Hello from Montana:
Most people get very nostalgic because their minds and
Bereavement and Grief are hard work. Be clear in setting boundaries and what you need from others. give yourself time to heal from loss.
hearts are triggered by sights, sounds, smells and events. Smelling of pine trees reminds them of the Christmas when Grandpa brought the tree. It is true that grief work is hard work and it takes much energy, emotion and time.
Take Time To Heal
No matter when or how our loss happened, we will still remember and reflect on the person who is no longer in our physical world. It is important to allow yourself to be human and to recognize sometimes you are too overwhelmed with sad emotions to meet the expectations of others.
When you are working through grief and it is hard work, you need to plan ahead as much as possible. By setting boundaries and establishing limits, you will not be constantly bombarded with requests and demands.
Set Boundaries In Clear, Calm Voice
Most people (even Uncle George if told often enough) will accept a yes or no when asked to participate. When you falter or are wishy washy with a request by saying “I will try, but I can’t promise” or “Maybe…we will see” that causes confusion.
If you are asked to contribute a pie because you always contribute a pie, then say “This year I am spending my energy close to home. Please ask someone else to bring a pie.” Or, “I am guarding my energy this year, so I can give you money to purchase one, but don’t want the worry of making one. Maybe next year.”
Give Yourself Gift of Self-Care
Just as you need to be clear about what you can contribute to others this year, you also need to be clear about what you need and want from them. If you need phones calls or meeting for lunch or your sidewalk shoveled, then say so.
No one can really read minds, so be very clear and calm in asking for what you need. I remember calling a friend after the death of her husband and I said, like I have a million other times; “What can I do to help you?” She didn’t miss a beat, but said; “I would like to have my windows washed, it would make the world seem brighter.”
While I was washing the windows, I was impressed again and again at how clear and concise her request was. She knew that people would ask to help and she knew just what would make her feel better.
Grief is hard work and takes time to heal, but the time is easier when you have companions and support along the way.
I have confidence in your ability to be find ways and means to heal yourself.
In support and love,