Coping With Grief

Life is beautiful and there is much to rejoice for. Yet those who have lost someone they deeply cared for, be it a parent, sibling, friend, partner, child, close relative or even a pet, perceive it as bleak, dark and dismal. Albeit for a temporary phase, they feel anguished, greatly distressed and heart broken, to the point of experiencing physical heart ache. Immersed in sorrow and despair they give up on life, having no will to fight or face the world. They breathe but barely live life. A person in an emotional state like that is said to be grieving.

Grief can be a tough nut to crack. Most people can handle feeling bad, hurt or sad. Grief however brings about marked changes in a person’s life. People dedicate years tending to sick parents or family members, they sacrifice marriage, friends and anything that could distract them. Their entire life revolves around looking after the sick. When the patient passes away, there is a sudden vacuum. The caregiver breaks down, feeling guilty about the demise. Similarly, if a near and dear one passes on in untimely fashion, people find it difficult to recover due to a lack of completion. Some may not have said their last goodbyes or fully expressed their love. They blame themselves and refuse to move on in life, thinking that they do not deserve to be happy. People feel guilty moving on. To them moving on is forgetting. They become comfortable in their self-inflicted misery.

Many pet owners feel devastated after the death of their pet. The pet is like a child to most, sometimes cherished more deeply than actual family. The death of someone that close, causes pain and hurt that they find hard to let go. They feel no one can understand their pain and what they have gone through. There is a strong sense of justification for the grief experienced.

It is absolutely essential to put in effort to recover from grief. It is not easy but one can overcome it using the following guidelines:

  1. Accept that this is something that will not just disappear with the passing of time. You will need to take conscious steps to deal with it.
  2. Start taking it out of your system by talking about it. Focus on the joyful moments you have shared with the deceased rather than the not so happy ones. Look at old photographs, laugh about the funny moments but remember them for their spirit and good nature. Have a hearty cry but then tell yourself to stop.
  3. Take up a hobby that always interested you but couldn’t pursue. It will take your mind off the same thoughts bombarding you, especially if you find yourself with a lot of empty time on hand.
  4. Do something in memory of your loved one, something that lives on and makes you feel good. For example volunteer at a school or an orphanage especially if you know the departed wanted to do something of this sort but couldn’t. Donate to the needy, or sponsor a child’s education or teach someone for free. Feed the needy, humans, animals or birds. Do anything that makes you revisit the goodness of the deceased, so that you feel good within.
  5. Last but not the least, go out of the house and interact with people – laugh, chat with others about different things. Listen to their life stories and open yourself to people and situations around you. Let others into your life. Make new friends, read, listen to music, watch movies and start living life.

Taichi movements have been known to help reduce grief. Some qigong tips that can help you cope:

  1. Massage the centre of the chest, the midpoint in a straight line between the nipples, in clockwise and anticlockwise manner for two minutes.
  2. Inhale slowly and then exhale. As you exhale, make the ‘ssssss’ sound (like the hissing of a snake) whilst expelling your breath.
  3. Massage the sides of the left index finger in an up and down motion and whilst doing so visualize the lungs enveloped in white. If massaging is painful, then you can twist the finger from one side to another. Do this for two minutes, two to three times a day.

If you are open and ready to change, then change happens. Often we are scared to let go as we feel there will be nothing left to hold on to anymore. Surrender to the healing process and feel the difference as the energy helps you let go making you feel lighter and better.

An affirmation you could repeat to yourself silently:

I live a joyful and fulfilling life.”

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