For almost a year, I was in survival mode- making numerous physician office appointments and hospital visits weekly as my husband’s primary advocate and caregiver. Life was challenging but as long as I maintained the scheduled daily plan along with my writing and speaking engagements, I could focus on what needed to be done.
Then it happened…the event you know will occur but never expect. My sweetheart embarked upon his hereafter journey. After suffering a great loss- the true love of my life, I gave myself permission to grieve in my own way.
But after 2 months, the total lack of focus was disconcerting.
Perhaps there was a professional suggestion to improve my concentration. I was not looking for a way to remove the pain that resides in my heart, just a way to function creatively again. As is characteristic of many others, and myself the Internet became a “Yoda”, source of all knowledge.
A whole host of causes for concentration difficulties are listed; some are quite disturbing but could be boiled down to cognitive, psychological or medical conditions in addition to substance abuse.
Articles further stressed that lack of focus could be a sign of serious brain trauma, strokes, infections and side effects of chronic illnesses. All of the articles stressed treatment for resolution of the concentration difficulties. A day or two after the problem has surfaced, medical evaluation is crucial.
There has to be a Better Way
Rather than taking mind-numbing drugs, research strengthens the theory that meditation alleviates the confusion, stress and anxiety that accompanies grief. It empowers us to take positive action and live in the now, thereby aiding the healing process.
Discussing and encouraging the use of meditation (mindfulness) techniques with those who are suffering with grief, is one of the most helpful ways that you can facilitate the healing journey.
There are several types of meditation techniques. However, the simplest is to sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Feel your chest movements and hear the breaths. Be aware of the exhaling and inhaling sounds as well as pulsing in your ears. Clear the mind and only perceive of the breaths.
Progression from breaths can be to focus on a particular object in the room and notice all the qualities of that object.
No matter how disoriented you feel, your mindfulness practice will help to bring you back to the safe harbor of the present moment using the tools you already have; your breath and your body.-Heather Stang, Mindfulness & Grief
Grieving is a necessary part of mourning. Meditation is a helpful technique to cope and return to the world of the living.