We are enjoying the beautiful days of summer. This may be the time to head to the beach; visit with family and friends and just up put our feet up from the daily routine of life. Vacations allow us the opportunity to get away from our day-to-day routines, to rest, retreat, renew, and regenerate our mind and body.
Some of us may ask: Is it possible to take a vacation in the midst of our grief? Will we really be able to leave our grief behind, or will our grief come with us on our holiday, packed snugly in our backpack like an unwelcome guest demanding our daily attention? Can we allow the giant waves of grief to become smaller ripples while on vacation?
A vacation may include trips to relatives or family gatherings, seeing everyone after our loss can be bittersweet experience. Memories may flood our mind. Tears may flow. We need to allow all emotions to flow even if on vacation.
We can be creative in planning our vacation. We will be our own best traveling agent because we know our limitations, likes and dislikes. This vacation will be a vacation planned one day at a time. We may choose to take the train, bus and let someone else do the driving. Taking away any unnecessary stressful activities can help make our vacation more pleasant.
Will we give ourselves permission to take a “time-out” from our grief to appreciate the beauties the outdoors, of nature, listen to our favorite music, spend time in prayer or contemplation, or engage in a physical activity we enjoy? Perhaps we will choose to sleep in late and not feel guilty for doing so.
When we return home, our grief may be waiting for us. As we unpack our suitcase we may find we have extra room for some new and surprising experiences. We had a vacation from our grief if only for a short while, and we returned home somewhat refreshed and renewed.
My prayer for you this summer is to have a safe, restful vacation.
Margaret Anne Yost nursed for 35 years and journeyed with many clients who were dying. I completed two units of Clinical Pastoral Education at the Regina General Hospital. Returning back to school I completed classes from the Red River College in the areas of Gerontology, Bereavement, Death and Dying.
I was enrolled eight years in lay ministry training, and graduated as a (LPA) Lay Pastoral Assistant. For twelve years I worked in bereavement support at a funeral home. At present I am employed as an Interim Parish Worker at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Melville Sask. I also enjoy my role as homemaker and full time grandmother.
If you are grieving at this time and you would like to share your story or comment on what you have read, I may be reached at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church 1-306- 728-3971 and please leave a message.