Crumbs of pleasure: How to carry on after an unspeakable loss #grief

Tips on how to survive a sudden, life-altering loss.IMG_0376 Sleep, sing, love. go outside and ban perfection.

More from the CommonHealth blog.

In 2014 I became a widow, and my two young children lost their father. Needless to say our perspective and priorities have shifted radically.

Last year at this time, my New Year’s resolutions revolved around carbs, and eating fewer of them. This year, carbs are the least of my worries. My resolutions for 2015 are all about trying to let go of any notion of perfection and seek what my mother calls “crumbs of pleasure” — connection, peace and actual joy on the heels of a life-altering tragedy that could easily have pushed me into bed (with lots of comforting carbs) for a long time.

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Dealing with grief

Over the past week, I learned about the deaths of  two young men — both sons of friends. So, I offer this link to anyone else dealing with a similar loss. I attended one of these VNA groups after my father died and found much comfort there.

Dealing with the death of a loved one is among the most difficult experiences we encounter throughout life. VNA Care Network & Hospice’s bereavement counselors recommend taking the following steps to cope with a loss:

  1. Allow time to experience thoughts and feelings openly.
  2. Acknowledge and accept your emotions and feelings — positive or negative.
  3. Use a journal to document your thoughts and feelings.
  4. Confide in a trusted individual; tell the story of your loss.
  5. Identify any unfinished business and try to come to a resolution.
  6. Share grief with others experiencing a similar loss by joining a bereavement support group (see VNA Care Network & Hospice’s upcoming groups).
  7. Seek professional help when your grief becomes overwhelming and your feelings are out of control.