Book Recommendations

There are a large range of books out there that look at grief and dying. Some books are beautifully written, while others seem like you are reading something from WebMD with words you can’t even pronounce. So trying to find one that you’ll like and resonates with you can be hard.  

That’s why I thought I would share the three books I liked the most and why I liked them.

My first recommendation was a book my counsellor let me borrow when I was seeing her many moons ago.  I liked the book so much that I ended up ordering my own copy from Amazon.   

‘OVERCOMING GRIEF: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques’ By Sue Morris.

This was one of the better books that I have read on grief.  Although it is written from a psychologist point of view, the tone of the author is very warm and empathetic and it is like she is talking to you rather than you are reading a book. The book itself doesn’t read like one that is research heavy or jam-packed with medical terminology that you have to google every second word. It is reader friendly and relatable.  

Each chapter is broken down into sections that includes research, case studies, grief myth busters and writing exercises and tips to help you through your grief.  

One of my many ‘a-ah’ moments I read in the book came from this paragraph:  

“Giving yourself permission to grieve the death of your loved one is essential if you want to overcome your grief… grieving does not mean ‘getting over’ the death of your loved one or forgetting them… it is giving yourself the time and space to get used to them not being here anymore…” (pg 35)  

Up until that point, I had pigeon holed myself into a box, thinking “I should be over this by now”. But as we all know, that is not how grief works.  

My second recommendation is a book I came across at my local council library by Australian authors Mal McKissock and Dianne McKissock titled “Coping with Grief”. 

This book is a much shorter read than the first one and is just as easy.  It is not heavy on medical terminology and really breaks down the grief process for the reader.  

The whole first couple of chapters are what to expect when you first lose your loved one and the physically aspects of what happens to the body when it is going through something as traumatic as grief.  

Unlike the first, I didn’t find it as helpful because it doesn’t have any case studies or helpful exercises to help you get through the grief.   

However, I realise not everybody is like me and they might not find any benefit in case studies and grief exercises.  

In saying that though, the authors have a great website where you can access some good reading material as well. You can access the website here

If you’re just looking for a book that doesn’t focus so much on what grief is but others that have experienced the loss of a parent then you might be interested in “My Mother, My father. On losing a parent” by Susan Wyndham.  

The book is a collection of stories from others that have lost a parent and the lessons one learns from it. But let me warn you, you may find yourself getting teary with this one.  The book will bring up memories of your own loss and find you reflecting on your loved one.  

So there you have it. These are the three books that I recommend.  

If you have a good book recommendation on grief or losing your parents, leave the title in the comments below! 

Amany x 

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Seeing a Professional Grief Counsellor and how it helped me.

“I think you should see someone…” Six little words that I didn’t want to hear.  

“But I don’t need to see someone…” I pleaded.  

“Just think about it…”  

Six little words that had confirmed what my gut had been screaming at me for a while.  Deep down I knew I needed to see someone but didn’t want to admit it out loud. Admitting it out loud meant I wasn’t coping, things were not getting better, this wasn’t going to go away and it wasn’t going to get easier without help.  

While many people can cope with their grief without the need to see someone, I wasn’t one of those people.  

Although I knew I needed the help, something was holding me back. The little voice in my head always seemed to pop up when I was beginning to come around to the idea of seeing a professional.

Some of the things I would tell myself would be something like this –  

  • “What would people think of me?” 
  • “Everyone is going to know that I am not coping” 
  • “I’m scared to talk to a stranger about this”  
  • “But there is nothing wrong with me”  
  • “I don’t know what to expect” 
  • “I don’t want to take drugs” 
  • “It is so expensive!”  
  • “Who will I even see anyway? I have no idea how to find someone”  
  • “Am I just going to lay down on the lounge and talk about my feelings for an hour?” 

Sound familiar?  

Well that little voice that pops up from time to time can be part of our anxieties and are totally normal!  

One of the most common questions I hear when someone has lost a loved one is usually something to do with seeking professional.  

