Living and being alive is a gift which we tend not to fully appreciate because let’s face it, as humans the habit of gratitude is not inbuilt its a continuous, never-ending work in progress. Sometimes it takes a challenge or a life-changing situation to make us realize that it is indeed a blessing to be alive or MAYBE NOT! The death of a loved one is one of life’s curveballs that makes us question our existence and also makes us unappreciative(at least at the beginning) and this is because we really do not understand it and we are left with unanswered questions. for some losing a loved one means the end of life as they know it.
Moving on after losing a loved one is hard, trust me I know how you feel, I have been there. You will feel different emotions such as hurt, anger, sadness, helplessness, intense pain, distress and so on. It doesn’t matter if the death was sudden or expected overtime you will still feel a sense of loss because no amount of time can prepare you for the death of a loved one. You will have questions such as why your loved one? why do bad things happen to good people? Why is the world full of injustice? why can’t money buy life? You might question your faith and feel anger towards God and the world at large, at least that’s how I felt, you might even think you can’t possibly go on without your loved one. You will also wish you did things differently or spent more time with your loved one before he/she died.
The truth is that though you are overwhelmed by emotions of loss, it won’t last, you will be able to breathe again and not feel like the world has come crashing down on you. These feelings might linger but it won’t remain overwhelming. It is absolutely possible to move on and live again after losing a loved one, Trust time to dull the pain.
A Few Tips to help you move on after losing a loved one
- ACCEPTANCE We all react differently to the news of a loved one’s death, you might find yourself in limbo and your brain might even refuse to accept or process the death of your loved one. I remember vividly when my mum passed my brother at first didn’t accept it, he tried putting his faith to work by praying and laying of hands so she can come back to life, and this I believe is normal as we hear if such miracles every now and then, besides if he didn’t try he probably would still be saying/thinking to himself that maybe if he had done that she might have lived. For some, acceptance that a loved one is no more takes longer than a day it might even span into months or years. However hard it is, the first step to healing/moving on after losing a loved one is acceptance. Acceptance is not a betrayal and should not make you feel guilty, it also doesn’t mean you forget about that loved one, it’s choosing to Live again even though you don’t understand it all and remember what doesn’t kill you should make you stronger!!
- CRY, CRY, CRY – Please do not try to be strong when you are not, do not bottle up your emotions, you need to let it out and it doesn’t matter your gender, please crying is not for only women. Crying in this instance is a form of grieving for that loved one who you know is never coming back. Allow the tears to come because you aren’t going to cry those tears forever trust me. In fact, a time will come when you will look for those tears but you won’t find it except on rare occasions maybe when a memory is triggered. “Although its funny as I recall it now even though it wasn’t back then, I remember my mum’s friends who apparently came over at the time to offer their condolences and encourage(d) us to be strong but they ended up crying uncontrollably and we also joined in shedding tears too, looking back I am grateful for that particular moment because we were all able to cry freely without anyone telling us to dry our tears because we had cried too much.” If you are reading this probably because you just lost a loved one, please have a good cry whenever you feel like it, crying and letting out those emotions also help you heal.
- DO NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF – It’s normal/ relatable to want to shut out the world when you face a tragedy such as losing a loved one, however keeping away from people at this period in time is detrimental to your mental health as this can send you into depression. It’s understandable that you might not want to talk/associate with people at the time, you can choose to take a few calls or have people reach you via SMS. Surround yourself with family and a few friends who can be empathic about your grief and feelings. Also, do not stay cooped up indoors for too long, try to step out even if it’s just a five minutes stroll around your neighborhood as this will help you realize that life is a continuous cycle that must or will go on even while you grieve.
- TALK AND SHARE MEMORIES – Do not hold back on talking about or sharing memories of your loved one to those who can relate, it’s difficult at first and you might not be able to share memories without a noticeable break or quiver in your voice but trust me its therapeutic and as time goes by you will recall a memory and even have a good laugh. Talking and sharing memories made me come to the realization that although I can no longer see or hear her every day she lives on in my heart and mind, I see her in my daily life via the mannerisms, decision making and physical attributes of my siblings.
I am a Christian and below are a few Bible verses that I know which can help you when dealing with the loss of a loved one.
JOHN 14: 18 – I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (KJV)
JOHN 16: 7 – Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (KJV).
MATTHEW 5:4 – Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (KJV)
ISAIAH 41:10 Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation]. (AMP)
Hold on to these Bible verses, believe strongly in it and trust God to wrap his arms of love and comfort around you.
I hope that those who truly need this will find it and be encouraged to move on. Are you going through loss or mourning at the moment, need someone to talk to? I am just an email away, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you ever lost a loved one? How did you come out of grieving, what was your coping mechanism? Please let me know in the comment section below .