Living Longer: Getting Over Grief

The longer we live, the more likely we are to experience the grief of passing loved ones. We may even have to deal with the death of a spouse. Grief can be physically and mentally debilitating. The pain will feel unbearable for most us. That is why it’s important to be aware of the grieving process and the best ways to take care of ourselves during this time.

What are the stages of grief?

WebMD outlines the stages of grief as such:

 

Denial: When you first learn of a loss, it’s normal to think, “This isn’t happening.” You may feel shocked or numb. This is a temporary way to deal with the rush of overwhelming emotion. It’s a defense mechanism.

Anger: As reality sets in, you’re faced with the pain of your loss. You may feel frustrated and helpless. These feelings later turn into anger. You might direct it toward other people, a higher power, or life in general. To be angry with a loved one who died and left you alone is natural, too.

Bargaining: During this stage, you dwell on what you could’ve done to prevent the loss. Common thoughts are “If only…” and “What if…” You may also try to strike a deal with a higher power.

Depression: Sadness sets in as you begin to understand the loss and its effect on your life. Signs of depression include crying, sleep issues, and a decreased appetite. You may feel overwhelmed, regretful, and lonely.

Acceptance: In this final stage of grief, you accept the reality of your loss. It can’t be changed. Although you still feel sad, you’re able to start moving forward with your life.

How to Get Through Grief

There is no escaping grief. Trying to ignore it or drown it out will only postpone healing and could lead to mental health issues. Mental Health America recommends the following advice:

Seek out caring people. Find relatives and friends who can understand your feelings of loss. Join support groups with others who are experiencing similar losses.

Express your feelings. Tell others how you are feeling; it will help you to work through the grieving process.

Take care of your health. Maintain regular contact with your family physician and be sure to eat well and get plenty of rest. Be aware of the danger of developing a dependence on medication or alcohol to deal with your grief.

Accept that life is for the living. It takes effort to begin to live again in the present and not dwell on the past.

Postpone major life changes. Try to hold off on making any major changes. You should give yourself time to adjust to your loss.

Be patient. It can take months or even years to absorb a major loss and accept your changed life.

Seek outside help when necessary. If your grief seems like it is too much to bear, seek professional assistance to help work through your grief. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek help.

Grief is a part of life. Everyone will have to experience it. It helps to be aware of the stages you will go through and accept the fact that you might mourn for months or years. Prepare for the stages of grief, take care of yourself, and seek out professional help if needed.

What has been your experience with grief?

What has helped you cope?

Visit the Online Grief Support Forum.

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And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

The Easter Egg Hunt

Since my grandchildren have arrived, I don’t only color eggs, but I have also become the Easter Bunny. I color the eggs and hide the eggs. Of course Remy 6, and Cosette 2 really believe there is an Easter Bunny, and this year he came to a place outside the city where trees and hedges provided enough places to hide the brightly colored eggs and the chocolate bunnies that never fail to go with them.

When the children arrived and I opened the door Remy said excitedly:

“Moma there is an egg under the bush outside the house!”

Looking surprised I said: “Really – I think the Easter Bunny wanted to be sure that you don’t go to the wrong house”

“Can I take it?” he asked. When he had picked it up and showed it to me a memory of a moment long ago, in a park far away flooded over me.

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                  I was 5 years old. The war was over but food was still very scarce. My mother and I had come to visit my grandparents for Easter who lived in Frankfurt. On Easter Sunday, all dressed for the occasion, my mother told me that this year we going to the nearby park to find out if the Easter Bunny had hidden any eggs there. It was a warm sunny day and the tall trees standing close together provided shade and subdued the bright April sun. A few minutes after we got to the park, my mother said,

“Muschi, why don’t you look if the Easter Bunny left something here?”

I looked behind a few trees and bushes – then there it was – a beautiful red egg hidden under some leaves. I picked it up and run to my mother, “Give it to me I will hold it for you,” she said. I did and continued to run between the trees in search for more, and I found another egg! Again it was red, and handing to my mother I continued to search. I found many eggs that day, so many that after a while I said,

“Why don’t we all eat an egg now?” She looked at my grandfather and grandmother and replied,

“I think we will wait, but you have one now!”

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Many years later, during another Easter celebration my mother asked me, “Do you remember the Easter when you found all those eggs in the park?”

