Tag Archives: Hope

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Missing A Loved One on Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day can be one of the toughest days of the year when you are grieving. It is another reminder the people you love or once loved are no longer around.  The loss could be the result of a death, break-up or divorce. Often you anticipate it weeks or even months in advance giving you a sense of dread. Although it is actually healthier for you to cherish these days as a way of honoring your loved ones than avoid them, it all depends on where you are in your journey. Sometimes avoiding Valentine’s Day can be just as healthy.

WAYS TO APPROACH VALENTINE’S DAY

Be Prepared. Anticipating the grief associated with these events is normal. Knowing ahead of time may be tough can help you to decide how you want to spend that day. It could be celebrating with family and friends or being alone in your grief. Being prepared will help you to honor what works best for you.

Plan a Celebration. There is nothing that says you can’t celebrate on Valentine’s Day. It’s perfectly okay to throw a party. It’s perfectly okay to actually have some fun in memory of your loved one. If you do, they will be there celebrating with you.

Get Out of Town. If it is too much for you to be home alone during these reminder days, plan a trip away or go visit family or friends. It is perfectly okay to not be around if being in familiar surroundings with reminders everywhere is too much to handle. Just get the heck out of town.

Share Memories. Consider inviting friends over so you can share memories of your loved one. Ask them to share their own memories. Pull out old photographs or home movies. Tell stories. Laugh until you cry. Cry until you laugh. Memories are the best way to remember your loved one. There is no better way to honor them.

Start a New Tradition. If facing your usual traditions are too difficult, start a new one. Make a donation to a charitable organization, volunteer or plant a tree in your loved one’s name on Valentine’s Day.

Honor Your Grief. It’s normal to be both sad and joyful on these days. Expressing both kinds of emotions makes us human. Honor these emotions. Don’t avoid them. Worse, don’t pretend. Just feel.

No Fanfare. It’s also okay to let these days just be ordinary days. No celebration. Just another day.

It is completely healthy to either acknowledge or not acknowledge Valentine’s Day. Do what is right for you.

Surround yourself with people who understand what you need – not what they think you should or shouldn’t be doing.

Let this days come and go. Even if this means choosing to do nothing.

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Meditation: Honoring You on Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day.

Although I miss you terribly, I remember all the Valentine’s Days we shared together with a smile.

I remember the laughter but most importantly I remember the love.

I am celebrating you and our love today.

Even though you can’t be here with me, I know you are smiling too.

And so it is.

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Sending you love, comfort and peace!


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Signs and Messages

Signs and Messages from Our Loved Ones

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Signs and messages from my loved ones are what kept me going when I was grieving. They reminded me that our connection to someone lives long after they die. Although death brings about the end of your physical relationship, it does not end your spiritual and emotional bonds. Signs and messages are reminders of these connections. They can bring so much comfort and hope. They can show love transcends death. They can also show that love can get you through just about anything, even heartbreak. After Joy and John’s deaths, I could have swaddled myself up in the pain and stopped living my own life. But they made sure I didn’t do that by sending me signs to remind me they were still around. I know they are always around me cheering me on and offering me comfort when I need it most. My life is better because these reminders.

Your loved ones want to tell you they are okay so they are happy to send you signs. Once you ask for them, you will see them everywhere. It could be as simple as a butterfly or rainbow. It could be as complex as a realistic dream or a song that comes on the radio right at the exact moment you are thinking about them. It could be a birthdate that shows up repeatedly on the clock. These are not coincidences. My friend whose Dad had passed away started finding pennies and dimes everywhere she looked. Sometimes in the strangest of places. Her sock drawer for example. Since her Dad had been a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), it made complete sense he would send her pennies and dimes What better sign is there for a CPA than leaving a coin!

Types of Signs & Messages

Here are a few signs and messages you might receive:

Animals or Birds. You may see an animal who looks like your deceased pet. You may see your loved one’s favorite animal. You may even see an animal that represents something about your deceased loved one. For example, you may begin to see horses because your loved one loved watching the Kentucky Derby. One of the first signs I got from John after he died was a pelican. What’s funny to me is that I am not a big fan of birds. He knew that too. One landed on my head when I was little and the rest is history. Consequently, I have never watched the movie, The Birds. Maybe sending a pelican was John’s way of joking with me from the other side. I found it very touching. It meant he hadn’t lost his sense of humor which made seeing those pelicans all the more endearing.

Dream Visitations. Often your loved ones will visit you in your dreams. This is because you are more open to the other side when sleeping. When a visitation happens you will feel like the dream was very real. My first dream visitation happened a few years after my maternal Grandmother died. It felt so real that I woke up crying. I remembered every detail. At the time I had no idea what any of it meant. In fact, I discounted it even happened. It wasn’t until years later that I realized, after many instances like the one from my Grandmother, our loved ones are often just a dream away.

Feelings. Sometimes you have to admit you just “feel” your loved one. You may feel a touch on your shoulder or a kiss on your cheek. Maybe it’s something you wouldn’t tell another living soul but you know it happened. Over the years of working with Reiki, I have learned to “feel” the energy around me. There are times when I can be sitting watching TV and I just know John is there. The energy next to me actually changes. When Joy died, one of the first things I experienced was feeling like my hair was being stroked (in fact I feel it while I am writing this). If I had told anyone they would have thought I was crazy. But you know what you feel. You would swear on it. This is another way your loved ones can reach out to you.

