Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Changing Focus

     My mental outlook has improved from my last blog.  I think, maybe, I was feeling some post-holiday blues and some Valentine's Day dread.  Anyway,  I decided I had to shift gears.  I had to focus on what I have in my life.  Not what I have lost.

     How did I do that?  I used an anger release technique by punching my bed pillows vigorously and repeatedly for several minutes.  One by one, I visualized punching each person I believed had harmed my son, Chris, and each person who denied him justice.  It was very helpful in releasing my emotions.

     I woke up the next morning and realized it takes energy to stay in an angry and negative place.  It seemed better to remember the good things in my life.  My separation from my son and husband, unfair as it seems to me, is temporary.  I believe, someday, we will be re-united in eternity.  Just not yet.

     With prayer, I came to understand how wonderful loving, kind and supportive friends and family have been to me.  It was very good to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday and a little birthday dinner with my husband's family.    I did have to take some deep breaths and put my game face on in more ways than one.  I struggled to go from the negative place to the positive place.

     Before going out, I prayed for inner peace.  I prayed, too, my smile would reach my heart and eyes.  I know in my heart my son, Chris, and husband, Fred, had looked down on our celebration.  I love my husband's family dearly.  They have not forgotten me, Chris or Fred.  For this, I am very grateful and blessed.  Also, my best friend and her family called me to check up on me as I know they were concerned about me because of the previous blog.  I felt very appreciative and touched.

     I reminded myself I am not alone.  I am grateful I can talk about Fred and Chris to friends and family.  At first, they were uncomfortable, but I persisted.  Eventually they came to enjoy my memories and interject their own.  We do indeed have many happy memories and are forging ahead to make new ones.

     We are all fragile in our bereavement, but that does not mean we do not possess inner strength.  Some days, it may be hard to tap into this strength or recognize it at all.  If you are reading this after the death of your child, you do indeed have inner strength.  Please take a moment to validate yourself.

     It may help to sit in a comfortable chair, deep breathe, relax and clear your head.  Concentrate and say to yourself over and over, "I am strong.  I can get through this."  I did this exercise before going out to the party.  If you do this, have courage and explore any thoughts that come up.  These thoughts are something you may want to discuss with a grief counselor  or your support group.  If you don't have either, I strongly urge you to get connected to one and/or the other.  Grief is a journey very difficult to go alone.

     It takes energy and work, as well, to be positive.  But to me, this is energy well spent rather than flailing around in a pit of negativity endlessly.  

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