Tears and Chocolate?

Tears and chocolate?  Are you familiar with this crazy combo too? 

My true confession is that the tears and emotions after my son died were so exhausting that I was so grateful for chocolate (especially chocolate almond clusters) and sleep!  
Maybe you understand.  

Not everyone does.  

I have the right to respect my own physical and emotional limits.

Sometimes, grievers are advised, "Just keep busy. "   It sounds good but when you try it, you discover that you are too fatigued to do that. Grieving and mourning may be the hardest work you have ever done and that is why the  Mourner’s Bill of Rights states “I have the right to respect my own physical and emotional limits”.   It is important to respect what your mind and body are telling you.  If they are slowing you down,  it is to allow healing.  There is no reward for speed in grief.  Now is the time to lighten your schedule.  It is a time to nurture yourself with  daily rest, eating properly and gentle exercise and to be your own tender, caring friend.  

About chocolate almond clusters, chocolate is the most potent happy endorphin-producing food on earth and the almonds are packed with magnesium, which seems to help keep cortisol levels low.  But they are high fat so be aware. 

About three months after Ben was killed, my uncle Richard in Germany, died.  My family thought it would be nice for some of us to fly to the funeral.  I knew it would be too exhausting for me physically and emotionally triggering.  I was grateful that they understood and went without me.

Caring for yourself is not about feeling sorry for yourself, it means you are using your survival skills to keep yourself nourished and fit for your journey.

I have the right to talk about my grief

If sports fans can talk about their team losing, how much more reason to talk about losing someone precious.  Your life has been ripped apart, dreams have been pulverized and your identity has been destroyed.  You are suddenly single, or a child without a parent or a parent without a child and missing someone desperately.  Your heart's silent scream needs a voice to tell it’s story of pain and disappointment.  It is in getting the pain outside that the wound can really heal.

Sometimes, well-meaning relatives and friends want to give advice or “fix you” to “make you happy again”.  It is uncomfortable for them to see you on this painful journey and they may struggle to walk it alongside you.  Instead, find caring people who will not judge: a friend, a support group or a professional helper – I would be delighted to journey with you.  You have expressed your love for the person you have lost and now you have the right to express your grief which is the opposite side of the same coin of love.  No one has the right to belittle or dismiss your love or now, your grief and mourning.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.  ...who can stay with us in an hour of grief...tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”                                                                                                                                            ― Henri J.M. Nouwen 

These are Mourner’s Bill of Rights, points #5 & #6. I am excited that it can help to change the way people understand grief.  In understanding, we can really allow ourselves the space needed to heal, to integrate our loss and then to reengage life with energy and hope once again. 

 The Mourner's Bill of Rights:
1. I have the right to experience my own personal, unique grief.
2. I have the right to embrace my grief and heal.
3. I have the right to feel many different emotions including surges of grief.
4. I have the right to treasure my memories.
5. I have the right to respect my own physical and emotional limits.
6. I have the right to talk about my grief.
7. I have the right to embrace my spirituality.
8. I have the right to search for meaning.

Hope this helped,  more next time! 





Check out other helpful blog articles including : 

Five Lessons Learned in the Fire, 

 Birthday Parties in Heaven, 

He is not here,

Just Tell Me What Happened  

The Worst Nightmare

plus helpful Renewing Resilience Tips.  or scroll down for more

If you are facing loss, get the support you deserve.  For additional resources, including a no-obligation introduction coaching session with Helga Bender, MThS, for help, relief and rebuilding life again  click here.   

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