These first 31 days of the new year are often set aside to celebrate, meditate and radiate the new you. But with a New Year comes Change. Sometimes that change is not what we were planning.
What do you DO when someone close to you experiences the death of their spouse, their parent their child in the month of January?
First of all You Feel the loss, sadness and grief in your own heart. Cry, wail, wring your hands, moan as you move about your home. Of course, this will be of different intensity according to the relationship you have with the deceased.
Then call, email or instant message some one close to the bereaved. Be clear about what happened as it relates to what you will choose to DO. This is not a time to gossip. The death has occurred. I used to wonder when people learned my teenaged son had died suddenly WHY THEY needed to know the details. Wasn’t the fact he was dead enough?
By listening to this person who is close to the bereaved, your presence will be a support to them. Simply keeping your thoughts in the now, maybe even repeating what they say prefaced by” I want to make sure I understood you. I heard you say…..” This is not therapy speak. It is mindful listening.
Then depending on where the bereaved lives you: either visit in person with sympathy card in hand or send a standard sympathy card with the message: My heart aches with the pain of your loss. Enfolding you with love. By getting out of your head and making that 18 inch journey to your heart, communicating HOW your heart feels, and sending the energetic wrapping of them in the greatest power in the universe, love, you stay in the present with them. You meet them in their pain.
Another choice is to send the new sympathy card, a copy of A New Mourning: Discovering the Gifts in Grief with the inscription:
May this book be a beacon in the vortex of your grief. Enfolding you in love.
If you live far away and choose not to send the book, then enclose a gift card to a nearby restaurant or grocery store with a delicious deli.
If you live close, please show up in those first three days with cans of 7-UP and fresh lemons. Make them a cocktail or invite the person in charge of their kitchen to create a simple cocktail with these two ingredients. This combo magically cuts the headache from sobbing. I don’t know how. It just does. Know that for now you have done ENOUGH!!
If you’re struggling with the emotional process of grief...
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