Can we be productive in life after loss? Facing grief and living without what we have lost Grieving parents and Grieving Widow(der)s would argue that they don’t have a choice, that they have to show up for their families and their responsibilities. But I wonder if that makes us productive or if we are just existing? I do not believe that this is a subjective answer, in fact, I know that there is a process that we take throughout our grief journey and like we grieve we ebb and flow in our ability to focus and have clarity and are able to be productive and success after the loss that we face.
Where to Begin…
This is the question, that the answer is only one that you can answer. Let’s begin with understanding what your priorities are. And I am meaning your basic needs- God, Self- preservation/self-care, Family, Finances and everything else. I believe this will take as long as it takes, unfortunately, we don’t always have the time or the gift of time to take to be given self-realization, we have to address the electric bill and the dance recitals and our own need for sleep and food. That is the truth of it. So where to begin, is exactly where you are. And ask yourself, what is the most important thing that needs my attention this week, and then the next thing and so on- before you know it – you have created a to-do list. You have now begun. Let’s do this.
What do I do …
There is no rule book, and there is no right or wrong. Remember productive in your life is defined very differently now after loss. Make that your mantra. If you shower today- you are productive. Now that you have created a list of priorities – decide if you want a paper planner- or you want an app on your phone- or notebook, don’t get lost in the details but I will suggest that what you do have a decision over, does feel great and it may give you a sense of feel good, to see a pretty/classy planner or a clean app on your phone- but once you have;
Now make a some categories: 1). Urgent- these are priorities that require you to act on and you have to do. 2). daily items – like showering, eating, taking kids to school, going to work ( I know you may think- I know I have to do this, but trust me- let’s write it down) 3). God/Meditation/Grieving – yup creating time with God, therapy, support groups, listening to Audible, reading a book about grieving, going to your favorite Grief support page on Instagram ( Heres my page on Instagram 😉 ), doing yoga, watching a You Tube Video on Yoga/Meditation, Breathing. 4). Self-Care (Basic Needs) – No, I am not referring to Spa days but if that is what will soothe you – then do it!! And regular dance parties ( I do have them daily!) but I am talking, getting your basic needs met- a roof over your head, food on your table, water to take a shower, clothes on your back and peace of mind. This is your basic needs- often we don’t realize in grief and loss, many of us are not prepared for the financial stressors and the devastation that grief and loss can place on us. Let’s ensure that in order to begin to start with being productive that we have our basic needs met and if we don’t, then we take the steps to get there. And once you have these
Reconize, that this is your journey…
Now, you have these lists and these obligations and the reality is that you are without your loved one or worse off loved ones and even typing this, it brings me to tears. This is the worst-case scenario, as bad as it gets. The great part is that we get to start again, we get to decide that we can only do what we can do and this perspective is what is productive. Trying every day is productive. GRIEVING every day is productive. You must give yourself grace and patience and decide that you will take it as it comes. Because no one, absolutely no one will completely understand what you feel. I know this will sound almost cruel. I don’t mean it to sound cruel, I mean it to sound motivational for you to give your life the best chance you have to live the best life you can to live a life of living. You cannot wait for anyone to come to make you productive or ok or happy or anything. No one can do this for you, I can advise you to write a hundred to do lists and it may or may not resonate, it is only until you are ready to do this! Why? Because it is your journey- and either you will or you won’t but I believe that you will because you deserve it! Once you recognize that this is your journey and that you can find moments of living and moments of the ability to find productivity and living, you will make it to the next day and so on. You come to self-realization. You come to find your own rhythm and your own self-soothing and some tools and resources that can help you.
Keep Trying everything until you find what works
It’s important to recognize just like grieving, you need to try what works for you- only you. I use to try to conform to other peoples versions of what they believed productivity to be. Busy does not equal productive and only you know what makes you productive and to feel as if you are doing what needs to be done, and also if you can do what needs to be done? That is only a question that you can answer and you have to try it out. When you start to make the effort to create action, this will allow you to be productive. And maybe productive means just getting out of bed, but if you find what works to get you out of bed, then do that- only do what works for you. Decide that you are only going to do the things that work. Decide that you are not going to judge what is wrong or what is right, allow yourself to just be. And when you allow this, you will learn what works and what doesn’t. And you will also in this process decide what your definition of productive after loss means to you.
What does this all mean?
Decided that you have a goal of deciding what productive means in this season of your life, decide what does and doesn’t need to get done, Decide what you have to do to get there ( tools, resources, systems ). Find the perspective that propels you to action. And remember to be gentle with yourself.
In closing, there isn’t a right or a wrong! There is a finding a way to live your life after loss. And what that looks like for you. I wanted to give you a guide to help you along your journey, click here to receive your free guide to help you to be productive.
My Love and Grace Always..