People are naturally reluctant to try something new especially at a sensitive time while they are coping with grief.  

So today, I’m giving you a run down on my experience of seeing a counsellor.  

But before I start, I would like to point out you don’t just have to see someone if you feel like you’re not coping. You might feel like you are doing ok but want to see a professional for other reasons and that is fine too! 

Some reasons you might want to seek help include –  

  • You just want to talk to someone unrelated to you  
  • You want advice free from judgement  
  • Talk to someone that won’t gossip about you later  
  • Having trouble coping with day-to-day life after loss 
  • feelings of depression and anxiety  
  • Lost your sense of purpose 
  • Trouble returning to work or socialising again

Getting Started.  

I had no idea where to even start looking for a counsellor. I did try looking for someone on google, however, the internet doesn’t give you reviews and what the counsellor specialises in etc. So that’s where my local doctor came in handy.  

Speaking to my local doctor was a great place to start. She knew all the good counsellors in my area and could give me a referral to a few different ones to try. If you live in Australia, you may be entitled to free psychology sessions (claimed through your local GP).   

First Visit.  

The first visit, as my counsellor explained, was a getting to know you type visit. I had to fill in a questionnaire – some of it was basic information (name, address, date of birth etc) others were a little more in depth (had I seen a counsellor before, what did I hope to get out of my visits, reason for attending etc).  

I’m not sure why I had to fill in the questionnaire, as we talked about most of the information in person anyway.  

During the visit, I mainly talked about my childhood, growing up, the relationship that I had with my parents etc.  I guess this was all this information would help with counselling sessions later.  

Subsequent Visits.

Most of the visit after that pretty much went through the same structure.  

There was a lot of talking on my part but with questions that my counsellor asked.  The session would usually begin with how the last week/fortnight had gone.  

We talked a lot about emotions.  

We talked a lot about triggers that would bring on the different emotions. In my sessions, my counsellor and I mainly focused on identifying different triggers and then coping mechanisms to handle certain situations.  

We also talked a lot about communication and how to communicate with people to get the best possible outcome.   

Now communication and emotional triggers were things that I really wanted to focus on and that’s why my sessions were focused around them.  But you may choose to focus on different aspects to help with your grieving journey.  

Some of my counselling sessions also focused on me reconnecting with myself. My counsellor gave me little tasks to work on throughout the week which I had to report back on the next time I saw her. These included trying new hobbies or doing an old hobby, reading a book, keeping a journal etc.  

I tried most of the tasks that she gave me but that is the type of person that I am.  She didn’t give me anything that I wasn’t interested in or was completely different to what I would normally try. If I remember correctly, she gave me a list of tasks that we went through together and I had to highlight things that I was interested in.  

Overall Experience. 

At the time I was going to counselling, I didn’t actually feel like anything was working. I do remember there was a lot of crying in each of the sessions.  I do remember feeling a little better after each session.  

However, by the end of the whole process, I do remember thinking “I’m so glad I did this”.  

When I look back now, I do believe it helped me immensely.  I think it is very important to get an outsider’s perspective and talking to someone that isn’t related to or you have a friendship with is also beneficial.  

My counsellor gave me strategies and tips to help me work through my grief.  She would always make it clear that it was something new to try and if it didn’t work for me, then she didn’t want me to stress about it.  

My counsellor was friendly, approachable and easy to talk to.  We formed a connection straight away, which I also think is important.  

Would I Recommend it?  

YES! You may not see the benefits initially but you do walk away with better strategies to help you cope on your journey.  

If you have any other questions about seeing a professional, leave them in the comment box below and I will try to answer them for you.  

Please keep in mind that this is my personal experience when seeing a professional.  Not all counselling/therapy/psychology sessions are set up like this.  You will have to find a professional that works best for you and you connect with.

Crying. Why you should do it more often…

Photo by Karen_Nadine 

As adults, whenever we feel the need to cry, we tend not to cry in public or in front of our families.  We tend to wait until we are alone to start crying.  We hide our tears even when we are badly hurting.

