Joy, contentment, terror, adoration, and gut wrenching agony can all live in the same space…at the same time.
Sorting and folding washing when you’re 18 months old is a great adventure, diving into the washing basket that’s almost as big as you, hunting out the matching socks and folding a shirt that’s as tall as your body just makes you giggle.
I have a peach coloured Boss T-shirt, one of the few branded items I own and the only one with a slogan! It simply says “collect moments not things….”
I’ve learned to treasure the precious moments and commit them to memory because you don’t know which day life may change in a direction you neither choose nor desire.
The joy of toddler fun was in the same moment as ﬁnding my husband sleeping on the sofa. The type of eternal sleep its impossible to wake from no matter how hard you try and pray for it to be diﬀerent. The love of my life had died, with no preparation or chance to say goodbye and there was nothing, absolutely nothing i could do could change that. And believe me I tried…
My loss was sudden an unexpected, you may know yours is coming and your heart is breaking already, because you cant stop it either, no matter how hard you try and pray for it to be diﬀerent. I remember vividly the days, weeks and months that followed were ﬁlled with music, writing, duvet days and full body hugs shared with anyone who would wrap themselves up with me.
I found that music reﬂected and altered my mood. I remember being told to “turn that oﬀ” by a well meaning visitor who called on a melancholic day when the music simply reﬂected the state of my heart. Perhaps they just didn’t witness the days I danced in the kitchen to paciﬁc island music that just made your toes tap, as i desperately struggled to reclaim the happy memories and joy we’d shared. For me, heartbreak tried to rob me of my happy memories and too many days it succeeded. I now have music to dance to, administrate to, remember to, meditate to and worship to. There’s a science there I wish I’d know about sooner!
Looking back I can now see my journey in all its truth and reality. I journaled daily trying to ﬁnd somewhere to put my heartbreak and emotions. Hunting for a way to get them out rather than having to carry them inside, in the crazy hope I could leave them in a book. If you’d asked me a few years ago, I would have said my words were ﬁlled with pain, tears, insomnia, loneliness and exhaustion. Emotions are exhausting, they are as tiring as physical exercise! Whilst this reﬂection is completely true, as I look back in those journals, I see there was more to my journey than that. Even though there was little respite from the pain there were moments of joy and happiness too! I’m not sure I ever wanted to admit that, because it felt kind of dishonouring? Maybe people would think I wasn’t grieving and I didn’t really love him, if i was laughing or smiling? And it bothered me what other people thought. How daft was that! My mantra now; “whatever you think of me is non of my business!” I walk around with my head high in much more freedom now, allowing myself to be me.
My journaling was an essential relief valve, especially when I didn’t know who to tell about my surging and conﬂicting feelings. It felt like being on an emotional roller coaster. A wise friend described it as “a bit of a pirate ship!” Can you imagine that? Pirates trying to board your prized vessel where the treasure is your joy, happiness, good memories? It’s not a very safe place to be, being robbed. I was physically robbed 7 times in 5 years….but thats another story for another day. That act leaves unwelcome memories in the place of things they’ve taken. I can only describe them with all the negative emotions; anxiety, confusion, sadness and even disgust.
I journaled because I was concerned about how people would react to me, or what stupid things they’d say. I knew they’d never intentionally hurt me, but boy were some of the things unhelpful! My journal was my heart with ears and no mouth! It didn’t judge, criticise, answer back or oﬀer any advice. It just let me be heard.
I know now there is science behind the beneﬁt of journaling and I encourage you to do it. There’s something beneficial to writing down your thoughts, because they form order and sense once they’re honoured and made real, admitting they exist. However, what I didn’t know then that I know now is that I had to do something with those emotions in order for them to pass. To do that I learned something new, which came wrapped in a purple cover, called The Grief Recovery Handbook. Reading the book saved my sanity, walking through the action programme with an experienced guide transformed the quality of my life. The journey through grief and heartache to recovery is a rather well trodden path from me. As I’ve walked it before it’d be a privilege to lead and you can follow, we can do this together.
Why am I here with you now? Because if I’d know then what i know now, how diﬀerent my life would have been. I’d like to arm you with some new skills, a new tool kit that’ll set you up for a lifetime of emotional wellbeing, that is if you remember to keep using your tools! …. because life’s not all plain sailing. Grief loss and disappointment is the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind, it invades us all sooner or later, no one escapes.
If you’d like to learn with me how to heal your broken heart, get in touch. Do it now, you’ll simply be glad you did.