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Last Sunday I started off the day in a low mood, not helped by my 21 month old thinking it was great fun to get me up at 4.45am! It was a grey winter’s day which mirrored the gloom I was feeling inside. In a chat with my lovely husband I was able to pinpoint my feelings. In a nutshell, I was unhappy with the uncertainty of my future. He told me that he was uncertain about his too and that in fact most people were, so not to worry about it! It reminded me of how I felt when Lily first died. The only thing that we had to look forward to was regular episodes of American Idol and all its drama dotted with breathtaking talent. This insignificant (in the grand scheme of things) television program was something we could look forward to in our immediate future as most of the time we simply could not visualise past the end of the day. The future was a vast black void in front of us without our darling “Lilygirl” as we fondly called her.

Last Sunday I was reminded of those initial feelings of grief and I am very sorry for anyone who finds themselves in that place. So I decided to let go of what the future held and we packed up our toddlers, bundling them into the car and with rain pouring down we went on an outing. We headed for the local garden centre, a fifteen minute drive away. When we arrived, lo and behold, the sun started to shine on us again. In the entrance of the garden centre is a beautiful gift shop displaying faux antique goodies, flowery picture frames, pretty wall plaques, colourful pot plant holders and special rustic tins for storing keepsakes. As we headed further into the garden centre we were struck immediately by the powerful and beautiful scent of amber roses and purposeful people busied themselves around us looking for things to beautify their lives and give them the meaning they were seeking.

There were goldfish and little bridges over ponds and with each step on these quaint wooded paths, I felt my mood lift and my creativity start to soar. Although I didn’t buy anything, I organised my Christmas shopping list four months ahead of time with all these lovely things that surrounded me. I didn’t need to go searching for my future, it was right there with me and I felt inspiration for my life ahead happen upon me effortlessly instead. I was in my “now” enjoying all the things I love and the future was limitless to me.

We then decided to visit the pet shop next door. Puppies were playing, bunnies were hopping and tropical fish were swimming, delighting in their luminosity and agility. My mood was on the up and up and so we set off home. However, there was a detour that forced us to take a different route. We had to go the long way home and ended up stopping off at another seaside town to a beautiful playground where we stood pushing our two beauties on their swings looking out to the vast ocean right in front of us, children laughing and calling “higher!”

When we finally got into the car to return home, I was a completely different person with a different outlook on life, on my future and on my present. I had done all my favourite things: I’d unwittingly surrounded myself with beauty, love, fun, playfulness, companionship, freshness and joy and I was feeling much, much better.

Grief can make us feel very isolated and so often we would rather just keep to ourselves but sometimes getting out and doing things we used to love, even though they have lost some of that old meaning, can reset our thought processes. The truth is that you are the same person that you ever were under that black cloud we call grief. You have become older and wiser through the process but you are still “you” underneath. If you nurture your ongoing relationship with your loved one in spirit, which is so healing, you can also allow yourself to enjoy the simple things in your present that used to hold so much meaning. Just like Julie Andrews swoons in The Sound of Music, “When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad. I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel so bad.” Lots of love to you. Erica xx

"Soothe Your Soul from Grief" by best selling author Erica Farrimond is available for 99 cents. Enjoy. xx


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