I don’t know how many times I have heard, ‘Oh I didn’t want to cry in front of …’ or ‘I almost started crying at the shops so I just came home…’

Whether you want to admit it or not but there is a stigma around women and crying.  Often, we can be viewed as being too emotional or “sensitive” because we cry. However, when we are dealing with the loss of a loved one then it is expected that you would show some emotion and cry.  

Are we still allowed to cry 2 months after losing your loved one?  How about 6 months?  Or a year?  

The both times I have experienced loss I was told “be strong and stop crying”.

The first time I heard it, I was a naïve young woman and believed what I was told and tried to stop crying. But the thing was, the more I tried to stop myself from crying the more I cried.

This small, innocent piece of advice I later found to be my downfall and what ultimately had me go to counselling.  

It was in one of the later sessions with my counsellor that I came to realise that crying was not my enemy, if anything it was actually good to cry and let the tears out.  

I had finally worked out that I shouldn’t be ashamed of my tears or hide them, no matter how long ago I had lost my mum. I realised that “being strong” had nothing to do with crying and that “being strong” was actually expressing emotion and not feeling sorry for doing it. I realised that if people were awkward around my tears, it was on them not on me.  

But it wasn’t easy getting to this point. It took me almost a year and a half after my mum’s death to finally get it.  

My breakthrough came after reading this…

“As hard as it is, allow yourself to feel sad and cry. These are normal responses to losses of any kind. Crying is one way of releasing the build-up of pain when you are grieving.”   (Morris, S., 2008 ‘Overcoming Grief’ pg 31**)  

I specifically remember after reading this paragraph I started to cry.  But this time they weren’t tears of sadness but more like tears of joy! Finally! I had someone that normalised crying. Reading this made me feel like I wasn’t in the wrong for crying and that I am normal. 

From that point on, whenever I needed to cry, I would do so without feeling bad about it  or try to hold back my tears. It didn’t matter where I was, I was no longer ashamed of crying.  

Reading this paragraph on crying made me an advocate from crying.  Anyone that needed to cry I would tell them to express their tears and not hold back.  

But crying isn’t just normal response to loss. It is one way the body knows how to cope.  

Research has shown, the act of crying is the body’s way of releasing a chemical build-up.  When someone we love dies, the body’s natural reaction is to produce narcotic like chemicals that are similar to heroin or morphine.  These help to numb the pain many of us feel when we first find out the news. These chemicals are than released when we cry (McKissock, M. & McKissock, D., 1988. ‘Coping with Grief’ pg 24***).  

But crying isn’t just about releasing the chemical build-up.  There are many other benefits to crying which can include:  

  • Having a soothing effect on your body  Helping to calm you down 
  • Relieving pain  
  • Helping you to sleep better  
  • Making you feel better (especially because you’re not suppressing the emotions any more).  

In the book, Coping with Grief, the authors suggest that one should facilitate a good cry and that your support person should ask questions that would help bring the tears on!  

So the next time you feel like crying, don’t hold back the tears and let them come. Don’t ever feel bad for crying and don’t ever feel like you have to apologise for your tears.   

Give yourself permission to cry without judging yourself, without questioning yourself and without wondering if you are “normal”.

If anything you read resonated with you, please let me know in the comment section below!  

Amany x 

References:  

**Morris, S., 2008. ‘Overcoming Grief. A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques’. Robinson London.  

***McKissock, M. & McKissock, D., 1988. ‘Coping with Grief’. HarperCollins. Australia.  

Coping with Loneliness After Death

In my culture, after a person has passed away, we have a 3 day “open house” type event where people come to pay their respects to the family. Usually there is food, tea & coffee and lots of whispering. It is not intended for people to stay a long time, but some do.  

When my parents passed, both times I found myself longing for peace and quiet. I found myself wanting to be alone instead of “entertaining” people. 

I just wanted time to reflect on the events leading up to both of their deaths. I wanted time to mourn their deaths.   

