Emily Thiroux Threatt (author of Loving and Living Your Way Through Grief) would like those who are grieving to make journaling your friend.
When I read what people are saying in some of the grief groups I follow, I notice that many people are stuck in their grief. The gist of what I hear is that people feel that if they lighten up on their grief, they somehow will lose the connection with their loved one who died. The people who express this seem so sad, unable to connect with their new situation of their loved one’s passing. They seem to feel that they must stay sad because being happy in their situation feels like a betrayal to their loved one.
I was writing the other day about how my husbands would like for me to deal with my life now. In the process of writing, I felt my husbands smiling at me, so I started to smile while I was writing. When that happened, I realized that my husbands would want me to be happy. I remembered how when we first got together, Ron was always telling me to smile. I was so serious then. As I looked in the mirror, I could see how much better I looked when I was smiling, and that smiling actually was making me feel better, lighter, and happy.
All of us people grieving will experience periods of yearning or sadness. The key is to recognize these feelings, experience them, thank them, then release them and smile even if smiling is a challenge. When we stay stuck in these feelings, that is all we are concentrating on. Time goes on, and we aren’t moving forward with it because all we can think about is our loved one. When you find yourself falling into this abyss, take a few slow, deep breaths to center yourself, and commit to yourself to release those feelings. And when they come back, do this again. The more you recognize what you are doing, the easier it will be to deal with your feelings.
Make your journal your friend. When you start feeling that sadness, anxiety, or yearning, write about what you are feeling. Include why you are feeling the way you are right now. What triggered this feeling? For instance, if whenever you eat apple pie, you remember how much your loved one loved apple pie and always had to have two servings each time you made it. You find yourself feeling blue when you remember this. Take some time to explore this feeling. My main memory of apple pie was how much I enjoyed making apple pie because Ron loved it so much, and it made him smile. Instead of staying stuck in that sadness you I was feeling, I could smile at the happiness of the memory. You will be amazed how you can shift your reaction to your memories in a positive way so that you can release the sadness and replace it with the good memory.
I challenge you to pick up your journal each time you start feeling the negative emotions and find the joy in the experience you remember. Focus on that joy, and in the process, release that sadness. The more you do this, the happier you will become until you find yourself naturally feeling the happiness while releasing the negativity.
You can do this. You can be happy. Your loved one would want you to be happy.
I would be happy to put you on the reminder list for or Writing Together Through Grief occurring on Saturdays each week by sending an email to me to email@example.com and giving me your email address.
You can order Loving and Living Your Way Through Grief by clicking here at Amazon.
A Comprehensive Guide to Reclaiming and Cultivating Joy and Carrying on in the Face of Loss
Rediscover sustained moments of joy as you seek a new way of being in the world. Loving and Living Your Way Through Grief guides and lightens the journey to positivity for those who feel the pain of loss, whether it is the loss of a loved one, a job, a marriage, a house, a pregnancy, a nest egg―anyone or anything that we loved and that is no longer in our lives. In this book, author and fellow griever Emily Thiroux Threatt provides you with strategies to embrace the process of learning how to start living again.