Shortly after my father passed away, as my mother and I were standing at his grave replacing the flowers, I realized how my mother's health had been affected by the loss.
The grief of losing someone you love so much is palpable. It affects not just emotional and mental health, but physical health, as well. Numerous studies have shown that the survivor in the relationship is likely to develop health problems in the weeks and months that follow.
In fact, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that individuals who had lost a spouse or partner were more likely to have a heart attack or stroke within the next 30 days. My mother suffered from a series of TIAs only a month after Dad passed away. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for revving up the body’s fight-or-flight response, and her's took flight.
So, what can we do to prevent our own catastrophic response after the loss of a loved one?
First and foremost, focus on yourself. Trust me, I know how important it is to mourn, and I encourage it. But, I can also say from my own experiences, "Don't forget about your own needs during this stressful time in your life."
And, as always, I encourage you to take up a hobby or pick up where you left off with a hobby you already had going. As you know, my hobby is crafting - actually all things homemade. Follow the link below (click on The Crafting Sistas) to learn how to make this beautiful sea glass mosaic and I hope you enjoy learning about the messages sometimes left behind by our loved ones.