It seems like there's an ebb and flow of people I know going through various illnesses or deaths of loved ones. They speak of the difficulty of knowing what to say, or even if to say some things, and that sometimes they feel frozen and unable to talk at all. Many feel like they are drowning, and search for any kind of buoyancy in the sea of grief.
New Beginnings don’t happen all at once. They can be a soft accumulation of things that have been brewing for a long time. A New Beginning can be adjusting to the new role of a caregiver; a role that you might not have chosen, but it chose you.
I have had conversations with many people lately who are going through rough patches with their health while caring for someone else and feeling great uncertainty in the world as a whole.
It's a dilemma we all have as the people we love age, move out of their homes and into ours (or care homes) and eventually die. On the one hand, those family treasures are imbued with a ton of meaning. On the other, they're just things, and keeping a clock or a table or even my stepfather's collection of science and match textbooks doesn't make my memories any stronger, just as donating or selling these things won't diminish them.
It is of utmost importance to give yourself the time and space to become aware of what’s happening with your emotions and not shut yourself down. Your feelings are valid, and it is essential to acknowledge them. Shutting down is the worst thing that you can do.
An image that comes to mind when I think about the grief experience is that of a nautilus. If you visualize a nautilus or look it up, you will see that each spiral is progressively higher and above as it goes around. This is probably the best analogy to illustrate why it is normal in a grief journey at any point: to go around and around through anger, frustration, blame, resentment, disapproval, laughter, joy, hope, motivation, stagnation, and more.
My Yogi tea bag today says, “The gate to happiness is self-compassion”.
Grief and loss come in many forms throughout our lives. Is it the life that we once had planned that never worked out?
With holidays upon us, this should be a happy time. Regardless of your faith between scurrying around for gifts, decorating, cooking, perhaps more pressure can be mounting on your already full days of caregiving.