Has grief and loss stolen your determination to live life fully?
Hi, I am Janet Jones, founder of Happiness Millionaire. I have recently started talking to a rock! This helps navigate the next chapter of my life, the chapter without my 22-year-old son, Murray. Join me with my musings about life, grief and loss with my rock, Sylvia-Rose. To learn why she is called Sylvia-Rose and how and why we met, I invite you to read my first blog - 'If Rocks Could Talk, meet Sylvia-Rose'. You could also register to have these bogs delivered to your email inbox. Check the tab in my bio.
Our chat on the 2nd December 2021 discussing finding determination to get back to living after loss and grief, plus is denial at times of grieving a problem or reality?
SR - Good morning, someone is determined today. This is what it is like when the tide is in. Actually, this is a gentle tide. Don’t come in bad weather.
Jan - Morning, I won’t do that. It felt good to be determined and clamber over rocks and leap over water. I wasn’t letting anything get in my way. Even when I came across the revine which is quite deep when the tide is in. I saw it and immediately, I thought 'how am I going to do this?' A few weeks ago, I would have seen that as an obstacle and an excuse to turn round. Go back indoors and drift the day away. I never expected to feel this level of determination to live fully again. It felt like real living was over for me. Now I feel a determination to live, even stronger. Well, today I do.
SR - Yes. Things can and do change. No guarantees to how you may feel. Make the best of the moment you are in. If you feel determined, sorry, the sea is still coming in, did you get wet then?
Jan - Yes but it just made me smile.
SR - I was saying, if you feel determined be determined and take determined actions. That leads to growing determination in everything you do. Choose the things you want to do with 'determination' in a way for them to serve you.
Jan - That is good advice. What I have learned since losing Murray and realising how short life is, it is easier to say ‘no’ to things. I feel clearer with my ‘determination’ to live a life that brings me joy, happiness and purpose. Being a ‘people pleaser’ stopped when Murray left.
SR - Good. A tough way to learn that lesson but the truth is no one lives forever and there isn’t time to waste on things that don’t ‘feel’ right to you.
Jan - Talking of feelings.
SR - Yes?
Jan - I am going to Edinburgh tomorrow to replace Murray’s plaque by his tree. His original one got damaged. I am feeling both excited about going and my heart feels the heavy bruise at the same time. I am looking forward to sitting by his tree. We will have a shot of Whisky with him. He loved a good whisky. But the truth is, it is Christmas and I should be visiting him to celebrate. We should be going out for drinks, going walking and watching Christmas movies together. He loved Christmas movies. I bought tickets for him, Iona and me to watch, It’s A Wonderful Life at the local cinema once. They had an organist there too and it was very Christmassy. I didn’t think he would agree to coming but he did. When we left, he said that was the best Christmas film he has ever seen. I can’t bring myself to watch it again yet. One day. I miss him. Am in denial?
SR - Denial. Mmmm... that ‘stage’ of grief? Could you just be being real? That it is a real feeling to miss your son and to miss the Christmas movies you will no longer get the chance to see? I think you are being real. This isn’t something to work ‘through’. It is something to be. Nurture those feelings. When you watch a Christmas movie, hold your heart. You know that is where he is now. I KNOW it isn’t where you want him but the reality is that he is not here anymore. Your Christmases have changed. Make them new and different too but don’t deny him being part of them.
Jan - Thanks. I will. The friend I told you about yesterday, who was saying goodbye to her family, has journeyed on. If only we knew what that journey was like.
SR - It sounds like she lived a great life. That is your job. Live a great life. Don’t live small. Don’t live afraid of dying. If you knew it was a wonderful thing you would sit back and not appreciate what you have. If you knew it was something to fear, you would live in fear all your life. It is in the NOT knowing that brings life’s magic. That way you can embrace what you have and be grateful for all life gives you, yes, even the dark parts. Look how you have changed, just in these past couple of weeks. Keep living, my friend. Embrace your friend’s spirit too and live for her. Live for all who are no longer here. You get this. I know you do.
Jan - Yes. I do. Sometimes it is easier to talk about it than doing it. That is the bravery thing again.
SR - Yes, Jan, to live fully and embrace it all does take bravery and courage. That is why it is worth working on being brave and courageous. Don’t be afraid to be You. This you. The one with the scars. Scars make things real and beautiful.
You don’t have to stay until the tide goes out, you know.
Jan - I do. I can’t get back just yet. I am going to have a moment to take all of that in and prepare my heart for going to Edinburgh tomorrow.
- Enjoy it, Jan. Enjoy it all, the tears and the laughter. You nearly got wet again
- I know. It is funny. I will be back next week. Be good!
- You are funny
See you soon. X