As the final official entry about my toolbox I was going to just talk about books I leaned on, however it turned into more than that. These things all helped me and my hope is this helps you find your own tools for your toolbox.
I was my own research assistant and others reached out and shared their tools. Some of the support I’ve gotten over the years came from the most unexpected places. Like the acquaintance I have that gave me the name of an amazing peer counsellor.
Like I said, the universe provided me with my peer counsellor C. She was recommended by someone who had her own grief and incredibly difficult loss. Through C, I ended up working with BFO(Bereaved Families of Ontario) and going to weekly peer counselling group sessions. We named ourselves the Mighty Mom’s. We cried, we shared, we laughed when other people would think it was inappropriate to be laughing. It was a safe space to get the shit out. That group helped me more than anyone will ever appreciate. I cannot say enough about this service and this organization. If you’re ever in need of grief counselling and I pray you don’t… definitely look them up here.
I said before I called my EAP(employee assistance program) at work and did email counselling. While it was a start to keep me from entirely losing my shit, it absolutely was not enough for me. BUT…they sent me a package about grief. Most of it was admittedly total bullshit written by some psychologist somewhere that’s never had a loss in their life…however, there was a book in there called The Grief Recovery Handbook. I scoffed at the title because like come on..this book though, it covers all types of grief (something I will be blogging about soon) and has activities to help you deal with your shit. I have read it through it twice and completed the activities, recommended it and leant it out to others when they needed it. This little purple book was a godsend to me and was an absolute turning point in helping with my experience with grief, not just from the loss of Kayla, but past losses too.
Books have been huge for me, not just post loss but in general over the course of my adult life..I am currently working through You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay because well, there’s still stuff I need to work through. This is another amazing tool and again, I highly recommend it. I’ll do a full post on this book when I’m done.
I did also join a few Facebook groups for grieving parents. I am going to say it and I hope I don’t offend anyone reading but they didn’t help me. I felt these parents’ pain too greatly and if I’m being honest, it was a negative experience. There was a lot of people flopping around refusing to get out of bed because their pain was too great for them to bear and I GOT IT, I really did, but I was so engrossed in my own shit it made me angry. Like so angry that people weren’t willing to get up. Right or wrong, that was how I felt…and it was alot of the “misery loves company” type of experience and I am just not about that. Once I figured out that this was making me feel worse rather than better, I jumped out of all of the groups and did more of my own thing.
So all these things have helped me get where I am today: the workouts, the healthy eating, the meditation, counselling, books etc…but I am and always will be continuing to add to my toolbox as my grief evolves. It’s never going to go away. I will never be fully “healed”. It doesn’t work that way. What will continue as life goes on for me is that as I add these tools and wend my way through my grief, is that I will keep evolving spiritually. Because that is what grief really is…it’s a spiritual evolution thing. That’s my take on it so far anyway. We will save that for another post though.
Hopefully, this is helpful to someone out there.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone, whatever that looks like for you in these crazy times.