Bloggers usually have a plan of the topics they will write about – some plan a year ahead, linking their blogs to regular events, while others plan just a few weeks ahead. I am in the latter category – I usually have some idea of the topics I will cover, but also like to be able to flex depending on what is happening in the world or in my own life.
This month I had planned to write about Motivation and Well-being, basing the blog on the session I ran recently in London for people interested in personality type. But something much more significant happened in my life – my mother passed away after an unexpected illness.
Major life events put our day-to-day activities into a different perspective. They make us evaluate how we live our lives and what we prioritise. We learn to take comfort in connections with others. We find ways to look after our well-being. And if we are struggling to do those things, then the people around us can help us, if we let them.
It takes time to adjust to the fact that the other person is no longer there. I Skype with my mother at around 10am every morning and today, while writing this blog, I instinctively looked at the clock and thought “nearly time to Skype”. While driving home yesterday, I thought about calling in to visit my mother. Each time one of these moments occur, the grief hits again. It takes time for our brains to create new neural pathways.
The recovery paths after bereavement for each person are different depending on the specific circumstances and the nature of the individual relationships. Our personality also influences how we respond to and recover from grief, as outlined here. There is more to discover in this area – Clare Ayers will be talking about Type and Grief at the AusAPT conference in Brisbane in September.
I don’t have any profound insights to share about bereavement. Just the simple advice to take comfort in the support and kindness of others, and take time to look after your well-being – it really does help.