When a tragic or heartbreaking grief event happens in life, it can velcro itself to your heart and memory storage. Some are obvious; others are not.
When you go through a major grief event such as a death, you’re much more familiar with the anticipation of sad feelings that will surface because the event has an exact date. Example: death of a loved one, divorce, etc. You know the date is coming up so you can easily label your feelings, grief, and heartache.
Other times, people can feel “blue” around a certain time each year and not be able to pinpoint where the feeling came from or understand why such intense emotions surfaced. A non-death grief event most likely happened, but the date wasn’t exactly remembered or written down. Example: a sexual assault while growing up (rape, molestation), adultery, divorce, a bad breakup, a natural disaster or house fire, discovering you have a major illness, tragic military event, major relationship issues, a PTSD/traumatizing event, etc.
These events can leave a huge imprint on your spirit, heart, mind, emotions, and even your body’s cells.
I’m a big advocate of creating a timeline of grief events that have happened in life and writing them down on paper…this way, you can go through each grief event and process it.
Feel what you need to feel. Allow yourself the freedom to thoroughly filter the circumstance and release the harsh emotions with the goal of nurturing and healing your heart.
Process each year of your life. Be so very grateful for all of the good that each year held, and work through and release any bad that happened as well.
While growing up, there were times during the year where I’d feel unexplainably down and discouraged.
I later figured out that during these times, a grief event had happened close to or on the date years before.
At that discovery, I made it a point to be mindful of potential annual grief cycles which greatly helped to overcome them.
So how do you overcome annual grief cycles?
- Make a list of every significant grief event you’ve been through throughout your life
- Keep a calendar of grief events so you are aware and prepared for them
- Take the time to thoroughly grieve each event so there is minimal unfinished business as much is up to you
- Seek out extra support and encouragement during potential or established grief dates
- It can be helpful to talk to a trusted pastor, counselor, family member, or close friend on the date of an annual grief event
- Pray God grants you the courage, encouragement, healing, and peace you need to get through the tough feelings of your grief event
- After thoroughly taking the time to grieve, make it a priority to have a day of relaxation, rejuvenation, and enjoyment on days of an annual grief cycle (this can take time and hard work to accomplish but is totally worth it)
- Be compassionate to yourself and realize grief recovery takes time
- Allow yourself the gift of grieving in healthy ways in your own time while growing through your grief
Once I understood and was able to anticipate annual grief cycles — and took the time to override annual grief dates with relaxing and enjoyable activities — my anxiety and sadness around those dates was dramatically resolved. It didn’t happen overnight, but with every year I chose to override these tough dates of sadness with new memories…good memories…I was freed up from stagnant discouragement and anxiety.
Imagine a piece of paper that is folded in half. To help “heal” the bent paper, you don’t just merely unfold the paper…it would still have a bend. To create a difference, you would need to fold it the opposite way. Yes, there may still be a crease, but the paper will no longer be bent.
We need to do this when it comes to grief and traumatic events in our lives: heal the fold by intentionally folding our lives in opposite much better ways. Yes, there will still be evidence of what happened…but the more we create a difference – after thoroughly grieving and feeling what we need to feel – it will no longer be as debilitating for us.
This week, make a list of any significant grief events you’ve been through, and think of creative ways to override annual grief cycles so you can truly begin to enjoy life once again.
Wishing all of you healing, peace, and great brand new memories as you work through your grief!
Gratitude & blessings,
©2016 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.
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⭐️For more encouragement:
❤️Making peace with God: https://www.peacewithgod.net
❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): https://www.christianbook.com/getting-knocks-transparent-journey-seeking-through/k-b-h-niles
❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: https://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief
❤️Kim’s blog: https://www.griefbites.com
❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays
5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5
6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv
7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus
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⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.