Ways to Find Solace in the Face of Grief

Steps to Solace
Steps to Solace

I came across this list-to-self which I wrote not long after my father died in 2010. It has served me well and I hope it can be of some use to at least one other person in the whole world who is struggling to cope with the death of a loved one.

I would be delighted with additions to the list, if you feel you can contribute. 

Finding Solace in the Face of Grief

  1. Read Wordsworth’s Poem, The Daffodils.
  2. Look at Monet’s paintings
  3. Listen to music
  4. Go for a walk
  5. Think of your happiest childhood memory
  6. Close your eyes and imagine you feel a purple butterfly land on your shoulder
  7. Eat a passion fruit
  8. Go for a swim in the ocean
  9. Listen to the birds at dawn
  10. Watch a river gliding under a bridge
  11. Make a list of your favourite movies
  12. Write a list  of the 10 people whom you admire most and why
  13. Sow some seeds to give promise of colour
  14. Plant a scented shrub in the garden
  15. See the love in a dog’s eyes when you pet him or her
  16. Have a bath with a few drops of lavender oil
  17. Feel a handmade chocolate melt in your mouth
  18. Read a book of Humorous Quotations
  19. Write about a happy time spent with the person who has died
  20. Share your feelings with someone who truly cares about you.
Gateway to Inner Peace
Gateway to Inner Peace

The Leveller

Death the Leveller by James Shirley (1596-1666) is a poem I learned at school and it seems to simmer away in my subconscious. It really came to the boil, though, last Friday when I went for my weekly visit to Mount Congreve Garden.

I went there straight after the funeral of Tawdy Morrissey, the Man of the Road, whom I wrote about here over the weekend.  I knew that Mount Congreve, with its incredible natural beauty, would soothe my sadness.

It transpired that the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, had been visiting Mount Congreve while Tawdy’s funeral was taking place. I have huge admiration for Michael D. who happens to be a sociologist and poet, as well as being President. Needless to say, our commonalities always makes me feel like we are virtual soul mates!

I was thrilled that the President had seen Mount Congreve in all her glory and I knew that he would have loved Tawdy if he had been fortunate enough to know him.

So, Mount Congreve presented herself  to me as a place which completely united two men from opposite ends of the spectrum ~ two men well versed in the meaning of life and to whom these lines from Death the Leveller would have definitely resonated:

The garlands wither on your brow,
Then boast no more your mighty deeds!
Upon Death’s purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds.
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb:
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.

Here’s a glimpse of the beauty that caught my eyes in soothing Mount Congreve on a day when I felt just about every emotion, including sadness, pride, and absolute faith in man’s humanity to man: