Why write about taking grief breaks?

For World Book Day last week, I posted an image with a selection of books I’ve read over the last few months . All of these books had a connection to grief in them.  Following that post I received an interesting comment on my Facebook page. The reader shared that she would like to be able to escape from her grief sometimes. However, finding books with no mention of grief was hard.  I’m shortly going to ask the wise sibling loss community on my Instagram page for their recommendations on non grief related books. I think the reader made such a good point which got me thinking more about the importance of taking grief breaks.

In the early days of grief

In the very early days of grieving for your brother or sister you are likely to be in shock. You may also be consumed by thoughts of their death.  However in time, as grief settles in as your constant companion, you may start to experience periods of time where your grief steps aside briefly and you’re able to think about doing other things as well. You may be reading this and thinking there’s no way you will ever feel able to do anything BUT grieve for your brother or sister but perhaps just allow this idea to percolate. If you can remain curious about what’s happening inside you, it may just create a little crack to allow in the idea that taking a grief break is ok.

Grieving takes energy

Grieving takes a lot out of you. It is exhausting trying to work, study or parent whilst coming to terms with the loss of your brother or sister. Here is my offering to you.  It is important to try and at least replenish some of the energy grieving takes.  Although it might feel impossible, taking grief breaks and doing something which isn’t related to grieving for your brother or sister is good for you.  Don’t worry, your grief is going no-where.  It will stay with you but just give you a little respite.  A little space. A breather.

image of a bath filled with blue water and orange and white flowers depicting one of the suggestions of Siblings Matter's blog post about taking breaks from grief
Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash

Grief breaks you can take

The list below are just a few ideas. What you might want to do will be as individual as you are so be creative.

Watch a comedy film

Have a cuppa with a friend and laugh if you can

Get a massage

Cook a nice meal

Have a bath

Play a sport

Build something

Go for a walk

Call someone

But I feel guilty

Often when we’re grieving, we’re thinking about our brother or sister and not about us.  It is common to feel guilty if we focus on ourselves or on what others might think.  We judge ourselves way more harshly than is fair, thinking it says something about a lack of caring if we take a break from our grief. Taking grief breaks really doesn’t say anything about your feelings for your brother or sister. It really doesn’t.  How about looking at it another way? That by taking care of you, you are giving yourself back much needed energy to enable you continue to grieve in a healthy way. I think that’s a very respectful way of honouring our sibling and ourselves during our long journey don’t you?    

Donna @ Siblings Matter


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