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There is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – Winnie the Pooh

Finding strength in grief is no easy task. You are aware that this is probably the worst thing that will befall you, but somehow you find the strength to go on. You live through the anguish of the journey and somehow realize that you can take it, and pretty much anything else that might be dealt to you on a disgusting platter of life’s bad garbage. By staying in the moment, you slowly move forward, hour by hour, day by day, and month by month until you can look back and say, man I did it!

Attitude is a key component in how you deal with grief. If you catastrophize and go into negative thoughts of “what will my future hold?” it will be harder to plow ahead. Sure, we all have our moments, when we peek down the road of our future and shake with dread. The best way to forge ahead is to put on some blinders to the past, and especially to the future, and move forward in the now. Finding the strength to accomplish these tasks takes great courage and hard work. Taking breaks to exercise, eat well, and find enjoyment in day to day activities like an occasional retail therapy binge, is key.

Resilience is the process of adapting to life in the face of adversity, trauma, or stress. It is the process of bouncing back or as I say, bouncing forward. Resilience is an ordinary activity, not an extraordinary one. It is not a trait that people are born with. Resilience is developed through positive thoughts and actions. If you keep a positive view of your abilities and keep things in some form of perspective, even when life is throwing you the mother of all curveballs, you can persevere.

Knowing that we will most likely recover doesn’t lessen the blow of immense grief. But knowing that our fears won’t cripple us totally, and seeing our progress on a daily basis, help to find our strength. Yes, grief makes us scared, terrified, and anxious to the max. But, if we can just stop every few days and take a barometer of where we are in our journey, and how far we have come, the progress we have made will toughen our resolve to keep going. It is like the story of the exhausted bird who takes a breather on the branch of a tree. A strong wind suddenly blows the branch so hard that it seems as if it will break. But the bird is cool with this, because she knows that she holds the power to use her wings to fly away. She also knows there are other branches on which she can rest along her travels.

In my journey of grief, I realize that I have developed the strength in my wings to fly on my own. I also am deeply aware that my friends and family are there to support me on other branches, should I falter.

“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.  Always believe in yourself.” – Unknown

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