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Grieving is complicated - give yourself a break


Grieving is complicated - give yourself a break

Hi, everyone, another week has started with hopefully warmer weather for parts of the country.  I find getting out and taking a walk in the sunshine is always helpful.  Practicing mindfulness (thinking in the present and feeling gratitude for all the wonderful things/nature while walking) keeps me grounded in the present.  The struggle for me has been to live in the present remembering my loved one while living today with some purpose.  That is tough because the past memories have defined me and given me purpose.  Even being a caregiver in those last 2 years allowed me to focus on positive steps to provide quality of life to my husband.  Perhaps that was an illusion given his condition and knowing there was an end date.  But we all live in hope for a new and perhaps better day.  With that hope comes disappointment and unfortunately guilt that didn't happen.  After one year of reflection, I realize that I did bring some joy and stability in my husband's end days.  If not for my attention and love, it would have been much harder for him.  Without saying the words (which was a major downer for me at the time), I know my husband appreciated me and loved me.  The last few days of being home did make a difference in his life.  No one will tell you that other than the spoken or unspoken words from your loved one.  Having said that I am realizing now that I have to start having some momentum into the present and hopefully the future.  Getting stuck in grief is recognized as one of the unfortunate issues with grieving a loved one.  While I will always remember my loved one, I have to start forging a new solo identity.  Not easy.  If nothing else caregiving gave me identity, no matter how painful and sad that experience was.  A key element for my new direction is to try to engage new relationships with others who reciprocate support and understanding.  I am distancing myself from toxic people and you probably know who they are.  I find these people can lead you down the road of self-doubt at a time when you need to build up your self-esteem. I wish all of you a successful journey to healing.  Yes, it is a journey, which means that we are not stuck in our grief and that is a great blessing.  We all deserve to be happy again and find meaning in life.  Your friend, Sue

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