Mitch Carmody works with Heartlight Studios, has his own ministry, works with The Compassionate Friends as well as TAPS. As a leader in the grief industry, his passion comes from personal experience: Carmody’s son died at just nine years old. Carmody spoke with Dr. Heidi Horsley of The Open to Hope Foundation during the 2015 Association of Death Education and Counseling conference about self-care after a loss. Dubbed “proactive grieving,” people often need help getting the tools and resources they need to care for themselves (and perhaps others) after the death of a loved one.
Embracing your grief includes looking at what tools are available and choosing the ones that work for you, he explains. There are a lot of options out there. However, each may (or may not) work for different people. “To know who you are as a griever also helps,” he says. You should know your personality profile so you can better know yourself and how you can navigate this journey. Knowing yourself first is paramount.
The Whole Body Grieves
Body, mind, soul and spirit all grieve, and grievers can utilize that fact to help process loss. Listening to your gut feeling, when your body feels worn down, and learning to make your whole body work together can be a great help. Fight or flight responses can lead to holding in emotions so tightly that it results in physical pain.
Stimulating the love hormone with children or pets, and combatting the negative impacts of stress is a great help. A broken heart, or anything that’s broken, must be thrown out, repaired, or repurposed. Grief can’t be “fixed” and a lot of people throw it out. Repurposing for a legacy is key.