PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Refocusing One's Grief

I have been thinking about this lately. And today's DailyOm, which it often does, caused me to sit down and put my thoughts into words.

The closer we get to Christmas, the more I have been grieving Gregory's death, the sadder maybe even depressed I have been feeling.

I know that this is only natural and one will be told by everyone else that we should expect this on firsts: First Thanksgiving. First Christmas. First Anniversary without Gregory in January which would have been (or should I say will be) 41 years together?

But I also know that Gregory does not need me to grieve, the universe is not benefitted by my grief, God (if she exists) does not need me to grieve. I am the one who needs to grieve but if it makes me sad, unhappy, and possibly depressed; maybe I do not need to grieve as much or in the way that I am doing so.

My Grief does not make Gregory's life any more or less meaningful. My Grief will definitely not bring him back to me for even a moment or two in realtime. My Grief will not being me joy, or cheer, or good feelings, or help support my health. So I continue to question Grief.

It is as if Grief gives me permission to wallow in my sorrows, my loneliness, my "what if's," my "if only's." It is as if I allow Grief to slow me down, feel tired, feel lethargic, to not accomplish those things I want to accomplish. I allow Grief to cause me to be poor company to friends and family.

So I continue to question grief. If I can turn my Grief into a more productive activity, I will be served. Gregory will be served. The universe will be served and God (if she exists) will are served. Family and friends and my two cats, Emma and Gigi, will be served. So I continue to question grief.

I believe that if I want to believe in something, then it is true. At least for me. So I continue my conversations, my dialogues with Gregory or with Gregory's Spirit although they at times might seem like monologues. But sometimes I hear Gregory's answers. At least I hear them in my head. At least they may be coming from him, from beyond, or from my 41 years of knowing what he would say, but none-the-less they come.

And I feel at times that Gregory, or Gregory's Spirit, is sad that I am sad, unhappy that I am unhappy, misses me because I miss him. I hear him telling me to try not to be so sad because it makes him feel sad as well. And that doesn't serve Gregory in whatever his next set of adventures and spiritual growth may need.

So I have been trying to grieve less. Grieve yes but less. When I feel sad I try to change the thoughts to ones of joy. When I feel lonely, I try to remember the good times and to be grateful for them. When I feel depressed, I sit with the feelings then tell myself to move on.

By allowing myself to stay sad, stay lonely, stay depressed, I am allowing myself to wallow in my grief instead of celebrating not only Gregory's life but also my own. I am seventy years old, I have much to celebrate and will have much to celebrate yet. By grieving less I will not be wasting those precious moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years I have left.

So enjoy, not grieve. Laugh, not cry. Celebrate, not mourn. Sing and dance. I tell myself. And most of the time it works. And when it doesn't, I allow myself to sit and wallow but not for more than fifteen minutes at a time. Then I continue on continuing on.

• • •

December 20, 2015
Raise Your Vibration
Focus on the Goodby Madisyn Taylor

There are many ways to raise your vibration including thinking positive and uplifting thoughts.

Everything in the universe is made of energy. What differentiates one form of energy from another is the speed at which it vibrates. For example, light vibrates at a very high frequency, and something like a rock vibrates at a lower frequency but a frequency nonetheless. Human beings also vibrate at different frequencies. Our thoughts and feelings can determine the frequency at which we vibrate, and our vibration goes out into the world and attracts to us energy moving at a similar frequency. This is one of the ways that we create our own reality, which is why we can cause a positive shift in our lives by raising our vibration.

We all know someone we think of as vibrant. Vibrant literally means “vibrating very rapidly.” The people who strike us as vibrant are vibrating at a high frequency, and they can inspire us as we work to raise our vibration. On the other hand, we all know people that are very negative or cynical. These people are vibrating at a lower frequency.

They can also be an inspiration because they can show us where we don’t want to be vibrating and why. To discover where you are in terms of vibrancy, consider where you fall on a scale between the most pessimistic person you know and the most vibrant. This is not in order to pass judgment, but rather it is important to know where you are as you begin working to raise your frequency so that you can notice and appreciate your progress.

There are many ways to raise your vibration, from working with affirmations to visualizing enlightened entities during meditation. One of the most practical ways to raise your vibration is to consciously choose where you focus your attention. To understand how powerful this is, take five minutes to describe something you love unreservedly—a person, a movie, an experience.

When your five minutes are up, you will noticeably feel more positive and even lighter. If you want to keep raising your vibration, you might want to commit to spending five minutes every day focusing on the good in your life. As you do this, you will train yourself to be more awake and alive. Over time, you will experience a permanent shift in your vibrancy.


  1. While not usually inclined to share my own grief, I will point you to some pages that I made after our Gary died sitting still on a motorcycle, hit by an out-of-control truck. His friend Hugh summed it up, "If you'd told me Gary was killed going 100 miles an hour on a motorcycle, I'd have said, Well, that's Gary. I can't stand this."

  2. Michael,sometimes one just has to let the tears flow.

    1. Yes, Judy, I agree, and I do allow myself to cry and grieve but just not for long periods of time and not so deeply that it ends up in feeling depressed. As I said ... most of the time it works. And when it doesn't, I allow myself to sit and wallow but not for more than fifteen minutes at a time. Then I continue on continuing on. Thanks for your comments!

  3. A beautiful post Michael and very helpful to those like me who struggle with grief. When my first wife died 40 years ago but for a month I tried to carry on as usual. I paid the price many times later for not taking time to experience sadness and a range of other emotions. Thank you so much for your Blog.

  4. Thanks so much Paul. Grief is only a normal part of loving someone so deeply. It can be very painful not only emotionally but also physically. Don't get me wrong with the post, I do grief, and I grieve fully, I just postpone it at times when I feel the need to not grieve and I give in fully when when I know I need to. One approach is to welcome the grief and emotions, thank them, and ask them why they are visiting your and what they have to teach you. Treat them like a human visitor and that will take some of the pain away! Merry Christmas Paul.


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