The loss of a loved one is difficult enough but what often follows are impossible questions, bitter anger and self-accusatory thoughts that nag us with what ifs and should-have-dones.
What lifts us out of the quicksand of such a situation and puts us on the path of healing? What puts lingering questions to rest and transforms pit-sinking sorrow into peace?
I believe the course of our grief changes with breakthroughs, aka epiphanies, or “aha” moments. I adopted the term “revelations” the year after my dad died. Whatever the name, these are sudden, transformative thoughts or realizations that shift our perspective and give us healing.
I experienced a series of breakthroughs that helped me forgive myself as a stressed-out caregiver to Mom. I accepted the inability to be perfectly loving and knowing. I accepted her dire need to control things. Her world was falling apart. She was trying to cope, and I was, too, in our individually different ways.
Unfortunately, it appears we cannot generate these moments at will. We cannot force them to happen, but I believe we can prepare our hearts for them in the way a farmer or gardener prepares soil for seed.
Using these five soul-preparing strategies, we can make breakthrough more likely to occur. I used these strategies intuitively, and looking back, I realize they were essential to finding a sense of healing after my parents’ deaths.
Be open to a breakthrough. I believed I’d learn something that that would act as a medicine. In humility, I acknowledged I probably didn’t recognize all the facts because grief / regret / stress had clouded my perspective.
Ask for a breakthrough. The all-knowing God is the source of wisdom. He sees what we cannot – and what we aren’t ready to see or to receive. “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” God knows how and when to provide.
Search for a breakthrough. Because I believed something outside my viewpoint existed, I searched for it. I turned the facts over in my mind. I read. I questioned. I analyzed.
Create space for a breakthrough. I unraveled the minutiae of my sorrow. I gave memories, triggers, and anniversaries whatever room they required. By giving grief space and energy, I created the possibility for revelation.
Allow time for a breakthrough. I continued to ask, search and create space for revelation – over several years. I even got an “aha” moment eight years after Mom died.
I hope these strategies will foster breakthroughs within your grief journey and act as medicine for your heart and mind. While everyone’s grief journey is different and healing may come in various forms, “aha” moments are at least one of the super medicines available to us.
Have you had a breakthrough, a bit of previously unseen wisdom or information that has been a source of healing? I’d love to hear your story. Please share it.
Copyright © 2019 by Toni Lepeska. All rights reserved. www.tonilepeska.com