If you had told me that losing one of my children was going to be on my life’s path, I would have told you that I couldn’t do it.  Yet, here I was, somehow doing it. I had to learn that self-care is grief care.

Without a doubt, my son’s death was, and still is, the worst thing I’ve ever had to endure.  In the first few weeks, I began to feel depleted from having to get up every day and live the same nightmare.

Self-Care is Grief Care

No days were good; they all felt hard.  I know for sure that the key to me being able to function for myself, my family, and Patrick was committing to consistent self-care practices from the very start of my grief journey.

Due to my profession as a health coach, I already had the tools; I just needed to make sure I used them while feeling all-consumed with a grief that was so raw and painful, I could hardly stand it.

Learning to love and be compassionate to one’s self is our life’s work.  You are worthy of this love and compassion.  Starting to heal through self-love gives you the courage to keep moving forward, but there is no specific place you need to be apart from where you are in the moment.

Let Self-Care Be Your Guide

Your grief journey is yours, no-one else’s.  Only you know what is truly right for you.  Allow all of your feelings to come to the surface, without judgment.  Let self-love and self-compassion be your guides.  If you lose your way, I recommend returning to these guides as your anchors.

In my book, I share the self-care practices that have enabled me to cope with my devastating reality.

Sometimes, in the early days after losing Patrick, I would wake up, and to be honest, I was so tired of it.  I just wanted the whole thing to go away and for Patrick to be back with us in the physical.  It’s hard work to keep facing a reality each day that you don’t want to be living in.

Walking Towards Your Pain

I carried out all my self-care practices, and while I knew that they helped me, sometimes I just wanted a break from the continuous effort it took to try to be okay.  A leave pass from the pain, even for a day.  I just wanted my son back.  Can any of you relate to this feeling?  I am certain this is a common reaction to loss.

If you’re looking for a way out of your pain, try walking towards it.  Our tendency can be to want to escape, to be numb, or to push it away.

Step into it with courage and grace.  This may seem like an impossible approach; I hear you.  Your goal is not to move on from your loss but rather to move with it.  It’s a daily battle.  You have to keep fighting; you have to stay fierce for yourself and for others who need you as well as for your lost loved one.

Rise Up

You may feel as if you go to bed at night, grateful that you made it through the day only to wake up the next morning having to face it all over again.  This relentless nature of grief is why you must be intentional about how you nurture yourself during your recovery.

In the extra challenging moments, be loving to yourself.  Be gentle; you are carrying a heavy load.  Self-care is not indulgent; it is necessary.  Like a lotus flower, you will begin to rise up out of the mud.

Keep rising.  Self-care starts with self-love and self-compassion.  I know you can do it.

This piece is excerpted from The Gifts From Losing You: Finding Meaning In Life While Living With Tragedy: Green, Sara: 9781736241301: Amazon.com: Books

Read more from Sara Green: https://www.opentohope.com/nothing-can-prepare-you/

Sara Green

Sara Green is a wellness entrepreneur. Her passion for health began during her decade-long career in nursing. She went on to study with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become certified as a holistic health coach. Sara’s genuine empathy and ability to tune into her client’s unique needs allows her to facilitate the best possible outcomes for those seeking her expertise and guidance. Sara has given many presentations and workshops and has co-hosted wellness retreats. She has also led group coaching programs. She sees clients one-on-one in her private practice. With a special interest in women’s health, she bases her teachings on the fundamental principles of unconditional self-love, self-compassion, and self-acceptance. She wholeheartedly believes that they are the anchors for finding peace within. Sara takes an intuitive approach to nutrition, movement, and life. She helps her clients discover their own path to a healthier, happier, and more connected way of living. She goes deeper to uncover the root cause of their health concerns, with an understanding that the mind, body, and spirit are one. Sara is originally from Melbourne, Australia and currently lives in Cleveland, USA with her husband Chris and daughters Annabelle and Matilda. Her son Patrick passed away in an accident in 2019, and The Gifts From Losing You is a poignant account of their first year grieving his passing. saragreenhealthcoach.com Instagram: @saragreenhealthcoach Facebook.com/saragreenhealthcoach YouTube Channel: Sara Green Health Coach

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