In the world of computers and other digital tech systems, the Alpha chips are always outperforming its predecessors and pushing the envelope in performance and architecture in microprocessors.  In the world of finance and investments, a high alpha indicates that the stock or mutual fund has performed better than others of its type within its market. When we think or speak of healing from grief and loss, we definitely want to react better than what would be predicted.  To maximize our inner happiness, peace, and empowerment, the alphas of grief healing must be the first order of preference in our actions and decisions.

Certainly, unbearable grief and sorrow bring volatility into our lives.  Unwanted and often unexpected pain from loss happens. This highlights how even a simple or well-organized life can become volatile.  To stop the constant grieving and start the process of healing, one must first arrange the preference of best alpha actions.

  Please remember, Alpha is the highest level in a group or the best.  An illustration of alpha is when it is used to describe a dog that is the front-runner of the pack – all others follow the Alpha’s lead.  As I change pronouns to speak only to you for a moment, think to yourself, what alpha actions should you be choosing to lead you from sorrow and misery toward happiness, peace and a more fulfilling life?  Here are some top-notch thoughts to consider:

You Can’t Have Your Old Life Back!  That mournful condition may cause you to want your old life back.  Nonetheless, horrendous grief happenings change your life forever. The hard reality is that you can’t have your old life back.  The quicker you accept your new condition and try to deal with the “new you” the sooner healing may begin.

Don’t Let Others or Your Condition Define You!  Have you been thinking about the resolve and daily purpose necessary to make your ‘new me’ – your new life – peaceful and happy? What about identifying the conditions that are temporary and the ones that will remain permanent?  Transforming your overwhelming grieving feelings into opportunities and possibilities really do depend on your attitude.  You have the power to decide.  Choose the attitudes: “No one can do that for me.  I am someone who has value, and that value is up to me.  There is power in: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.  Yes, sometimes I do have to fake it until I make it.  I will not let my condition or others define me.”  You decide!

   Personal Power!  The concept of Personal Power is not necessarily about muscle strength, or selfishness or self-centeredness.  Personal power is about heart and mind.  It is about your declared actual intentions, your willingness and determination to do something, to trust the power that lives inside of you.  Personal power is the source of anything and everything you do.  It comes first then everything follows.  Learning to tap your personal power to create your happiness is your challenge.

Empowerment Within!  You need to take the attitude: “I alone must learn to cope with my adversity.  Feeling sorry for myself doesn’t change the challenge.  There are times when I am sad and angry, but I soon learn I waste my time being either.  I choose to begin to dwell on the fact that I have others who love and care about me and I have an inner strength that I can rely upon.”  This is your task and requires you to dig deep into your soul to reach it.

 Hibernation!  You may need a brief hiatus to think about what you will do and must do. However, it should be short.  You can’t hibernate and expect to awake in the spring and find your grief gone.  A brief detour of sorrow may be required, but only take the time to decide on a healing course of action.  Don’t wait until tomorrow to wake up and act.

Healing Reconciliation!  Severe grief never completely goes away.  You solve your pain by reconciling it to bring happiness forward – this pushes your sorrow aside.  Healing is in the reconciliation of your grief and loss into harmony with the grieving you experience.  Make every effort to seize all the moments of every day to overcome loss, grief, and sorrow by choosing to be happy about something, finding peace within or about something, and to laugh or smile at every opportunity.

Now!  Choose your alpha.  Why wait until tomorrow, next week or next month.  The present is the best time to choose your alpha action and the time for you to begin healing. The NOW is your challenge!  You cannot bring back your old life as if you were rereading an old email.  Although in your grief it’s hard to do so, you must accept your current circumstance.  Choose your alpha action today.  Begin now!

In conclusion, I would like to shift back to plural pronouns.  You are not by yourself in this difficult journey.  Others are struggling with you or have struggled with the same strains of adjusting to life after death!  We need each other.  We are not alone!  So take the risk and reach out to family, friends, minister, priest, rabbi or even a crazy chaplain like myself.  We are here for you to encourage you as you journey through the valley of the shadow of life after death.

John T. Catrett, III