Finding meaning when we have lost a beloved.
I would like to share with you the stories of two clients; each had lost a beloved person in their life. One gentleman spoke of his worries about his grandmother being very ill and having to be hospitalized. He described this grandmother as having been like a second mother to him. He sat in my office, overcome with concern that she may not live through this battle. Some time later, he arrived to tell me that his grandmother had died. I sat with him, trying to make a space where he felt safe to cry. We were able to practice deep breathing and gentle seated yoga and he sat through two 10 minute meditations, taking a short break to cry and feel the pain from his grandmother’s passing. When he was ready, I wrote and showed him this message: Grief + Gratitude = Inspiration.
I explained that it is normal to feel pain when grieving, that the pain signifies that the person is important to you and has deeply touched your life; otherwise, you wouldn’t feel such strong emotions.
Grief can have negative connotations and can be labeled a negative emotion. We can take that Grief and add something positive and possibly uplifting – Gratitude. Think about all the wonderful memories and ways that this person changed your life and try to connect with a feeling of gratitude, for without this person, you would not be who you are today. Find ways to be thankful for her life. The way she lived her life has changed the way you have lived yours.
The second client spoke about the loss of his girlfriend, which brought forth in him memories of losing his father many years prior; he allowed himself to cry for both losses.
Let the loss of your beloved also be your inspiration. Take the grief, add gratitude, and create inspiration so that when you remember your beloved, you can experience a feeling of inspiration. Both of my clients asked me to write this equation down for them as reminders.
Each client walked away with a bit of lift in their steps and a slight smile, as if to say, “I’ve found new meaning for a very special person, someone who I will always keep close to my heart”.