Issues in Life - Dealing with Loss
At various times in our lives we all have to deal with some form of loss which, from our own personal perspective, seems monumental and something we will never get over. Perhaps the most obvious and inevitable is the death of someone we love.
We are left with the feeling that we have lost part of ourselves.
This can be especially the case on the loss of a partner - someone you have lived your life with, someone with whom you have spent your most intimate moments and someone with whom you shared your deepest feelings. Suddenly you feel you are on your own. All the things that you previously took for granted are now challenges which, given your mental state, you are in no shape to take on.
In many ways life seems pointless with the road that you thought you were traveling having disappeared. And despite all the caring comments from family and friends you find it hard to believe that ‘time is a great healer’ and eventually ‘the pain gets easier’. And that’s understandable because, to an extent everyone feels differently at times like these. There’s no magic universal ingredient to help ease the pain.
It is important to know however that grieving is a process – to know that despite feeling your life is without purpose that the process of grieving is a purpose in itself. The stages of grieving are well enough known, ranging as they do from denial to anger, through guilt and depression to hopefully final acceptance. But the pathway through this process can be unpredictable and distressing. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Trying to hide your feelings so as not to embarrass either yourself or others is certainly not the way. One of the great fears of the bereaved is that over time they might forget their loved one, that if they don’t think about them every day they are in some way betraying their memory. The truth is that their memory does not depend on daily remembrance. Nor does it rely on saving as many of their things as possible. The truth is surely that they can never be forgotten. We carry with us their influence, beliefs and values. They live on in our thoughts and actions and ultimately give us permission to live the rest of our lives knowing that their life made a real and indelible difference to ours.
Related articles from our experts
- When you are grieving, what 'letting go' really means
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- Wishing life away...What would happen if we really did live everyday as if it could be our last?
Jennifer Jowles BSc (hons) Psych, Dip. Couns, Registered MBACP13th October, 2016
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