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Basic Grief Rules

Kelley Family 1983 (Robin, Mom, sister Kara, brother Mark, Dad)

Losing someone you love is one of the Top 3 Most Traumatic experiences you will endure. The other two: Betrayal and Abuse (Innocent victim of crime, physical, sexual or emotional abuse).

Grieving someone you love is an unpredictable journey. How you deal with it depends on your spiritual foundation, your emotional state before your loss, your relationship with that person, how they died and your current life status when they died.

We will all lose loved ones to death in our lifetime. Navigating through the grief waters differs each time. Just like rafting down the Guadalupe River in Texas Hill Country is different than rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Each time we grieve for a person we love, the journey will be different.

Some general do's and don'ts exist. Here are a few. In the mid-90s, I was a grief counselor and crime victim advocate. In those days, good sources or options for dealing with grief were almost non-existent compared to today. Thankfully, society and therapists are better equipped to deal with grief now than 20 years ago.

The photo you see is my immediate family. My parents, brother and sister in 1983. They're all gone now - in the Spirit Realm. My brother and sister were murdered in 1988. I was 24 years old. 5 years after this photo was taken. My dad died March 2016 - of pneumonia in a rehab facility after he fell. My mother died November 2017: Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She died at my house one week after we hired hospice care. Each grief process has been different.

Even as a former grief counselor, with years of grief counseling, I recently forgot the Rules (below). "Physician, heal thyself" does not often apply when you're grieving.

You cannot be your own support system. Your brain doesn't function well. You live in a grey cloud most days. Life feels foggy, muddy, sluggish or strange. This is all normal. The stronger you loved the person who died, the stronger your grief, the stronger your emotions: sadness, anger, self-doubt, stress, apathy, etc.

Basic Grief Rules:

  1. Don't make major life changes the first 12 months after death. If you lost your spouse, don't make any life changes for at least 2 years after his/her death.

  2. Be gentle with yourself - always. You're not going to think, walk, recover, make decisions, or "be normal" as fast your "normal" pace. Accept it.

  3. Join a Support Group. Don't expect your family or friends to understand you, how you feel or what you're going through. Especially if they're also grieving. Find support in a Grief Support Group, facilitated by a licensed grief therapist.

  4. Find a professional grief therapist for private individual therapy sessions. This is especially important if you and your loved one had a contentious, complicated relationship. Maybe you argued often; rarely understood each other; codependency, betrayals, &/or abuse existed in your relationship.

  5. Be good to yourself. Different than #2. Find some things in life you enjoy and do them. You may not feel the same joy you did before your loved one died. At least attempt to find some happy moments.

  6. Be good to your physical body. Grief can cause weight loss, weight gain, poor health, stress or all of the above. Be mindful how you're treating your physical body. Take extra vitamins. Eat healthier. Most days you might not be hungry at all. That's OK. Some days you might crave bad foods. That's OK too. During your lucid, clear moments or days, treat your body well. Exercise as much as possible. Exercise balances our moods, clears our heads.

  7. Depression is expected. When you feel low, contact a friend, family member or someone in your Grief Support Group. Do not allow depression to control you. It will pass - with help from others. Taking a walk, being outdoors, breathing clean, fresh air - also good ways to combat depression.

  8. Talk &/or be around supportive people who make you feel good or safe - during your first year. This is very important. You are very vulnerable during the 1st year of grief. Grief "predators" will surface to take advantage of you: emotionally, financially, physically. It's also why Rule #1 is so important. You are vulnerable, whether you know it or not. Limit your exposure, or eliminate completely, to people who have wronged you in the past. It's 100% guaranteed they will hurt you worse during your first year of grief. Prevent that type of pain. Stay away from people who have harmed you in the past. Even if you think their intentions are pure or good, remember your past experiences with them and simply stay away. If their intentions are honorable, they will gladly accept you in their lives after your 1st year of grief. Make life easy on you. No predators. Your emotions are raw, even if you don't recognize it. Adding more stress in your life, while you're grieving, is ill-advised.

  9. Journal your emotions daily. Even if you never journaled before, buy a notebook and start writing down how you feel every day. It's a structured way to deal with your grief, check your progress and "release" any negative emotions onto paper. You will feel negative and positive emotions. Write them down.

  10. Grief has no concept of time. Don't expect to be miraculously "normal" after the 1st year or 2nd year. You've entered a "new normal." Give yourself time to adjust. The person you loved is not returning. While you can speak with him/her through prayer, talking to him/her privately or hiring a Psychic Medium to contact him/her - the reality is: you will not physically see or feel them again on this planet. Your "new normal" will take time. Grief is circular, not linear. It will surface in waves. It can surface years after you adjusted to your "new normal." Let it flow through you. Do not over-analyze it.

I followed these rules in 1988 when I was 24 years old. Since then, experienced many other losses. Followed same rules and they gently helped me through those grief experiences. Without added stress nor drama. Since my father died in 2016 and my mother in 2017 - completely forgot to use these rules. Have many regrets now. What happened? That's explained in my next Blog Post.

Wishing you the easiest, most peaceful, gentle journey through grief ---

Psychic Robin Amanda

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