Nature. You may have already seen a butterfly, dragonfly or rainbow and thought of it as a sign from your loved one. Flowers can also be a sign. For example, your Grandma loved yellow roses. After she died you have seen yellow roses everywhere. Even the song “The Yellow Rose of Texas” played on the radio right after you had been thinking about your Grandma. Don’t feel the urge to brush this sign off as a coincidence. Like I always tell my children “There are no such things as coincidences!”

Numbers. Seeing repetitive or specific numbers associated with your loved one can also be a sign. You may see your loved ones’ Birthday or Grief Anniversary dates on clocks, cash register receipts, license plates, billboards or as telephone numbers. Waking up at the same time in the middle of the night may also be a sign. Maybe it is the time of death of your loved one. Maybe it is your loved one’s favorite number. For me, I had given John the nickname “007” many years ago. I can’t count how many times I have seen these numbers on license plates, cash register receipts and phone numbers exactly when I was thinking about him!

Smells. Perfume or cologne, cigarettes or cigars, favorite flowers or foods are common smells. But if you are smelling these things, especially a perfume you don’t wear, when you are alone it may mean someone is sending you a message. After Joy died I smelled her perfume everywhere. I knew it was her way of telling me she was still around.

Sounds. There are many types of sounds that manifest as signs. Music is a common sign because it always connects people. For example, you can associate a song with a person or an event. When you hear this song after they die, it is a reminder of them or the event. Sometimes just the lyrics of a song can say something you need to hear at that moment. Other sounds could include a voice, telephone, bells or chimes, door slamming, or something falling. These are signs from your loved one!

Sights. Have you ever looked over and swear you saw your loved one only to blink your eyes and realize it was someone totally not like them? Maybe you have seen flashes of light or a dark shadow out of the corner of your eye. Maybe you have seen your loved ones face in a photograph that was taken after they died. This may be their way of letting you know they are near.

When you receive a sign or a message, always make sure to say “Thank You”. I am sure it isn’t as easy as we might think for our loved ones to make these signs or messages happen. It probably takes quite a bit of their energy. It’s always important to let them know you truly appreciate their efforts. If you do, there may be more just be around the corner!

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Meditation:  Thank You

Thank you for the signs and messages you are sending.

They help me to know you are okay.

They bring me great comfort and seem to always be exactly what I need.

They are appreciated more than you will ever know.

And so it is.

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Excerpt from Grief Reiki – An Integrated Approach to the Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Components of Grief and Loss, Chapter 12, Spiritual Awareness.

Now Available on AmazonKindle and Barnes and Noble.

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Sending you love, comfort and peace!

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Hope

How Grief Can Bring Hope

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Seems like HOPE is the last thing anyone would be feeling if they are grieving. You are probably right. But feelings of hope have tremendous healing powers. Studies have shown that having a sense of hope can help people recover from tragedy. Finding ways to bring hope into your life can help you to heal even while you are grieving.

Hope equates to believing something good can happen. When you are grieving, something good happening is the last thing you expect. Nothing seems good anymore. Your world is forever changed. You just drag yourself through each day lost in sadness. It’s hard to find hope when you are feeling that way.

WAYS TO FIND HOPE

Pay Attention to the Signs. Knowing your loved ones are still around can give you a sense of hope. Look for the butterflies, songs on the radio, or pennies on the ground. Don’t second guess what you are experiencing. Don’t brush it off. Don’t try to find an explanation. Signs cannot be explained. They have to be felt with the heart. They have to be believed with the soul.

Distance Yourself From Negativity. Grieving is tough. Don’t add to it by surrounding yourself with negative people or situations. This will only bring you down further. Seek out positive people who support you and emotionally healthy environments where you feel safe.

Babysit. There is a quote that says, “Sometimes you just need to talk to a two-year-old so you understand life again.” This is so true. Who can teach us more about hope than a small child? Babysitting can be a way of finding hope again.

Set Small Goals. You can’t go from hopeless to hopeful with the snap of your fingers. But you can set small goals to help you move in that direction. Get through one hour, then one day then one week, then one month. Focus on one thing to help get you there. Hope will show up as a result of even your smallest action.

Pray. You don’t have to be religious to pray. In fact, meditation can be a form of prayer. You can pray for yourself. You can pray for others. Either way prayer helps you express gratitude and find hope. Ultimately prayer centers your heart and increases your awareness on what matters most. Isn’t that what life is all about?

For me, once I started receiving signs and messages from my loved ones, things changed. I began to find hope again. I was reminded that my loved ones are really never far away. This feeling of hope helped me to make it through another day. Then another. I finally found comfort. Death seemed less “final”. Less absolute. My pain was diminished. My mind began to open. I began to recognize synchronicities. I began to feel my loved ones next to me. I began to see the signs they were sending to me. I began to believe in a better tomorrow. Then I actually had a better tomorrow. Pretty soon, hope started to heal my heart. I began to see life’s beauty again. The blue sky. The sunsets. I began to take nothing for granted. My family. My friends. Hope helped me to emerge from two powerful tragedies. Maybe it will do the same for you.

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Excerpt from Grief Reiki – An Integrated Approach to the Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Components of Grief and Loss, Chapter 6, Letting Go.

Now Available on AmazonKindle and Barnes and Noble.

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Sending you love, comfort and peace!

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