that is where my focus has been these last few months. Sorting out mom’s personal belongings is something I am not ready to do right now so her room is exactly as she left it the day she died.
Clearing out mom’s cupboards of her personal belongings, scattering her last remains etc. will have to wait a little longer. When the time is right, this will be done.
PUTTING OFF MAJOR DECISIONS:
I will continue to live in the house we shared until I can no longer live independently or until circumstances forces me to make a decision about alternative accommodation.
DANCE TO MY BROKEN HEART:
Grief can last years, but my nervous system needs a break every now and then. For now it is shedding the tears I need to shed when I need to shed them and going for a nice long drive afterwards. I feel an enormous sense of relief afterwards.
Dancing? Well, that will happen when it needs to happen.
Find more information here:
Grief Survival Tips (http://funeralguide.co.za/coping-with-grief/grief-survival-tips/blog.html
“Man’s search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl
“Beyond Grief” by Carol Staudacher
All books by author: Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
“The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron
All these books are available here:
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