Are you afraid you will never be happy again after experiencing a loss? Many people feel that way after losing a loved one or they feel guilty at the thought of pondering their happiness.
Today, on our Facebook Live discussion, Heidi and I are joined by Chelsea Hanson, a grief expert and educator experienced with significant loss, including her parents, two babies, and her Father-in-Law. She is the author of “The Sudden Loss Survival Guide” and “Shine On: Healing Tools to Inspire and Empower You to Live Life.” Chelsea is also the Founder of With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes, which offers tangible ways to continue honoring your loved one.
Those grieving may have joy blocks in place, consciously or unconsciously, that are not allowing them to be happy. It’s understandable because so much of grief feels horrible. Going through the range of emotions is painful. Plus, we often see joy and grief as completely separate where you can only feel one or the other. We also think that by letting joy in that we will let go of the memory of our loved one.
These joy blocks tend to be our thought processes that get in the way of allowing happiness in. These thought processes may be about convincing ourselves that things will never get better.
In reality, you can allow yourself to let joy and grief to sit side by side. By doing so, you can tap into joy when needed to take a break from the hard work of grieving. You must believe that it is beneficial to take that break and let yourself grow into joy.
You can also keep your loved one’s memory firmly in place and use the joy you’ve added to your life. In doing so, you live your life in honor of the person who died.
Your Joy Plan
To help reintroduce joy into your life, it helps to have a joy plan. This can include regular reflections on past memories where you experienced joy. You can focus on those and how those moments made you feel. Telling others about those joyful moments can also help you see other’s joy at hearing such positive stories.
Actions in your joy plan may also include a brief daily activity that personally brings you joy. For some, that may be reading or taking a walk while others may focus on being present with their child and taking in those quality moments together.
Visual actions include creating a joy book or joy board full of visuals that are joyful. It can be photographs, clippings from magazines, and/or art. Just select those things that make you smile so you can regularly look at and revisit how they make you feel. In the process and over time, you can feel the joy re-entering your life while keeping the memory of your lost loved ones alive.
See the entire discussion here:
Happiness After Loss is a Choice
Posted by Open to Hope Foundation on Monday, May 11, 2020