Summer is vacation time. Vacations are essential for good health. It’s a time to relax, refresh, and revive. But when you lose a loved one, the last thing you feel like doing is taking a vacation.

When you think about taking a vacation, you might feel guilty. Like you’re being self-indulgent. Or dishonoring your loved one. “How can I relax, focus on myself?”, you ask. “If I take a break from feeling sad, it means I didn’t love enough.”

A great loss tosses your world upside down. Yet the rest of the world keeps on going. The birds keep on singing. Everyone goes about their business like nothing’s changed. But for you, nothing is the same. “STOP the bus!”, you cry, “I want off.”

So yes, stop the merry-go-round of everyday routine. Intentionally plan a respite from expectations (yours and others’). Dedicate time to experience and process your grief.

Take a vacation!

Setting aside time to process, experience, and think through your loss isn’t selfish. It’s necessary in the healing process. You can come through this season psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually stronger.

And besides, a vacation can be whatever you want it to be. It could involve travel to faraway places.
Or it could be a day trip. It could even be a scheduled time to soak in your own tub with sweet smelling bubbles.

The important thing is to focus on self-care. Plan activities that heal and restore you.

Here are a few ideas (you’ll have more of your own).

  • Travel to new places. Or places that you and your loved one went together.
  • Plan a retreat in some remote location. A place where you can contemplate and journal. Think through your profound loss and how your life is different now.
  • Take day trips. Go to museums, historical sites, or quiet scenic spots.
  • Go to places that remind you of your loved one.
  • Take nature walks, go to the beach or mountains.
  • Book spa days, yoga classes, or massages.
  • Go alone. Go with others. It’s up to you.

The activities you decide to do depend on what feels right for you. Traveling for some can tax their energy. For others it feels reviving. It also depends on where you’re at in your grief journey. Are you in Raw Grief, Fragile Grief, or Gentle Grief?

Regardless of your state, you need a vacation. Create some emotional and mental distance for processing.

Whatever you decide to do, remember these key things.

  • Take it slow.
  • Focus on you.
  • Don’t avoid your feelings – fully feel them.
  • Stay in the moment.

A vacation from grief is not about self-indulging. It is an opportunity for self-care, part of being healthy.
A time to gain new perspective and insight.

Fill in this permission slip. Give yourself the freedom to take a vacation.

I,_______________, do hereby give myself permission to take a vacation from my grief and with my
grief. I will vacation for the purpose of refreshing, reviving, and restoring my body, soul, and spirit.

Signed ____________________ _____________ Date _____________

Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,

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