As I live alone and don’t have a special someone, I’ve basically been on my own to navigate the grieving process. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve done my best to get through the days without curling up in the fetal position and just waiting for it all to get better.
I’m sure I’m not the only one dealing with grief, so I thought I’d share some tips I used this week to try to survive in a world that had simply stopped making sense.
I’m a Modern Philosopher, not a mental health professional, so I have no idea if these suggestions will work for you. I simply know they came in handy for me…
Let it out. Your instinct might be to hold it in, to not let others see you in pain, and to spare the rest of the world your burden. Screw that!
Just let it out. Cry whenever the tears want to come. If someone asks you how you’re doing, tell them the truth. I told Miss Luna’s tale several times over the last few days, and it just felt good to talk about it. I’d been dealing with her sickness all by myself for so long, and it was a relief to tell others all I’d been through.
You never see bottles of anger, rage, and pain on the shelves in the grocery store, do you? That’s because no one in their right mind would purchase it. So why are you keeping it all bottled up inside you? Talk about your pain, give yourself permission to be angry, and let all that angst outside of its cage deep within you.
I wrote a couple of blog posts about my grief. One was very sad, the other incredibly angry. Once I’d let them out, I felt so much better.
I ran a lot this week, and even though I really wasn’t in the mood to run, I just put my body on autopilot and hit the road.
I know my running route so well that I can simply zone out and let my body take me where I have to go. I desperately needed that quiet time out of the house to get myself some fresh air and pound my frustrations into the pavement.
As much as I missed Luna, I don’t recall thinking about her much while I was running. My brain got to take a break from grieving for a few miles while the rest of my body took over and did all the hard work.
This week, writing allowed me to escape the overwhelming sadness and a sense that there was a hole in my heart. As I mentioned earlier, I wrote two blog posts this week about Luna’s death.
The first one was my tribute to her, my final goodbye, and a much needed last moment spent with my kitty as I put the words on the page. I cried like a baby, but thinking about her in such a loving way when I was feeling so lost without her was exactly what I needed.
The second post was my unleashing my anger out into the world. Again, a very cathartic experience that pushed me where I needed to be in the grieving process.
I also worked on editing my new screenplay. Escaping into that world gave me another chance to crawl out from under the dark clouds and see the sun momentarily. Cranking up the creative side of my brain gave my tear ducts time to replenish, and it reminded me that I have the ability to create worlds where I’m not sad and angry.
I’ve lost so much weight and was feeling much better about myself. I’d just gotten a new car, which made me not as embarrassed about picking up a date for the evening.
Of course, my thoughts weren’t on dating after what happened, but women began to write to me, and replying was a welcome distraction. It was just nice to have an adult conversation with someone who had no idea how upset I was. Since there’s no one else at The House on Hill to talk to, it helped to have these email chats to keep me company.
Dive into a project. I had made the bold decision to lease a new car on Saturday, so I was able to keep myself busy all week with the process of lining up the new insurance, registering the vehicle, transferring the plates, and selling my old car.
Then there was all the time spent trying to figure out how the hell I was going to pay for a new car. Every minute I spent on the RAV4 was a minute I wasn’t sitting alone in the dark crying about Luna.
I’m not saying you have to buy a car, but find a project that will take up a giant chunk of your time. A little extra stress is better than non-stop grieving.
Seek out whatever it is that makes you happy and treasure it.
For me, that has meant spending extra time with Cali. She’s a little lost without her sister, but at the same time, she is suddenly aware and excited that she has all of her Daddy’s attention.
Cali was a little deprived of my affection for the last few months because I was so focused on taking care of Luna. Now I am making sure to find extra time for her, to rub her fat tummy whenever she wants, and to cuddle up with her on the couch as often as possible.
Cali has been curling up on my chest in bed every evening, which has really made the nights easier. We both really need each other right now, and I am so lucky to have her.
While I’ve shared these tips to make your life easier, I truly hope you never have to put them to use. Grieving sucks, so I would much rather wish that you never experience loss.
I wanted to take a second before I wrapped this up to thank you for the outpouring of support after Luna’s passing. Your kind, loving, supportive words really touched me at a time I felt painfully alone.
You are wonderful people. Thank you!