Happy New Year! During this time, it’s easy to feel inundated with suggestions from the media, friends and family about how to improve your life. Everyone wants to be happier, healthier and more prosperous in the new year. While these ideas are all noble, considering a new year’s resolution is often difficult when you are grieving the loss of a loved one. If you’ve lost someone close to you in recent months or the past year, the typical media message may sound hollow. Somehow, it doesn’t apply to you. Perhaps considering a different kind of resolution is the right choice for you right now.
Instead of resolving to lose weight, get a new job or walk a mile a day, breath deep and think about where you’re at and how you’d like to feel in the coming year.
Not place time limits on your own grief. You deserve to travel this path in your own way and in your own time. Recognize this, and take care of yourself.
Acknowledge that your grief is unique. It might not look like your sister’s grief or your adult child’s grief. Accept this, and recognize that there’s nothing wrong with experiencing your grief in your own way.
Speak up when others provide you with “shoulds”. There’s no right or wrong for how you should be acting, what you should be doing or who you should be communicating with. The only should that matters is really a must – you must take care of yourself first.
Speak your own truth. Share your feelings in the way that feels right to you. Don’t feel guilty if you need to cry. Don’t apologize if you don’t feel like talking at all for awhile.
Grant others some forgiveness. If they don’t understand you or can’t immediately be there for you, it’s okay. They may be dealing with their own emotions. It’s important to give them the time they need to work through their grief too.
Accept assistance from those who care about you. Their support is a gift, and giving it to you can help you heal and them to feel useful too.
Continue to speak your loved one’s name. They have passed on, but their memories live in you. Keep those memories alive. Never apologize for talking about them. Give yourself a reason to smile.
Find small ways to reinvest in life every day. One day, this might as simple as taking a walk. Another day, you might want to meet with a friend or rediscover a much loved activity. Your life deserves purpose. This is what your loved one would want for you.
Whether or not you are a person who makes New Year’s resolutions most years, Salus Homecare South Bay hopes one of these ideas will resonate true to you. Saying goodbye is difficult. Take your time in doing so, but also remember the importance of moving forward in life. Our hospice team has many resources available to help you through this process. Let us know how we can help support you.