A Daily Plan for Healing Grief and Reconnecting with a Departed Loved One

Recovering from grief is a day-by-day, one-foot-in front-of-the-other process. If you’re ready to start feeling better, this daily plan will get you there. Please give this routine at least three weeks—no matter how hard it may seem in the beginning. At the end of three weeks, you’ll feel happier and more hopeful about your future. Your sadness will lighten, and your life force will strengthen. Follow this schedule for one month and you’ll feel revitalized and energized. Or use it when you’re going through a rough patch to renew your spirit.

5:00 am: Wake Up Early and Pray

When the sun comes up, there’s a surge of energy that allows you to reenter the physical realm feeling revitalized after journeying to the higher realms in your dreams. And it’s been said that the angels begin praying each morning at 5:00 am, and that you can tap into their powerful healing energy if you join them. When you’re grieving, sleeping past sunrise makes your waking-up process more emotionally painful. Set your alarm for no later than 6:00 am or whenever the sun comes up. Sit up and immediately do the Break Your Heart Wide Open Meditation below.

 The Break Your Heart Wide Open Meditation

This is a powerful way to release grief and begin to heal. This practice will make you feel better from the first day you try it. I’ve used it many times in my life and it has helped hundreds of my grieving clients.

  1. Start each morning with a 10- to 20-minute meditation. During this meditation, quiet your mind with mantra or prayer repetition. I repeat the ancient mantra Om Namah Shivaya, a Sanskrit phrase meaning “I bow to the divine self.” Or you can repeat the Lord’s Prayer.
  2. Whenever your thoughts wander into your meditation, gently bring your focus back to the mantra.
  3. At the end of the meditation, when your mind has settled down, ask to fully feel and release the pain in your heart. Hold an open palm, facing upwards, in front of your heart. Focus your attention on the heart, take several deep breaths, and allow yourself to experience your grief deeply. Cry if you need to.
  4. Picture the pain moving from your heart and into your upward-facing palm. Move the palm out and away from you and then above, towards the heavens. Say, “I release this pain for my highest good and transform it into love.” Imagine your tears carrying the pain away from you and up to the highest realms. Say, “Please, divine guides, take this pain from my heart and burn it up for me.”
  5. If you’re ready to feel the presence of your departed loved one, say: “Good morning. I miss you. I love you.” Ask: “Do you have any guidance for me?” Listen and write down any messages, feelings, or images you receive. You can say, “I feel angry, sad, and hurt that you left me and I need help releasing these feelings so I can move on. Please help me.”
  6. Repeat this meditation again at the end of the day before going to sleep. By starting and ending each day with this process, your grief will soon dissolve, and you’ll find the energy to move forward with your life.

6:00 am: Move Your Chi

Waking up to meditate and then exercise will prime your chi, or life force, in such a way that your grief will soon feel lighter. Studies show that 30 minutes of daily exercise is more effective at curing depression than prescription medication. This potent combination of early morning meditation and exercise will open you up to experience joy again.

When my husband died, I signed up for a 5:00 am exercise class a few blocks from my house at a local recreation center. It was so difficult to drag myself out of bed (I wasn’t sleeping well). And I didn’t manage it every morning. But when I did, I always returned home feeling exhilarated and ready to have a good day.

When you first experience loss, you may not even feel up to leaving the house. That’s fine. Start at home. Buy an exercise DVD or find an exercise class on your local cable TV channel.

Wake up early, meditate, get out of bed, drink water, and do your 30-minute exercise program. You can start with moderate exercise. Just get your four limbs moving—whether it’s dancing, yoga, or tai chi.

You need to move your body to get the life force flowing again. Life force is the antidote to grief and depression. Exercising first thing in the morning enhances your energy for the rest of the day. Physical movement starts your day with a boost of endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Exercising at the end of your day releases stress and helps you sleep better. But to start your day off right, meditate as soon as you awaken, followed immediately by 30 minutes of exercise.

When you begin to feel better, add 30 minutes of walking or running to your midday routine. You can do this on your lunch break. It raises your energy and helps you get through the afternoon.

Eventually, you may want to join a group class or a fitness club. Exercising with a class will help you feel connected to others. Don’t expect yourself to get to the gym five days a week. It just won’t happen consistently. Life intervenes. Start with 30 minutes of exercise in your living room in front of a DVD. Going to the fitness club two or three times a week is a perfect addition to that, and will help you feel a sense of community.

