Although the fundamental ideas and concepts to be discussed are no one’s to own, I personally credit the listed sections below to Tom Golden and Jim Miller, co-authors of the “When A Man Faces Grief/ A Man You Know is Grieving” combined mini-book.
We all have experienced death or loss in some way. Whether that’s through the death of a friend or loved one, the separation or divorce from a spouse, being fired or laid off from a job or career path, or even a difficult move or transition, it’s very real. The pain that comes along with such grief is often tangible and piercing…so much so, it can be hard to focus on anything else.
Unfortunately, the inability to focus on other necessary things is quite prevalent. It is a common phenomenon of us human beings to actually forget or disregard integral parts of our daily lives when intense trials and sufferings hit. Such habits do not help our cause or lift our burdens at all, inversely, they make things worse. If you or someone you know is going through a hard time, keep in mind these other areas of life that still need your attention, both for others’ benefit and your own:
One of the things overwhelming grief and pain do is knock us ‘out of rhythm’, where we find ourselves no longer automatically doing the self-care behaviors that have long been trained into our routines. Even the most basic of needs, such as proper nutrition, water intake, sleep and exercise often slip away. It is hard to operate our normal lives without such rudimentary needs met much less intense struggles.
Heavily dependent upon your personal style of emoting and grieving, part of the process is release, something that absolutely must occur. If you are feeling the urge to weep, to scream, to vent, to the journal, etc. those things need to happen. Even less common modes of grieving, such as treasured hobbies or the expression of deep talents, are perfectly valid and should be prioritized as well.
One of the particularly sensitive and uncertain parts of coping is the responses that others will have to the traumatic event in your life, and how you go about dealing with it. Although it may seem like your friends or family are distancing themselves from, what often is actually taking place is you unconsciously distancing from them. Reach out; they will respond with love and concern.
Seemingly easy to overlook in day-to-day life, spirituality (or whatever word you use instead) is a need that CANNOT go unmet. Now more than ever is the time to connect. Prayer, deep conversation, scripture, congregational support, or a walk-in nature are all remedies. The key is pursuing whatever most truly resonates with what you are really going through and move in that direction.
To quote the authors: “You deserve the best care possible. More than that, it may just be that you’re the best one to provide it.”