There is precious power in thoughtfully sharing our journeys with one another. Compassion can be stirred and wisdom gained; in time, even healing. This is beautifully evident in the Hearts Linked by Courage book series, the first of which was the impetus for me starting I C Publishing way back in 2010. The following is my personal writing on grief since the passing of my dear father in January, also being shared later this month in the Hospice Georgina e-newsletter. Whatever your experiences and wherever you’re at in life, I hope it touches your heart.

“What is grief? At best, it is the price of deep, everlasting love that one can be blessed with over what feels like several lifetimes. Profound, yes. At worst, it can feel like a part of your physical, energetic, and spiritual body has been ripped away and you will never be the same.

Still, who we are and continue to evolve to be will forever be impacted and influenced by that love.

It is often said that the journey of grief is different for everyone, and unique yet again to each loss we experience in our lives. In fact, sometimes our sorrow from another loss can resurface or magnify when heartbreak repeats itself, especially when we push aside our feelings or put pressure on ourselves to be okay or normal (?) for others.

Why then do people try so hard to quantify it and put it in a box? Why is it so difficult to talk about it and accept the emotion that bubbles up when you least expect it?

Why does someone say, “Give it six months,” or “You just lost a father, your mother lost her husband,” and think somehow that would help . . .? Tell me something I don’t know. I grieve for my mother’s pain too. It made me felt diminished for a moment.

However, I know on some level, it is because in their own way they care, they’re just awkward with their words. Maybe they’ve not gone through what you’ve been through in life, or perhaps they have. Either way, I hope one day as a society we can get to a point where silence and stillness can exist a little more . . . where we can simply and gently hold space for one another, whatever we may be going through in life, difficult or uplifting. Just hold space. Sit in kindness and non-judgement.

I encourage those who are dealing with a loss of a loved one, regardless of relationship, person, or pet, that you take time for yourself to heal. Listen to your body. Rest it. Move it. Nourish it. Acknowledge how you feel. Allow your emotions to surface. Let them go in your own timing. Surround yourself with the support that is the healthiest for you; this should be a priority always, for so many reasons.

What else can you do to recover and get beyond the conundrum of feeling deep sadness at your loss while recognizing the joyful life moments that still exist around you? First, know that it is completely understandable to feel conflicted, and it will take time. Trust that you will get there.

Strive to embrace each moment for what it is offering you. Seek activities, circumstances, and individuals that lift your spirits. Notice how the vibration of your being changes when you love yourself with good nutrition and healthy movement. If you like to sing, sing. If you like to write, then write. It is very cathartic, just like I am doing now. If you like to feel the earth with your hands and plant flowers, then do that.

Accept genuine support when it is offered. Receive. And when you can, also give, lovingly to help another on their journey. This will fill your heart too.

Explore what else may resonate to help you understand and gently shift from the immobilizing grief to the grief that remains due to the impact of your loss . . . to gratitude for all that you’ve been given.

I am grateful for my faith and family, for my father whom we’ve lost but whose presence I feel strongly everyday. I am thankful for the closeness and unconditional love I am blessed to have with my dear mother, sister, husband, son, and nephews. I am indebted to friends who have helped in my self-care journey these past few months, from thoughtful text and email messages to lunch dates. And to practitioners in passive stretching, acupuncture, reflexology, Reiki, and grief counselling. And understanding clients who are a joy to work with and for.

Let’s be thoughtful, friends. Words do not always have to fill the space that exists when we’re with others. Sometimes silence speaks louder. A listening ear. Being in the present. Not needing to fix or make someone feel like they need fixing. End of life is real. The beginning of life is too. They’re both precious in their own way.

Hug yourself and your loved ones a little tighter for me today.”

Warmest regards and blessings,

Sheri Andrunyk ©2019

Publisher, Senior Writer, Mentor, Author

Founder of the Hearts Linked by Courage Project

I C Publishing & Consulting / I C Bookstore

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