When I heard the news, my heart felt like it dropped to the floor. My dad was on the other line, holding back tears, and I was on the opposite side of the planet, unsure of how to react.
My Grandpa George had just passed away.
And even though I didn't have daily contact with him, we were so close. He was, and still is, my inspiration for being a humble and generous human being.
So what did I do next?
I channeled my sadness into work. I wasn't ready to process it all. It was too fresh. But, just like physical scars, I knew there were things I needed to do to make sure the emotional scar healed properly.
Below are a few techniques I've found to be the best healers if you've ever lost something, or someone, dear to you, no matter how long ago it happened.
1. The Emotional Medicine
A friend wrote to me recently saying tears and laughter are the best medicine for the soul. And my how true that is. Getting over a death, breakup, or anything worth grieving? Every week, watch a comedy, or if you need to let your ugly cry out, a tear-inducing movie (Marley & Me anyone?).
Try hanging out with friends that make you belly laugh or friends who literally just sit there and hold you as you weep (yes, sometimes saying nothing is best in times of grief). There really is nothing like it. So let those emotions, whether they're high or low, flow.
2. The Inner Child Coddle
If you've ever been depressed, you know that it can take every last bit of coaxing to get yourself out of bed, into the shower, and putting real clothes on. If you are grieving, make sure you are treating yourself as if you were a five-year-old whose first pet just died.
You are the same kid inside, so hug yourself, baby yourself...you can even take after the Little Engine that Could and repeat "I think I can, I think I can...". Remember, you've probably been there before, but don't rush this process. Your child self needs your attention.
3. The Write and Burn
Cue Usher. But really, ever had an experience where you never got to tell someone how you really felt about them before you parted ways? Now's your chance. Start by getting a clean sheet of paper, yes paper, no screens, and write a letter to whoever, or whatever, it is you are grieving for.
If it's a relative, write about how much you love them and what you miss about them. If it's an ex, celebrate the good times you had and forgive them for the not so good times. If it's a job loss, or otherwise negative career experience, write about what you learned and what you are going to improve on next time.
Then, you guessed it, LET IT BURN. Light your paper on fire with a match or lighter and watch it disintegrate, wow what a release. Be safe, though and make sure there is nothing flammable nearby.
As for me and my Grandpa, I know we are still connected somehow three years later. To this day, he is my inspiration and my rock. I celebrate his life any chance I get and hope to continue his legacy while I am alive. He will forever be in my heart.
Kimberly Lucht is the founder and Executive Director of Rehumanize Me. She loves uncovering the common ground of humanity through dance and culture and witnessing individuals realize their full potential.