THE FIRST MONTH
Returning to ordinary reality at the end of a month asks a great deal of us. It asks us to trust life enough to return to it. In the face of profound loss, we take baby steps back into life. What kinds of places call to you? Listen to your inner promptings. Who are the people to whom you feel drawn? Who repels you? Listen. Few of us can afford to climb into bed and pull the covers up. Most of us need to engage responsibilities around work and families. This is a safety net so that we don't withdraw totally. On the other hand, getting back to normal is not possible in the face of having to re-define normal. Take the time.
THE FIRST YEAR
There is no closure or completion in the face of loss. This a fallacy too many of us hear and then wonder "What is wrong with me? Why don't I feel closure?" There is no completion but there is integration. As we move through the cycles of time that circumscribe our lives -- the day, the week, the month and the year -- our losses are woven into the fabric of our being.
The first year asks us to be gentle with ourselves. To remember that our core has been dismembered, torn apart, by loss. Healing takes time and healing is an active process! We must step up to our grief, meet it, embrace it and invite it into our lives. Once we do that, grief begins to teach us. The first year is a year of firsts! We need to give ourselves 365 mornings where we awaken into the self that contains our loss. Don't short-change yourself one day. It's your time to heal.