During the 2-year time frame that I endured much loss and grief, I also experienced deep heartache.

For the losses.

For the things that those who had passed would miss out on.

For what I would miss out on with them.

I read scripture, I read about the 5 stages of grief, I read about heartbreak during grief. I read until I felt I couldn’t read anymore.

Some days it was so unbearable, I didn’t want to do anything at all.

Over time, I learned that healing comes not by doing all I could to avoid the grief, however, it is by putting my attention on grieving.

Here are some ways I was able to put my attention on my grief:

~ I talked to others – talking to others helped me realize that I wasn’t alone in how I felt and to share how I was feeling with someone who would just listen.

~ I always expect the unexpected – as you may remember, I call grief the unwelcome house guest that shows up whenever it feels like it and stays however long it likes.

~ I avoided isolation – it may feel like the best idea – being alone – however, it really isn’t.

~ Lean into the feelings and also remember grief is mentally and physically taxing… if you feel you’ve “hit a wall,” get some rest, eat well, take good self-care.

~ I remembered my faith – sometimes it could feel tempting to question my faith, having my faith was extremely comforting during these times.

~ I created and used rituals to honor my grieving experience – whether it was lighting candles or journaling, drawing or another creative outlet, I was doing these rituals and practices with purpose and intention. I used them to honor the transition I was going through as well as that of the person who had passed.

~ Remember the good times – sometimes memories of those I lost can feel daunting like “oh gosh they are missing this or that…” Rather than focus on what that person is missing out on, I choose to focus on the good times. I find that it helps me with processing their physical presence being gone from my life. When I’m on a hike with my husband, for example, I may mention how a friend would have loved this view or the place we’ve hiked to… it opens a dialogue about missing the person without focusing too much on the past and not being too much in the future either.

I hope these tips are helpful for you, wherever you find yourself in your grief journey.

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