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Life After Loss

Ughh….experiencing loss sucksss!!! Loss can be experienced in many forms, such as the transition of a loved one, loss of a friendship, the end of a relationship, marriage, etc. Dealing with loss is hard to adjust to and can be painful!

Imagine losing someone that was been a part of your life for years and trying to figure out how to adjust to life without them. Or having a best friend or a significant other that has been a part of your life and is no longer. That can be extremely difficult!

I personally have experienced the loss of my son recently, not biological but I did everything except give birth to him! And I’ve experienced the loss of my dad New Years Day of 2014. Each one of those losses I‘ve grieved differently. With my son, he was taken from me abruptly and I’m honestly still trying to figure out how to cope. There’s days when I get through the day and there’s days when I don’t want to get out of bed. There’s moments when I’m angry, sad, scream, cry, and try to figure out how to adapt to life without him. Then there’s moments when I laugh at the times we had together and I’m ok. Whereas with my dad, I did not go through the grieving process. I’m still at the denial stage, yessss even after all these years! That’s a good example of suppression. I know it’s important to grieve but I’m not sure I’m ready. I don’t know if my mind want to process the fact that I don’t have my daddy, my love, my world, and my whole entire heart!

The end of friendships and relationships can be an adjustment and can also be a grieving process. Of course it’s not like physical death but it’s still a loss. Loss, in any capacity, is a part of life. Learning to adapt is the problem and the “how do I move on” is even a bigger problem! I know there’s talk about the grieving process but most of us live by suppressing. We suppress things that we don’t want to deal with and somehow feel like it’s easier or better to not deal with the issues. We, or maybe I, always seem to convince myself that suppression is the right thing to do. Like who want to deal with grieving and being sad, don’t nobody got time fa dat!! I don’t know anybody who wake up and say “yesss let’s get this grieving process started, I’m excited!” I know the grieving process and being present with your feelings is important to try to begin to move forward. However, it is definitely challenging but I believe it’s attainable. I have to admit that I have been a guilty of suppressing things, not grieving properly, or even at all.

According to, there are 7 stages of grief.

•Shock and denial which is a state of disbelief and numbed feelings.

•Pain and guilt: You may feel that the loss is unbearable and that you’re making other people’s lives harder because of your feelings and needs.

•Anger and bargaining: You may lash out, telling God or a higher power that you’ll do anything they ask if they’ll only grant you relief from these feelings.

•Depression: This may be a period of isolation and loneliness during which you process and reflect on the loss.

•The upward turn: At this point, the stages of grief like anger and pain have died down, and you’re left in a more calm and relaxed state.

•Reconstruction and working through: You can begin to put pieces of your life back together and carry forward.

•Acceptance and hope: This is a very gradual acceptance of the new way of life and a feeling of possibility in the future.

The above-mentioned can also be grieving stages from a breakup or divorce but with different examples. When grieving no one have the same kind of experience. I know some will judge if someone is not grieving according to what THEY feel is “the right way”. Grief is very personal, and you may feel something different day to day. Some people may need weeks to grieve whereas others may need years….and perhaps grieving is a lifelong process. Hopefully it can go from sadness to a little happiness when you think of your loss. I personally have also found that talking to a therapist helps. If you feel you need help coping with your feelings and changes, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to reach out to a mental health professional to help process your feelings and heavy emotions. Also, if journaling is your thing, that’s another great thing to do to process your emotions. In addition, doing something in honor of your loved one, or even dedicating time to allow yourself to cry can also be helpful. There are several healthy ways to try and work through your emotions and not avoid them, you just have to figure out which works best for you. I won’t say it’ll be easy, but it’s better than suppressing! One thing I’ve learned about suppression is you’re either going to deal with your situation now or later, but eventually you will have to deal with it…voluntarily or involuntarily.

A friend of mine always tells me to give myself grace and that’s what I will share with you too…GIVE YOURSELF GRACE! When I started giving myself grace and not being to hard on myself and not grieving how I felt people wanted me to grieve, I honestly started feeling a little better. Not putting to much pressure on yourself is the main thing!

A few months ago I daily or every other day started getting visits from a cardinal. Whether I’m working out, walking to my car, etc. Cardinals are known to appear when loved ones are near which also comforts me…actually I REALLY get excited lol. So it’s important to look for those signs from our loved ones and for you it may come in a different form but if you keep seeing the same “things” then it’s most likely your loved one letting you know they are still near.

I know adapting to this new life will be challenging and starting is even more challenging. Starting the process for me is to continue to give myself grace and learn to process my emotions as they come. Giving myself permission to cry if I need to, stay in bed a little longer, journal on days I need to journal (which may not be every day), even visiting the grave and the upkeep of it can bring a little comfort. Now every day won’t be super horrible…there will be some super sucky days, some ok days, and some days where you just have to push through! At the end of the day I believe wholeheartedly that you will persevere!!

I’ve shared some things that I’ve learned through loss and I hope it was helpful. How will you start your process and if you’ve started how do you cope with grief?