Kia Ora beautiful members, and welcome to my blog! I have missed you all, and I wanted to share a little bit of my trip and what went on whilst I was away.
I was lucky to be able to go away for a month to spend some quality time with my family. We went to America and some parts of South America with my parents and both my children.
This trip brought a lot of insight into myself, and some of the coping mechanisms that I have used all year (It was a difficult year, as some of you know I lost one of my best friends to cancer) and it really highlighted that I had not taken the time to process her death or my feelings around it.
I had spent a lot of time caring for my friend during her cancer journey, and I was with her until she took her last breath which was both a privilege and incredibly painful and
confronting. When she passed away, I couldn’t even bring myself to cry, or face what life was going to be like without her. I had been consumed for three years with keeping her safe from COVID and spending as much time with her as I could before she left us. So when she was gone, it was like I was stunned and it felt like an out of body experience, something that was not happening to me.
As you can imagine, being a busy mum who works and studies, I focussed on many other things BUT what was happening to me and my grief. But as we all know the body keeps score, so the minute I stopped and had no distractions from work, university or the daily routine, I was confronted by the feelings and my body began to shut down.
I spent Christmas and the whole of January grieving, and it felt like it had just happened (Not months ago, but yesterday. I felt like I had no energy for conversations, I could barely eat (And as many of you know, I really, really love food), I couldn’t sleep and became quite sick for some of the trip. Lucky for me, I had the support of my parents, who were able to help look after both me and my children,
encouraging rest and time to process.
I am sharing this with you all because often we put our hard feelings and trauma to the side in the hope that it will go away. Often time helps, yes, but not without cost to our health and wellbeing. Your brain and your body are connected, as are your emotions, and looking after yourself includes looking after your emotional wellbeing. Life sometimes teaches you lessons, and I for one have always known this in theory, but I certainly know it from personal experience now.
I would also like to say, please know that you are not alone. Sometimes it is hard to share hard feelings with those who are very close to us, but know that my door is aways open is
always open and I’m happy to listen (And you can get me on the phone).
I also wanted to share things that I found comforting. Sitting and listening to my body was really important. I needed to rest and my body was making me do it. My body was
telling me I needed to sit and deal with what I hadn’t dealt with. So I took the time and the help I had around me to do so, and it felt really good to look after myself after a while.
Some of you know how much I love dogs, and my father’s dog was with us for some of the trip which was amazing! It is fascinating how connected animals can be to how we are feeling. He is also an old dog who has seen and lived through a lot himself, and it was like he knew his calm presence would help.
Going outside and sitting in the sun as well as concentrating on gratefulness also helped. Every day I would write on a piece of paper five things that I was grateful for. Sometimes that would be things like feeling grateful for my children and my parents, other times it would be feeling grateful for the morning coffee, or the local food I was trying, or the people I had met that day. This helped me keep into
perspective that everything passes, and that feelings are like seasons that come and go, but we always have so much to be grateful for.
Finally, understanding that grief will never go away, in the same way that unexpected and painful things will happen to us sometimes, and the world will go on its head until balance is restored within us. Being able to be kind to ourselves is really important. We are human beings and not robots who can push away feelings and take everything on our stride. It is what makes us who we are, and that is a beautiful thing.