MINDFULNESS: In the early days just out from Christian dying, one of the things that helped me the most was allowing myself to be however I needed to be. I concentrated on my breathing. Just simply breathing in and out. I learned to sit with my pain, observe it, and breathe through which helped me to accept it. This also helped me to find more meaning in my grief rather than staying in the struggle of why me? Why us? What did we do to deserve this? Becoming aware of your thoughts allows you to process them. Take yourself off auto grieving and began consciously healing.
ALLOWING & HONOURING THE DARK: My healing journey has not been a walk in the park. To truly begin to heal you must endure your hurt by feeling it. If you cover it, push it down or keep silent, you will only prolong your healing. You need to let yourself feel all the emotions that your grief brings upon you. It can be ugly, angry and dark. But those emotions do not last forever. There is a beautiful saying that goes something like “Remember that you are only human. It is okay to have a meltdown, just don’t unpack and live there. Cry it out and refocus, then take a step forward.” You are human, so allow yourself the grace of grieving like one.
WHAT HEALS YOU?: I found myself asking “Why?” a lot. Like A LOT. After a long time of dwelling in the struggle of the why, I started asking “What Heals You?” instead. It was a question that would change my path in the most beautiful way. It brought meaning and purpose back into my life. Spend time discovering what heals you.
EARTHING: After a little while, I noticed I felt my best when I was outside, barefoot in the Earth. I decided to create a garden for Christian. Digging my hands into the earth really helped to ground me. I held a lot of anger and there was no one to be angry at which meant it was difficult to let it out. So I worked physically hard in his garden. I cried so many tears upon the seedlings that I planted! By working hard physically, I was able to let my anger out and at the same time I was creating something so beautiful. A garden for him. A garden for my family. I found a new love for the environment too. Spending time in nature will do you a world of good.
SOUND THERAPY: Listening to music played such an integral role in my healing process. It still does. I am a huge lover of music from many different genres. I found that in the first few weeks after having Christian I could not fall asleep at night. I was prescribed sleeping pills but I hated taking them as they made me feel unwell the next day. So I started playing music softly before I went to sleep. Just orchestral pieces. I visualized Christian in a beautiful place just before I would fall asleep. Before, when I did not play the music, all I could envision was his death and his lifeless little body in my arms. How could I ever fall sleep with that memory in the forefront of my weary mind? Bring music into your life and if you don’t know where to start, listen to this and then go from there.
NEW FRIENDSHIPS: Having new friendships on the internet through support groups with other women who had lost children has been a truly helpful thing for me. They understand what I am feeling and I understand what they are going through. We are there for each other always. We share a deep connection.
YOGA: One of the most beautiful things I have done for my grief and healing journey is taking up yoga. There are a lot of misconceptions about yoga. One if that you have to be fit an flexible and that yoga is for young healthy people. If you can breathe, and if you have a body, then you can do yoga. I dedicate the time I spend on my mat to my son.
FIND WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY: What has helped me may not work for you. We are all different. Therefore we will grieve differently. You need to look deep with inside your heart and ask yourself what brings you joy. Even if it is the smallest amount. Whatever that is, focus a little energy on it each day. If I can say anything on a way to help you heal it would be to find yourself a hobby. Something that you love, let it be an outlet for your grief. It may be painting, exercising, singing, writing or reading. Whatever it is, if it makes you feel good, then do it. Make that time sacred as if it were time that you were spending with your child. Take some time each day just for you and be gentle on yourself. This journey is yours and only you can decide where it will take you. You are the author of your life story. You decide where the story goes.
INTENTION: When you wake up each morning, spend a few minutes grounding yourself for the day. Close your eyes and focus on breathing and then think about the day you would like to have. Set an intention for your day. When you find moments in your day where things are just too hard/sad/tiring take a breath, step outside and get some fresh air and center your heart back to your morning intention. When you go to bed each night, count your blessings. Even if there are only one or two, thinking about them and give thanks for them. When you go to sleep in gratitude, you will more than likely wake up with it and having gratitude will play a massive part in your healing process.
You will surely come across situations where friends or family members hurt you. They may want you to move on. They may come across as insensitive. They may not even acknowledge your loss. This hurts. There is no doubt about it. And for when those hurtful moments occur in your life, I send you all my love. People will say the wrong things, especially when they are trying to say the right things. If this happens, try focusing on what their initial intention was.
Never feel guilty for laughing. Never feeling guilty for enjoying yourself. I have read so many times that women feel they are not honouring their child because they felt happiness for a moment. If you feel happy, that is a wonderful thing. If you want to laugh than laugh as much as you want. You are not dishonouring your child, you are honouring them.
LET LOVE BE YOUR CHILD’S LEGACY: I have come to learn that showing kindness and compassion to others has been my greatest healer. Learning to live with peace and acceptance is such a gift to be given. Christian has taught me compassion and it is because of him that I continue to heal and grow every day. I share and spread love as much as possible. Even in difficult situations. I know by doing this, I am making my son proud of me. His legacy is love, so I will always share that.
I wish you love and many blessings for this road. May you begin to heal, grow, learn and love.