If you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one, I want to share some promises with you from the author Clare Mackintosh. Thank you so much to a friend who shared these words a year ago. It has helped me and I hope it helps those who have loss love ones.
I promise this will not always be the first thing you think about in the morning.
I promise you won’t always lie awake at night, sobbing until you can’t breathe.
I promise you will not always feel that hard lump in your throat, like grief is a rock that cannot be moved. It can.
I promise those waves of grief that knock you off your feet will become smaller, less violent. You will be able to stand and let them wash around you, not over you.
I promise walking won’t always feel like you’re dragging your legs through treacle; breathing won’t always be something you have to remember to do. You will do both these things effortlessly again.
I promise you won’t always be winded by someone else’s happiness – their social media updates and photographs. You will smile and feel glad that they have something so special, and that you once had it too.
I promise you will be able to say their name without crying. That you will share a memory and feel wistful; sad, but not broken.
I promise you will not always have to take the day off work on anniversaries, because you are unable to function. You will find something special to mark it, or you will treat it like any other day, and either is okay.
I promise it won’t always hurt like this.
December 13, 2022 will make five years that my late husband has been deceased. Over the years, I have responded to my grief in the following ways. The coping mechanisms serve as support, a rescue, comfort, a reminder that grief is present, but so is the opportunity to endure the sadness that it brings.
• Scheduled prayer time, I have an alarm set for 8:30 p.m.
• Support system
• Grief camp
• Color therapy journal
• Play games with your children, it helps lighten the mood and provides a sense of purpose
• Seek professional therapy
How to Face what you feel, list the emotions, tell the emotions why you feel that way, decide what to do with the feeling. Are you ready to overcome it? Do you want to over come it? Who will help you? Below are emotions that I’ve felt sometimes in isolation, other times simultaneously.
A joyous and cheerful season that the world anticipates annually may cause irritability, while triggering hypersensitive emotions when you have experienced loss. How do I enjoy the season?
Cry, ask why, contemplate, brainstorm a plan for my future
Disclose honesty and regrets – so much freedom in vocalizing hurt and acknowledging pain. There is self captivity in holding those emotions hostage.
Engage in festivities
Host Thanksgiving, particularly because my eldest daughter’s birthday is the week prior and she loves to continue the celebration with family.
Travel, pre pandemic we began a new tradition that includes traveling during the month that my spouse passed, which is during the holiday season. Due to his cause of death, anxiety is another feat that I have to manage and I haven’t quite gotten the best practice under weigh to cope.
Incorporate a family tradition in your love one’s memory perhaps the thankful tree, paint a bench, plant a tree, give to a cause, watch your fav movie, prepare your fav’s meal.
Scripture memorization is a tool you can access immediately to mentally shift your feelings of despair. While doing so, a best practice includes removing yourself from the physical space you’re in such as if those feelings begin in the living room or your desk at work, I advise moving outdoors with natural light, to a cafe shop, Target, your favorite retail store to shift your physical mood as you recite your scriptures to shift your mental mood. Below are a few to memorize.
Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” This is who we are: the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.
Psalm 91 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” … “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
It won’t always feel this way. There will be triggers throughout your life, but proclaim your stance in life. Be it, I will live a life of peace. I will be intentional with my day. I will live in the moment. You can do this. How do I know? Because while I am struggling five years later, it matters that I am doing it. Peace!