I want to thank all of you who have written to me with your kind words, support and specific ideas for dealing with grief. It is touching to know that what I write is meaningful to others, and that people have been reading me for years... and really care. THANK YOU! That helps me more than you know.
Here is some of the advice I received, all of which is good. "Any creative process you choose (art, writing, music, dance) - will help to process your grief and help your spirit to heal," wrote Tina. "Same with yoga and meditation until you are ready to write."
I do plan to attend the yoga and meditation classes while I'm on my spa trip to Cranwell and Canyon Ranch Lenox next week, and I'm taking a notebook to write about what comes up. Many destination spas have classes on drawing, painting, journaling and dance. Tina, thank you for reminding me of the importance of connecting to my creative spirit while I'm there.
Six months after Alexis lost her mother, "the person who loved me most in the world," she went to a resort in Arizona where the treatments were based in Native American traditions. It helped her to see what she needed to do for herself at home. "Thank you so much for writing this article. I was happy to read a piece on spas and the grief process because spa treatments and home bath/salt/healing rituals have become a huge part of my healing." Thank you, Alexis, for writing about your experience.
Janet commented that the six-month timeline for getting over your grief was "way off ~ but one day, it can subside a bit. I call that acceptance. Just be gentle with yourself. My best remedies are getting out in nature walking and dancing to music in the privacy of my room. I have lost 90 lbs doing this, and have kept it off, by the ten pounds at a time stabilize program."
Losing weight sounds good. I totally went on the comfort food program after my brother died: "I'll have the french fries, AND the hot fudge sundae." I'm not doing that now, but the pounds I gained are still there.
Finally, thanks to Hilary, who lost two brothers, both unexpectedly. "I have been following you for years, Anitra, and so enjoy your column. I wanted to let you know that your local hospice agency offers bereavement support groups and most are free and open to anyone who has endured loss, regardless of whether they or their families were served by the hospice agency.
"I found that nurturing of the soul, fed by regular self care (massages in particular), were particularly healing. Being gentle with yourself is key. Please know that we each grieve differently and in our own time. How long it takes is how long it takes....for you."
Isn't that beautiful?