Having had a less than average week with sorrow, I could have chosen to focus on the negatives but instead chose to think differently. I chose to think positively as ‘they’ say that you should. And it helped me.
‘Chose to’ sounds as though it was easy, it wasn’t. Choosing to feel a particular way in emotional situations isn’t that simple. It takes hard work and the closer the loved one the harder it is.
Those who know my business may be surprised that I would ever consider thinking about the negative. Well, thinking negatively is what our brains are wired to do. It is there to protect us, to see danger, to look negatively so that we are prepared for whatever appears. And in sorrow we really do struggle with positive thoughts.
Grief can be overwhelming and is different for each of us. Some recover quickly while others take some time.
Some say you should remember the good times, remember how they were, remember how you enjoyed their company. And for most of us that works fine but not for me. When I did this I became even sadder knowing I can’t have those wonderful moments again.
What I did instead was focus on the negatives and turned them into positives. "Isn't it lucky their pain and suffering is now over", "It was their time to go", "They had a great/long life", “They wouldn’t want us to be sad”. These are phrases that I focused on.
And I also focused on those who were around me. I watched, listened, laughed and loved those who were close to me – my family and friends. These two things, family and friends who are around you, are what matter most in our lives.
Does that make me hard; I don’t think so. Does that make me look hard; probably. Yet each of us choose how to react, as difficult as it was (and is) I use(d) the losses to move forward.
Don’t get me wrong, I was sad and I cried. I tried to fight back the tears and to be strong but I couldn't and I felt better as a result of expressing myself.
By all means do grieve, do feel sorrow, do cry a lot, and do share your stories. Turn negatives into positives, focus hard on the good things, do whatever helps make you feel better.
Importantly, embrace the new change in your life.