When life as we know it comes
crashing down around us, our hearts ache, our minds go numb, a haze
seems to surround us. We are shocked, angry and sad. We are
frightened and shaken. Our faith is tested, as is our resolve. We
might wonder if we will find the strength to go on -- or if we even
want to go on. It's all so overwhelming. But we can, and must, get
on with our lives. What helps with the healing process? Here are 20
ways to move forward:
1. Accept your feelings. Don't try to
push them away. Healing begins with identifying your emotions,
whatever they are. Fear, guilt, regret, anger, horror or sadness --
accept them as they surface.
2. Create silent time. Do what
you have to do each day, but schedule at least 15 minutes of silence
every day for a while. Preferably, make it the same time every day.
Write in your journal as soon as you awaken, stop at noon for a bit
of reflection, take a walk alone after work or meditate each evening
just before you retire. Use the time to reflect, weep or pray, or
just sit and be aware.
3. Express your feelings. Pay
attention to your feelings, and then try to describe them in a
journal, a poem, a drawing or a letter to a dear friend.
Connect with people. Be with family, friends or church groups. Share
your pain, and comfort each other. Talk to a counselor or a
spiritual leader if you wish. Just be open to the love and comfort
available to you. Know that you are not alone.
remembrances of those who have been taken from you -- whether loved
ones or people you wish to pay tribute to -- or of simpler, safer
times. If you hold a memorial service, ask close friends to share
memories (perhaps even write them in a book) to add to the richness
of your own memories. You might assemble a photo scrapbook of
someone you've lost or a video collage of special moments through
the years. Ask friends to help, and give everyone a copy. Frame a
special note or a shared favorite quote.
6. Create a tribute
to things that have been lost. Even if it's a building or a
workplace that is gone, you might make a tribute book with photos of
special events and inside stories that now have special meaning.
Remember both the good times and the challenging times when you
leaned on one another.
7. Find an object to cherish. Perhaps you can find a small object
that will help you to feel connected to what has been lost. Keep it
close to you, and hold that love forever in your heart.
Pass along the love and light. One way to honor a life lost is to
give to others, whether it's a tender touch, an understanding smile,
a shoulder to lean on or the boost of positive energy.
Make a difference by contributing to an appropriate cause in the
name of the person or people you have lost. You can even start a
foundation to benefit something they valued.
10. Commit acts
of kindness in your workplace to honor a lost colleague. You can do
this anonymously if you wish.
11. Tell your story so others
will not feel alone.
12. Hold someone else who is
13. Help out by adopting a homeless pet.
Enjoy the little things. Go to more recitals and Little League
15. Give thanks more often at meals.
your children more -- teenage or not!
17. Show more patience
with everyone you meet.
18. Express your love more
19. Keep perspective on what's most important in
20. Live each day in ways that are meaningful.
remember that we all heal in different ways and at different rates.
Follow your heart. Take time to feel, take care of yourself and take
one step at a time.