they literally hold you up
After writing my last post, I wanted to give you a useful take away in hopes it can help you or someone you know learning to live with grief. Throughout the past few weeks, I've gathered a team of professionals to help me with bereavement support. It's going to take time, but I wanted you to know that this type of help exists. Here's how they've all been assisting me and what they have to offer.
I look at therapy as a luxury. If you can find a therapist that you click with who takes your insurance or one you can afford, it's an absolute luxury. To talk to someone who doesn't judge your decisions or feelings and helps guide you into becoming a better person is a gift.
Mollie has been like my life coach for over two years, so I'm incredibly thankful that I had an existing relationship with her before my nightmare began. She's one of the first people I reached out to from the hospital. I didn't know what to do. She knows me and I knew she would help me understand that my rollercoaster of emotions is normal, structure my days so I feel purposeful and just let me cry and talk to her without judgement. She never gives me "fluff talk,"to make me feel better either, which I appreciate. But instead, she's compassionate and gives useful advice and recommendations where needed. Not only has she been there for me through this and for the past several years, but she's gone above and beyond to be there for my family during this time as well.
End of Life Doula
I wasn't planning on using a doula for childbirth and had no idea that there are ones out there who specialize in loss, but was thankful to find out that there are and they're special. They hold space for grief.
My therapist Mollie recommended I reach out to Jess since she specializes in this type of loss and understands first hand what I'm going through. The first time Jess came over, she listened. I talked and cried and she was there to hold space, which is an extremely powerful ability to have. She got to know me and our story and understood. It was nice to talk to someone who truly understood the pain. As the owner of Held Massage Therapy in Montclair, NJ, she created a space to help relieve the pain associated with grief, loss and difficult changes. Yes, besides my heart hurting, my entire physical body is exhausted and hurt as well. Since I don't feel comfortable in public just yet, she came to our apartment, set up her massage table and gave me a relaxation massage, which was just what I needed. With each massage appointment, Jess sets aside an hour to chat. Her energy is calm and accepting and heart is set on helping others.
Spiritual / Religious Counselor
Whether you're spiritual or religious, if going through a loss or grieving a difficult situation, I recommend talking with someone who can help you understand a higher power – who or whatever that is to you. For me as someone who's very spiritual, this meeting was as if a really Catholic person was meeting with a priest. Seek out the type of person who you can relate to.
I met with Swarupa, of the Integral Yoga Institute in NYC for the second time. I knew from the beginning of this nightmare, that I needed to meet with him as soon as possible, because as spiritually connected as I am, I was questioning everything I believed in. While he didn't give me or know a reason for Ava's death (of course), he gave me some comfort and reasons to accept it. I'm still struggling with things he said, as they make sense in my mind, but not in my heart. It's incredibly important to me to learn more about spirituality and yoga philosophy and Swarupa is always there at the right times.-
I believe that consistent acupuncture sessions can fix almost anything. As someone dealing with grief and postpartum depression, it can help alleviate both and more.
I've mentioned acupuncture and Dr. Loh several times before and if you've been following my content, then you know how much I believe in it and this man. He even made my "Best Of Hoboken" list. I've been going to acupuncture on and off for the past couple years for different reasons – migraines being the biggest. Now, I go to help regulate my postpartum hormones and relieve depression. Dr. Loh said it will even help to dry up my milk, which yes is still coming in unfortunately.
Something (or Someone) to Take Care Of
One of the main pieces of advice I've gotten about dealing with acute grief has been, "Tend to something."
Joe and I took in Belmar, an orphaned kitten with a cold, from the Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City and the experience has been keeping me alive. Just having the responsibility to get out of bed to feed him and give him his medicine has been life saving. So whether you're open to fostering animals or maybe are better off taking care of plants, tend to something. Trust me. It makes you feel purposeful. PS: He was adopted! And from now on, I'll be fostering kittens when LHS needs in my spare bedroom.