Methods that Aid in the Healing Process:
Some people are able to work through their grief in a flowing process that comes naturally. But Loss can be a very traumatic experience and should not be taken lightly. Therefore, many of us need to do some conscious work to heal and move on in life. There are many interventions that can help the griever through the process of grief. Here is a list of some common ones that may help:
Therapy (Going to a therapist or counselor for some extra help)
Medications (Seeing a medical doctor to briefly reduce symptoms by getting a sleep aid or a mood enhancer)
Sleep (8 to 9 hours is recommended to restore healthy living)
Nutrition (don’t underestimate the healing potency of healthy foods like natural fruits, vegetables, and nuts)
Exercise (moving the body works out tension, stress, toxins and improves health)
Friendship/support systems (Humans heal by talking, sharing and having fun with others)
Problem-solving (Changes need to happen and the griever needs to work out a plan that will implement these changes in a healthy way)
Bibilotherapy (write or tell a story that will express your feelings by beginning with 2 characters and 2 objects)
Videotherapy (pictures or video’s that the griever finds meaningful or they make their own) Example: this is where my loved one like to go, this is her/his favorite book.
Cluster Brainstorming (write down one issue, then what happened to make it difficult, what feelings did it cause, define functioning difficulties and a positive resolution. (Example: My boss was upset that I missed a week of work. How it makes me feel: this makes me believe my job is in jeopardy, now I am scared, it is harder to go to work, and it is trickier to talk to my boss. I feel lost, scared and frustrated. Here is what I can do: I can go to work and do my best, I can talk to my boss and say I am struggling but my job is important to me and I plan to make it a priority. )
Website memorials (Facebook, Caring Bridge) to acknowledge the death and let others express their thoughts.
Write out a Loss line (start with the date of your birth, write out each year and in the spaces in between write any losses that occurred in that year, note how resilient you are)
Linking objects (a griever may get comfort from carrying a significant item from the loved one or keep something of the loved one, nearby). Example: my sister wears my Dad’s wedding ring, he has been gone almost 20 years.
Memory boxes (find a box, decorate it in a way that is meaningful to you and fill it with memories of the loved one…it can be items, pictures, notes or things you have designed),
Journaling, (Write down your feelings or correspond with the deceased: you can talk to them in a special place or compose a letter to them)
Virtual dream stories (daydream a healing story with your loved one)
Life Imprints (tell or write about the imprints the person left inside you. Choose the qualities you would like to keep [they were kind, gentle and patient] and the imprints you would like to relinquish or change [they were distant, stoic, or angry]
Spirituality/religion (ask yourself what religious or spiritual rites would comfort you and do them [funeral, prayer, say a few words, sage burning, build a small alter in memorial, read daily devotionals like Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Listen to songs or watch movies that help you grieve (song: “I‘ll see you again”, Amazing Grace, or movies: Lorenzo’s oil, Marley, or books: Fly Away) these help you have a good cry or see how other’s grieved.
Please go through this list and pick out ideas that you think will help you. Then try them. If they work, continue to use them. If they upset you, try something else. You are looking for methods that help comfort, heal and help you move on. This process is different for everyone.
There are Complementary Interventions that can also help. Sometimes, we need to do a few extra things or think outside the box to help with our grief process. Check out my upcoming article 4 on grieving on www.supportivetalk.com to learn more. If you would like to talk to someone, try www.supportivetalk.com and book a conversation. A caring, supportive person can really help with the grief process.
For additional reading, try Healing After Loss: Daily Mediations by Martha Whitmore Hickman and “I wasn’t ready to Say Goodbye” by Brook Noel and Pamela Blair, PhD. For more articles by this author, go to www.supportivetalk.com or book a conversation at your convenience at the website.