Grief is both a complex mental and emotional set of changes that everyone goes through a bit differently. When you’re in the throes of grief, self-care can be challenging at best, but it is essential to your long-term health and wellbeing. The Grave Woman can be a beacon during this time, helping you deal with both necessary and practical concerns and providing tips to help you move toward healing.
Stay Connected to Friends
When friends ask you what they can do to help you through a grieving period, tell them. Whether it’s sitting with you in silence or helping with childcare or meal preparation, allow yourself to lean on those who are offering their support. This is especially important as you make your way through the first year of a loss. Often, well-meaning friends will stay in constant contact in the early days and then taper off, but the first year can often be the toughest. According to Psychology Today, tell your closest friends what you need and ask them to stay connected.
Spend Time With Family
When a family experiences a loss, commiserating and grieving together can help ease the pain. This can be an especially strong bonding period where you share family memories, talk about the missing loved one, and embrace the opportunity to cherish your relationships and make them stronger. If you’re far removed from family, set a standing time and day to talk regularly. It will give everyone something to look forward to as a constant in what often feels like a rapidly evolving world.
Join a Grief Support Group
Grief support groups can allow you to share and process your feelings with others who are going through similar circumstances. They may have advice and coping techniques you haven’t thought of. They can also offer a different type of support from family and friends, who may also be going through their own grieving process. In a group setting, you can open up and talk about things you might not be comfortable divulging in more familiar settings.
Take Care of You
It’s important to have grace with yourself when you’re going through the grieving process. Go for long walks, listen to soothing music, and sit and meditate or pray in a way that helps you feel centered. Eat healthy foods, reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption, and try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day to create a familiar routine. You may benefit from temporary sleep aids if you’re having trouble getting the rejuvenating rest you need. Recognize what triggers extreme sadness or stress and be proactive in caring for yourself in these times.
Grieving a loss - of a person, a job, a marriage, a pet - is a difficult time of life. Recognizing and understanding the signs of grief can help you navigate this challenging time. While there is no “timeline” for grief, you should continually set new, small goals for yourself that lead to a more stable future. It might be as simple as gardening or accepting a friend’s invitation to dinner. If for any reason you feel you are stalled in your grief, or you’re feeling deeply despondent, talk to your primary care provider, or in the case of emergency, call 911.
The Grave Woman helps individuals and organizations deal with death and dying, grief support, and recovery. Visit the site to learn more and reach out for a consultation.
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About the Author
Camille created Bereaver after she went through the ups and downs of the bereavement process herself following the loss of her parents and husband. With the help of her friend who was also experiencing a loss of her own, she learned how to grieve the healthy way, and she wants to share that with others. There is no one way to grieve, but it is important to do it in a way that supports your physical and mental health throughout.
"It is was the best of times, it was the worst of times"...
Charles Dickens really hit this one on the head when he penned this now famous line in The Tale of Two Cities. This quote perfectly describes what I am experiencing as a blushing yet grief stricken bride to be. Unlike my other blog postings this is being written in real time which means by the time you get to read it, it will be a distant memory for me ( 74 days, 20 hours, 6 minutes and 26 seconds old according to my wedding countdown app). I also want to be completely transparent and let you know that NO ONE has passed away however, I am experiencing a tremendous amount of grief. I am writing this with the intentions that readers everywhere will find comfort that they are not alone in their journeys of transition of all kinds and as a journal to capture my feelings and emotions as I capture in words one of the most important and meaningful voluntary transitions of my life.
Making A List & Checking It Twice
Today is December 9th, 2021. We are just two weeks away from Christmas and instead of the normal holiday cheer that I normally experience this time of year I am feverishly planning my wedding. Nothing about me or my life is traditional and in true fashion neither was my engagement. My love popped the question on our 3rd date and we officially decided to get married and have a wedding 90 days after making our engagement official.
As I recently learned, one of the most important parts of planning a wedding is deciding who you want to share your special moment and day with. Besides the immediate grief we experienced upon realizing that some of our nearest and dearest loved ones would not be able to attend because they have passed on we quickly learned that this is NOT an easy task and COVID-19 has further complicated this process. I have never been the girl who wanted one of those big fairytale weddings BUT when the time came to sit down and make our guest list my hearts desire was to write every person I have ever come in contact with. Being that my fiancé and I were limited to 25 guest each this is literally impossible. Sitting with the thought of having to choose only 25 people out of groups of family, friends, and collages who mean so much to me seems like an impossible task.
The process of making my guest list has been deeply necessary, extremely cathartic and what some may call a form of spiritual cleansing. I created a spreadsheet and listed every single person that I could think of. Sitting down and sifting through the names of those that have contributed to my life in various meaningful ways while taking inventory and evaluating the current state of relationships caused me to dig deep and think beyond my guest list. I was forced to ask myself 3 very difficult questions about each person on the list who at some point in my life meant so very much to me:
1. Is this person in my life because of a connection we had in the past that I am holding onto? Or, are we mutually feeding this relationship?
