It seems a natural reaction to tragedy that you find yourself feeling helpless and weak. Feelings of uselessness and ineptitude plague every corner of the mind and body. The precipice of depression is littered with the feeling of powerlessness. It is a double-edged sword that at the same time helps push you over the edge of sorrow and keeps you rooted to the spot unable to move - even if to save yourself.
I found myself there. Looking at the vista of sorrow that lay before me. I felt weak as if a dementor from Harry Potter had been sent to follow me around draining every thought of hope and happiness. Sucking me dry until my very soul was at risk (if you haven't read the books please do this is a perfect allegory). I thought of the wrongly accused character in said series, Sirius Black. Forced to live for years with dementors sucking every ray of hope before it had a chance to shine. What kept him sane was the knowledge of his innocence. It wasn't a happy thought - so the dementors could take that from him - it was a source of strength.
I decided to perform my own patronus charm (ok if you haven't read the books or seen the movie just stop here because the whole article is going to reference this). My shield against the soul-sucking sadness that washed over me from grief. I felt weak. So I would do what I needed to do to feel strong.
It is a law of physics that opposites attract. Sometimes to their own detriment. However, it does seem to work on an alchemical level that doing the antithesis of something can bring balance. So I started lifting weights. For 5 months after the worst thing happened, and I found myself gazing out at that valley of sadness trying to pull myself back from the cliff's edge.
So the big question - did it work? Yes and no. Having goals, having things that motivate you to get and get going. Having data to reference as proof of your diligence. Metrics that show improvement of the body if not the soul. Like Sirius' knowledge of his innocence, my knowledge of my growing strength of body helped fortify my strength of mind.
As I shared last week in the Giving Thanks in Grief your grief doesn't actually get smaller. However, this did help my world get bigger and find balance. Nothing will be a "fix". There is no magic time turner that Hermonie can fling around my neck to transport me back to before my loss. I am left only with the reality of what is and how to try and find balance in the sadness and loss.
So my advice is to lean into this law of attraction. Find some balance by embracing the theory of opposites. If you feel weak do what you can to feel strong. If you feel powerless make strides to bring power into your everyday. And read Harry Potter for fucks sake.