In the early days of grief, I felt so overwhelmed by the emotional weight of my loss. I could barely get out of bed and constantly cried. It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up and I fell asleep crying. I was in the very midst of severe depression (please, if this is you, go talk to a professional immediately. I did.) How could I even get up after I lost my little girl? I didn’t know how to function or who I was any longer. I felt like all I could do was grieve. One day, the weight became such a burden that I had to escape, just for a couple of hours. I had to go to a place mentally where I wasn’t constantly thinking about my loss. This is when I finally gave myself permission to push pause on my grief.
Although difficult at first, I found this technique extremely helpful to my grief process. On days when I felt like all I had done was process grief 24/7, I would push pause. I got this idea from an episode of “How I Met Your Mother.” In the episode, the main married couple, Lily and Marshall, are in the middle of a fight, but need to feel close to one another so they pause their fight to hug. Guys, I needed to push the pause button to allow myself a break. So, how did this look? When I began pausing the grief, I watched a lot of “Monk.” I would watch a couple of episodes and then take a nap. As I moved further along on my grief journey, I was able to use exercise and reading books during my pauses. For me, the break from the grief allowed my brain to slow down and get some rest. It is okay to give yourself permission to push pause on your grief. When you are ready, you will be able to pick it back up in a healthy manner (do not take too long of a break. That would be avoidance and could lead to complicated grief.) So What might a pause look like for you? What is something you enjoyed in the past? Here are some ideas.
- Read a favorite book
- Do a puzzle
- Go for a run
- Watch a favorite movie or TV show
- Play an instrument
- Go on a nature walk
- Listen to a favorite Podcast
This break is for you and your health so please find something you enjoy and push pause if you feel overwhelmed. If you are like me, I found it easy to grieve but very difficult to give myself permission to do something I enjoyed. Once you feel a little better, you can pick your grief back up and continue to process. Do not push pause forever, but it is okay to take a break. There is still life and beauty in this world; find a little piece of it today.