Shirin Yadegar shares coping mechanisms for losing a loved one.
When I lost my father on August 28, 2022, my entire being was instantly shattered. Initial pains of loss are so deep and hurtful, your mind becomes paralyzed. I was robotic the first week as we sat shiva, the 7 day Jewish mourning period. I made arrangements for my father’s burial and memorial services. I slept nightly with my mom to comfort her. I veiled my sadness to be strong for my mother, brother, husband and children.
The first morning I woke up in my own bed on day 8 of my dad’s passing is when I began to process the enormity of losing a father. It felt like I had been stabbed. My heart was split in two. One was filled with memories. The other died with my father. So I began to mourn and heal.
I spoke to myself as my father would have spoken to me that each moment is a learning moment. We learn to grow from loss. That it’s ok to be sad, but that it’s not ok to stay there. Acknowledging, feeling and moving forward are the steps I am now taking on my journey to heal and show by example to my children the power of grief, loss and carrying with us the memory of those we love. It’s important to understand that we will never move on, but that we need to move forward.
Here are 3 things I am doing to find comfort to be able to move forward.
- Start each morning in gratitude. It can be a prayer, meditation, journaling or simply saying aloud three things you are grateful for.
- Do one intentional act of kindness each day. Whether it’s giving charity or holding the door open for someone.
- Share stories with your children and when they are sad remind them to be more like their grandparent. “When you question how to act or what to do, think what would Baba do.”
We will all leave this earth one day. The important thing is to be the best versions of ourselves during our time on this earth and to carry on the legacy of those we love. I have no regrets because my relationship with my father was loving, nurturing and respectful. I have no regrets because I made it a priority to spend time with my father because my entire life my dad always made a priority. May his memory be a blessing always.