How do you proceed when nothing is what it was and never will be again? How do you find the will, the courage and the strength to live forward? How do you go about your day when everything as it was felt safe, reassuring and good? How do you be your best (and bravest) self when the person who died was the one who gave you the foundation, the faith in yourself, to do just that?
Extreme faith and practice.
Have faith that this person, your person, is with you still. Quiet your mind and picture them, what they would say and how they would guide you. Their guidance is accessible to you still. Imagine them sitting beside you and telling you what you need to hear (what they would want for you to hear). Continue on. You’ve got this. You will be okay. You know what to do. I believe in you.
Write down memories of specific conversations in which your person encouraged you, challenged you, pushed you to step outside of your comfort zone to be your best self, to believe in yourself. Turn each memory into a mantra that works for you. Practice these mantras so they become your inner voice, your conscience, your guide.
Honor your person by identifying and emulating their core values, their strengths (kindness, hard work, integrity, being present, helpful, loving…). Think of those qualities and how you can mindfully integrate them into your daily interactions. Do things in their honor that would make them proud, that help you to remember them well, that help you to connect to them in meaningful ways (their interests, their traditions, to what gave them joy).
Identify the ways in which your person let you know that they trusted you, respected you, were proud of you, that they believed in and loved you. Create a list to keep with you (in your wallet, by your beside, a screenshot on your phone) as a reminder that though they are gone the qualities they saw in you remain.
These strategies will help to counterbalance the fear of forgetting, of free falling, of losing that lifeline of support. They connect you to all that was true about yourself when your person was living and all that remains true still.
All that they saw in you remains within you.
Originally published at transformativegrief.com