GRIEF, IS IT A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD? Recently, we have lost a very dear loved one and some of my close friends have experienced the same loss. Emotions have run high and even though some of the departed have lived full and happy lives, we grieve their departures. As so many life events start my blogging mind to turning, the thought of how we handle grief or how it handles us makes for an interesting blog topic.
deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death.“she was overcome with grief”
synonyms: sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, heartache, heartbreak, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, woe, desolation, dejection, despair; More informal trouble or annoyance.“we were too tired to cause any grief” synonyms: trouble, annoyance, bother, irritation, vexation, harassment
This is the definition of grief as Google search defines the word. What I would like for all of my blog followers and readers to consider is “IS GRIEF ONLY THE MENTIONED DESCRIPTIONS?” or “IS GRIEF A MULTI-COMPLEXITY OF A LOT MORE EMOTIONS THAN THIS LIST?”
sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, heartache, heartbreak, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, woe, desolation, dejection, despair
Of course, emotions of this nature are part of the grieving period and I feel confident most of you at some point after a significant loss of a person have felt most or all of these emotions. One other emotion can easily be anger, common when the death is unexpected or a tragic death. These emotions are one side of the double edged sword of grief. Now let’s look at the other side of this emotional sword.
What about the focus of being positive about a loved one’s passing? I am sure that you are wondering how this is possible. The following excerpt is from an article which focuses on healing and how being positive can help in this process.
DEALING WITH LOSS: 11 steps to a more positive outlook after losing a loved one
The bottom line is that in order for you to heal after a loss, you must at least attempt to focus more on the positive aspects around you. This isn’t always easy, especially after losing a loved one! However, it’s important to understand that your main thoughts are creating the dominant feelings you are having, not the other way around. So it makes sense to say that when you deliberately change your thoughts from negative ones to positive ones, you will begin to feel better as well.
But how can you focus on the positive and not focus on “what is” as you are going through the grieving process? Here are some small, but very significant steps you can take to help you to change your thoughts and feel better at this very difficult time.
- The first step is to notice how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling badly, chances are you’re thinking negative thoughts. If you’re feeling happy, you’re probably thinking good thoughts. The more powerful your thoughts are, whether they’re good or bad, the more they’ll affect your feelings.
- Again, the key is to deliberately try to think more powerful, positive thoughts. However, if you feel you’re just not able to think positive thoughts, try playing the “Yes, but” game. That is, after you think a negative thought, follow it with, “Yes, but,” and add a statement of something good that came out of it. For example, you may be thinking of how much you miss your loved one. Then follow that thought with, “Yes, but we had a wonderful life together.” And then continue with even more positive thoughts, such as, “I’m so grateful he or she was in my life.” If you can, follow that with some funny memories you have of your loved one. Then continue to think of more and more positive aspects and memories. In this way, you’ll be focusing on your love and the good times you had with your loved one, instead of the absence of him or her.
- Speak to others about the good times you and your loved one had together. You’ll be so surprised how this helps you to feel better. You’re thinking about him or her anyways, so bring those great thoughts to the surface!
- Ask your loved one for guidance as to what you need to do now. Then make sure to listen to your gut feelings and act upon them. You should receive answers and wonderful words of wisdom that come as thoughts and feelings.
- Focus on finding the right people who will help you to heal. You will see how the universe will then work in ways to make that happen! They may show up in your life unexpectedly; friends or relatives may talk about those who have helped them; you may read about local healers in the newspaper; the list can go on and on. Just make sure to pay attention to all those who are coming into your awareness. Then trust your instincts about whether or not these people will be able to help you.
- Pray! Ask God and the angels to help you. When you pray, expect the help that you’re seeking. Instead of begging God, thank him, even before your prayer has been answered. For example, say, “Thank you so much for helping me to feel better.” In other words, have complete faith that your prayer is answered now—not some time in the future.
- Meditate! Praying is talking to God, but meditating is listening to him. As in any relationship, it’s important to listen as well as speak. When you quiet your thoughts and meditate, you’re in a better position to feel your connection with God, the angels and your deceased loved ones.
- Repeat positive affirmations throughout the day. Make sure they’re in the present tense and you feel good when you say them. Some examples are: It’s OK for me to heal; I’m able to feel my loved one whenever I choose; I always receive signs and messages from my loved one; I choose to feel better today; It’s good for me to pamper myself as I heal; I discover new strengths in myself every day; God is healing me more and more every day; and I’m willing to be happy again.
- Try to maintain peace in all of your relationships and in the situations around you. Make a point of being with those who lift your spirit and refrain from doing anything that overwhelms you.