When my father passed, I got so overwhelmed, I snuck out of my own home and went for a walk around the block.  

However, even with family and friends constantly surrounded me, I still felt lonely.  

Fast-forward 2 weeks and a pin drop could be heard echoing around the house. The sounds of birds chirping were suddenly magnified in every room.  

What was once a family home had now become a ghost town.  Family and friends suddenly returned back to their “normal” lives. Like you would expect them to.  

But then you find yourself even lonelier.  

When my mum first passed away, it was like someone had hit mute on the house remote… she was the life of the house. She was my best friend. She was everything to me.

When she passed, I felt like I was all alone on a deserted island. There was nothing or no one that could feel the gap that she left.

When someone close to you dies, it is hard to get that feeling of loneliness to go away. It haunts and stays with you for awhile.  

Sometimes the loneliness comes because you find that know one can relate to you – they might not have experienced losing someone close to them. Sometimes the loneliness sets in because you’re craving what you once had.  

But like everything to do with grief, the loneliness is a result of adjusting to this new life you have and all the new changes that come from it.   

With that in mind, I have put together a few helpful tips that have helped me cope with feeling lonely.  

It is a state of mind  

Feeding yourself thoughts of self-pity and helplessness are not helpful. Telling yourself “Oh I feel so lonely” or “ I am all alone” only manifests this state you’re in for longer. It stops you from moving forward and brings you down even deeper into a dark hole.  

Ways to change your thought process can include telling yourself: 

  • this is only temporary 
  • It is normal to feel like this after ____ has passed but I won’t feel this way forever 
  • Even though I still feel lonely when I am around other people, it would be good to see___  

Taking Action  

It is very easy to stay in a dark place if you don’t take action to change it.  It is easier to stay in your pyjamas all day, watch T.V. and cry about missing your loved one but in the long run that really wont help you on your grief journey.

It is up to you to take control of your life because nobody is going to do it for you.  

Taking action can include:  

  • Organising to meet up with someone for a social outing. If you feel like it would be too much to start with, than start with something small like meeting a friend for a coffee date. You can tell yourself, I might still feel lonely but at least I will be in company of a friend/ family member I love.  
  • Getting yourself dressed and going for a walk or walking around the shops. Sometimes changing your environment is all you need to get you out of your own headspace. 

Find a support group 

There can be a number of benefits to finding a support group that is not just about combating loneliness.  

Being a part of a group where you can talk and get out your emotions with people that know what you are going through helps to eliminate that feeling of loneliness. 

If you can’t find a support group in your local area, maybe consider creating your own group.  

Get a new hobby or activity.  

After my father passed away, I suddenly felt like I wanted to take up running as a hobby. Even though running 5kms was one of my life goals I don’t know why I felt like I needed to do that right after he passed away. But none the less, I started running. I went from being a person that couldn’t run for 2 minutes without getting puffed to being able to run 5kms a month later.  

Now I’m not advising you to take up running, but find something that you will love to do on a daily basis. If you’re not sure what that is just yet, then it could be the perfect time to experiment with different hobbies.  

Again, start small. Commit to walking in a local park 2 times per walk and then build on from there.

My main takeaway points from this post are –  

While loneliness is a normal reaction to loss it is important to recognise it is a feeling and a moment in time. It is not how your life is going to stay and be forever,  and it too is a part of your grief journey.  

If anything resonated with you, or you would simply like to say hi, please do so in the comment section below.  

And remember, you might feel lonely but you are not alone.  

Amany x  

The why behind Finding My Anchors…

If someone had asked me at the age of 20 what I wanted my life to look like by the age of 34, I would have said something along the lines of … ‘Married, with 2 or 3 kids, own my own home, successful career and world travelled.’
Losing both of my parents would not have been one of things that would have included in my life plan.  

But at the age of 27 I lost my mum, very suddenly, to a brain aneurysm. She was 57.  

