They outlined 27 things that can help with the grieving process; many of which I have done so myself.
1. Attend a dinner put on by The Dinner Party.
I have not attended such an event, but there have been many occasions where I have gone out to dinner with friends who have also suffered great loss, and all we spoke about was death, funerals, and how we are grieving.
2. Set aside about 15 minutes each day to be by yourself in a quiet place to give yourself space to grieve.
In the beginning, I would look forward to my quiet time and taking a few moments for myself. No music. No TV. Just quietness. Now, I still enjoy my quiet time, but don’t feel like I need to have these as often.
3. Write letters to your loved one.
I would buy cards for Jen for her Birthday, Christmas, and other holidays, put them in zip-lock bags, and hide them outside. Prior to the card, I wrote her a letter and read it to her before her wake.
4. Binge-watch a lot of TV.
My TV show of choice? The Office.
5. Commemorate milestones with their favorite food.
Chicken nuggets, Angel Food Cake, and Italian submarine sandwiches.
6. Find a local Death Cafe to talk about death and grieving with others who have experienced loss.
This kinda circles back to the the first point…
7. Look through old pictures, emails, letters, and anything else you shared.
Sometimes I go through all the pictures of Jen on Facebook and just remember all the memories we shared together.
8. Tell a lot of jokes. Shocking ones.
Humor truly is the best medicine.
9. Seek out a therapist you trust.
I’ve never saw a therapist, but I did join a few support groups. Although no one was a medically trained doctor, I did trust the people in my support groups, and created lots of new friendships.
10. Write out all of your emotions on paper.
…or start a blog
11. Find a hobby that fills you with happiness.
I really like crafting, so that is where I was able to channel a lot of my energy and attention.
12. Wear their clothing or jewelry.
I like to wear things that Jen gave me; she bought me Uggs and Converse and I really feel closer to her when I wear them.
13. Talk to them…even if it’s one-sided.
I always say, “Hi Jen” when I go past her urn, and I talk to her in my head when I really miss her.
14. Honor them through poetry.
I never did this one; poetry is not really my thing
15. Don’t judge yourself for grieving.
Amen! Never apologize for your tears. I’m sad and this is how I handle my sadness.
16. Take care of others as a way of taking care of yourself.
Yeah, this is a big one for me. I’m guilty of putting others’ needs before my own, but I do enjoy taking care of people.
17. Try switching to a new kind of diet.
I did try to eat better but mostly because I gained a lot of weight from eating my feelings.
18. Accept the way you feel, no matter how you feel.
I think that once you accept the fact that you are sad/mad/angry, you can better understand ways to get though it.
19. Write stories infused with details about your loved one.
This is along the lines of the poetry, and not something I have personally done.
20. Take comfort in mourning with others.
My Mom says that we are now in a club that no one wants to be part of. We’re able to talk freely with other mourners and not feel ashamed to talk about taboo topics.
21. Take a hike..
22. Honor them by living life the way they would have wanted you to live.
I think that I am living a pretty awesome live, and know that Jen would want me to be happy, get married, and continue being me.
23. Remember to take things one day at a time.
…and if that is too much, one hour at at time (you can’t go any faster than that)
24. Make a playlist of the songs that remind you of them.
I had a CD in my car that Jen made me, along with a CD I made right before Jen passed away. At first, I listened to it a lot and would cry a lot. But then I realized that too many sad memeories were associated wait those songs. However, I get very happy when I hear songs that Jen used to twirl to; those are my favorites.
25. Know that grieving comes in waves and it has its own schedule.
Exactly. Everyone grieves at their own pace, and sometimes you can relapse, and feel the same way you did months ago. That’s completely okay and totally normal too.
26. Celebrate life when you feel like celebrating.
Agreed! It is okay to be happy at happy times!
27. And be normal when you feel like being normal.
The “normal” you feel now may be different than the “normal” you used to be. And that is okay too.