Grief is a crazy time. Whether you've lost your job or lost a loved one, it is normal to feel like your world has stopped. It feels strange that others around you are still dashing around, focused on things that now seem so very unimportant. It is normal to feel isolated and strange. Hopelessness may seem the most real feeling you experience.
How do you find hope in the midst of hopelessness? Remember these four words with HOPE:
Honor - Respect your emotions and know you can survive feeling them.
Open - Clear away obstacles to healthy choices that allow you to move through your grief.
Persevere - Keep living and affirm your ability to navigate through this difficult terrain.
Elevate - Allow yourself to be uplifted by experiences and people that make you feel better.
Many people mention feeling guilty when they have their first joyful experiences again, especially after the death of a loved one. The painful feelings of grief have become their "new normal" and they have accidentally defined this as permanent.
Although grief isn't an illness you recover from, the painful intensity of the early months does diminish. Allow enjoyment to re-enter your life without guilt. Life changes after significant loss and you can incorporate the new meanings and lessons you've learned to honor your experience. Crazy as normal gradually vanishes when you incorporate the guidance of HOPE in your days.