And at the age of 33, 3 days before my 34th birthday, I lost my dad to pneumonia but the underlying cause of death was due to Kennedy’s Disease (a rare type of motor neuron disease) he was 73.   

Some would say that I have seen my fair share of death and I wish I could say that it is the end of the death experience that I will be exposed to in my life but unfortunately that is not how life works.  

If there is one thing in life that is guaranteed, it is death.   

I have wanted to write about death and grief for a while now but some how could never find the words to say.  Would anyone even care about what I had to say? Would anyone even read my blog? Death and grief are so unique to the individual why would anyone want to read about my experiences?

Although I had so many ‘what if’ questions, I have decided that through my experiences, even if just one person reads my blog, even if just one person finds what I say useful then I would have done my job. The one thing that I truly wanted when I first lost my mum was to know that there was someone else out there that had been through my pain.  

So although this is my story, I hope to share some of the experiences and lessons I have learned along the way of this grief journey. I hope you’ll join me on my journey as I try to search and make sense of this world.  

Finding my anchors is about finding oneself when they suddenly feel like they have lost their sense of self. It is about finding my purpose, who I am and direction in life after losing the two people who I thought would always be here, who I thought would always be my anchors, who I thought I would always have in my corner.  

Amany x 

Journalling and Grief: How can it help

When I first lost my mum, which was sudden and unexpected, I was an emotional wreak. I had never lost anyone important to me so the loss of my mum in one hit was more than I knew how to cope with.  

At the time I thought I was coping ok … but  nothing seemed to keep my emotions in order,  

In that first year after she passed, I was lost, I was emotional unstable and I was barely making it through each day.

I thought I was doing ok but deep down I really wasn’t. I was either crying all the time or angry.  Angry at anyone, everyone and everything.  

I really had no idea how I was going to help myself.   

It wasn’t until a friend suggested that I see a counsellor before things started to change. This was about a year after she had passed.  I knew I couldn’t keep crying all the time so I thought I would give it ago. 

In one of the first sessions, my counsellor suggested I try journaling.  She told me some of the benefits and she explained that it was more a way to write down and keep track of my emotions. And while I hadn’t written in a journal since I was 13 years old, I found myself thinking why not? What do I have to lose? 

So I started and 7 years later I’m still journaling.  

The day I found out my dad didn’t have much longer to live – I sat down and journalled. If my house was on fire, one of the first things I would grab would be my journals.  

Journalling can be a cathartic way to help you through your grief. It can be used to write down your inner most, vulnerable feelings that you would otherwise be to scared to share with anyone else.  

As Stanley Victor Paskavich said “Everyone should have a form of a diary, it’s a great release”  

It can help you process through your feelings and sort out your thoughts.  It doesn’t always have to be words, maybe you would like to keep pictures or images in your journal.

Here are some of the ways that writing in my journal is helping me.  

Keep a Journal is like having my best friend with me all the time

Although I have plenty of friends that would drop everything to help me through my grief, most people really had no idea what it is like to lose someone you love and have to go through the grief process. They have never experienced it before so I cant blame them. 

This is where my journal became my best friend.  It helped me through one of the loneliest times in my life.  I was able to write without being judged or having to explain myself.  

Although many encourage you to talk… journaling can be just as relaxing 

You can truly open up in your journal knowing that you are the only one that would ever read it. You can write about your emotions and feelings, things you might be too scared to tell others, fears for the future or even your wins for the week.

It doesn’t ALWAYS have to be about how you’re are not coping, you can keep track of accomplishments you are proud of.

Journalling is a memory and dream keeper

Writing in a journal doesn’t just have to be about feelings.  It can be a way to hold special memories in one place – with pictures and all.  

I would always write down what dreams I would have of my mum in my journal. Whenever I woke up I would write down the dream I had of mum. This was so they could be in one place and easy to refer back to.

Later, I was able to identify a common theme throughout most of the dreams I had of my mum.

Journalling as self-care

Whether you choose to journal first in the morning or just before going to bed, setting time aside every day will help you to start a self-care routine (if you haven’t already got one in place).

