And I welcome the new decade with open arms.
“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.”– Eleanor Roosevelt
Finally a holiday I love. New Years has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love what it symbolizes. I feel that everyone always has hope. Hope for what the new year might bring.
Most people are either thankful for what the former year brought, or thankful to see it end and a new one beginning. I am thankful for both.
As hard as 2019 was for me, there were also incredible things that happened. I watched my husband hit a milestone that he has been chasing for his entire career, winning the Robertson Cup.
I became a mom to the most beautiful little boy, who changed my life in so many ways. I then became his advocate and started a journey to create his legacy.
I survived and am still surviving tragedy. I continue to fight and battle, and I am proud of myself for that.
I discovered that I have some of the best family and friends a girl could have. New, remarkable people have entered my life and will be there forever. I also discovered that some friendships have harsh endings, and you have to allow the door to close no matter how strange it feels.
I have done a lot of searching on New Year’s Resolutions and Goals for those who are grieving, and I decided to put together my own list. I hope if you are grieving, you will join me in working towards these goals. I am trying to keep it general, so anyone can use this list.
- Be honest about how you are feeling, with not only yourself but with others.
- Speak your loved ones name, and it’s ok to cry when you speak it.
- Live in a way your loved one would have wanted you to.
- Support someone else when you can.
- Seek or continue receiving professional help.
- Start/Continue doing a project memorializing or in memory of your loved one.
- Brush off hurtful comments from people who mean well.
- Be truly open to the happiness that can come from life. Let go of guilt about having fun or enjoying life.
- Archive/organize your photos online.
- Give away the belongings you are willing to part with and no longer have a need for.
- Journal or blog on a regular basis.
- Plan a vacation – even if it’s just a quick weekend one.
- Take more walks and enjoy the beauty around you.
- Create a book list and read more.
- Set aside more time to unplug -turn off your phone and shut down your computer by 8pm a few nights a week.
- Find a new hobby that you’ve never done before.
- Get enough sleep each night.
- Take a few different types of yoga classes.
- Spend more time with family and friends.
- Do things that make you laugh every day.
- Create a memory book of your loved ones.
- Get more organized (personal and work) and keep it that way.
- Get out of the house earlier in the morning.
- Find out more about nutrition and make positive dietary changes.
- Slow down and don’t fall into the myth of “keeping busy” as a way to cope with grief – feel your grief when you need to.
- Continue with traditions honoring friends and family who have died.
- Give up or minimize unhealthy habits.
- Spend time with others affected by the loss – don’t be afraid to talk about your loved one. And don’t be afraid to cry
- Make up with any family and/or friends you have been quarreling with since your loved one’s death. Start with the easier ones first, and take your time.
- Make the doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off. You need to.
- Create a will or advanced directive – and make sure it’s done correctly.
- Laugh at yourself.
- Attend a support group or spend time with people who make you feel well supported (online groups count).
- Continue to learn more about grief and the process.
- Work on learning more about yourself and who you’ve become since your loved ones death.
- Do something you want/need to do but have been avoiding because of your grief. (look at pictures, go through clothes, sell or donate items)
- Continue to speak your mind, about your grief and about anything else you have been holding in.
- Allow yourself to sulk every once in a while – it’s ok. If you can’t do it today, there will be tomorrow.
- Stop saying “I’m fine” if it isn’t true.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to say no.
- Embrace and learn from negative feelings like guilt and regret. Allow yourself to feel the pain.
- Try not to compare your grief to others and how they feel.
- Try not to judge the way others cope with their own grief – everyone is different.
- Recognize your strengths. How have you grown from your experiences and what have you learned?
- Find 2 things each day that you’re grateful for – even if it’s a really bad day.
So there you have it – 45 things I am hoping to do throughout the new year through my grief. Some of them I am already doing, and hope to continue. Quite a few of them are new goals that I hope to reach.
I am going to print this out and mark them off as I go, as well as add notes to it. I love a good checklist.
In my searching, I’ve also come across several goals for supporters. I decided to create my own list. It is not easy to support someone grieving, so if you know someone in that position, you should pass this list on as well.
- Reach out when you’re thinking of me (text or email is great) – even if it’s just to say hi or tell me something silly. I love hearing from people, even if I don’t respond. Sometimes I just can’t respond, or I forget. Please don’t hold it against me.
- It’s ok to talk about my loved one. Don’t feel like you are going to “make me cry”. Tears are just an external expression of how I am feeling all of the time – and if I cry, it’s because I need to, not because you made me.
- You have the capacity to be an amazing person; you do not have the capacity to be an expert on someone else’s pain. We all have a different process and we all grieve differently. Let’s not compare or analyze what each other might be thinking.
- While I may laugh and joke, I am still in extreme pain. Please be gentle with me. I need as much love and support as possible. My days take a lot of energy to get through.
- Please don’t tell me bad news or big news in person. Even if I seem okay or fine, I still need time to process. I need time alone to think and go through my emotions. Please give me that.
- Sometimes things I do or say don’t make sense. Sometimes I get angry, or upset, or passionate. Sometimes I have to bail on our plans or change my mind on attending an event. Just let me feel how I need to in the moment, I can’t help it. And please tell me it’s ok and you understand, because I feel guilty and feel like I’ve let you down. The more I know you understand me, the better I feel about doing what’s best for me.
I leave behind this year with high hopes for 2020. I genuinely hope and pray for an easier year, but I will do my best to be ready to take on whatever challenges I face. I will continue to be grateful for my blessings. I will do everything in my power to grow stronger and change the world each day.
I say goodbye to 2019 with as much love as I possibly can….
And I welcome the new decade with open arms.