As we approach the New Year, we often reflect upon the past one, looking for habits, thought processes, traditions, etc., upon which we might improve. If you have suffered a significant loss over the past year, you may not be looking forward to the New Year nor its festivities. You may not think the New Year holds anything for your life without your loved one by your side.
It is normal for grief to preoccupy our minds for quite some time after the loss of a loved one. Our lives and thoughts are disorganized; we must learn new skills and reorganize our thoughts, our lives and ourselves.
In addition to parties, tradition dictates that one thoughtfully set New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions are goals we set to improve our lives. Improving our lives is the very same goal of grief recovery. In both circumstances, one may not wish to change. One may feel extreme pressure or great fear when faced with new behaviors, new challenges, and new experiences. We may not be ready nor strong enough for change.
The choice is yours alone. Just as we choose to redirect our habits to improve our physical health, perhaps by eating healthier foods or adding more aerobic opportunities daily; we can choose to improve our bereavement health.
Grief is brought on by broken attachments, and although we do not wish to erase our loved one from our lives, we do eventually choose to adjust the attachment they maintain in our hearts. To recover from grief, one must move the decedent from a living companion to a loving memory. Doing so protects and preserves the relationship shared with your loved one, yet allows recovery from the excruciating pain of their absence. The time and efforts invested into your lost loved one may now be focused on other loved ones and new activities.
The New Year is a good time to evaluate where you are in your grief recovery process. If you feel you are ready to add activities and outings to your life, formulate a plan that fits your strength and abilities. You may feel ready to begin your transition beginning January 1st. It may be that you set a goal to work up to venturing out to your favorite activities beginning in March or even September. The point is that you are the authority on how you feel and when you are ready to increase your physical activities, your emotional acuity, and your social exposure.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and professional speaker. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences on their "Road to Recovery". It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.