Light a candle, get comfortable and cosy in a nice chair (or in bed, on a cushion etc) away from distractions and just start writing.

The health benefits

Above all else, there are enormous health benefits to keep a journal. Research has shown keeping a journal can help to “clarify thoughts and feelings… and reduce stress”**

Writing in your journal can help you to process the events leading up to your loved ones death.

If you’re not sure where or how to start with a journal say no more. I have put together a FREE grief journal e-book that includes all of my favourite prompts and quotes about grief. It is designed for you to print it out and have it with you while you’re on your grief journey

You can download it for FREE HERE!

** Information from Psychcentral.com

Feeling Lost When Someone you Love Dies

After my mum first passed away, for a very long time I had this sense of being lost. The best way for me to describe it is as this; I am an 8 year-old girl that has lost her mother in the shopping centre and no matter which way I turn, I can never seem to find her.

In the beginning it was like I would walk five steps then turn right, then turn left, then walk 5 steps back the way I came from but no matter which way I walked I couldn’t seem to find what I was looking for and that “lost” feeling never went away.  

That feeling stayed with me for a every long time. I soon worked out that losing your mum is like losing a part of yourself that you are constantly trying to find.

And now that my dad has passed away that feeling is back again.  Only this time, I don’t feel like a little girl that has lost her mum anymore, I feel more like a jumbo A380 plane without a rudder and have no sense of direction now that both parents are not here.  

Other people I know have felt the same thing and have described this feeling in a similar way and others have likened the feeling to ‘being a headless chicken’, ‘walking through life blindfolded’ or ‘being lost out at sea’. 

Whatever way you describe it, the feeling is still the same, it’s losing the one part of yourself that helps you navigate through life.  

You have lost a big part of who you once were.

So your new life is not about finding the missing piece (because it will always be missing) but putting yourself back together as best you can.

Here are some tips that are helping me (and have helped me) to move forward on this new journey.  

Know that this feeling is normal!  

You are not alone in feeling like this – allow yourself to feel it, embrace it and accept what it is.  You will eventually start to feel like you are gaining your sense of direction and self in time.  

Allow yourself to feel all your emotions 

This emotion, this feeling of being lost is just that a feeling. And like all feelings and emotions it is important to honour them and then let them go.  Trying to fight the emotion or surpress it wont help you on your grief journey.  

Talk.  

Talk to your family, friends or a counsellor about your loss. Talk about your feelings – regrets, anger, sadness, happiness any type of emotion that you feel talk about it. Talk about this sense of feeling lost and what it might mean to the people around you.  

Find yourself by finding your sense of purpose. 

Unfortunately the death of a parent (or any one for that matter) reminds us that life is finite and death is unavoidable. While it is important to work through your grief, it is also important to find your sense of purpose again whatever that may be.  

This feeling may be with you for a while as you start to navigate through your new life now. Just know, the feeling will eventually pass.

If there is anything that resonated with you, or you would just like to say hi, please feel free to leave me a comment below.

Amany x

Coping with Mothers’ Day when you don’t have a mum

It was just after the Easter break when I was walking through the grocery store when that awful feeling started to form in my stomach. I remember thinking to myself “Already??? We have just finished Easter!” For the majority of women that have lost their mum, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You know exactly the feeling that I’m talking about. That feeling of dread when it should be a feeling of happiness. That feeling of ‘oh my! There is so much Mothers’ day promotional advertising that I am over it’ or ‘I am sick of it and I don’t want to see it anymore’. And as much as we try and fight the feelings, the lead up to this day and even the day itself can leave us feeling a little jealous too.

Jealous of the lady that you don’t even know, in some catalogue for a store you hardly ever shop at, is looking over the moon because her children bought her slippers for Mothers’ Day.

Jealous that our friends get to talk about not knowing what to buy their mum for Mothers Day, or the ones that have already got their Mothers’ Day plans all sorted and a bragging about it to you and you just sit back and smile. You sit, smile and nod when all you really want to so is scream “WHO cares what you buy her! Just give her a damn hug, hold her tight and tell her how much you love her!”