- Pamper yourself and do anything that makes you happy. Sometimes that may mean just petting your dog or cat, going for a walk, listening to your favourite music, going out with friends, sitting quietly, reading a good book, or anything else that puts you in a better feeling place.
- Have an attitude of gratitude. Really take notice of all the good things in your life each day. If you have time, sit down and write a list of all of your blessings. Then, whenever you begin to feel sad, make sure to take out that list and redirect your attention to these positive aspects once again.
In order for you to feel better, it’s very important that you begin to focus on how your deceased loved ones lived, not how they died, on the blessings in your life, on the happy times, on the things you love, and on positive goals ahead of you. At first it may seem very difficult to do, given all that has happened, but after awhile of deliberately changing your thoughts to more positive ones, it will get easier and easier. Writing down your blessings, goals and memories is a great way to start. Repeating affirmations throughout the day also helps immensely. It doesn’t matter how you choose to do it, just that you make the choice to feel better! Remember, according to the Law of Attraction, you get what you think about most of the time. So, it makes sense to begin to focus on more positive, loving thoughts throughout each day.
I now come to why I felt this was an important message. While I see people surrounding me fearing grief, I also see another approach, a more positive one to grief. Yesterday, we attended what I would consider the sweetest funeral I have ever attended, my husband’s sister Berta Davis who was 84 when she died. I know her passing wasn’t from a sudden death but developed over the past couple of years of watching a wonderful lady who experienced a full life encounter a life which required a lack of mobility. As both ministers spoke at the service, they didn’t dwell on the grief but how she loved travel, cooking, enjoying a good meal, working with children, and most importantly how she loved her God and family. They told humorous tales and sweet memories. As much as we will miss her, they reminded us that she lived her life the way she wanted to live and she had made the decisions of how she wanted to die on her terms without machines and feeding assistance. Berta, without knowing it, inspired those of us sitting there as to the importance of living life to the fullest. She chose to live in her faith by her heart desiring a closer walk with her Lord. She chose to enjoy food and was a magnificent cook and baker. She chose to be generous to people and her church. She chose to be a teacher and mentor to children. She chose to devote her love and kindness to those she loved and touched strangers’ hearts as well. She chose to travel and explore and even take risks. I remember the minister saying she had suffered great personal losses and she grieved. What really spoke to my heart was even though she grieved, she chose to keep living and loving.
For those of you who have also suffered losses through death and even divorce, I want to give you a thought to ponder. In all of the topics of her life, they mentioned all of the choices Berta made but they didn’t dwell on what she did for a living even though Berta was a well respected medical lab specialist for over 30+ years. That was not what she chose to be recognized at the end of her life. It was all of the love, service, charitable acts, adventures, and challenges of living beyond the loss of her lifetime sweetheart who was her only husband and the early death of one of her children. I hope you keep it in mind that it is okay to grieve but do not live to grieve but live to live and love.
LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT EVEN WHEN THE DOUBLE EDGED SWORD OF GRIEF SWINGS BY YOUR LIFE.
(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to the original location if known. Photos are not exclusive property of Sipping Cups but are sourced if known.
This blog is dedicated to Berta Smith Davis and respectfully we will grieve our loss of this wonderful, sweet lady but we will smile and laugh too. She would have wanted us to do that very thing.
Obituary for Berta M. Davis
Funeral services for Berta M. Davis, 84, of Thomasville will be 2 PM, Monday February 19, 2018 at First Newark Baptist Church, where she was a member. Rev. Steve Brooks and Rev. Mike Keown will officiate and interment will be held at Laurel Hill Cemetery. Mrs. Davis passed away February 16, 2018 at Camellia Gardens. Born January 25, 1934 in Ashburn, Georgia, she was the daughter of the late Henry Grady Smith and Ruby Wynn Smith. She was married to Donald Davis, Sr. for 38 years, who preceded her in death. She retired from working in the lab at Archbold Memorial Hospital. Mrs. Davis was the past director of the Thomas County Baptist Association WMU for 12 years and past director of the library at her church. Her hobbies included ceramics and quilting. Survivors include son, Donald E. Davis Jr. and wife Kim of Boston; grandchildren, Donald E. Davis III, Caleb Russell Davis, and Lauren Grace Davis; brothers Gordon Clyatt and wife Martha of Cairo and Greg Miller and wife Arlene of Tifton, numerous nieces and nephews and her best friend for 62 years, JoAnne Zeigler of Thomasville. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Barbara Denise Jones; Brother Gerald Smith; Sister Dee Crutchfield. The family will receive friends on Sunday, February 18, 2018 from 4 PM until 6 PM at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be sent to Wounded Warrior, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517 or the Baptist Children’s Home, 8415 Buck Lake Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32317. Guests are invited to sign the online register at www.allenfh.com.