Loss comes in a variety of ways.
It comes on the morning after your retirement party when you wake up and realize you have no place to be.
It comes after you sell your family home and downsize into a room-for-two condo.
It comes after a divorce, when you find yourself single for the first time in years.
It comes when you face a chronic illness and realize this will be a part of your life from now on.
It comes when a friend or a partner passes away.
All are significant losses. All are also nudges that tell you it’s time for significant change.
Loss and grief can occur at any age, with any life-changing event. While there are many things you can do to bring change into your life, you can never ignore it and hope it goes away. It won’t.
Don’t fake your feelings
Accept your feelings and reflect them in all you do. Don’t hide behind them, isolate yourself and pretend everything is okay. Pushing feelings aside will only make you feel worse over time. It’s an ineffective way of dealing with pain, and can extend your heartache and turn it into more serious, chronic problems.
Grieve what you’ve lost
As a small child, grief is instant. If we lose something, we cry. When bad happens, we let it out. But somewhere along the way we lose that coping ability. We’re taught to “suck it up” and “get over it.” Everything we lose has an impact on our lives. Some things have to be processed over time, going through each phase of the grief process to fully come to terms with it. Make time for it. Let it happen. It’s okay.
Explore your loss
Loss always leads to change. But change is a journey, not a destination. It takes time to discover who you are in the face of this change. It takes soul-searching to apply these new feelings and conditions to your everyday activity. It doesn’t happen overnight. You can learn from everything that happens, every step of the way. Admit that you’re struggling. Admit when you need help. Search out new approaches to what you are feeling – talking with a friend, attending a therapy session, or even reading a book can sometimes help you make headway.
Every end leads to a new experience. Endings bring new beginnings to those involved. Accept what each moment has to offer, and use it to build on who you become.