Grieving is a process that we have to allow ourselves to experience. It takes time. It takes strength. We cannot bury ourselves into our work, kids or whatever without risking our emotional health. We need to mourn in order to heal.
Everyone mourns in their own way. What helps you get through your times of grief?
Here’s how I’m attempting to heal:
- Exercise – a lot. I ran 10+ miles the day after Amy died. I ran 5 miles, biked 18 and did my circuit training video the day of her funeral.
- Clean something, anything or everything. I cleaned the fridge and scrubbed the floors on my hands and knees. It feels good to be able to control something when so much feels out of control. I can control how clean or messy the house is.
- Spend time with Ernie. He doesn’t care if I cry. He doesn’t care if I’m crabby or depressed. When I spend time with others, I am often reserved in my emotion for fear of alienating them or inconveniencing them. I have distanced myself from perpetually depressed people in the past. I don’t want to be that person (again).
- Bake. I made malted chocolate chip cookies, cranberry coffee cake and oatmeal fudge bars on Friday night and rhubarb dessert on Sunday. I ran out of time to make strawberry-rhubarb cobbler. There’s something about the process that occupies my mind without taxing it, and it results in a finished product.
- Write. I anticipate that if I allow myself the time and space, I will write a lot in the next several days.
- Spend time with others who share my pain. It’s therapeutic to share stories, and to laugh and cry together.
- Avoid alcohol. As appealing as it may be to “drown our sorrows,” drinking will exacerbate our depression.
- Spend time with God. Only God can providing lasting comfort into the depths of our hurts. Food can’t. Alcohol and drugs can’t. Exercise and cleaning cannot. And another person cannot. Only God can.
Question: How do you mend a broke heart?