The holidays are over and the first half of January is too … Well thank goodness!
The holidays are hard. They are stressful for everyone, especially those who are missing someone who has died … a mother, father, sister, husband, son or daughter. I have been missing my son Jackson since 2003. It does get better as time goes on but contrary to what most people think, I won’t ever “get over it.” I won’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey, you know what? I’m totally OK with the fact that Jackson is not here with me. I don’t miss him at all anymore.”
So, 12 years after my son’s death, I continue to study the subject of grief and loss. I found a new book the other day – Healing After Loss, Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman. And one of the first meditations in the book explains quite well how grief is such a long process and that we would fare better if we did not try to circumvent it.
Meditation for January 2
“In case we are feeling driven to somehow ‘get done with’ our grieving (if I do it faster, maybe I will feel better sooner), let us be reminded that … faster is not necessarily better. Perhaps the reassuring thing about grieving is that the process will not be cheated. It will take as much time as it needs. Our task is to be attentive when the messages of mind and memory come. If we let them go by unattended the first time, they will probably cost more in the long run.”
Martha’s Post Script
“If I can let my resistance down, be calm in my soul, my grief will tell me what it needs from me at each step along the way.”
I like the way Ms. Hickman says we need to let our resistance down. Early on in my grief, I put up a big barrier. Grief was extremely difficult and inconvenient work that needed to be done but I simply had no time for it. I had a full-time job and 2 children to raise so grief had to get onto the very back burner. And it stayed there for over 10 years. But eventually, it was time for me to take up my grief work and I did it. I am still doing it … And I am healing.
Everyone grieves in their own way and my way was, mostly out of necessity, to postpone. Eventually I figured out there is no getting around it. As Ms. Hickman said, if we let the messages of mind and memory go by unattended the first time, it can cost us more in the long run.
So whether you do it shortly after your loss or many years down the road, it is essential to honor your pain and process your grief. Be in the moment
with your grief when it comes calling … listen and “be calm in your soul” and you heart will heal.