If grief is a journey on a tumultuous sea, how can we find calm?
Picture a small boat on a rough sea, tossed and battered by the waves.
The boat is your life, and you’re a passenger. You’re trying to guide the boat, but there are some circumstances beyond your control.
The sea is your grief. Sometimes it’s a bit calmer but at other times, the wind is blowing and the waves are knocking you off your feet. Sometimes it is tempestuous and it seems like those gigantic waves are going to sink you completely.
Sometimes we wait out the storm, and sometimes it’s not a bad idea to head for a quiet harbour, a place of safety and rest. A calm corner in the ocean of your troubles.
Good friends and supportive family can be a safe harbour, a place where you can let down your anchor.
Your faith, if you have one, can be an anchor . (Think of Jesus and his followers on the boat on the stormy sea. “Help us, we’re sinking” they yell at him. He calms the storm. “Help me, I’m sinking” is quite an appropriate prayer during the rough times of our grief!)
Some activities can help us find at least temporary calm, especially if they are repetitive and don’t require too much effort. Things like colouring, knitting, playing a musical instrument.
Exercise and being out in green spaces can be calming.
Sometimes what we need is inactivity. Learning to “be”. Can we watch the flowers grow or the birds soaring in the sky? Can we stop, stand still, close our eyes and just listen to what is around us? Filling up our senses with what’s around us , without analysing, can bring a certain calm.
Listening to music may be calming – depending on the choice of music.
The storms of grief can hit unexpectedly, but then they will be followed by periods of calm. Hopefully our boat won’t have been too battered in the meantime!
This koala seems to have perfected the art of ‘being’. (Picture taken at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary)