Awaken Your Senses, Get Away
Grief is exhausting work. You need to take breaks to survive.
Go somewhere that will awaken your senses, a place that makes you feel alive. Maybe that means a weekend trip to a nearby beach. Dig your toes in the sand. Listen to the rhythmic crashing surf. Inhale the briny air. Keep your eyes open for seashells. Taste the saltwater.
Or maybe that means a trip to your parents' or grandparents' house. Gulp down your grandmother's famous blackberry cobbler. Take a walk down the street you grew up. Nap in their window seat under a quilt. Smell your childhood in old boxes in the attic or garage.
For me, the place that makes me feel most alive is France. My mother's French, so it always feels a bit like coming home. A few months after my son died my Mom, Aunt, and I spent a week in France with my family. We toasted my Mom's birthday with champagne. We got lost on drizzly Paris streets. We ate mountains of bread, butter, cheese, and escargots.
The Rodin Sculpture Garden gave me pause.
How can you not marvel at the beauty?
"I was in a garden at the Rodin Museum. For a few minutes I was alone, sitting on a stone bench between two long hedges of roses. Pink roses. Suddenly I felt the most powerful feeling of peace, and I had the thought that death, if it means an absorption into a reality like the one that was before me, might be all right."
~ Irving Howe
My prayer is that you find a place that wakes you up to life again, to all the many reasons to keep going, keep trying, keep striving for joy. It does not erase the pain, but these special places can give you the momentum to push forward.