Getting Through the Grief Journey

Getting Through the Grief Journey

written by: Ms. Cindy Athey
by: Ms. Cindy Athey
Grief Grief

I've been on a grief journey for a while. My parents were both very ill the past few years and both passed away (my dad in Sept, 2017 and my mom in Jan, 2018). In that time, I have found many things about grief and how it puts a stop on doing anything productive in life. As a therapist we are supposed to look at the clinical aspects of loss, how it effects the brain etc... We are taught how to help others cope and move forward in their journey. I get that but I'm more down to earth about psychology.

Yes I believe the stages of grief do exist and mainly for the mere fact I've been thru them this way and that way and all around them like a roller coaster. I've been angry, I've been depressed, I've been shocked, I've bargained. You name it and I've been there. And they truly suck but there is a small brighter side to it that I have found. It is gratitude and spirituality. I have found both things recently over and over without really trying.

When the days seemed the darkest, I found a spark of light and so can you. Yes I get the let's hide from the world, stay by myself and I don't want to interact with anyone even family or the clerk at Speedway where I frequent but you know what I have found a key to getting my thoughts out of that funk. And it is a temporary funk....

Losing someone is just plain hard and you feel crazy at times, crying for no reason, hearing the "if only I told them this....if only I'd listened better to their stories, etc..." thoughts play over and over in your head but if you are gentle with yourself and remind yourself it's ok to feel bat-sh*t crazy during this time it helps.

Once you give yourself a break, think about being grateful for something. What small things can you be grateful for today? Try to think of 3. You can do that. For example, 3 things I can think off the top of my head are: having a roof over my head, running water whenever I want and the mere fact I had my parents in my life for 49 years. Not everyone in this world has those luxuries so it helps me get back to wanting to help others and not get stuck on the depression channel in my head.

Now I'm not saying it's not ok to be upset. Of course it is but it is not ok to be stuck day after day. Loss is devastating and life has changed but we all have to move forward even a tiny step at a time and sometimes that tiny step is just taking a shower and getting out of the pjs.

My spirituality has played an important part recently when I consider I am not in control of my life. God or whatever higher power you may believe in, is in control. When I realize I need to let go of things that are above my pay grade like why did my parents have to get dementia and cancer and die that way within 4 months of each other.

It's helpful or at least it helps me realize that I really have little control over anything or anyone only my own actions and thoughts. I ask myself would my father or mother want me to sit around feeling sorry for myself and sad. No they would not. That rationale helps me change my mood, wipe my tears away and do something constructive to help someone else.

Well lovelies my hope is that anyone who is hurting will understand I get you and remember anyone who has coped with a loss, gets you. You are not alone!

written by: Ms. Cindy Athey

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