A Writer and Mother of Teens turns to Mindfulness in her time of Grief

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Sunset and Birds

How do you cope with the loss of a loved one?

Experiencing the loss of a loved one is one of the biggest challenges one can face in life. In addition to the onslaught of emotions – including sadness, shock, anger, and disbelief – there may be physical symptoms that impact your health. When the loss is someone particularly close, as in the case of a spouse, there can be immediate logistical considerations. This becomes especially important in situations such as the running of a household or raising a family.

Susan Barr-Toman experienced these kinds of concerns when she lost her husband. Susan turned to mindfulness during her husband’s illness and subsequent passing as a way to manage her grieving and the physical symptoms it brought about for her, and to help her support her teenage children in the changes their family were adjusting to. Listen to how mindfulness supported Susan during this process.

Mindfulness is a tool that can be of great support for people who are grieving. Mindfulness supports us to feel our feelings and to trust and honor our experience of them as they arise and shift in sensation and intensity. As Buddhist meditation teacher Jack Kornfeld describes in this brief video, the body has a great healing capacity if we allow it to run its course. We can easily brush over our emotional experiences. But by being open to processing our own emotions (and thoughts) without censoring, we are allowing our experiences, which then creates a supportive space within for transformation and healing.

Susan is a professional essayist who writes about love, loss and mindfulness, and also teaches creative writing in Philadelphia. Visit Susan's website to learn more about her writing.

We would love to know how mindfulness is making a difference in your life. Contact us to share your story, and perhaps it will be featured here on our blog.

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