Much of the grieving process focuses on our loss. We miss our loved one so much that it hurts, and we wonder how we will ever make it through the pain. We spend time looking back at the past with regret and grow anxious as we anticipate a future without our loved one in it. We wonder how we will ever make it through the upcoming holiday, our anniversary, their birthday – or how we will pay the bills, change the furnace filter or complete daily tasks that once were done by our partner. We spend hours ruminating over how we wish we could have done things differently: the harsh words said in anger, the missed opportunities for time spent together, the “I love you” understood but never spoken. Our mind takes us on a journey from past to future that only adds to our misery. “I wish …” replaces “I will …” Grief plays awful games with our mind, heart and spirit.
To break the endless cycle of “what ifs” and “if only,” I suggest you uncover the hidden blessings that have come into your life the moment grief took up residence in your being. It seems odd to suggest that anything of beauty could emerge from such a difficult time, yet gifts do emerge when you take the time to ponder what has happened since you bid goodbye. In my research on grief, I asked this question, and the responses were varied and many. Among them:
Perhaps you recognize yourself in some of these. Perhaps you have other ones that you would add to the list. By refocusing on what we have gained, it helps us to adjust to what we have lost – and it may just make the journey through grief a little easier.
Nancy Weil is a leading authority on humor and grief. She serves as Director of Grief Support for eleven cemeteries and is a Certified Funeral Celebrant and Grief Management Specialist. Through her company, The Laugh Academy, she offers products to ease the stress and pain that grief can bring. Bandages for Your Heart on DVD or CD, Laugh for the Health of It on CD and her new book, If Stress Doesn’t Kill You, Your Family Might, can be ordered by clicking here.
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