So many of you loved my short video on grief rituals the other day where I spoke about candles and shared my candle lighting ritual to connect with my son. I loved hearing what some of your special ones were too.
Today I wanted to talk about our daily rituals. Those things we do habitually and regularly. We talked a little about how we can use them in our grief let’s look at our life.
In life we might have certain rituals for our day to day:
Showering with the same soap.
Having a coffee or tea first thing in the morning.
Cooking a certain meal on a specific day.
Turning on the TV to watch the news every night.
These have become some of our habits and give some structure and direction to our lives. It seems natural then that in our grief many of our behaviours and actions will become habitual too. Some of these habits will serve us well, some not so.
Here are some of the habits that may not be serving us very well:
Spending time with people, who don’t get it, will never understand and suck the very life blood out of us. We have to go to bed when we get home or we get so angry with them we think we’ll explode if we have to do that one more time.
Watching TV to get rid of the moments of loneliness but getting trapped in the violence, in the hatred, in the pain of others that makes us feel even more down than we already are.
Staying in an environment that we know isn’t good, isn’t healthy, isn’t supportive but we just can’t see a way out.
Punishing ourselves with the defeating and berating conversations in our heads. Who needs enemies when we have ourselves doing such a good job?
Eating way too much comfort food or skipping meals altogether because it’s the only way we can deal with the pain in our heart.
Escaping with a few drinks into a state where our loss is not real cannot be real. Oblivion is sweet for a moment in time.
Doing it all alone because we don’t want to bother anyone, because we feel less somehow if we reach out and ask for help. Because there is no-one that can be there for us and anyway we deserve to hurt. This is our fault.
We’ve all been in some of these places, felt some of these things I am sure, I know I have. Yet what I have learned from my own grieving journey and from listening to many others share their stories with me is that we can all do something, make some small change that will help us in some way. It is often in the small things that we do, in the tiny changes we make in our day to day that makes bigger changes in our life overall. It is never easy and we need to do it when it’s right for us, but we can do it.
We may not even know except with the benefit of hindsight just what a positive impact that one small thing has made to our lives. But as we respectfully begin to let go of the people, places and things that are no good for us any more we can begin to fill their place with those things that do support, nourish and allow us to be who we are in our grief and as we grieve. Then healing will have a place to begin.
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