dealing with grief
As much as I craved my mother's warm embrace, the smell of the sea and the happy moments that I did share with my partner in our home, I couldn't help but wonder if my homophobic attackers were still around. And that uncertainty - coupled with the fact that our love is still considered a crime there - was my wake-up call.
This is the perfect time for pure, unadulterated optimism. In order to hone in on the power of collective hope, we gotta get intentional. Not only dream big, but pull up those gumboots and get ready to get dirty, cuz creating change requires creating some mess. Oh yes.
While everyone else throws back rum and eggnog and busies themselves with holiday shopping, those of us in grief are doing our best just to get through the day. Hearing a holiday song, smelling a familiar scent or walking by a decorated store window can be all it takes for us to come undone. So, what can you do? Well, quite a lot. Below are my suggestions for how I plan to get through -- I hope it's of help to you too.
I am terrified that tens of millions of Americans came out in spades to support a man who is endorsed by the KKK, a known terrorist group. Trump is an admitted sexist, a liar, cheat and alleged rapist. A man(child) with zero political background -- completely and entirely unqualified for any position of stature. He is Hitler 2.0, and he now represents the most powerful country in the world. It is, in a word, devastating.
For anyone who's lost a pet, the heartache is significant and can last a long time. Feelings of grief can cause mental distraction, loss of appetite, bouts of extreme sadness and even lasting depression. Why, then, are we expected to get back to work after the loss of a pet without being allowed to take time off?
Accepting your own death or the death of a loved one is a healthy and liberating step. In the case of Mr. Trump, however, it's not entirely clear whose death is being accepted. If it's the demise of the Republican Party, that may be a good thing. If it's the end of America, then it's probably not.
Parents often want their kids to hurry up and be OK again. It is difficult to sit with a grief-stricken child. However, if we leap-frog over the grieving process and truncate our feelings, especially our heavier, stickier feelings, we -- both child and adult -- remain emotionally stuck. True freedom from the heartbreak is to walk through the panoply of feelings as they ebb and flow.
If you're lucky, you'll be given the gift of time to start making and preserving memories. If you've got access to your loved ones and you know your time with them is limited, take a few moments and capture your experiences in these five simple ways. You'll be grateful you did.
We don't have to have been in Paris on Friday to be deeply affected by this event. What do we need to know to protect our mental wellness?
It can be really hard to take care of yourself when you or someone you love is sick or in crisis, when you feel like life is spinning out of control. I've been there and I'm hoping that by sharing my experience and what helped me, it might help someone else.