January 16, 2018
“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.”
― L.R. Knost, Author, Speaker
Self-Care is the Foundation for Surviving Grief
by Georgena Eggleston, M.A.
What if the only reason for this journey of life was to learn to love, cherish and adore yourself no matter what was happening in your life? Could Self-Care be the door to open and begin to explore learning to love, cherish and adore your precious self, your grieving self? Could Self-Care be your life-line to surviving grief? What if a simple phrase could remind you throughout the day to care for yourself? Remember choice is our birthright. How often do you choose healthy foods, exercise and get deep, long sleep? Hopefully regularly. Each of these choices is sound self-care, the foundation through grief and mourning. I know from first-hand experience.
A Simple Sentence
I had the luxury of creating a private practice as a speech-language pathologist. My sons were young so they were my first priority. Then in the few afternoons or time on Saturday morning when they were watching cartoons, I would serve my clients.
I was concerned that I was ‘doing enough’ and ‘being enough’ as my practice grew. One morning during my Spiritual Practice after I had gotten done speaking to God through prayer, I began to listen for guidance. I heard ‘Teach them this is ‘My I Love you.’” So as I baked cookies I served them to the boys with the phrase “This is my I Love You.” They not only eagerly reached for the cookies, their smiles and deep eye contact affirmed they “got it”.
Ironing their t-shirts I would silently say “This is my ‘I Love you.’” as I was folding them. Driving the boys in the car to a soccer game I would listen to what they were saying and pretty soon I began to hear them say ‘This is my I love you’ to me or to each other.
In the Midst of Grief I Chose to Remember…
After my son, Reed, passed I had very little energy in my early Raw Grief state. My body was shot. I felt as though I had been flattened like a reed in the wind. My mind was a blur. Trying to do the simple tasks of making the bed and cooking breakfast each morning were overwhelming, especially as I was simultaneously rewinding the night of Reed’s death over and over in my mind. So stopping in the midst of my deep sadness to rest with a nap I would remind myself “This is my I love you.” As the confusion cleared from my brain and I moved into the Fragi