Kelsie Tarter, RN-NBS
It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. When you are grieving, it can be daunting to look towards the future. It can be hard to celebrate the year knowing the profound loss you have been through. Many people make resolutions for the coming year, some attainable and some not. This month, we look at some new grief resolutions.
First and maybe the most important resolution you can make this year is to go easy on yourself. Grief is hard, exhausting work! As much as we would like to resolve to “quit” grieving, it doesn’t work that way. Don’t put a timeline on your grief or set a limit to when life will get back to “normal.” We all know that you are in the middle of developing a “new normal” and it will happen with time. Be gentle with yourself as you adjust to this new normal.
Spend time with people you enjoy being around. Surrounding yourself with people who support you and let you talk about how you feel can be very healing. Grief can be a lonely place. Think about who your people are and make an effort to connect with them.
Be honest with yourself. Many people who grieve feel the need to put on a happy face for others after their loss. We may fear that we might push people away if we cry or talk about our grief too much. The saying “fake it ‘til you make it,” comes to mind. This can be stressful and exhausting. It is important to acknowledge this and find those who you can tell your true feelings to.
Make plans to remember your baby. Start journaling about your pregnancy experience. Plant a tree in the spring. Attend a remembrance walk. Plan something special for October which is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month. Attend a candle lighting service for the holidays. Speak your baby’s name throughout the year. Remembering our babies makes us feel closer to them.
Finally, join a support group or speak to a counselor if needed. Hearing others’ stories helps us to recognize that we are not alone. Sharing your story can be healing for both yourself as well as others. If groups aren’t really your thing, there are many area counselors that specialize in grief.
Accept who you are at this moment in time and embrace it. Give yourself permission to feel all of the feelings and know that grief is a passage, not a place to stay.