One person said that one cannot teach mindfulness meditation for grief before they have experienced that.
Dare to believe them?
Well, whether it is true or not it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that it’s really difficult.
It’s bloody hard, ok?
It’s almost like torturing yourself with a stick/fire, you name it.
Simply put, when we lose the loved one, the world is no longer the same. We are shaken. We are torn. There is nothing so much familiar anymore. We think about the reasons. We are torturing ourselves because we’re so hurt. And we are!
Yet what’s different between a seasoned meditator and one who has never attempted to cultivate their mind in this way, is that the former has learned about the pause.
Yes! We believe that your ability to take a pause during the time your thoughts attack you with some sh*t and then manage your response is crucial for you to eventually feel better mentally.
We, of course, do not think losing someone is in any way similar to that. It is much more severe and you feel it. Oh, dear, you really feel it. 🙁
Yet there is something you can do.
Accepting your pain is a first step to begin your healing
You can take this experience and accept it. To be honest with you, there is nothing you can do apart from being in a denial.
If grief is dealt with effectively, it can become a tool for the development of great insight. If on the other hand it is dealt with unskilfully, it could initiate a whole chain of chronic dysfunction, confusion, depression, avoidance behaviors, and general unhappiness (quoted from Malcolm Huxter in his ‘Grief and Mindfulness Approach’)
Face your loss and feel it
Next step, you feel that loss. You know, it is just never going to be the same way ever again. Sounds like a tragedy? Well, it is! That’s why it is so bloody hard and painful. You feel pain, you experience it and you eventually accept it. It is what it is.
You know, you are already way in front of many people who just prefer to avoid any pain at all costs.
Averill (according to Kalish, 1985) has named three stages of coping with grief:
So this acceptance and a very deep and painful feeling of your loss comes in the first stages and it is very natural.
Use mindfulness meditation for grief to move on with your life
Yet we need to recover. Otherwise, this deep unsatisfaction and despair can, unfortunately, turn into a very serious depression.
We believe that meditation is a tool for how you can get onto a road of recovery effectively. It doesn’t mean it would be quicker or less painful, but it would be a recovery after all.
Mindfulness meditation helps to heal psychological problems (addictions, unresolved grief or trauma). In order to reap the benefits, it is important to develop a consistent practice, daily if possible. (From “The Meditation Bible” by Madonna Gauding)
From personal experience, meditation does calm you down but it is not a (or “A”) solution! But it can be a tool for you. Though you can do much more with it. Spiritually, you do not need to be religious, you can simply believe that you benefit from cultivating and developing your own mind.
This is how mindfulness meditation helps to recover from grief
Mindfulness meditation does not teach to avoid your emotions or suppress it, it is about facing them and observing. It is almost like befriending your grief. Your grief needs to be understood, realized and then it can be worked upon.
The main recommendation for anyone coping with grief is to withdraw your emotional energy from your life (deceased) and invest it in social activity (without any uncertainty or guilt). (see more at buddhanet.net)
Vipassana meditation can complement your mindfulness meditation for grief by providing you with various insights on where you can invest your emotional energy.