This week I am pleased and truly honored to have Glenn Harrold as my guest blogger, as he discusses tips to overcoming bereavement and how to cope with loss and grief. Glenn has been helping me relax and hone my meditation skills for the past few years. I refer everyone I know to his apps as they work! Glenn is very talented and passionate about his work and I am thrilled that he has a new app for bereavement.
I can tell you that I committed to Glenn’s apps after a recent surgery and my recovery was both gentle and expeditious.
Glenn writes self-help books for Orion in the UK and McGraw Hill in the USA and produces hypnotherapy CDs for BBC audiobooks and Diviniti Publishing. His best-selling CD title, Complete Relaxation, was awarded a gold disc for sales of over £250,000 from Robert Knight of Nielsen BookData in 2006.
He has 20 years experience as a clinical hypnotherapist in one to one therapy sessions, and in recent years he has worked with many high profile and celebrity clients. In May 2011 he was made a Fellow of The British School of Clinical Hypnosis in acknowledgment of his achievements in the world of hypnotherapy (see Wikipedia).
How to overcome bereavement
Overcoming bereavement is a very difficult and personal process. Whether your loss was sudden and unexpected, or the result of a long illness, there is no ‘normal’ way to experience grief and no time limit to get through it. Follow my tips to take the next step on your healing journey.
Let Grief Flow
Grief is a gradual process. You may have days when you feel angry, sad, frustrated, days when you feel a little better, days when you feel guilty for laughing with friends or appreciating beauty. You may experience a combination of emotions that feel utterly overwhelming. This can be upsetting and confusing, but rest assured that it is all entirely natural. Take one day at a time and acknowledge the feelings that you experience, rather than trying to block them out.
Take care of yourself
Whilst it can be tempting to use alcohol or narcotics to numb the pain that you are experiencing, all this does is mask your grief; it doesn’t help you to get through it. Take care of your body with regular, nutritious meals, drink water and get plenty of fresh air and sleep. Keep to a routine if you can. It is scientifically proven that being close to nature affects our bodies and minds in a positive, healing way, so get outdoors as much as you can. This doesn’t have to be physically challenging; sitting and watching the ocean or taking a gentle stroll through woodland is wonderfully therapeutic.
Say what needs to be said
One of the most challenging aspects of bereavement is the things that are left unsaid. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to make peace with my mother before she died. We had a difficult relationship when I was growing up but I understand why this happened now. I’m so grateful that I had the chance to heal our relationship before she passed away in 2007.
Perhaps you feel that the air needed to be cleared, or you simply wanted to let someone know that you loved them. You may find it helpful to write them a letter or to speak to them as if they were still with you. Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed, and say the things that you need to say. You may find that you express anger, frustration, sadness, or any number of other emotions, and this is absolutely fine. Just make sure that you end with words of love, compassion, and kindness.
Honour their memory
Create a memory box, filled with reminders of your relationship. This can take any form, from ticket stubs and photos to written memories on slips of paper. This is an excellent project for children as well as adults that are dealing with bereavement. Open the box and pick out a memory to look at whenever you feel the need, and let it resonate in your mind and heart.
You may find it helpful to raise some money for a charity that was important to your loved one, or do some volunteer work in a field that interested them. This provides a good focus for your mind, that both honours your loved one’s life and principles, whilst helping others too.
One of the things that my mother struggled with, (which certainly contributed to our difficult relationship) was the loss of her own mother when she was just five years old. Her home life was Victorian-esque and she was not allowed to talk about or properly grieve for, her mum. Communication is one of the most important tools that we have as human beings, and talking about our feelings is a vital part of overcoming bereavement. Talk to friends and family as much as you can. If this is not possible, look into finding a support group, either face to face or online, and a good therapist to help you through.
Make a point of telling the people around you that you love and value them as often as possible, and take your time with your journey. These steps may be small, but they will help you along the road to overcoming bereavement. As long as we remember and honour our lost loved ones, they will never truly leave us, but live on in our hearts and memories.
All the best,
P.S. You can download my new overcome bereavement MP3 here:
For more tips to coping with grief, loss and overcoming bereavement, contact Deb Crowe, a professional and dedicated life coach.