“Say not in grief he is no more but in thankfulness that he was.” Hebrew proverb
I ran across this online today, and it sparked so much in my heart, brain, and soul that I had to add it to my blog. I had just been talking to my sister, Rita, about my first love, Michael. He died at a very young age. I am so grateful that Michael was. I am still heartbroken that he died so tragically, but this reminder to be thankful for the time he was on the planet lifted up my spirits. We can wallow in our grief and pain and let it consume us, or we can shift our paradigm and strive for gratitude, grace, and strength. As the proverb suggests we should be thankful for the time we did have with him or her.
I personally didn’t deal with Michael’s death for a long, long time. It was too painful, so I buried my grief. As I always tell clients, you cannot run away from grief. Eventually, it will rear up and bite you on the Okole. I am proof of that fact. You have to feel it, roll with it, face it, and embrace it or it will bring you to your knees. Denial is an excellent place to hide out for a while, but it cannot last without causing a landslide of pain for you later. Be brave. Be mindful of your emotions. Be true to yourself. You don’t have to be strong for others (different story sometimes if you have kids). Be thankful and take care of you. As my client friend Candi likes to say, “put on your own oxygen mask first.”
Shirley Enebrad is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist with 25 years of experience. For her many years of work with pediatric cancer patients and those grieving the loss of a loved one, she received the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service and the Angel of Hospice Award. She is the author of Six-Word Lessons on Coping with Grief and Six-Word Lessons for Surviving a Devastating Diagnosis.
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