We know that the raging fires California has experienced have caused untold damage. People who survived may have lost loved ones as well as all of their possessions. They will need to heal and to do that they will need to grieve. Grieving is a process that can wind its way through every aspect of a grieving person’s life. Although it is a personal journey that does not come with a roadmap, it is also a common experience that can be eased with mindful awareness.
In helping families at a time of deep, personal loss, we have learned there are things that can be done, thoughts and attitudes that can be cultivated and supported to help move the deep sense of loss along. Here are a few of these mindful approaches:
Let each day be different.
Holding onto ‘yesterday’ or even ‘tomorrow’ can take away any of the ease and well-being that ‘today’ has to offer.
Give yourself permission to make mistakes.
You will make them even on a good day with no grief insight. Practice forgiveness and acceptance of your humanness.
Remember every day has both good and bad moments.
We’ve heard it many times but sometimes forget that ‘this too shall pass’. See if you can experience that flow in your own life.
Allow yourself community.
Isolation is important sometimes, because it allows you a chance to pull in, withdraw from the outside world so that you can find your inner bearings. But it is not intended to be a permanent condition. Reach out to others, even if it is only briefly. Having contact with the rest of your world can help you maintain a balance.
Acknowledge the rough edges.
You will feel jagged and raw at this time. Know that the intensity of these feelings are because you are feeling vulnerable.
Being mindful does not stop the grief. It does not make everything okay. However, it does allow for greater participation in healing processes. This can lead to more opportunities for grief to become easier to manage.
We hope your grief is both swift and gentle.