“Brother Ed,” a Texas native, welcomed Dr. Gloria Horsley at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. When asked what advice he had for men who were in grief, Salisbury says, “First and foremost, schedule time to be still. Pause. Reboot. When I get into my car, every time I sit in my car, fasten my seatbelt, I close my eyes and I take three deep breaths.” Particularly in the US, it’s expected that people—and especially men—have to do it all. They’re constantly moving, and in that movement they try to forget the negative. However, it can fester.
“Even if I’m in a hurry and late for something, I have to be still and attuned to the present,” he said. This isn’t just solid advice for someone in grieving, but for everyone. Not being in the present means you’re missing out. It means you’re more likely to let the negative catch up. It means you’re more likely to make mistakes. “When I’m still and present, before I engage the clutch of my car, my life or answer my incoming messages, I invoke that presence and grace,” he says. When that happens, “I’m guided by some force,” he comments.
Prayer vs. Stillness
Dr. Horsley shares that she’s been told prayer is when someone talks to god, but stillness is when you listen. Stillness can also be called meditation, which Salisbury claims has been his medicine. “For sobriety, serenity and purpose,” he explains. “It’s the cornerstone of my life today.” Every morning, Salisbury spends at least 30 minutes in meditation including at least 10 minutes in yoga and headstands. He says it’s the reason he’s so healthy in a 70+ year old body, and that meditation can begin at any age.
It’s not just for those in grief, but it can certainly be a great accessory during a time of loss.