Coping with your loss

We have all experienced many losses throughout our lives.  Sometimes we are not accustomed to the emotional upheaval that accompanies it.  If the loss was deep and traumatic, it will have changed your life forever.  Your whole world will never be the same.   We can experience a wide array of emotions from not caring and being on edge, to feeling angry and sad about everything. One minute you can feel okay, then in the next moment you can feel devastated without warning. If we did not go back and forth emotionally, we would never have the strength to find peace in our loss.  Tears are one of the many ways we can release our sadness and help us to heal.

Grief can be unmatched for its emptiness and profound sadness.  Your whole world can suddenly stop.  No one can give you the words to make you feel better.  Your loss is very personal and stands alone in its meaning to you in its own unique pain.  You think you want to avoid the grief, but really it is the pain of the loss you want to avoid.  The process of grieving can be a lonely experience.  Sometimes you think you do not have the tools to overcome the pain.  Your friends are not sure how to help you or what to say to comfort you.

Grieving allows a part of you to say goodbye when you do not want to say goodbye.  This expression is a natural experience when confronted with loss of any kind.  Repress your grief and you will open the door to depression.  Grieving helps you to cope with your loss and is a healing process of your heart, mind and soul.  It is the path that returns you to wholeness in order to cope with your next loss.  It is not a matter of if you will grieve.  The question is when will you grieve. Until you release the pain, you will suffer the effects of unfinished business and all those things you have not said or done.

There are few people who can say that they do not have any regrets.  In reflection you can always wish you had said or done this and that.  Forgive yourself and allow the regrets to belong in the past.  In most situations doing things differently may have changed the process but it would not have prevented the outcome.  If a major loss has taken place, you know you cannot bring back that loss, nor take away the pain.  Your pain makes others uncomfortable.  Your pain reminds others of their trauma, or how precarious their life is as well.  Turn your pain into a tool and give it a meaningful purpose.

The feelings once expressed will help you to heal.  The time you take to shed the tears and ride the roller coaster of emotional turmoil is unavoidable.  Let go, say goodbye and empty your grief so that the space can be filled with other things.  The intense feelings of pain and despair are a gift that represents a connection you will never forget.  You may say to yourself, ‘how can anything that feels so bad ever help you to heal.’  Upon reflection, as you rebuild your life, you will understand what the gift is that you received.  As the feelings of hope re-emerge, you will readjust to a new routine and a reinvolvement in life. 

The death of a loved one can be especially devastating in the pain you experience. You may grieve forever.  You may never forget, move on or have closure.  The reality is that you may never get over your loss.  You need to mourn the loss you have suffered and release your emotions.  Grieving allows you to live with your loss in your heart and mind and heal the thoughts that created the pain.  Grieving allows you to rebuild your life without your beloved and to treasure the joyful memories in a new way.  It now means you are experiencing the full cycle of life from birth through to death.  Like two threads in a tapestry, this will not be the last time you will cross paths with your beloved, nor was it the first.

Whatever the level of loss you experience, you need to give yourself some timeout from your thoughts and feelings.  Find out what rests your emotions.  It may be spending some time with friends, support groups or your religious faith.  Maybe things like the movies, music or travel can help ease your pain.  Or you may feel like going for walks or just having nothing to do to help heal your body, mind and spirit.  Be cautious with relationships that have lots of emotions. Relationships, just like everything else needs time out to repair. 

As you cope with your loss and regain strength, you will begin to feel like you are not going to fall apart.  The moments of feeling healed will become more frequent but it does not mean you will forget.  Periodically you will revisit the pain of your loss.  As you begin to accept things as they are, you will acknowledge that your life has changed forever.  Know, experience and feel that you will be whole again, but you will never be the same.  Nor should you be the same, nor do you want to be the same, ever again.

What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
— Helen Keller
Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.
— Earl Grollman
If you’re going through hell, keep going.
— Winston Churchill
There’s a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out.
— Lou Reed