Help your loved one find fun and adventure in the grieving process

The words fun and adventure are rarely discussed when someone is grieving. The grieving process can be lonely and filled with a deep sense of loss and sadness for long periods of time. However, the grieving process can also include joy and inspiration.

During the holidays, I had the opportunity to go to Disneyland with my sister to see my niece’s band play. My last trip to Disneyland was over 17 years ago after my mother passed away. As I walked through the park, I was reminded of the joy that going to Disneyland gave me, even when I was in the midst of deep sadness.

My friends took me to Disneyland to help lift my spirits a few weeks after my mother’s funeral. It was hard to imagine having fun while filled with sadness, but when my friends suggested going to Disneyland, I felt like it would be a chance to relax and have some fun.

My mom loved Disneyland and we went there often when I was a kid. Going to Disneyland was not only a way to have fun, it was also a way to connect with my mother through a shared passion for the happiest place on earth.

We had a magical day. We loosen up, have fun and just enjoy the sun and the rides. It was a tremendous release!

Taking the time to lift your loved one out of the daily drudgery they experience can be an uplifting gift that they will appreciate. Here are some suggestions on how to start planning an inspiring adventure:

1. What is your comfort level? Each person is unique and so is the journey through the grieving process. When you reach out to a friend to go out into the world, be compassionate about their comfort level. Always include them in the planning process.

2. Find adventures that are fun for them. What do they love to do? What have you always wanted to do? Help them reconnect with life and joy through life’s simple pleasures. Do you love going to the movies? Going to the beach? Walking in the park? Are you going to Disneyland? Have you always wanted to learn to dance? Help them understand that they are allowed to have fun, even when they are grieving.

3. This is not a time to push or demand. Start slow and offer options that move them in a direction of hope and joy. Let them say “no” if they are not ready.

4. Avoid surprises. The grieving process can be overwhelming. Even if your intentions are admirable, surprising someone who is grieving doesn’t give them a chance to back down if they’re not ready or have had a rough day.

5. Start slow and allow them to put one foot in front of the other. In the early stages of the tort, just getting out of bed and going for a walk can be difficult. Each small step forward will help your loved one restore balance in their life.

An uplifting adventure will not remove deep feelings of sadness or heal the hurt your loved one is experiencing. However, it can bring a smile to their faces, open their hearts a bit, and help them start to feel joy again.

Visit our Inspirational Adventure section on our website to read more inspirational stories and share your story.

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