2. How is this persons presence currently reflected in my life? How is my presence reflected in theirs?
3. Do I truly wish to cultivate this relationship moving forward? Or is it time for it to die?
90% of the people on that list still mean the world to me and by no means am I saying that this is how we made decisions for who would and would not be invited. What this process did do however was force me to look at who I have become and how I have grown and outgrown relationships and some of the people in my life. This process also filled my heart with so much gratitude for the relationships that will move forward with me but unfortunately, still not everyone made the guest list.
Family members and close friends that I adore, one of my dearest loved ones from my college years whom I have shared many laughs, tears and fun with whom I hadn't seen in nearly 12 years and spoken to only 2-3x outside of social media along with another friend who invites me to each and every function that he and his family have did not make my list. This was heart breaking for me and what made it even worse was having to tell them that I could not include them in our celebration of love. I literally felt sick to the pit of my stomach with every telephone and text conversation.
Looking back (a few days later) I have more peace about things. Though these conversations were very difficult and challenged every fiber of my people pleasing being BUT were necessary. Moving forward into this marriage journey there are only two real opinions that matter. Mine and my husband to be. I am going to have to disappoint others with the choices we make as a team and perhaps even make situations uncomfortable when I choose what is right for my family and marital relationship that others don't understand. Overall, this experience has made me even more grateful for the growth that I am experiencing and helping me to become what I hope will be a good wife.
Oh, and as far as the list goes, we decided to go with immediate family and our closest friends. Me coming from a huge family on both sides made this extremely easy in the end. Wouldn't it have been so much easier to start off with this plan? LOL!
3/22/2021 0 Comments
Thinking about moving on after the loss of a spouse or another loved one is emotional. If you are thinking of moving in order to begin a fresh chapter in your life, you’ll need to plan for your emotional journey just as much as your physical voyage. How can you know whether a move is right for you, and what should you expect once you’ve decided to look for a new home?
The Grave Woman shares a few important perspectives to keep in mind when managing a move
during a time of grief. Have you lost a loved one and are having difficulties navigating your grief? The Grief Kit can bring you comfort and encourage spiritual growth.
Moving After a Major Loss Can Be Beneficial
There are many reasons why a move may make sense after losing a loved one. If you are
grieving the loss of a spouse, a smaller home may be more manageable and may offer fewer
maintenance and utility costs. You may be able to use that extra income for activities that will
help you feel happy again, like traveling to see friends or to see more of the world.
If you do decide to sell your home, you need to take steps to ensure the process goes smoothly.
You can get started by using an online estimator to get an idea of what your home is worth
compared to other houses in your area. You’ll need a real estate agent to help you with both
selling your home and buying a new one.
While a move could be a positive change for you, it’s important to avoid making that decision
until you’ve had some time to process your loss. You don’t have to be 100 percent healed to
make the right decision, but you should allow enough time to have found some peace.
Moving May also Cause Stress
Sometimes, a fresh start provided by a move can help your life make sense again. You may
want to move to be closer to other loved ones, or you may feel inspired to live your life in a
different way. If you do decide to move, know that you may also feel more grief. The process of
moving involves letting go of the life you once had, so don’t be surprised if you feel melancholy
over your move, even if it’s a happy one. You can start planning your move about four weeks
ahead of time to make dealing with those emotions easier, and you can also find ways to deal
with the stress and emotions of moving, like practicing more self-care.
A New Home Can Give You a New Perspective
Oftentimes, the people who decide to move homes after a loss are dealing with the death of a
spouse or partner. It’s important to acknowledge the complicated grief process that comes with
losing someone you planned to share your life as well as your home with. The importance of
patience cannot be stressed enough since time is the only thing that will ease your pain. You
have to wade through those intense emotions to come up with a different life plan that will still
bring you joy. A move can help you start that new life, but make sure you move to a home that
will make you happy too. If a house excites you and you begin to picture your new life there,
chances are you have found the right one.
You’ll Need to Deal with Your Difficult Emotions
Buying a new home and starting a new chapter of your life can be filled with excitement, even
when you are also processing grief. Allow yourself to feel that happy energy, but also know that
you still have some hard work ahead of you.
Before you pack up your things, you may need to sort through the possessions of the person
you lost. To make the task easier, begin by downsizing some of your own things, and then move
onto the rest when you feel ready. You may also want to have a friend or family member help
so you can more easily decide what to keep, what to pass along to loved ones, and what to
donate to those in need. It’s always hard to get rid of your departed loved one’s belongings, but
knowing those items are making a difference for someone else can make it easier.
Grief is fluid, and it’s different for each person experiencing it. While a move will never erase
the pain of losing the person you love, it can bring back purpose to your life. Just be patient
with the process.
About the Blogger
Scott uses Cancer Well to promote self-care and spiritual wellness for those who are enduring cancer treatment or for those helping someone through cancer treatment.
Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash
I thought it would be fun to share a few fun facts about myself in response to a few personal questions that I have received so here goes!
1. Where Are You From?
I was born in Lakenheath, England, on February 27th, 1986. I grew up in a small military town called Beaufort, South Carolina, surrounded by a beautiful family.
2. Are You An Only Child?
I am the eldest of two children. I have one younger sister that I love very much.
