A Vacation from Grief

By Jennifer Shontz, LSCSW, LCSW, Grief Support Specialist

It’s summertime! A time for the buzzing of the cicadas, the smell of cut grass, baseball and of course, vacations.

Vacations allow us the opportunity to get away from our day-to-day routines, to rest, retreat and renew our energies. Sometimes we go alone and sometimes with people we trust and care about. But is it possible to take a vacation in the midst of grief? Will we really be able to leave our grief behind, or will it come with us on our travels, packed snugly in our suitcase like an unwelcome guest, demanding our attention?

What IS possible is to take a vacation from the hard work of grieving; to catch your breath and allow the crashing waves of grief to become ripples, if only for a while. You can allow yourself a “time-out” in which to appreciate the beauties of nature, listen to soothing music, spend time in prayer or contemplation or engage in a physical activity you enjoy. Or you can choose to indulge yourself by sleeping late, laughing and not feeling guilty for the laughter, or putting the “to do” list aside and doing something you enjoy just because you enjoy it.

Be creative and choose a vacation that is custom-made just for you. You are the best travel agent because you know best what your limitations, preferences and needs are. But it’s also okay to ask for help or for a companion to travel with you. You just have to ask. This summer, why not take a vacation for a week, a day, a moment? Travel in the car, on the train, in your imagination or in the peacefulness of your heart. You deserve it!

When you come back, your grief may be waiting for you. But when you unpack, just maybe you’ll have more room in your suitcase for something new and surprising. Have a safe, pleasant and restful journey. We’ll see you when you get back!


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