Coping with loss when it all feels too much

A month away from the anniversary of losing my Mum, her presence in my thoughts, dreams and daily life was more obvious than it had been in a long time. Just when I thought I was moving forward and healing, I felt a regression in my emotion.

Of course I had grieved and healed. I was nowhere near the place I was in the months just after my Mum died. I realise that I had learnt to cope with the emotional roller coaster a lot better.

Thank goodness for meditation and for my mountain bike.

The problem was, I couldn’t exercise  for 6 weeks thanks to a virus I succumbed to that grounded me. Perhaps that  heightened my emotion, though I managed to listen to my body even though it wasn’t easy.

At 10 in the evening,  the phone rang. I saw the callers name displayed on my phone and felt a rock drop inside me. It was the husband of one of my best friends, calling to tell me that my friend, his beautiful wife, had lost her fight with kidney cancer after an incredible 3.5 year battle. Leaving behind 3 teenage boys and her husband that had been her soul mate for the past 26 years.

Living remotely, a 17 hour drive from the city where my friend lived I only saw her  3 or 4 times a year, over the past 38 months. I knew things weren’t working in her favour, I just didn’t want to believe that she wouldn’t survive. She was very present in my thoughts the week before that 10pm phone call and I had a vivid dream about her.

The news of her passing wasn’t unexpected but it left me reeling.  I wanted to believe she would survive, so I had never really accepted that she would die.

The friend I lost was one of the strongest people I have ever known, I learnt so much from her.

Relieved that she was no longer suffering, I was also grieving the loss of an incredible friend who was a remarkable woman that enriched lives. We went to Uni together and had been friends through the highs and lows of life for for 27 years.

My incredible friend packed her life full of the fun stuff.

Making adventures happen with her family and friends and living in the moment whenever possible. It was this amazing friend that introduced me to meditation.

What I have learnt through all of the grief, is that we have to learn to listen to our body. No one is exempt from this. If you are fatigued. Rest. If you are sad, go with it. Bottling up emotion is very damaging. It eats away at your insides.

Meditation on coping with loss has worked well for me and allowing myself to feel sad, while trying not to cling on to the memories.

To keep those memories but to learn to let go and for me, to accept that two really important people in my life are no longer present in the physical sense.

I miss my friend immeasurably and  think of her, as I do my my Mum, every day. I meditate daily, sometimes just for 5 minutes and this is my greatest coping mechanism (you can read my blog on meditation here).

Every cloud has a silver lining (read about it here) and you can find the silver every time. For me, I flew to my hometown unexpectedly (for my friends funeral) and got to spend time with family and friends I would otherwise only be in touch with remotely.

The loss of my friend was devastating but am  influenced by her in my daily life and will be forever grateful that we had a wonderful friendship for such a long time.

Her legacy will live on through her family and those that were lucky enough to have known her. Grief is an inevitable part of life and we all deal with it in different ways.

Listen to your body and find the silver lining. Oh and meditation works wonders, try it for yourself.

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