Tag Archives: Grief

  • -

Why Are People Avoiding Me?

Tags : 

Has someone close to you died and you wondered why everyone seems to be avoiding you? I have. At first you don’t notice it as much because you are in a daze. But once you emerge from the fog, you realize no one seems to be around. It’s like everyone disappeared to the four corners of the earth. Anywhere so they wouldn’t have to run into you. Or at least that is how it seems. Don Miguel Ruiz teaches in The Four Agreements “Don’t take anything personally.” Easier said than done when you are looking for support and all you can hear are crickets. You start to wonder what you might have said. You start wonder what you might have done. Why is this happening?

IT’S NOT YOU

Most likely people aren’t avoiding you, they are avoiding grief. Historically society has treated grief and loss as tabu topics. People avoid you because they have their own issues with grief. Maybe seeing your grief reminds them of their own. Maybe being reminded of their own grief brings them pain. Feeling their own pain may force them to do something. Doing something is way too hard. Avoiding it becomes second nature. But over time unresolved grief can become a ticking time bomb. A person begins to feel like they are going to explode. Avoiding you keeps them away from a path they don’t want to take. It becomes their primary focus.

Another reason people avoid grief is because they haven’t really been taught the right things to say. Not knowing what to say makes us uncomfortable. Avoiding  uncomfortable feelings seems easier. If they are “unlucky” enough to run into you, they say things like “They are in a better place” or “You’ll feel better soon.” Not helpful statements to a griever but it’s what they have been taught. Eventually they convince themselves staying far away from anyone grieving is the best solution. Once again it becomes about them and not about you.

Grief Reiki LLC

SO WHAT CAN WE DO DIFFERENTLY?

Face your own grief. You can’t be there for someone else who is grieving if you have your own issues with grief. This is especially true for parents of children who are grieving. If you address your own grief first, you are better equipped to help your children get through theirs. Begin to understand why you haven’t dealt with your grief. What can you do to address it? The Grief Recovery Method offers a structured action plan to help you do just that.

Be honest with a griever.  Instead of avoiding  griever, all you have to do is say “I just don’t know what to say.” An honest answer is better than crickets. Offering a hug without any words is even better. A hug can say it all. It makes a griever feel safe and not alone. Grief tends to do that to people. Makes them feel isolated. Avoiding them only makes it worse. As humans we need human-to-human body contact. In fact according to social worker Virginia Satir, we need at least 4 hugs a day to survive.

So the next time you know someone who is grieving, don’t avoid them. Offer them a hug. No words. Just a hug. It can change their world.

*********************************************

Sending you love, comfort and peace!


  • -
Grief Anniversary

Grief Anniversary

Tags : 

Since time does not heal when it comes to grief, it is not surprising that the Grief Anniversary of a loved one’s death can be just as painful as the day they died. For me, April 3rd marks the seven year anniversary of my former fiancé’s death. Although we were no longer together when he passed away, I can honestly say that he was my one true love. The pain of his death has been soul-wrenching and gut-stomping. Time couldn’t possibly ever heal that wound. Why would I want it to?

The first day, the first week, the first month, the first year after his death was tough. Who am I kidding – every day, every week, every month and every year has been tough. But the 3rd of every month became a recurring, in-your-face reminder that he was gone. So I decided that I had two choices about how I was going to handle it – bottle it all up inside and walk around pretending I was ok or face it head-on and let the emotions flow.

It wasn’t really even a decision for me. I automatically chose to drive myself into the grief at full throttle. I figured hitting it head on and wrestling it to the ground would give me some chance of coming out the other side. Ignoring it? Well that could lead to all kinds of problems and I certainly didn’t want to go there. I had seen others who never faced their grief and I didn’t want that anchor dragging me down for the rest of my life.

So on the 3rd (and most other days), I spent the time crying until there were no tears. I shouted at the sky. I took long walks. I went through old pictures. I read old cards and love letters. I listened to “our” songs. I remembered the good and the bad. I called his Mom and we cried together, I had a Memorial Service for him with my children up on a hill overlooking the ocean and we released a balloon to the heavens. We cried and held each other. I JUST LET IT ALL OUT. Then I let it out some more until I felt empty. The emptiness didn’t lessen the sadness or the pain but it felt better than holding it inside.

I think I also forced myself to do this because those around me didn’t know what to do.  Some avoided me. Others didn’t bring it up at all. After all he committed suicide and who wants to talk about “that” subject. If talking about grief is #1 taboo subject in America, who wants to talk about grief related to someone’s suicide? Probably taboo subject #2.  On top of that we had broken-up so add taboo subject #3.  Three topics that are tough if not impossible to discuss. So that’s pretty much what everyone did –  try not to discuss it with me. In fact there was no discussion about any of it at all. Since I knew I needed to do something (rather than avoid it), I took matters into my own hands and began my own grief journey.

