Over the last few years, I’ve been introduced to grief.
I was a stranger to grief before that.
Sure, I’d lost grandparents, and lost a dear cousin.
But, I’d never had daily all-consuming grief in my life before.
That changed in 2014 when I nearly lost my marriage.
Countries divided us and we couldn’t agree on where to live. We grew apart.
We nearly lost everything we’d spent our lives building.
Through hard work and fresh commitment, that resolved.
But it had just been the beginning.
While the scars were still fresh, Mr Flutter and I experienced multiple redundancies between us.
Mr Flutter experienced two head injuries in the space of a week, which rendered him unable to work for 9 months. For a while, I felt like I’d lost my husband all over again.
People close to us that we loved, struggled daily with their health until it became apparent it wasn’t a temporary thing they had, and they had to start to fight for their lives.
Some of those dear people lost their fight.
Friends and family lost babies and children.
We lost treasured fur family members.
So, I had to learn to live through and with grief.
It was new.
I had to learn some strategies to help.
Which leads me to this post today.
What I’ve learned about grief is that it’s not unique – it’s a part of life.
At some point, we will all go through crippling grief.
It’s a matter of when not if.
But, everyone’s individual journey through it is unique.
We all go through it at a different pace, and that’s ok.
Today I thought I’d share some of the things that have helped me through my dark moments of grief. In case they help you during your dark moments.
These are some of the things I found that helped:
- Maintaining a routine – doing the basic tasks like eating, sleeping, showering, etc. At their normal times for me.
- Talking to a professional. Only a few times was enough for me, but it definitely helped when I found things the hardest.
- Booking something to look forward to. For us that was holidays. Even though the timing was never going to feel right.
- Making time to still see my friends.
- Doing something creative, even if I didn’t feel like it at the time.
- Taking care of myself and my health – seeing a natural doctor to work on my health.
- Letting myself feel it. – My natural instinct was to keep busy and avoid. But I found that only to be a short-term solution. The feelings eventually catch up with you.
- Talking to my children about grief and letting them see me feeling sad. I feel like this showed them grief and sadness are normal to feel at times and will be a helpful lesson to them in the long run.
- Reducing my client load and hours at work so that I could be there for my family – I had to get over the fact that my income would temporarily suffer and know we would still be ok.
These are some of the things that didn’t help:
- Taking on too much stuff that I didn’t have the capacity for, and only served to add more stress.
- Getting overtired and not have good sleep routines.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Eating too much sugar.
- Isolating myself.
- Trying and be the strong one for everyone.
If you are going through grief then my thoughts are with you as you process it.