7:00 am: Feed Your Chi

When we’re in pain, we seem to be drawn to eat comfort foods like mac and cheese, or sweets like ice cream. We think those foods will make us feel better. But they really only deplete our energy. When we’re grieving, we need to treat our bodies as if we’re recovering from a physical illness. Indeed, you have been physically traumatized by your loss, and eating unhealthy comfort food now will only deplete you and make you feel worse.

Healing grief requires boosting your immune system and enhancing your life force. Eat a healthy, whole-foods diet, including supplements if needed. To lift your spirit, you might want to try Bach flower remedies (such as Rescue Remedy and Beech) or rose and lemon essential oils.

12:00 pm: Have a Chat with Your Departed

In your morning meditation, explain to your departed that you’d like to check in with them again at noon and later at 6:00 pm. This helps you release your need to think about them throughout the day—knowing that you’ll connect at a later time.

At the appointed time, you can say, “Hey, I’m checking in to say hello. Do you have any guidance for me? What should I do about such and such…”

Listen for their end of the conversation. Write down any ideas or insights that come to you. Do this again around dinnertime (6:00 pm).

After a few months of doing this, you’ll feel less of a need for daily connection with your departed. You’ll simply know it’s time to let go, and that will feel okay with you. You’ll know that whenever you need to talk, your loved one will find you.

You may think that your loved one has moved on to the higher realms or has incarnated back into this realm. This is not your concern. Time and space are not linear and we have a very limited understanding of how time works. The quantum physicists say that time and space are all happening at once. Your loved one can be in a higher realm or even another lifetime, and still connect with you here and now.

If your departed left you years ago, and you’ve suddenly hit a wave of grief, this is probably because of a new loss occurring in your life, such as the end of a relationship or the loss of a job. Use this opportunity to reconnect with your departed and get fresh guidance for this reinvention point in your life.

2:00 pm: Midafternoon Energy Boost

We usually hit an energy slump around midafternoon. This is when we’re most tempted to eat sweets for a quick boost. But a sugar high can cause an energy crash later on. Instead, try something different. How about doing afternoon energy experiments to raise your vibration level and promote well-being in your life?

Instead of a snack, practice wild forgiveness and random gratitude toward office mates or people you interact with. Tell a co-worker something about herself that you’re grateful for. Walk up to someone with whom you’ve experienced negative energy in the past and send fearless love and forgiveness their way. Look them in the eye and tell them something wonderful and true about themselves. Call a family member with whom you’ve had a strained relationship. Tell them how awesome they are and wrap them in forgiveness.

Feeling gratitude and forgiveness toward others will enhance your own energy and feed your soul. It will take the focus away from your pain and open your heart, which is essential for healing.

6:00: Evening Meditation to Release Grief

Around 6:00 pm, or whenever the sun sets, there’s another energy shift that you can use to tap into the energy of prayer and connect to your departed.

Find a quiet space to sit in meditation. Close your eyes and repeat Om Namah Shivaya or the Lord’s Prayer. Repeat those sacred words/sounds for 10 to 20 minutes without getting up or opening your eyes.

When you notice your mind wandering, gently bring your focus back to the words you’re repeating.

Hold your open palm facing upwards in front of your heart chakra. Ask to feel your sadness. Experience it in your body. If you’re able to cry, release the pain through your tears.

With the palm facing upwards, imagine placing your pain and sadness into your hand. Move the palm out and away from you and then upward. Say, “I release this pain for my highest good and for all those who suffer.” Then say, “Thank you for helping me today. I’m open to any guidance.”

Write down any ideas or insights that come to you. Then get up and go about your evening routine.

10:00 pm: Prepare for Sleep by Reconnecting Again with Your Loved One

Before going to sleep, say prayers or do your evening meditation. Close your eyes and repeat Om Namah Shivaya or the Lord’s Prayer for 10 to 20 minutes without getting up or opening your eyes.

When you notice your mind wandering, gently bring your focus back to the words you’re repeating. Say, “Please, divine guides, take this pain from my heart and burn it up for me.”

When you’re ready to feel the presence of your departed loved one, say, “Thank you. I felt you with me today. I’d be grateful if you could help me heal while I sleep.”

Find out about upcoming programs with Sue Frederick at Kripalu.

Excerpted with permission from Bridges to Heaven:True Stories of Loved Ones on the Other Side, © 2013, by Sue Frederick.

Sue Frederick is the best-selling author of Bridges to Heaven: True Stories of Loved Ones on the Other Side, The Happiness of Longing, and I See Your Dream Job.

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