3. What Do People Not Know About You?
I am a HUGE nerd. I am full of much random information and love learning about a plethora of different subjects ranging from funeral service to geography, history, and zoology.
4. Describe Your Off Camera Personality
I would describe myself as an introverted extrovert. I love being alone just as much as I enjoy being around others. One of my favorite things to do is be alone with my thoughts. In real life, I am more quiet and shy but can be the life of the party if I feel comfortable. In mortuary school, must to my surprise I won the superlative for best personality.
5. What is Your Secret Talent?
I am a great cook. For a while, I played with the idea of starting a cooking channel.
6. How Long Have You Been Making YouTube Videos?
I am not new to YouTube. I have an ancient YouTube channel where I discuss life, natural hair, and cooking. If you can find it, you will be genuinely entertained. I have been making videos about funeral service since March 26th, 2016 only recently became consistent and more focused on this channel in July of last year after my lawyer suggested that I take YouTube more seriously.
7. What's Your Favorite Food?
I love popcorn...no seriously I LOVE POPCORN! It's one of if not my favorite food.
8. Do You Collect Anything?
I have a unicorn collection.
9. What's Your Favorite Thing to Do?
My favorite thing to do is travel. I have been to Mexico, Bahamas, many states on the East Coast, and most recently, I visited New Mexico for the first time.
10. Do You Have Any Pets
I have a dog named Love that I love VERY MUCH! I don't have any children, so she is my baby. She is a seven-year-old Yorkie and Chihuahua mix. She was given to me by a friend from mortuary school the day before graduation and is one of the best things to ever happen to me in life.
*** Bonus Question*** What Would You Be Doing If You We'rent A Funeral Director?
I am an entrepreneur. I currently own and operate three businesses. I am an independent insurance agent and have a funeral service, which is both closely tied. I also have a company called Spirit Candy, where I make and distribute homemade healing bath salts, shea butters, and sugar scrubs. You can learn more about Spirit Candy by visiting www.spiritcandyproducts.com
I am also very interested in meta and quantum physics and would like to expand my knowledge and education to integrate those areas of thought and science to be used for healing for those who are grieving and in the process of transitioning.
What are some fun facts about you? Please share in the comment section.
Throughout our journey we have been living life in “bubbles". These “bubbles “happened without us even realizing, but they soon became the norm and part of our everyday life. The first unexpected bubble was the “hospital bubble". Little did we know what was facing us as a family on the day our Dad was rushed and admitted to hospital on 5th September 2016.
As bad as our Dad was when he was found at home, as he had regained consciousness before getting into the ambulance, and because once we arrived, despite the pain he said he was experiencing he was as normal as could be considering the circumstances, we were not prepared for what was to come. He was talking, responding normally, telling us stories. He was hungry, so we had gone to get him something to eat. So as far as we were aware, things were OK as could be.
That all changed in what felt like the blink of an eye. Our Dad needed various tests done. We were told he would be admitted to a short stay ward after this and we would be able to visit him there. (He had been in the A&E upon his admission). Once we went to see our Dad on the short stay ward EVERYTHING had changed. Our Dad was not the same person and we could not work out why, and what could have caused this drastic change in such a short space of time.
Click here to read the full piece.
About the Grief Probate Journey in their own words.
We are Tara and Tanya Greene, founders of Grief Probate Journey. We are sharing our story along our journey of Grief, the Probate Process and feelings emotions we are dealing with since our Dad passed away in 2017. Our Dad was hospitalized in September 2016, sadly passing away in March 2017. Since 2016 to this very day it has been a continuous learning experience. We wanted to find a way to share our story in the hope of helping people who might be going through something similar or might know of someone going through something similar.
When someone passes away there are so many details and decisions that must be made in a very short period of time. In this video, I share 4 things you should NEVER do when someone dies.
7/4/2020 0 Comments
You asked and I am answering your funeral service questions in today’s installment of Funeral Service Q&A with The Grave Woman.
I am so overwhelmed by your interest in attending a mortuary school that I have developed an affordable online course designed to help you navigate finding, enrolling, and succeeding in mortuary school. Visit www.thegravewoman.com/courses today to enroll :)
You asked so I am answering more of your funeral service questions. Feel free to submit your questions in the comment section of this video or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
6/19/2020 0 Comments
Father’s Day is a beautiful day of celebration for most fathers. However, many times we tend to overlook fathers who have lost their children. These fathers are not only forgotten on special occasions but also many in conversations about grief. In order to pay honor to and give special recognize, I have compiled the following list of 5 phrases of love you can use instead of Happy Father’s Day to celebrate a Dad who has lost a child.
1. I am thinking of you this Father’s Day.
2. You are not forgotten this weekend.
3. In honor of (insert deceased child’s name) we continue to celebrate you.
4. I am here to listen in case your need a break from this weekend’s festivities.
5. You give your all and have inspired me to be the best person I can be every day. I want to take the time to say thank you.
Joél Simone Anthony, also known as ‘The Grave Woman,’ is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is dedicated to eliminating misconceptions about post-life preparation while stimulating an open, honest and straight forward discussion about death. You can submit your comments, questions and requests to email@example.com or by using our contact page.