Here are a few things that I've tried, along with their results.
1. Ignoring the situation
Result: Emotional combustion
2. Thinking really really hard
Result: Not a lot
3. Feeling sorry for self
Result: Downward spiral into alienation
Maybe these are states we need to experience to a certain extent in the grieving process so we can get to a point where we realise they don't work. However, I wish I'd listened to friends a long time ago who suggested I might want to engage with my grief in a tangible and intentional way.
Now I've started to do that, here are some things that have helped and continue to help in my life:
- Bereavement counselling - Finding a good counsellor is so important
- Writing - For me this has brought back memories that I thought were gone forever
- Talking to friends who knew mum - Asking for stories about her is like rediscovering her
- Looking at photos and watching videos of mum - I'm lucky to have these things
- Watching a really sad movie - Get those emotions stirring!
My biggest learning: Be intentional