The depth of a cut is directly related to the length of time it takes to heal – and so it is with loss in our lives. Loss comes in so many varieties. The loss of a child, a loved one, a beloved pet, a job, security, our health and even changes in our living arrangements are just a few examples of life changing experiences that involve loss – the letting go of the familiar and moving into unseen territory. Most often we don’t ask for this change and are dumbstruck when it appears in our life. We question ourselves, ‘What could I have done differently to prevent this from happening?’ The truth is…nothing…’All is as it should be’ as difficult as that sounds, I know it to be truth.
For many loss is debilitating. They want to know the what, how, and whys regarding the loss. By seeking more information they hope to discover a hidden nugget that will help them reach a deeper understanding and feel somewhat more in control. There are times, however, that trying to unearth more facts just delays the healing process. When folks are unable to move through the stages of grief or change and mentally demand that things be what they once were we need to be there for them.
It may take a lifetime to wrestle with and finally resolve the changes that have happened to you in your life. You may think to yourself, ‘Life is not fair.’ I get it, I have been there with the loss of my son. I can tell you that given enough time and a desire to heal, heal you will – one small step at a time. Your loved one would want you to heal by remembering the good times and the love that you shared.
The losses in our life are meant to teach us something. The challenge is to discover what the lesson is for you and only you can figure it out. What is the absolute most difficult thing you are dealing with in your mind regarding the loss or change? Discovering our lessons and then actually learning them takes a lifetime. There is no short cut in the journey. We do need to remember to be kind to ourselves along the way.
The importance of finding someone you can talk to cannot be overstated. Think of it this way, if you were bleeding profusely you would need someone to help you stop the flow. Well, in dealing with the tragic loss of a loved one, for instance, you are bleeding profusely – it’s just on the inside – and not as easy to stop the flow. You may need help along the way. Be brave enough to seek help and remember, when the student is ready the teacher comes along.
Talking to a good friend, family member or mental health professional is a positive way to start digging yourself out of the emotional abyss that can result from a loss. Verbalizing your feelings, getting the anger and denial out is like putting a soothing ointment on a cut. It will still take time to heal but the process will be less painful along the way.
If you know of someone who has experienced a loss or change recently and are having difficulty working through it please be there for them. Often they will not ask but will receive your emotional support as if it were a lifeline thrown out to them in choppy waters. They will be forever grateful. We can all make it through this life if we just hold on to each other and know that when life seems the darkest there is always someone who will come into our life to help light the way to our tomorrows.
Be that light, that friend, that loved one who steps up and says, ‘I’m here for you – for now and for always.’ You’ll be glad you did!
Have a great few days!