Grief is a journey requiring time and an open mind as we grasp the significance of our life, both before our loss and for what lays ahead.
There will be moments when we acutely feel the need of understanding and comfort, and if we can be open to those moments, we will be rewarded with not only comfort but a greater understanding of life itself.
When I was healing from the losses of my husband and then my son, I was writing and working with others on similar journeys.
As I read, studied, and took additional training about healing from loss as a therapist, a book written by Linda Richman captured my attention. We seldom think of humor as important when grieving, but it not only is relevant and but can be instrumental in our healing process.
In her book, “I’d Rather Laugh: How to Be Happy Even When Life Has Other Plans for You,” Linda Richman tells her story of pain from the losses in her life, culminating in the loss of her young son and working through that tragedy with humor.
You have grieved, accepted, let go and are now ready to put your energy into making plans for the future.
Before making any major long-term goals, some preliminary questions can help you avoid a lot of wasted time and energy. Some of those questions include identifying your strengths and weaknesses.
Have you given thoughtful consideration to what you would like to do in the future and what obstacles or barriers you may encounter?
Starting over is never easy.
When we started out in life, it seemed there was a more defined path to follow: going to college, establishing a career, getting married, starting a family, etc. Somehow it was easier to coordinate all the pieces and move in the direction we wanted to go.
There are many layers connected to the loss of someone you loved. It isn’t just the person we grieve; it is everything associated with the life we shared: the fun times, meals together, the friends we associated with, and the sharing of everyday life. There were times of serious discussions or debates around differences.
It was knowing that someone was there who shared your life, even when there was no conversation or when one of you was away from home for long periods of time. It is that comfortable resting spot of knowing you are not alone even when apart – that familiarity that complements and completes both lives. You planned together, fought together, and considered options for your future together. You bounced ideas off each other for almost every aspect of living.
Grieving was some of the hardest work I have ever done. When my husband died after forty-two years of marriage, I looked for resources to help me through the process. The books available at that time were either too clinical or singular in purpose, such as memoirs.
We have come a long way from those days when the focus was simply on getting people through the early days and months after a loss. It is now recognized that grieving includes the need to focus on how to rebuild your life.
Losses are Part of Life
Throughout our lifetime we will experience losses. Most are small or minor; we negotiate the change and move on, such as typical life changes. We might feel sad about what we are giving up but are looking forward to what the future holds.
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