International Day Against Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia 2022
April 26 2021Read more
“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behaviour.” - Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Time does its job to help heal the intense emotions of grief. But the suffering that comes from losing a loved one never leaves us. These times shape our world and the person we become. There’s no right or wrong way to go through this process.
We know that grief is not linear. And in a heartbeat, the emptiness of grief can come flooding in once again, pulling the ground from beneath our feet. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason for this encounter with emotion. Other times, it’s little hints and reminders of what was—like Mother’s Day, for example.
For anyone who’s lost a parent, Mother’s Day can be a challenging time. Gifts in shops and conversations between friends have the potential to act as reminders of what once was. If you’re struggling this Mother’s Day, know that you’re not alone. These times are challenging, but they won’t last forever. Below, we’ve gathered some tips that you might find helpful.
A therapeutic letter is a tool often used in counselling to help people make meaning of the challenges and trauma they have been through in their lives. The process helps you take a step back and gain some perspective. Writing a letter to a lost one can help if there were things left unsaid or feelings you wish you shared with the person. You can share wishes, hopes, thoughts, feelings and lessons you’ve learnt.
When times are hard, it's important to tend to your needs just that little bit more. Pay attention to how you feel in the moment and check in with yourself daily. Sometimes it’s easy for us to push emotions aside or bottle them up. But when you pay attention to them, they can show you what we need. Feeling heavy or low? Have a soothing bath or cuddle up on the sofa. Feeling anxious? Calm yourself down with a cup of tea. Listen to your emotions and see where they take you.
Celebrate the life of your loved one with a new tradition. It could be planting a flower in the garden, lighting a candle or contributing to a charity they cared about. Reflect on things you used to enjoy doing together and possibly incorporate them into the day by enjoying a meal you loved together or visiting one of their favourite spots.
Focus on your own needs right now and communicate them with others. Don’t think about what others think the right thing to do is—there’s no one right or wrong. Things aren’t always black and white, and everyone will have different opinions and perspectives. However, remember that others might not know how you’re feeling inside right now, so try to communicate how you feel as best you can.
If you’re struggling to cope with the effects of grief at this time, don’t be afraid to reach out for a little extra support. Greif is one of the most challenging experiences we go through in life. The emotions are real and painful and difficult to overcome. Sometimes talking to someone you trust can help you navigate the waves of grief.
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