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Guitar Lessons For Recovery: Move Your Focus From The Pain You Suffer Onto The Needs of Others

By Tracy Renee Lee

October 12, 2023

My brother lost his wife in January of this year. She died from Breast Cancer. He misses her so much, but he is doing well. His recovery is moving along in a healthy direction and time frame. One thing that my brother is not suffering from is Depression. “Depression is not a normal part of grief; it is a complication that interferes with recovery and raises the risk of serious illness.”

Right after my sister-in-law died, my brother began having chest pains. Because grief can cause physical pain, we thought it was pain related to his loss. After a few months, he eventually saw his Cardiologist. It came to light that his heart was out of Arrhythmia. His doctor scheduled a corrective procedure, and we were instructed to keep him from getting excited and suffering from grief until his appointment.

This is where we became concerned that delaying his grief experience might lead to Depression. We took precautions to avoid this and keep his recovery moving forward in a positive trajectory.

On the scheduled day, my husband took my brother to his doctor’s office for his procedure, and the doctor discovered that my brother required immediate open-heart surgery. My husband went with my brother to a different part of the hospital, and my brother was admitted into the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

After surgery, my brother came to stay at my home during his convalescence. Again, the doctor expressed the importance of my brother delaying his grief experience, making complications even more likely.

My brother seemed to be recovering very well, but a few weeks ago, he noticed some difficulties. He went back to see his doctor, and his heart was again suffering from Arrhythmia. His doctor scheduled a procedure, which took place last week. My brother is feeling very well, and his heart is normalizing.

Now that my brother’s heart seems to be healthier, he can handle his grief recovery much better. He has moments of sadness but has incorporated new strategies to cope and swing away from Depression. He has focused on a new venture. He teaches guitar lessons on YouTube:

His YouTube venture takes up most of his time. This time invested in an activity that he enjoys and excels in is an excellent strategy for recovery. My brother and his wife used to have a band that visited nursing homes to spread cheer through music. This new activity is an extension of that mission. My brother continues to play at nursing homes, but he has added another service to his lifelong goal of serving others.

If you are suffering loss, I hope you will be able to find something that you love to do that allows you to facilitate your recovery while serving others. Service helps to ward off feelings of loneliness and Depression. Service is one of the best things you can do for grief recovery.

It moves your focus from the pain you suffer onto the needs of others.

This redirection of focus brings progress to your life and allows your heart, mind, and efforts to carry your soul back to a meaningful and peaceful existence.

Service will not shrink the significance of your loss; it merely shrinks your focus on that loss.

Shrinking your focus shrinks your pain.

“Your focus of mind paired with your actions of service, work in concert to enlarge your ability to experience joy and peace once again.

With that in mind, service should be your go-to treatment for recovery.”

Investing in an activity that allows you to serve others and memorialize the legacy of your loved one is an excellent strategy for grief recovery. I am happy my brother has found such a wonderful tribute to his wife.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), Published Author, Syndicated Columnist, Podcaster and Founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, Podcasts, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and Recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award.

It is my life’s work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

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