Grief is a state of existing in the void between the dead and living. We become shells of our former selves and we ache to be with our lost loved one. Yet we are still breathing. Our hearts are still beating. Our bodies go through the motions of what must be done, but we do so with a sense of acute separation from the world and the people around us. It’s a really awful place to be.
And so we are forced to a find a way to come back to life after loss. We all have our own reasons to do so. There may be other people who rely on you. Things that need done. Promises to be kept. Any reason you can think of is a good one, so hang onto it with both hands. My main motivation was that I did not want my destruction to be the final chapter of my daughter’s life story. And if there was even the slightest chance that it was true that she was somewhere looking down on me, I wanted to make sure she would be proud of what she saw.
When we are trying to pull ourselves out of the depths of despair, it is the small actions that provide our footholds. Grief is exhausting and sometimes even the tiniest efforts can deplete all our energy. So here is a bite-sized method to help you reactivate the sensation of being alive and to reconnect to life after loss:
COMPLETE RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS.
Random Acts of Kindness are a healing way to honour your lost loved one, while creating multilevel benefits both for you and those around you. For me, these acts help me to continue my relationship with a child that I can’t see, or touch, or hold. When we loose someone, the love for them remains but often has no tangible outlet. I believe this is one of the factors that contributes to grief-related anxiety and depression.
Further, performing acts of kindness will not only help you to feel more connected to your lost loved one, but will help to improve your mood and increase your resilience. This has been tested and validated by me, a bereaved mother and registered professional therapist, as well as by a growing compilation of scientific data (https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-research). Research is demonstrating that when we complete acts of kindness, our brains release an extra dose of feel-good chemicals, thereby boosting our mental, emotional and even physical health.
This year, I will be celebrating my daughter’s birthday, January 23, by sharing her love and light in my community with a Random Acts of Kindness Blitz. And you are invited to join me in memory of your lost loved one.
- Commit Random Acts of Kindness in memory of someone you lost.
- Print out the cards below to leave behind you to help spread the love and the word.
- Share your experience with me via Facebook and Instagram. I would really love to hear from you! #lovelossproject
IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED:
- Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
- Send a thank you card to a friend who’s been supportive, free e-cards: https://lovelossproject.com/ecards/
- Leave something in your mailbox for your mail delivery person.
- Give a larger than usual tip to your restaurant server.
- Shop local.
- Let someone else go first.
- Go through your closet and donate the things you haven’t worn in a long time.
- Volunteer to take a dog for a walk at the local animal shelter.
- Buy a coffee for the person behind you at the DriveThru.
- Hold the door for someone.
- Give compliments.
- Lend $25 to a third world entrepreneur through Kiva’s loan project (www.kiva.com) 99% repayment rate.
- Make a donation to your favourite cause or mine: Nora’s Honorarium, a maternity home support fund that helps prevent other families from experiencing the heart break of losing a baby, operated by the Because I Am a Girl foundation. http://my.e2rm.com/PersonalPage.aspx?registrationID=2692118&langPref=en-CA&Referrer=%26Referrer%3ddirect%252fnone
- Stop a negative conversation and reduce the amount of gossip and toxicity in the world.
- Share this link on Facebook and invite others who might benefit or who might want to support you.
- Use a recyclable water bottle
- Make baked goods for someone.
- Add change to other people’s parking meters.
- Say hello to strangers.
- Make eye contact and say hello to a homeless person.
- Make a meal for someone.
- Say please and thank you.
- Hide a love note for your partner.
- Carry a $5 Gift Card and give it to the next person you see doing something kind or awesome.
- Accept someone’s offer to help you or offer support.
PRINT OUT YOUR OWN LIFE CELEBRATION COMMUNITY Kindness Scavenger Hunt