I Know It's Here Somewhere

Ann Leach, Life Coach and grief specialist, describes the inherent loss of memory, confusion and loss of focus grief brings our way when a loved one dies. She provides some simple things you can do to help you regain a sense of control.

by Ann Leach

It's not often that I feel what I've been feeling of late: antsy and pressured and fuzzy. It seems I have lost my focus! I know that it is right here in my head, but I'll be darned if I can see much of it today.

Maybe it's the heat, or the car-buying decision or the fact that I am pressuring my self to complete a ton of work before July 1, as if that is some magical time that the Gods have deemed I must be complete with projects.  I'm used to deadlines, so that can't be it.

Sometimes it pays to stop worrying if the planets are aligned or your hair looks okay or if the sky will fall, and just stop, take stock of where you're at and adjust.  So, that's what I am doing and I have found some things that have helped me cope with the loss of focus:

Greet the day with a morning ritual.  It may be journaling your intention ns for the day, prayer and meditation or a short Bible study.  Whatever helps you prepare for your day, do it regularly.  Some clients who have grieved the loss of their loved ones have enjoyed re-reading the sympathy cards and notes they have received.  One client said it brought her comfort to remember the love that was around her.

Get up and out.  A walk around the neighborhood helps you shake off the antsy feeling.  At first thought this was just one of many versions of procrastination, but now I know it is a necessity.  Try it daily and without any ear phones blasting music, just you and the birds.

Breathe deeply.  Taking some time to stand up and take some really deep, lung-filling breaths to center me more than anything else.  And we so often forget to do that.  It is especially hard to remember when you're truly grieving and it's often hard to do through the tears, but try it, it's like a natural stop sign for your physical self.

Do what there is to do today.  Not tomorrow or the next day, but right now.  Make a list and check off the first item and then the next and the next.  The rest will be waiting or you can ask for help to complete it all.  Employers, community organizations and friends understand that grief changes you for awhile and they'll help however they can.

Give thanks.  It doesn't have to be turkey time to stop and give thanks for the good around you.  It may be a challenge when loss is so fresh, but by taking 5 minutes at the end of the  day to mentally list the good around you that day, can help calm you and give hope.

When you need to get on track, it is sometimes the little things we do that make it the easiest.  There, I'm feeling better already!  I hope you are too.

Ann Leach is a life coach, freelance writer, publisher of In the Flow, a bi-monthly publications that supports, nudges and informs families and professional caregivers. She is the director of Life Preservers: a global grief support community.  She is a certified grief recovery specialist and founded the Cancer Support Network when living in Illinois, where she facilitated support groups for those living with cancer and AIDS and their caregivers.

As an only child, Ann lost both parents to cancer and, by the time she was twelve years of age, had lost every mail in her life through death.  Ann's experiences with loss have shaped her approach to life, causing her to celebrate each moment and explore what's truly important for her life.  She started Life Preservers as a way to support others doing the same and to have a global impact on how our current society views death and the emotions associated with it.

You can learn more about Ann and her organization's outreach by visiting


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