It was a rough and simultaneously beautiful couple of months in Heatherville: a friend died in March knocking me on my butt and popping the grief pool wide open. With March also being when my beloved Milagro and other dear ones passed over the years, it gets a little crowded in the grief arena during that month.
The beautiful aspects came from not pushing myself to “do” a lot (including writing blogs and newsletters!) but digging down deep into quiet and reflection. My main job was reassessing and, ultimately, realigning with what is truly vital and important to me on this earth walk.
I was pulled to reread a favorite book about loss and grief by Beth Howard Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie, a very well-written account of her pathway through the grieving of her young husband’s death. Baking, eating and giving away pies was not only a healing tool but what she ultimately did for her living after she moves into the American Gothic House (yes, the one depicted in the famous painting of the same name) in Iowa.
This treasured quote from the book encapsulates one of grief’s greatest gifts:
“Another thing about grief is that it gives you permission to take care of yourself in a way you never knew how to before.”
Yep, grief is the world’s best permission slip to be healthfully selfish. While putting ourselves first is labeled by some as “selfish”, there’s a world of difference between a dispassionate “others be damned” attitude and good self-care to get you through a tough time. Nobody knows what’s going on inside of you or even what happened in your day, so let others’ judgments and assessments go. What others think of you is none of your business!
How do you tend yourself when heavy loss or stress falls into your life? What healing tools and practices do you utilize? Feeling and consciously dealing with your grief and emotions are not easy. The journey is, however, a gift to your body and your best self.
If you don’t know where to start on your self-care path or you could use some additional tools and techniques, let’s share a pot of tea and discover what goes into your healing toolkit. As the Buddhists say: Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. You have the power to live through the pain and get to the other side.
In the meantime, I’ll have the pecan pie, no whip.