Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday's Therapy - 8 Ideas for Healing to Start in Your Child-Loss Grief

Thursday's Therapy

8 Ideas for Healing 
to Start 
in Your Child-Loss Grief


~Thomas M. Ellis

Remember, suffering alone does not teach. Time does not heal all wounds. For healing to begin, intentional grief work is necessary. Developing tools and skills to help you accommodate to your changed world is necessary. So what helps you to begin this healing process? 

Here are a few ideas:

  • Companions for the journey. Are you spending enough time with others who truly care about you and who validate your personal grief process? Clergy, friends who "get it," family members who "get it," a grief group, or a grief therapist may be on your list. Do you feel cared for, understood, and validated in your experience?

  • Time for your grief. How much time do you spend each day acknowledging and taking care of yourself? Grief demands your attention. You have not failed and you aren't "going crazy"--you are grieving, which takes time. 

  • Permission for expression. Is it okay for you to feel a mix of emotions? Discover different ways to externalize your thoughts and feelings of grief. Talking, crying, and laughing are okay. Loss is the problem, not you.

  • Becoming an expert. Are you curious about this life experience? Pay attention to what grief feels like, how it ebbs and flows, and what helps it to diminish. Gathering information about your loss can reduce anxiety.

  • Naming what is lost and what is not. Have you focused both on what you have lost and on what you have left? Clarifying your multiple losses and recognizing both what is left and what may come can lead to hope.

  • Be kind to yourself. Are you paying attention to yourself? Realize that you can't do this alone. Do what you can and not what others think or say you should do. Promote a sense of calm and healing. It's okay to take a break from your grief.

  • Embracing imperfection. Realize that you don't have all the answers. You will continue to make good and bad choices. When it feels as if you can't make any more decisions, don't.

  • Creating places of sanctuary. Where do you feel safe and free to be real with your grief? Peaceful environments in and out of your home allow you to fulfill your need for peace, quiet, and escape. Find the place that nourish you--you may have some favorites already.

Remember that you won't simply "get over" your grief. Rather, it sits on your shoulder. But if you periodically turn your head and look at it straight on, the honest acknowledgment of your pain will bring relief. Grief is hard work, and it will take as long as it takes. Being still and present in times of despair is a healing approach to this work. Grieving can become a sacred and creative time for you to discover who you are and how you choose to transform your life. Many have discovered that they can hold on to two opposing ideas--grief and hope--at the same time. You can, too.

~Thomas M. Ellis (2006)
This Thing Called Grief: New Understandings of Loss

Picture, thanks to Grieving Mothers


1 comment:

Dan Metcalf said...
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