Definition of weekend (n)

  1. from Friday evening to Sunday evening: the end of the week, from Friday evening, or sometimes Saturday morning, until Sunday evening  (from bing dictionary)

Today is Saturday.  It’s the weekend.  It’s practically universal that those who are grieving struggle through the long, empty space that is the weekend.  Especially for those of you who have been caregivers for any length of time.  The empty space, the extra (lots and lots of extra) time can feel so intensely lonely.  What to do with all that space?

My usual recommendation in the beginning of the grief is to allow yourself some time to marinate in the emotionality of the experience.  Allow time to think and to cry and to remember.  Talk to your supportive friends and family, share stories, look through photos. It’s painful, but necessary.  Avoiding the pain, emotion and thoughts of the grief only make it last longer.  Grief waits.  It will bubble up if you keep stuffing it down.  So let it out.

Go for walks or simply go outside and breath some fresh air – no matter the weather, no matter where you live.  Sometimes just filling your lungs and letting some light shine on your face will help.  Walk around your driveway or backyard or block.  You don’t need to run a marathon, just get the blood flowing for a few minutes.

Take breaks from the grief.  Yes, I know I just said to marinate in it, but it’s also healthy to take breaks from it.  Watch an old, silly movie.  Give yourself permission to enjoy life – even for just the length of that movie.  Laugh with a friend.  Spend time with small children.  Read something funny or pleasant.  Go window-shopping.  Do something creative:  paint/crochet/knit/play music.  Play games on the computer.  Allow your brain to disconnect from the grief for a time.

Do something kind for someone else.  Volunteer somewhere that interests you.  Make a donation.  Knit preemie or chemo hats.  Bring soup to a sick neighbor.  One small act of kindness can warm your own heart.

Translation:  weekends stretch before us when we’re grieving.  Fill it in whatever way works for you – hopefully utilizing some of the healthy recommendations above.  Small, simple things can make a huge difference.

What are some ways you have filled the empty space that is the weekend?

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