Heal to Live
Have you ever had to heal to live? Well, I had to after the unexpected loss of my father. I know you are supposed to outlive your parents however, losing one of them unexpectedly is difficult to navigate. I still reflect on the day that it happened. My mother called me from my dad’s phone, I didn’t think anything of it because I thought it was him calling. I was so busy with work that day that I forgot I told him I was going to call him later that night. Well, later that night came and went, and I hadn’t called so I figured he was calling to tell me off; oh, how I wish. Instead, it was my mother calling to tell me that my dad was not breathing. Have you ever lost someone and didn’t get the chance to say I love you? Well, for that very reason, not calling my dad back negatively conflicted my reality for nearly a year. Healing was the only option I had to bring back my balance of a healthy mental attitude and connection between my mind, body and spirit.
A few things that continue to help me:
Allow yourself to fall completely apart:
If you are like me, you are used to having everything together. When my dad passed, I was a month away from starting my doctoral program, which he practically convinced me to pursue. I will be truthful and say I contemplated dropping out at least five times after his death. However, I would not allow myself to breakdown. It wasn’t until thanksgiving that year when it finally hit me. I had yet to internalize the fact that my dad was really never coming back. After reflecting on this I cried, for what felt like hours; I allowed myself to just let it all out. Afterwards, I felt like months of pain exited my body. What I now realize is that harboring feelings of pain and sadness only continued to weaken my spirit and body. However, letting go allowed me to start my healing process. Now, when I think of my dad, I don’t get consumed with sadness, but I can smile.
Surround yourself with friends and family:
During times of grief, we naturally want to isolate ourselves. Although I believe it is important to take time for yourself, I also believe it is important to surround yourself with people that care about you. Thank God for my husband who four years earlier lost his father. I leaned on him A LOT. He understood every mood I was in at any given time. He was also there to hold me accountable when I dwelled on the fact that I did not call my dad back the day he passed. Surrounding yourself with someone or people that care about you helps to balance feelings of sadness. It also ensures you have someone present to guarantee you are prioritizing your healing.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that requires you to focus on being aware of what you are feeling in the moment. I don’t know about you but something about sitting quietly and tuning out the worlds distractions forces me to clear my mind. Additionally, taking a moment to clear my thoughts calms and grounds my mind. Which in turn allows me to control what I think about and exert energy on.
I hope you found this post helpful. I am by no means an expert; however, I do know what it feels like to heal as I live.