“Yes, I found a lot of eggs that day.”

“How many eggs do you think you found?”

“I don’t know how many, but I remember there were a lot and they were all red.”

“Yes, you are right red was the color, but” – and she hesitated a moment before continuing – “the truth is we had only one egg! But to make you think that there were many, I had agreed beforehand with Opa (that’s how I called my grandfather) that when you gave me the egg I would hand it back to him and he would hide it again and again, making you think that there were many eggs – but there was just one.”

I listened to her carefully but knowing the truth now didn’t change the truth for me  – as I remember it, and always will – I had found many, many red eggs that day!

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                          HAPPY EASTER – AND MAY YOU FIND MANY EGGS OF MANY COLORS

And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!


 

 

 

 

REFLECTION – A Good Friend is Forever

friend-are-for-keeps  Friends, old friends, you have not seen or heard from in a long time are like misplaced treasures. I have often heard somebody say, “I had this friend, but we lost touch, I don’t know what happened.”

Where is that friend now? Do you wonder some times? Maybe this is the moment to get on your Facebook and try finding her (or him). She, like you, might be regretting to have lost touch. Loosing touch is nobody’s fault – it’s simply because life gets in the way robbing you of what once was part of you.

But it is never too late to start again, and you will be surprised how delighted your friend will be hearing from you. And having social media to help you will make it a fun project.

One of the reasons I call old friends treasures, especially when we get older, is because we share a history together. We can walk back memory lane and revisit the good and the bad of our past.

Another reason for appreciating old friends is that socializing is not what it used to be. No, not because we are older, but because today it is difficult to meet people – in person.

Therefore, stop wondering whatever happened to Wendy – instead push open the door of your memory and start looking for Wendy.                  friends-are-foreever

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And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

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Happy Thanksgiving

Before stuffing, baking, and eating my turkey I just want to say –  the end of another year is near, and Thanksgiving is the day to remind us to be grateful for the blessings in our life, big and small.

And if there are more small blessings in your life than big ones,  just remember – it is the little things that make the difference!

Have a Happy Day

And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!funny-thanksgiving-images-e1478468298174

Brigitte

 

 

 

ALONE BUT NOT LONELY

alone but not lonely - Brigitte Nioche

When I first lost my husband it was a difficult time. I felt lonely. I felt left behind. Daily life was not fun anymore and the worst thing was to go to a restaurant. Sitting alone and seeing mostly couples around me made me wonder if the world really moves in sets of twos?

But with the passing years things changed. Now when I sit in a restaurant and look closer at couples – older and younger – who I envied before  – I see something else.  Some look like they wished they were somewhere else. Some don’t say a word to each other all through their meal. Some are on their cell phones, and sometimes both are. But if only one is busy on the phone their partner looks increasingly displeased.

Observing this I feel relieved and grateful that I can just enjoy my glass of wine, and  going even step further I remember my blessings:

  • I don’t have to cook everyday
  • I can come home late or later – or not at all
  • I can buy that expensive handbag without having to justify my purchase
  • I can stay up as late as I want
  • I don’t have to wash socks
  • I can travel anywhere I feel like going
  • I am free to do what I want- when I want

These are just a few of my reason, but I am sure every single woman reading this and enjoying her freedom has her own list. Would it be too much to ask to share it with us? Grateful if you could leave a comment!

And never forget – A Smile changes everything!

Brigitte


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Available on Amazon

A BOOK COVER – THE FIRST IMPRESSION

The cover of a book is your first contact with an author and his story.

If you have been to my website and read my blogs you will have seen the cover of my book Getting Over Growing Older with the header displaying a photo of me.

Since the reaction of the  buyers always was “Oh, that’s a nice picture of you” and since that was not the reaction I had expected or the message I wanted to convey, I decided to change the cover – and instead of smiling at you, I hope the new cover will tell you more clearly what the book is about, namely sharing my personal experience of growing older, and assuring women in their 40s or 50s plus that growing older is not only about going down hill. But it gives us a chance to enjoy life in many new and interesting ways.

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Now that you have seen the new cover I would mean a lot to me if you would tell me how you like it. Please leave a comment or email me at bbnnic@gmail.com

Thank you so much

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And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything

Brigitte