Move–Put it on my Checklist

One of the main things I talk about when I speak for different events is the concept of moving–the importance to do something along the journey of grief, even if it seems small. Sometimes the most significant blessings in our lives are small and ordinary–often the same things we take for granted. I've told many people that I'm thankful to not be in bed with the covers over my head. Moving is my strategy for healing.

A guest from one of my talks shared his own thoughts on the "just move" concept. I feel compelled to share:

As my iPhone alarm goes off, I shudder at facing the world once again and hit the Off switch. I stare at the ceiling, breathing in and out, in hopes that it will give me a sign.. and then my alarm goes off again.  

"You can do it, just sit up, stand, and head to the shower," I whisper out loud to myself, trying to reassure myself just how easy it is. “Come on…  Just move.”
Simple, right? Roll over, sit up, stand up, and walk. I imagine it was purely mindless before losing them, but now it's a game to get out of bed. It's almost like a checklist in my head.  
Breathe… Check!
Out of bed… Check!
Move… Check!
Live… Check! 
Sounds unbelievable, right? I wish it were. Grief has had an impact,–not just for the two weeks after the funeral, but for many years after. Losing someone so essential in your life twists your sense of direction. I have had this “lost” feeling inside of me for nearly eleven years. While being “lost,” I have reacted by moving through life’s twists and turns by just thinking, “Fred move to the next moment.”  
Why?  It's a goal, if I can survive life long enough to get to the next moment, well then why not the next, or the next, or even the moment after that. Moving gives me the means to live my life, while not hinting to others that I'm dying inside. It's an illusion to the world, but in a sense it creates moments that can reshape your destiny. And perhaps even lead you down a new path.
I believe it’s the second step in grief, denial being the first and acceptance being the third. Moving creates the moments in time to figure out your next steps. All of these moments are gathered to re-create the foundation that was literally yanked out from beneath you. Think of it as a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle: It takes forever to put together, and when you think you have it, you realize you are missing a few key pieces.
Moving is not only a way of thinking but an action to deal with grief. Simply put, after my father’s death, I threw myself into working out. Every day it created a distraction from all events in my life. For that hour or so, I was focused on the simple yet mind-numbing aspect of moving. I hated the discipline for so many years until it finally became second nature. Then, three months ago the ability to work out was taken away from me. I was thrown into the “lost” whirlwind again, trying to find a stable place.  It was then that I realized how important moving truly is.  
Sounds kinda crazy, doesn't it? Two weeks ago I had a conversation with my sister-in-law about listening to one of her friends speak about her book “Believe.” She thought it would be great if we would meet and chat. I said yes, but I kept making up excuses in my head not to go. The night of the presentation, I had made it to the parking lot of the event and sat in my car for nearly ten minutes. I wasn't ready to leave, until I shook my head, turned off the car, and whispered, "Just move."

To read more of Fred's writings, please visit his blog at:

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