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Something to Hold On To

Day 31: Something to Hold On To

The reality of deep grief is that it often leaves us in a surreal fog, in which the world is unrecognizable and at times, we are unrecognizable to ourselves. Acute grief can be so intense that it can wipe out the capacity to hold onto hope, let alone being able to access a vision for the future. While people live in the intensity of this initial phase of grief, I often ask—“what do you have to hold on to?” The question is vague on purpose.

Early on in grief, the question of what do you hold on to is more related to “how do you get to the next day?” Daily rituals are invaluable, and might include putting socks on, one’s morning coffee, a walk, turning on the computer, or even showering. These are simple, yet powerful anchors that can serve to keep us in the world, when the world makes no sense.

As time passes, the question of what does one hold on to is still relevant, yet the answers often evolve as our capacity increases. I notice people questioning their belief systems, worldview, reexamining a contemplative practice, or even exploring a continuing bond with the person who has died. The questioning of what one holds on to tends to evolve towards the overarching question of what does my grief and my loss mean for my life now?

Finding something to hold on to during acute grief is an important practice, even as one’s grief evolves.

Welcome to my #100dayproject. I am providing a daily offering on #grief, in honor of each person who has trusted me with their story and wisdom during their #griefjourney. I hope that others may benefit from simple and straightforward talk about a topic that can be difficult. Thanks for following and/or sharing.

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