Monday Mindfulness : Moving through grief and loss

Moving through grief and loss.

I guess the one thing in life they say we guarantee is death, the loss of someone whom we have known.

I know my first experience of death was over 30 years ago of my grandparents and to be honest I don’t remember the feeling of grief or loss as I was young and seemed to accept it easier because that’s what happened to old people especially grandparents.

In my past year I experienced the loss of my youngest sister and at 32 it was a young life to be taken however she was ill for such a long time I knew she was at peace and her pain and torture was over.

So accepting that death was quite practical for me, now don’t think I didn’t experience grief, pain and emptiness I 100% did but it was a few months previously that I was at a friends funeral for her dad and they wore bright colours and had a beautiful coloured day for him and celebrated his life. It was very uplifting but I saw the value in this way of seeing their loved one passing.

Two days later when she returned to work I asked ‘what are you doing back so soon?’
She answered ‘I have wonderful memories with my dad and he would not have wanted any of us to grieve or loose valuable time in our lives now he’s gone, I can’t change the fact that he’s gone but I can change my days by being privileged I had all the time with him, I certainly won’t miss days through sadness it’s certainly not what he would want.’

I found this so wise and graceful and wonderfully uplifting and little did I know I may have needed these words very soon after that event.

I also know that loss comes in other ways too; we have divorce, separation from a partner, parent, loved one, loss of a job, career, loss of health, independence, loss of confidence, self esteem, self worth, you get my drift!

All of these come under the loss umbrella and all fall into the same emotional effect that grief does.

We all cope differently, we know this, some of us fall apart and literally can’t function, some of us lock ourselves away to protect ourselves from the world, some of us fall into escaping through drink, drugs , moving town, running away.

Yet what I didn’t know was that to every loss we have stages of different emotions that we experience:
Shock & Denial, pain & gulit, anger & bargaining, depression, reconstruction/working through and acceptance & hope.
Every human is different and every time process is unique to that person.

So as I reach my sisters first anniversary I understand all of the stages and I’ve had unexpected moments where a song came on the radio or I met one of her friends and I did cry and feel that pain and deep depression.

However I coped by having her picture in my living room and I speak to her regularly, tell her what’s happening and how much I know she’d be proud of me on all the little things I do!

This gives me comfort and it’s my way of coping.

So to finish today’s blog I leave you with this, the wonder of mindfulness is that when you learn to meditate and sit still, breathe and accept your life exactly as it is, feel your pain and notice that inner feeling you’ve got.

Simply know this that in this moment you cannot change a thing, so do not judge your life try to breathe in and accept where you are.

This practice gives you more and more moments of peace in your day and when you are in that frantic mindset it distracts your train of thought (even just for a moment) and gives you a chance of being present and this will help with the process, hard as life is and I promise you I’ve suffered many losses this year.

Practicing mindfulness gives your body and mind some space to heal and time given time will heal itself but the biggest relief from pain for me is this ‘ accept the things you cannot change’!

I repeat that over and over when breathing and for me I get to see that the only thing in life I can change is me so why would I want to suffer when I can accept life and live!

So for today just change one mindset for a moment and know that you’ve only got this moment so how best would you like to live it!

For one to one coaching or my up and coming mindfulness classes contact me on bshankey@gmail.com

Happy Monday x

Post Author: Belfast Times

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