Traveling With Your Grief

Brenda Sunoo gives grieving parents some valuable tips on self care and coping with grief while travelling or on vacation.

1. First and foremost, ensure your wellness. Exercise, take walks, eat healthy foods. Get enough sleep, including naps. If you are having a difficult time sleeping or relaxing, try Bach Flowers ("Rescue Remedy"). It's available at health food stores. Rescue Remedy is a combination of five flower essences that help with the emotional feelings accompanying grief, shock and anxiety. An English doctor (Dr. Bach) created these wonderful essences. Bach Flowers is the name of the brand.
2. Wherever you are staying, be comfortable. Bring along familiar items that will make you feel like you're at home---e.g. coffee mug, pillow, photos, etc.
3. Ask a few close friends or relatives who are good listeners if they would mind receiving e-mails from you, if you need a place to express your feelings. Someone in TCF may volunteer to do this. You can download Yahoo Messenger, and do live chats with your designated friend.
4. Take along some grief literature, so you can read these while you're away. They will remind you that you are not alone, or going crazy. Today, there are so many wonderful resources.
5. Buy a journal so you can write in it when you feel the need.
6. Things of healing acts or deeds that will honor the memory of your son.
7. Get massages periodically to relax and soothe your body.

Even though you are leaving your hometown, the grief and sorrow will still be your companion. Expect to have some Ups and pace yourself, and allow yourself some private moments when you need to grieve.

The holidays are a difficult time because of all the "hoopla" of shopping and Christmas carols. It's easier to get through the holidays when you make some plans. Do what is least stressful and comforting for yourself and your family. Surprisingly, the anticipation of a "dreaded" period is worse than the actuality, if you talk about it and make plans beforehand.

submitted by: Sandy Lipkus M.S.W., B.Ed

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