Some Ways I Helped Myself Grieve The Loss Of A Dear Loved One

HowIGrieved

I had some very sad news yesterday; my gran of 95 (my dad’s mum) sadly passed away. We had been expecting it, she had taken a turn for the worst in the last few weeks and when I received an email from my mum on Monday I knew things had gone from bad to worse. I was on my way to Mysore practice when my mum called and informed me of the news. As much as you think you’re prepared for a loss, nothing prepares you for that moment when you find out. My gran had lived with us next door (you could say it was a granny flat) from when I was born right up until I left home to move to Dublin to go to college.  So I guess you could say we were very close!  The saddest and hardest thing is that I wish I could be back in Ireland right now with my family (especially my dad) to be there for them all during this hard time.  That has to be one of the hardest things about living on the other side of the world miles away from family!

When I heard the news I thought about heading back to my apartment to grieve in silence but at this stage I was at the door of the yoga studio. I knew more than anything I needed my yoga that morning, so in I walked sad and lonely. My heart was feeling a little shattered and broken. All I wanted was to be right back at home close to my family. So my intention for my practice there and then was to dedicate it to my granny and to remain very present in my body and my breath.

Unfortunately we will all experience grief and loss at some point in our lives. The loss of a loved one can be the most painful thing.

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Grief is a natural, active process during which we experience intense feelings, revisit memories, and adjust to life without the loved one. There is no rght or wrong way of grieving but here is what has helped me in the last couple of days. The ways we process our grief can be different for each person. Grieving is a natural and healthy response to a loss.

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Here are some ways I helped myself grieve:

  • Seeking out support from loved ones (friends, family, partner etc.).
  • Breathe and stretch – get on your mat if you have a regular yoga practice like I do.
  • Find significance from the experience; this can include taking comfort in exploring spiritual views; finding meaning does not essentially mean turning to spirituality; it can include finding a new outlook on life or satisfying new goals in light of the death of a loved one.
  • Attending to your health, including sustaining a healthy diet (your body still needs nutritious foods), exercising (helps your mood), and getting enough sleep (8hours).
  • Keep up your daily rituals (this is a time when you need them most).
  • Continue to take part in existing hobbies and creative and social outlets.
  • Process your emotions, don’t try to keep them stored inside. Cry if you need to cry, spend a day crying spend as long as you need to crying. Cry a waterfall if needs be! Crying is a natural way to release very intense feelings that need to be expressed in order to heal. If you feel sad, let yourself have your feelings and try not to run away from your emotions.
  • Journal about your loss, get it out of your head and on to paper.
  • Give yourself permission to let your life adjust to this major loss. Fill yourself full of positive remembrances.
  • Talk about it to friends/family/partner. We need to share memories and talk about how much pain we are in. The more we talk about it, the better we feel.
  • Spend lots of time in nature – walks by the ocean.
  • It’s OK to feel grief for days, weeks, or even longer, depending on how close you were to the person who died.
  • People sometimes deal with their sadness by getting involved in activities like drinking, drugs etc. This isn’t really helping with the pain, only hiding it, which makes all those feelings build up even more inside and only prolongs the grief.
  • Create a memorial or tribute. Plant a tree, or do a charity run or walk in honor of your lost loved one. I have decided to do the SevenBridgesWalk in Oct this year in honor of my granny.

 

Moving forward and healing from your grief doesn’t mean forgetting about the person you lost. Getting back to enjoying your life doesn’t mean you no longer miss your loved one. And how long it takes until you start to feel better isn’t a measure of how much you loved the person. Remember all those things, it does not make you a worse person!

Have you recently had to go through a loss, what helped you?

Love and Light,

Corona Xx

  • Beautiful article Corona. I lost my Nan, whom I was incredibly close to, the day after our wedding in November 2010. It was a very tough time to say the least – and continues to be something I haven’t completely released yet.

    Just recently I had a break through – and it make seem foolishly simple. However, I’ve struggled to say goodbye in my heart to her, which has been keeping all the hurt stored up inside. And the break through was when someone wise said to me, “you don’t ever have to say goodbye. There doesn’t need to be goodbyes. That person has left in physical form, but will always be right by your side in spirit and energy.”

    This resonated with me deeply. And I hope it does with someone out there too.

    Amy xx

    • Hi Amy,
      Thank you! That’s so lovely – how very true. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. It has indeed resonated deeply with me.
      Corona Xx

  • Justine

    Lovely article Corona, I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your Gran.

    Justine
    x

    • Thank you Justine for your kind wishes.
      Corona Xx

  • Beautifully written and the suggestions on how to allow yourself to grieve were truly words of wisdom and are the tools I encourage my clients to use after a loss.
    Your granny was lovely.
    Be Well,
    Audrey Pellicano

    • Thank you so much Audrey. That’s so nice to hear that these are some tools you encourage your clients to use after a loss.
      Thank you,
      Corona Xx

  • Sorry to hear about your family’s loss Corona. I agree with what Amy had to say: she is just gone from this physical world. Your relationship needn’t end. It just takes on a different form. Hard at first but just as deep and beautiful. Don’t doubt for a second her ability to hear and see you. Thinking of you. xo

    • Thank you Amanda. Yes it also very much resonated with me. Thanks so much for your kind wishes.
      Corona Xx

  • Sinead

    Beautiful…….. It sure is difficult being so far away!

  • Ann, Pat, Angela, Olivia, Geraldine, Mairead and Grainne

    Hi Corona

    We are all sitting here reading your piece, which we have found very comforting and dear to us….sad that sinead, you, michael, leigh, mericia are not here. We are thinking of everyone today.

    x

  • Joan Hetherton

    Beautiful words and memories granny will be truely missed x Joan

  • Gen Clarke

    Hi Corona, So sorry for your loss. Your blog post could not be more timely for myself as I lost my mom two weeks ago tomorrow, aged 65. I was here taking care of her for the month leading up to her passing (in Cape Town). Now I will stay here and take care of dad for as long as he needs me. They were happily married for 45 years! So this is a huge adjustment for him. I’ve just printed this off for him to read too. I really feel for you as being here with those who knew and loved mom is such a comfort at this time.

    I absolutely love what Amy said too:
    “you don’t ever have to say goodbye. There doesn’t need to be goodbyes. That person has left in physical form, but will always be right by your side in spirit and energy.” Thank you Amy.

    Thank you for sharing. Sending you and your family lots of love and strength.
    Gen
    xoxox

    • Hi Gen,

      Oh I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. I did not know at all, what a very difficult time for you and your family. You are in my thoughts lovely. Yes very true what Amy has said and I am happy to know that this has resonated with you also.

      I hope you find some of the tips in my article useful during this very difficult time.

      Sending you lots of love and strength my dear!

      Much love,

      Corona x

  • Beautiful article Corona…thank you for sharing this…it is so reasurring and comforting when you can read somebody else thoughts on such a difficult time…