Reclaiming Your Joy After Loss

Grief This Time is Different

Uncategorized Nov 25, 2020

Monday morning my niece called to tell me that an ambulance was taking my sister to the hospital.  I knew immediately that this was it for her. She’s had health challenges over the years, but up until Monday Morning, I hadn’t felt it was her time yet. Now it was.  I wasn’t surprised when my niece called me to say that she died at the hospital. 

I work with grief and grieving people every day, I write about it in all my social media, and I even wrote my book about it which launches January 19. And I thought I had a handle on it, that I could keep everything in perspective, but I fell apart yesterday.

I was thinking about when a week ago someone told me her friend just died. I found myself struggling for the right thing to say. Immediately “I am sorry for your loss” popped into my head, but I stopped myself from saying that. The phrase seems empty to me, something I advise others not to say. It feels like the “Have a nice day” in the world of loss. In that moment, I realized that people say it out of compassion not knowing what to say to truly offer comfort.  And yesterday, there was no comfort to be found for me.

I always seem to be the one to do what I can for others and have a difficult time asking for help myself, but yesterday, I reached out. My dear friend Rose has been a chosen sister to me for years. She called, and I cried, and I could feel her support from way across the ocean on the mainland.  She said for me to sit where I could put my feet stretched out in front of me, then that I should see her sitting across from me and putting the soles of her feet against mine. She said, “feel that energy,” and I did feel the energy in my feet that spread a warmth and comfort up my body. I had never done anything like that before. The uniqueness of the experience made it powerful, and I was able to inhale without tears.

Rose also sent me a link to beautiful music that was so comforting. You can listen to it on YouTube: “In Dreams” by Jai Jagdeesh. Music is so healing.

Then I heard from another dear chosen sister, Saundy, who said, “My heart goes out to you. I pray comfort of fond memories swell to far outweigh the pain of the loss.” Those words were powerful, healing words that brought comfort. I realized that I don’t ever need to think of saying “I am sorry for your loss” again, but that I can say beautiful things than can demonstrate love and support.

This morning I had to get out of the house. I picked lots of flowers from my garden: roses, hibiscus, lavender, crown flowers, and more. My friend Vic drove me to a lava beach called La Perouse. The weather was perfect, and the water was so clear that you could see right to the floor of the ocean.  I scattered the flowers in the water and stood still just sending love out to my sister. After a while, Vic gently tapped my shoulder and motioned for me to look down, and there was a butterfly sitting on my slipper with its wings together. I carefully got my phone in position to catch a picture and stood there until it opened its wings to fly away. I felt that Linda had come to pay me a visit, and I knew all is well.

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