Don’t get me wrong, people asked if I was ok. But in reality they hoped I didn’t start to talk about “it” at all. What were they supposed to say if I did bring it up? At least you weren’t in a relationship anymore? Nope – probably not the right response. At least you weren’t there with him when he did “it”? Nope – definitely not the right response. Neither of those comments would have helped me face my broken heart.  Ironically, talking about how I felt about his death would have helped me heal. I learned after becoming a Certified Grief Recovery Specialists®  what I went through with friends and family was pretty typical. It’s how we have all been brought up. As a society, we need to break the cycle of how we address (or don’t address) grieving throughout many generations.

My recommendation is to do what is right for you on a Grief Anniversary. That could mean acknowledging it or not. Whatever you do is completely healthy. Remember your loved one. Be sad. Laugh. Cry. Watch their favorite movie. Eat their favorite food. Do what makes it right for you. Make sure you surround yourself with people that understand what you need – not what they think you should or shouldn’t be doing. Let the day come.

So on this 7-Year Grief Anniversary, I want this day to be about him and the joy he brought to my life. The laughter. The great memories. The soul-embracing love. Pizza and margaritas. Hawaiian sunsets. Las Vegas fun. The U.S. Open in New York. Boat rides on Lake Anna. Crawling out a window to shovel snow on the deck. The “Aflac” duck commercials. John Wayne. The Beach Boys. I will look out on the hill overlooking the ocean. I will listen to one of “our” songs. I will share his favorite poem (and one of mine):

Sea Fever

By John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Please respect a Griever’s need for this day. We need it to remember. We need it to heal.

*********************************************

Sending you love, comfort and peace!


  • -

Book Review: A Widow’s Awakening by Maryanne Pope

Tags : 

I was honored to be asked by author Maryanne Pope to review her book A Widow’s Awakening. Maryanne is an author, playwright, screenwriter, blogger, public speaker, workplace safety advocate, environmental educator and professional Auntie – started Pink Gazelle Productions in 2002, two years after the on-duty death of her police officer husband, Cst John Petropoulos of the Calgary Police Service.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Discover the true meaning of love…

Do you believe in soul mates? What if the death of your soul mate meant the birth of your life-long dream?

A Widow’s Awakening is a fictional account based on the true story of a young woman’s struggle to come to terms with the death of her police officer husband who died while investigating a breaking and entering complaint.

Engaging, powerful, heart-wrenching, and at times humorous, this honest look at the first year of a widow’s grief captures the immense difficulty of learning how to accept the unacceptable while transforming loss into positive change—and is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

A Widow's Awakening

MY REVIEW

“Based on a true story, A Widow’s Awakening, is a hauntingly beautiful story of enduring love, overwhelming heartache and discovering resiliency. After the tragic death of her police officer husband Sam, Adri struggles to breathe let alone move forward in her life. With descriptions that are heartfelt, painful and often humorous, author Maryanne Pope artfully paints a picture of what it is like to have your entire world pulled out from under you. Having lost my own loved one tragically, I could so relate to everything Adri was feeling, experiencing and describing. I cried, I laughed, and found compassion for this woman who was courageously trying to navigate through what seemed like a terrible dream. This book is a must-read for anyone who has lost someone they loved and struggled to find their way in the aftermath of tragedy. Thank you to Maryanne for so bravely and honestly sharing her remarkable story of love and hope.”

OTHER REVIEWS

– “I started reading A Widow’s Awakening on Sunday and finished it Monday. The first third of your book touched me in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I cried so hard, my eyes became swollen; the pain was so real. I haven’t cried that hard in a long, long time. The grief you expressed was so real to me, as I experienced my own grief in a similar way. Reading your book has been healing for me.”  Cristy

– “I bought your book yesterday and meant to wait until the next day to read it. I crawled into bed and tried to sleep but something kept at me. So I crawled out of bed and read your book from start to finish. It was amazing. I couldn’t put it down.” Darcy

– “My heart is beating harder and my breathing shorter. I am hugging my husband tighter and kissing him longer. I have burnt supper while reading! I have read books until wee hours of the night but I have not felt this much about a book before. You are an incredibly gifted writer…I feel like I am right beside you and that I am getting to know John and your relationship together. I love how he loved you. I love your writing style, how brilliantly you tie everything together and how you authentically share your soul.” Kim

HOW TO ORDER

A Widow’s Awakening is available at BHC Press and all major book retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, etc.

————————-

Sending you love, comfort and peace!


Search

Heal Your Sh*t Interview

Free Sample Chapter

New Book

Free Sample Chapter

Grief Diaries

Guide To Pet Loss eBook

Guide To Pet Loss eBook