I want to start this post out by being really clear about one thing: grief is hard work.
There is no way around it: it is simply a process that one must fully engage in. I am quite certain at this point in time that grief is a process that will never be complete. To fully engage in it means that it becomes a part of the fabric of your life. It changes the design you weave, lends it’s light and sorrow to the threads that wrap you in your reality.
Perhaps for some, it is also a catalyst for spiritual growth, propelling you to where you want to be on that level.
This stuff that I’m listing below are simply (for the most part) material tools that I have found helpful in my process so far. They are NOT listed in order of importance, and I am not including things like ‘eat/drink right, exercise’ because everyone tells you about that. You know it already. I’m just adding the pieces that might be new to your own list.
Please dive in and add what you’ve found to be helpful too –
Proof of Heaven
I am convinced that my brother sent this book my way, and also nudged the Audible version at me. The last hour of the Audible version was far and away the most useful element in it for me. I cannot recommend it highly enough, because it described the process of dying, of heaven, of God (“Om”), the brain, this world, the next, karma and more in ways that resonated with me.
I use candles when I wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning to be alone. Coventry Candles come with affirmations wrapped around them, and are long-burning, made of essential oils. They smell divine, and the affirmations are comforting.
I think any natural candles are wonderful, especially right now, but I especially like the ones that are made with essential oils and “dipped when the moon is right.” The “Healing” candle is my favorite, but Protection smells fantastic.
Mom got me on these, too (you’ll notice “my Mom got me on this” a lot in this post). Essential oils have been a part of my life for a while now (remember my post on essential oils for weight loss?), and at this point, they take on a healing element for my spirit. My Mom has a massive collection that she is very generous with me – right now, I’m using a lot of Young Living‘s “Abundance”, “Inner Child”, and “Pan Away”.
Abraham-Hicks videos on YouTube Red:
Abraham-Hicks’ “Money and the Law of Attraction” and the book that started it all, “Ask and It is Given” (which my Mom also gave me). I’m NOT writing this to convince you, but if you are looking to make sense out of life or anything, this might help. It helped me get through everything that has happened in the past 8 years (panic attacks, PTSD, my Dad, postpartum depression, Moxie/Down syndrome, leaving my job, leaving my life in the Bay Area, full time family stuff, income struggles, isolation, friendlessness, washing clothes by hand in a Humboldt winter, the loss of both of my Grandfathers, my beloved Grandmother and now, Dana. If I thought anything was big before this, I was wrong. it was all piecemeal compared to this.)
I had to take a leap to get over some of the “out there” stuff to me (like the whole “Abraham” and channeling collective consciousness bit), but the actual content is gold, solid gold, priceless.
I’ve read and watched everything they have that I can borrow/buy – I’m on repeat-land here. So I was thrilled to find that with YouTube Red, you can save videos OFFLINE and listen to them or watch them whenever (which is a big deal because I can’t stream well off the grid).
The whole smorgasbord is there, and it helps me tremendously. For it to be of use to you, or for it to make sense, you might need to backtrack a bit and read the first book (Ask and It Is Given – that’s an Amazon link there but you can get it in the library for sure).
I watched this 30-minute video over and over for about 2 hours the other day, for example, as it spoke so perfectly to how I feel about where I am in my grieving process.
Yoga has always helped me with the active meditation that it provides, but with grief, it adds a layer of helping me connect with my body when the grief is overwhelming. Since I am rarely able to attend yoga classes, I tune in through Gaia TV . With Gaia TV, I can choose the type and level I want – it’s usually kundalini for me, but all yoga is helpful.
Breathing and Meditation
I wrote this post on mediation, if you want to read more about it.
Breath is an integral part of meditation, and I have found that breathing is critical to move through my grief, when the grief just explodes and hits me. I absolutely have to stop, stop, STOP and breathe, focus, breathe.
I have a therapist that I love.
She meshes talk therapy with action lists, nutrition and advice. Now, I was lucky because I had already started working with her before all of this happened with Dana, so I didn’t have to look for her. I’m not sure I’d have the wherewithal to if I hadn’t already had a relationship with her.
I think we all need to have a safe space to “let it out” and process things in our lives. Get help for hard things. The sooner we find a person that works in ways we find helpful, the better.
This isn’t a material item, but I wanted to include it because this has also been very helpful for me.
I can’t really be around people that much now. Kids, yeah (and they are very helpful for my spirit), but the strong energy that comes off of most adults is just often too much. I have had to learn to say things like, “I need to be alone now” – which I’ve never been able to clearly define before.
I just need to be alone. I need to have this space and walk this walk. I can’t physically talk too much about it or have other’s energy come into it, because it is so deeply personal.
The Grief Emails
This came from the Mortuary that helped my Mom with her parents and with Dana. Mom told me about these emails – they send one daily and it’s truly wonderful. It varies from ideas and tips to quotes, nuggets of wisdom. Daily Email Affirmations.
I have been slip-sliding around with food and exercise, but I’ve found that massage helps me find more balance and love with my physical self. I use my friend Nieves’ line of body oils. She uses essential oils and all good-stuff and I can really feel it as I put it on my skin. I use Legs n’ All, Bath Salt, and “C” Perfect Skin.
She also makes this thing called “Cloud of Protection” which is awesome – it has a really bright scent that can lift me up.
I’d be lost without nature. Living where I live, being able to walk the hills with the mist, the trees, mountains – it is a real gift right now. Nature is the closest I can get, perhaps, to God, and it’s there that I find the most healing.
Sometimes it feels impossible to talk about grief or even of the tools that help me get through the worst of it. It makes me angry, it makes me sad. Nothing will make it as it once was; he’s not coming back to life, he’s gone, what’s the point? Right. That is true.
But as I weave this grief through my life and create a new world for myself, one without my brother in it, I am grateful that there are some things that can ease the pain a bit and help me with the necessary process that I am going through.
I really hope they might help someone else too.