Choosing to Actively Grieve in the New Year

Dear Friends,

We hope that by actively taking part in the gift of grieving it will lead to the intention of self-growth and enrichment.

I shared with my support group the idea that each of us has many layers of grief.  I also brought up the point that while we usually survive our losses, they leave us forever changed.

By making a choice to actively take part in grieving, we remove the power of grieving to reduce us and make less of us.  In other words, we empower ourselves.  To facilitate this empowerment, I invite you to make the two sentenced mentioned in your “mantra”, your guiding principle through next few months (repeating them as often as you need to): This is an example of what grief counselors call “enchanted thinking”; full of comfort and promise of better days ahead.  If it serves you as well at this point in your sadness as it has others – including myself – gratefully accept the magic!

“My loved one wants me to be happy again and to grow secure and comfortable in this new world without them.  Today, I promise to do everything I can to make their desire a reality.”

What do you need to know in order to do that?

How will you do that?

Take your time, never rush.

You need to know what you’re feeling.  You need to know how to shift those feelings into the positive spectrum: away from loneliness, out of guilt and remorse, and into a quiet, more peaceful space.

Sometime soon I will look closely at the physical effects of grief because chances are you’re experiencing at least some of those symptoms.  Your task for today is a simple one:

  • If you’re hungry, eat at least one well-balanced meal.  Don’t’ just open a can of soup and eat it standing in your kitchen.  Instead, do your best to make the meal an occasion.
  • If you’re tired, get some extra rest.  Your body (and mind) will appreciate the courtesy whether that means taking a nap in the afternoon or going to bed an hour early.
  • If your sadness is overwhelming, have a good cry.  After all, what does Charles Dickens say about tears?
    • Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.  I was better after I had cried, than before – more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.” ~ Charles Dickens


Many blessings in the New Year.

Brother Ed Arambasich, OFM

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