Grieving Well

man-grieving.jpgIf you’ve visited my blog before, you probably notice that I’ve removed my photo from the right sidebar today. I did so because the photo I usually post there, shows me with a wide grin. But I’m not grinning at the moment, and it seemed inauthentic to show you my smiling face, when the copyright-free photo of this man in contemplation mirrors my current state more accurately than the usual photo.

As I write this post, my good friend Jane is walking through the difficult terrain of grief. Her mom died this past weekend. When I found out, I wanted to do something to make the pain go away – and then I realized that I couldn’t. At best what I could do was to tell her she will be in my thoughts and my heart and that I could take in the mail while she attends her mom’s funeral if she needs me to do that. But I couldn’t take the pain away. And I couldn’t begin to walk the path of grieving for her, much as I might have wanted to. But what I can do is write this post in memory of her mom, my dad, and all of the parents, family and friends whose deaths we have all had to grieve. I do so here because this blog is about wellness and I believe that grieving is as much a part of wellness as it is of life.

So, yes, in this wellness community we come together because we are entrepreneurs. But we are human beings first. And in our humanity, we grieve. And in our grief, we are connected to all those who have grieved before us and to all those who will grieve after us. Whether we grieve the loss of a parent or child, the loss of a colleague or friend, or the loss of a pet, we all grieve. Whether we separate from those we love because of death, a move, or a divorce, we all grieve. We grieve when we lose a business deal, a home swallowed by fire or flood, a job, a friend’s child in war, or twin towers that stood against our skyline.

I do not have answers today. I have nothing brilliant to post. I simply have my heart as I find myself filled with questions and wondering, What is it to grieve well? I suppose we each need to define this for ourselves.

We each need to define this and to find our own way of grieving, even if we can rattle off the “Five Stages of Grief” that Elisabeth Kübler-Ross wrote about in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying“. We need to traverse the territory of grief our way, because our Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance are unique to us and our way is the only way we will make meaning of our grief.

If you are grieving at this time, my wish for you is that you:

– take gentle care of yourself

– rest, eat well, and rest some more

– surround yourself with comfort that nourishes you, body and soul

– breathe deeply

– bundle up and go for a walk through a park

– give yourself the gift of the full range of your emotions

– surround yourself with those whose support is soothing right now

– give yourself all the time you need

– breathe deeply again

– be willing to reach out or to retreat

– listen to your soul tell you what it needs

– laugh if it feels right, or scream if it feels better

– eat fresh veggies, warm soup (chicken or otherwise), soft foods, crunchy foods, fruits and fruit compotes, and foods that support your immune system rather than challenge it

– drink lots of water and soothing herbal teas

– read yourself a good bedtime story

– throw lemons on the sidewalk

– take baths if the spirit moves you

– hug a child, a pet, a tree, a friend

– let yourself be hugged by those you love

– hug your own self

Be well.

P.S. And if you are up for reading at this time, and you would like a copy of Seven Sacred Attitudes, send me an email and I will be glad to autograph a copy for you.