Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Grief Commandments

Grief Commandments

1. The pain is great because the love was great.

2. Sadness and Happiness can both live within grief.

3. Just because I'm grieving, doesn't mean I need to hide my joy and laughter.

4. I will not grieve alone.  I need others to help me heal.

5. Nurturing myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually, is healing.

6. I will go on living and loving life.  The life of my loved one has been swallowed by death, but I am not dead. Grief will not consume me.

7. My process is just that, mine.  I can not compare it to others.  I must go at my own pace.

8. I will dedicate my joy and hope to my loved one through a live well lived.

9. My pain is a part of me.  I need to accept it in order to release it.

10. I move forward through my grief each day.  It is always there, but each day it gets a little better.

11. I will be intentional about my grief.  My grief does not control me.  I chose to control it.

Part of the reason in creating this blog was to start being intentional about my grief.  I needed an outlet for my grief.  I needed a place to put it.   Along the way I started to research grief and experience grief through different outlets.  In doing so and going to a grief therapy group at Faith's Lodge, I received the following hand out called Ten Resolutions for Mourners, by Larry M. Barber, LPC-S.  I grasped onto these resolutions and found truth and courage in them. Also, as a therapist, I love new resources, and if they are helpful, as this one was, I believe that everyone should have access to them. 

Then, my journey through grief and all its pain and sorrow, led me to wanting to find more joy.  So, I read The Happiness Project in the days that followed Nora's death.  Don't get me wrong, I needed to experience my grief in all it's complexity, but I also still wanted joy in my life.  After all, isn't that why I hurt so much, due to the absence of joy, the joy that my daughter had brought me, that was so quickly taken away.

If you ever read The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, (Which I suggest you do), she talks about establishing her Happiness Commandments for her life.  So, while reading her book and then being introduced to Larry Barber's Ten Resolutions for Mourners, I decided to make my own Grief Commandments.  The Commandments were me setting my own intentions about how I was going to handle and approach my grief.  They were kind of cheer leading statements and mantras for me to remember and use when my grief became overwhelming or I wanted to isolate within my grief and leave the world behind.  They were statements that reminded me how to navigate the grieving process, in my own way, and in my own time. 

So, below are Larry M. Barber's, Ten Resolutions for Mourners, that inspired me, along with Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Commandments, to come up with my own Grief Commandments, that are listed above and also as a page link to my blog.  I encourage you to make up your own Grief Commandments in an effort to be intentional about your grief.

Here are Larry Barber's Ten Resolutions for Mourners listed below:

Ten Resolutions for Mourners:

  1. I will mourn the death of my loved one and not avoid grief and its uncomfortable emotions.  Grief is overflowing love for a person no longer physically present.  To avoid grief, you must deny the love you have for that person.
  2. I will mourn in ways that are healthy and healing for me.  Hurting and healing go together in grief.
  3. I will mourn in places and with people that make me feel safe, comforted, encouraged and cared for.  I need the help and support of others who will listen to my grief and not judge or give unwanted advice.
  4. I will express my grief emotions in ways that will not hurt others or me.  Just because I hurt does not justify my hurting others.
  5. I will reach out to others for help in my grief and, in return, to help them in their grief.  In grief it is our turn to receive help graciously.  When we see others in grief, it is our turn to give help, support and encouragement.
  6. I will grieve the loss of my loved one and, at the same time, accept and adapt to the changes their death brings to my life.  My accepting the reality of grief doesn't mean I have accepted it as good.  My life has changed forever by their death and will continue to change.
  7. I will take good care of myself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually during my grief.  My grief takes all my energy and resources making me vulnerable in many ways.
  8. I will make choices in how I deal with grief rather than just letting grief happen to me.  The death of my loved on has made me a victim once, and I am refuting to be victimized by the death any further.
  9. I will honor my loved on in my grief through memories and my actions each day.  The best memorial I can leave in honor of my loved one is a life well lived in which I can still experience joy, hope and peace. 
  10. I will be patient with myself and my grief.  I will give myself time to grieve and heal.  Grief doesn't run on my timetable or at my command.  I will understand that grief takes as long as it takes.
Copyright, Larry M. Barber, LPC-S, CT, December 2012

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am just beginning this journey (lost my Patrick on April 2nd), and this is exactly what I needed to read today.


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