I was a passenger on an airplane the other week and for the first time in a while paid attention to the pre-flight safety demonstration. I noticed the part when the oxygen masks dropped down and the instruction was to put your own mask on first, then the mask for your children. What a great life lesson!
It highlighted for me the need to take good care of yourself especially in times of emotional, physical, and spiritual stress. Times like the loss of a loved one. So I created this section to remind you of some of the self-care things you can do for you. By taking great care of you, you will be much more able to take care of those you love!
Make sure you get some exercise, some out door time, some physical movement. There is a lot going on around you, many details to handle, lots of people to be with and many emotional conversations to have. It can be draining physically. Be sure to drink plenty of water, get rest and take catnaps when you can. Get plenty of sleep and eat well even if your appetite is low. Remember to honor your own physical limitations when you can carry on and need a rest say so.
Find some support for yourself, a friend or family member who can be there for you. Local hospice societies provide volunteers who are well trained in grief and loss so take advantage of that service if it is available. Remember you too have the right to your own unique expression of grief and the fullness of your own emotions.
There will be lots of thoughts going through the minds of family and friends some understandable and some confusing and unclear. Their thoughts may trigger your own thoughts. It is fine to have thoughts as you do your best to make sense of the death, to understand it all and to put it into to paradigm that makes sense to you. Using a journal could help you organize and collect your thoughts. Remember it is ok to have your own personal thoughts about the loss.
Death often brings up the issue of spirituality. Who am I? Who was my loved one? What is life? What is the point of it all? These questions are deeply spiritual and well worth asking. It is perfectly fine if you are inspired to use ceremony and ritual to help you through your own grief journey. These rituals help and also bring other people close to you for added support. Remember ritual and ceremony is a personal choice which you have the right to make.