After all that, when the dread and jealousy has left we’re over here just feeling sad. Sad that you don’t get to hug your mum, sad you don’t get to call her, sad about how long it has been since you last saw her, smelt her or felt her. For someone of us, the sadness might come because you have to look at her picture again to remind you of the finer details of her face you had forgotten. Sad you have your own children that want to spoil you and all you can think about is being sad that you don’t have your mum.

Whether it is dread, jealousy, sadness, anger or whatever other emotion you are feeling in the lead up to Mothers’ Day I want you to know it is ok. It is ok to want to feel all these emotions and more. It is ok to want to shut yourself off from the world and not even acknowledge the day even exists. It is ok to sit and cry. It is ok to long for your mum because no matter how old you are or how long ago it was that you lost your mum, we all need our mum.

While all these emotions are normal the one thing I have learnt about losing my mum and grief, is the more I tried to suppress the feelings and ignore them the bigger the eruption will be on the other side (losing control of your emotions).

It is ok to sit in your sadness and take time for yourself. It is ok to hide away for a little while before emerging as a stronger person for having gotten through another Mothers Day. What I don’t want you to do is to “pretend to put on a happy face” so you can get through the day or “I need to do this for my kids”, while it is true that you might need to be there for your family, it is also important to be there for yourself to acknowledge all that you are feeling.

While I have become much better at handling my emotions around these types of days there are a few different things that I have done to help get through them.

Here are 5 simple strategies that have help me cope with Mothers’ day.

1. Journal –Write down all that you are feeling about the day. Even if you don’t know howyou’re feeling write about it anyway. The simple act of journalling can help you get everything out of yourhead and on to paper so it isn’t just building up in there. Remember this isyour journal, it is only for your eyes so write what you want but remember tobe kind to yourself too.

  • 2. Go someplace that reminds you of her – Every year I like to go to my mums favouritecafé in my local city.  It isn’t close tomy house, It would usually require an hour train ride.  But is something I do for myself and a waythat I like to remember her.  It alsohelped my reflect on how she would feel at that café, which is something that brings me comfort. Whether it is her grave site or a place she loved tovisit make the intention of going there. Be surrounded in her presences.Remember the good times or remember the bad times … Just remember.
  • 3. Start anew tradition – While my only new tradition is going to place that my mum loved to visit, it is a new tradition for me. While I like to remember the old tradition of taking my mum out to anice restaurant, I much rather my new tradition. If you have children is important to start making new traditions so that your children have a memory that they will remember one day.

    4. Worry about your own peace because nobody else will – I learnt very quickly that even though I was extremely sad about not having a mum for Mothers’ Day, nobody else was sad with me. Nobody else knew my pain and it was not something I wanted to share anyway. While I didn’t want to talk about or share my pain I didn’t want it rubbed in my face either. So the one thing I do every year around Mothers’ Day is deactivate my personal Instagram and Facebook account. If for whatever reason I can’t deactivate them for that day, I will delete the apps off my phone.  Like I said, nobody else can or will relate to this day but you, so you do whatever you have to to keep your own peace. If that is getting away from your family, being by yourself, crying, if its disappearing for the day and not taking any calls then do that.  Do whatever it is that will help you feel at ease.

    5. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you have, allow yourself to be, allow yourself to cry. Like I said before, the more you might suppress certain emotions the more they comeback with a vengeance. Allow yourself to acknowledge that you are sad or angry and that this is an awful day.  Acknowledging these things, saying them out loud won’t make the pain any less bearable but it will help you to get through it.

    Just remember that this is one day in your grief journey.  One day that will neither make you or break you.  Acknowledge the day, escape it or be part of it, whatever you decide to do make sure it’s what’s best for you.

    If you have any tips on what helps you get through the day be sure to leave them in the comment section below. 

    Be kind. Stay humble

    Amany x

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