Grief and end of life are conversations that are so so difficult. I am at that age where my friends are starting to loose their parents. It is truly sad. Late in 2016 I lost my own mum.
Being a coach and mentor means I often help clients process loss and change, be that an organisation restructures and role changes, loss of a partner, illness and loss of health or death of a loved one. It seemed fitting to be brave to share three tips and ideas which helped and continue to help me in this transition.
1. Keep Close to Mother Nature she will help you through the storm.
Nature can sooth our senses, it can help us release and ground our emotions.
Shout your hurt and anger into the wind, let it carry the sound of your grief.
Ask the water of a huge lake to take away the emotional waters within.
Feel the solid ground beneath your form.
Trust and have faith in the sun rising and setting each day.
Nature helps us become more Aware more Mindful, more Present, it is a pure sensory experience; the wind in your hair, the strength of the oak tree, the warmth of the sun or tingling of the rain on your face. The elements and nature reminds us about life and the cycles of birth, decay, death and renewal.
2. Feed Your Soul with What Your Love. The things that bring back an appreciation of life. Practise Gratitude, choose love (see Jack Cornfield). It may be dim at first but eventually the light will return. For me this is Design, Nature, Beauty, Art and Poetry. I love and have a background in art and design, it feeds my soul. My lovely friend Suzie shared this image painted by her niece and talented young artist Kathleen-Delilah Evans named “Guardian Angel”. It is beautiful and brings me great comfort. Light to the dark.
“This is a painting I did based on the idea of guardian angels, and the idea of those who have died still being close to the living.”
Find what you love. In the words so eloquently echoed by my favourite storyteller and author Oriah Mountain Dreamer in an extract from her poem and book –“The Dance”
“Take me to the places on the earth that teach you how to dance, the places where you can risk letting the world break your heart. And I will take you to the places where the earth beneath my feet and the stars overhead make my heart whole again and again.”
3. Rest, Make Time and Space for You
Finding time to rest is important. Making space for yourself, time to process your thoughts and feelings is key. Time to heal your heart. Many of us want to avoid our feelings to fill our lives with what Tara Brach refers to false refuges our distraction of choice e.g. social media, shopping, eating, drinking, being busy). Choosing space is painful at first but coupled with self-compassion and support it gets easier. This may be 10 minutes a day, a few hours a week or more. Create a habit for time and space in your life. Explain to your loved ones and maybe work colleagues why you need this time and how it is helping you heal.
I remembered seeking out other peoples’ stories to bring me comfort just after mum passed over. Here is my video blog on grief and end of life, I was inspired to talk about in nature. Initially I was going to type it, but I felt ok to speak out loud so I thought I would share the raw edit.
I hope this helps bring light to the dark. Lou
For more information on elementas wellness coaching,