I’m not sure you can observe when you’re the one grieving but this is a post about my grief journey after losing my mother almost a year ago.
I asked my cousin if there were books she had read. My cousin sent me a book list she had worked through having done her own journey and still on a journey of grief.
The loss of a mother looks different than any thus far. To me anyway .
My friend whose observed me has said she can see how I have travelled through the mist of loss and seen me cope in varying stages.
It’s something one does in small baby steps.
I make small decisions knowing how I’m overwhelmed. One simple thing I chose to do was simplify daily decisions and activities. Rather extend something than take on something that was too much.
I keep my routine . I read . I pray. Some things are a necessity . Coffee!
The list of books looks like this: –
A grief observed by CSLewis
The courage to grieve by Judy Tatelbaum
All in the end is harvest An anthology for those who grieve by Agnes Whittaker
[most books I bought were second hand from Amazon]
What do books bring. I think reassurance that someone understands and that its okay because they feel the same. Some books give a little phrase that help. I dipped in and out of reading, not concentrating for long. Best to use books in the way that fits you or indeed not at all is right too.
The most helpful quotes to me are :
Just do today
Work through your grief don’t avoid it
Breathe. In…… and ………. Out .
Best helps :
Friends who sit awhile with you sharing conversation and a mug of coffee!
Being kind to yourself
Art work by Jennifer @studiojru
For me it was that emotional surge of overwhelming emotion that caused physical discomfort.
The solution to this is not a quick answer or even a pill, but doing the day at a time thing and not resisting feelings but noting them. It is valuing the times when the sensation was not present.
Headspace talks about the fact there are clouds present, but the sun still shines in the sky.
This horrible overwhelming feeling has reduced but not gone. I know that just living daily has helped and that if I felt it was too much to talk about it I focus on just doing the next thing .
To quote a counsellor friend, “in grief experience it in the body not in the head.”
No one thing is right, we take our own journey without prescription and to me the important thing is to work through your grief, feel it and don’t avoid it as this can have consequences in moving forward or completion.
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I am reading a book by Dallas Willard called Hearing God. He writes, we treat God like a celestial aspirin. When we need to be in the work of listening patiently and being close to Him. Willard describes this as shoulder to shoulder with your Lord. This is the Shepherd who is with you always who is present in the green and the dark of life .
This shoulder to shoulder image captures my imagination of withness.
It’s keep walking. But your not alone. If we were carried all the time we would never get strong.
Assurance is how I see it. I need a lot of that. Alongside the comforting presence there is the words of scripture that encourage me to – keep running the race, perseverance, be strong, be courageous. I’m holding you with my right hand. Such wonderful motivation.
Finally let me share a wonderful children’s book that captures a phrase I found myself recounting often . Going on a bear hunt.
The words that I’ve shared and read many times to my boys when they were young.
You can’t go over it. You can’t go under it. You’ve got to go through it.
Love it! The story goes on sharing in a fun way the route to a cave, mud, grass, rivers and hills.
The words echo a truth that we need, to go through life’s stuff and not avoid the emotional journey, though painful, for we will be stronger for it.
Daily I embrace Gods peace which transcends the feelings that stop me functioning and I am, moment by moment, learning to live that holy belonging. Uniquely me. Uniquely be you.
Daily gratitude is my focus. A life lived well is filled with thankfulness. There is always something precious in the midst of the mundane or indeed in the misty greys of sorrow.
Embracing our community. Taking Baby Steps. Shoulder to shoulder with the shepherd.
Remember in the words of Ecclesiasties 3:2
There is a time to be born and a time to die.