After spending the last three months computer-less, I've stumbled across this post in my drafts on grief that I wrote shortly after losing my Gran in January. It's not sad so don't worry, but I thought I would share it incase it can provide any insight or support for anyone grieving! I sit here in June where almost 6 months has passed since and life is good. For anyone dealing with loss- it does get better and easier each day :) You are not alone.

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Grief and loss are very personal things. Everyone deals with them differently and mostly in private, but it's something that we must all go through at certain points our lives. Loss is cruelly unavoidable- from the phone you dropped onto hard concrete to bereavement of a close loved one- when you're sharing your life and experiences with things and people, loss will always come into play at some point.

For Christmas in 2016 I was given the book 'The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying', a combination of the Western take on death and dying mixed with Eastern values. In Buddhism, or at least older forms of Buddhism, death was something to be celebrated and respected, where monks would lay the body to rest for days afterwards, viewing it as a part of life in itself. The book highlights how death in our Western culture is often taboo, an awkward thing to bring up or stumble across in conversation and I totally agree.

In the West, we understand that it's hard to celebrate loss, the months that lie after losing a loved one are difficult but ultimately our emotions are no use left simmering under the surface, like lava just waiting to erupt through the surface.

My biggest vice in life
is drawing the good
out from the bad.

I recently lost my gran and since have been dealing with a whole array of emotions. Losing someone is like having an open wound that you know will heal over one day but until then, you notice it and deal with it daily. 

Then comes in the self care! If you don't look after your pain (mental or physical) it will only get worse. 

My biggest vice in life is drawing the good out from the bad. Without that ability I don't think I'd be as generally happy as I am now. A cheesy but also lovely quote that sums this up is "If you look for the light, you can often find it. But if you look for the dark, it is all you will ever see". 

In so many previous posts I've talked about how there is always light in a dark situation. For me, the death of my Gran was a chance to really think about the time I spent with her, learn things about her that I didn't know before (she'd been hosting our weekly Sunday gatherings for over twenty years and helped build the Church that mum took me to as a child. She also saved someone from drowning and used to swim in a canal for fun on her breaks from her job as a laboratory technician), and spend time with family that I only get to see on rare occasions.

Personally, death of a close friend or a near-death experience for myself is a 'wake up call', a chance to zoom out on life and realise your place in the bigger picture. 

It's notable that although it's good to have long-term goals to work towards, living in the moment is the only thing that will really let us have this human experience to the fullest potential.

Understandably, as people in modern society we seek stability- a good job, income, a house or relationship, something we can rely on to keep us afloat. It's good to be reminded that what you are creating in this present moment will be a future memory, something to look back on. 

There is always only now. If you have the money for that flight but you're scared to go it alone, book it! If you're bored in your job, find another. Call your mum when you think of her. Eat the cake. Learn that language. Meet new people. Host that party. Tell someone if you're struggling. Be a good friend. 

We are so blessed to be able to live and be loved. Every experience you go through, you will grow from. Remembering that as I acknowledge these feelings and move on helps immensely, along with helping other people to enjoy their day.




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Some little things you can do to make your day happier and more mindful:

Eat your favourite food
Watch a busker perform
Talk to the person next to you on the train/bus
Call a relative
Message an old friend
Take care of plants
Swim outdoors
Try out a new hobby- you don't have to commit
Plan a trip somewhere new
Take ten minutes in the morning to yourself, no phone, no work
Think of three things you are grateful for in that moment
Listen to your body
Cuddle an animal 
Take the longer route for the scenery
Walk from an earlier stop on your commute on a nice day
Perform one act of kindness

 What have you learned from an experience of grief?

Sarah xx