Going into the New Year When You're Grieving - 5 Tips to Consider
The year 2021 possessed a few hills and valleys of its own while a new strand of the virus called Omicron impacts top well over 300,000. Yet the virus mutation still left us scratching our heads over the decision of whether or not to get vaccinated, and/or whether or not a booster shot would be necessary to warn off further threats and/or deaths. As the world moved to opening up, together we braced ourselves fearful that we were moving to fast, while praying lives would be spared. Yet in this race for normalcy, we are continuing to suffer devastating losses. For me and my family, we’ve loss more love ones unexpectedly leaving us numb with grief and our heads spinning. Knowing God makes no mistakes, I focused more on trying to have a better relationship with God while working extra hard to keep the spirits of those around me and through the use of this blog lifted, and encouraged.
Further efforts to do just that, I decided to rerun this blog from last year to help my family members as well as my subscribers find ways to cope with entering the new year without their loved ones. It is my sincere prayer that this blog helps and you find some comfort in my words to you. New Year’s Eve is one day away, and going into the New Year after suffering a devastating loss can be extremely difficult. For me, it was that very feeling of unimaginable grief I wrote about in my book, "When the Bough Breaks". Chapters 2 and 7 may be the closest indication of what you may be feeling. Chapter 2, "The Earth’s Shift", describes the feeling of being lost and afraid. You’ve never been in this place in life before, so you don’t know what to say, do, or even be. For the world you once knew and dwelled in with your loved one is no more. As did I, you may feel like you are in a third world country where you recognize no one, know of no way to communicate the pain you are feeling, and even scarier even want to exist. In Chapter 7, "The Morning After- Reality Hits", talks about that moment when the phone calls stop, and solitude brings with it the frightening truth that what once was your life has changed. Friends and family snap back into the normal routine of moving through life, yet you are stuck in grief. Whether it’s grief experienced as a result of someone’s death, divorce, unreconcilable relationship, medical diagnosis, physical impairment, or even the loss of a dear pet. Moving forward into the new year feels like a bad dream, your emotions are all over the place, grief is weighing heavy on your heart and mind like a ton of bricks, or some may experience anger. Celebrating the New Year or even a new day isn’t on your to do list. In fact, some are so stricken with grief that they can’t bring themselves to even get out of bed, or desire to further exist. All is not lost. There’s hope, and 5 tips to help you cope with going into the New Year.
1. Grief is very exhausting mentally and physically so, getting good rest is important. Try to replace the sadness you are feeling with affirmation that will up lift your spirits, and strengthen your faith that things will get better. Watch your favorite movies, listen to uplifting music. We all are in a pandemic so staying inside or staying in bed in your comfy pajamas is okay. While in bed read your bible, or a book you had been meaning to get to, but couldn’t find the time.
2. Journaling is a great way to get your feelings out. It is also an even better way to capture some of the goals, dreams, and/or admirations you’ve been putting off that you should focus on. This mental assessment can be the beginning of getting your life back on track by listing the steps to getting there. Can I tell you a secret? This is exactly what your loved one would want for you too. They want you to live and live life to the fullest. They want you to be great, and God does too. He’s standing by with his hand extended to get you up and on your way. He’s has allies in place to help. Seek help moving forward from your pastor, preacher, priest, rabbi, imam. If you are not a believer of the faith, seek help from a close friend, family member, neighbor, and/or professional grief counselor. Bottom line, talk to someone don’t keep your pain bottled up.
3. What ever you choose to do don’t isolate yourself. Stay connected to somebody you trust. Being silent on a telephone call are just as rewarding as telephone calls with your girl who’s talking 90 miles a minute and you can't get a word in. The point is you’re not alone, that girlfriend will talk if you want to talk, cry with you if you want to cry, or be silent if silence is what you need. The friendship and sisterhood you possess is indeed God sent and should be embraced.
4. If you don’t want to partake in celebrating the New Year, that’s okay too, forgive yourself and realize that’s a pretty normal response when you’ve suffered a devastating loss.
5. Honor your feelings and give yourself permission to feel what ever that moment allows. It’s all part of the grieving process. Recognize you can’t get around it, but you can get through it. There’s no set order to healing, but it is your only path to living, loving, and laughing. Do what ever you need to do, but don’t give in to the negative forces to steal your joy and pull you further down.
Remember, the bough will break, you will fall, but you can and will recover. Wishing you God’s blessings on your journey.