Loss comes in all shapes and sizes. Chances are, if you’re human, you’ve experienced something on this list:
- the death of a loved one (a child, spouse, parent, even a pet!);
- an illness that is either terminal or life-altering;
- the destruction of one’s home (fire, earthquake, flood);
- the scarring (physical/emotional/mental) of combat;
- the loss of one’s livelihood, job, career;
- a miscarriage;
- dealing with infertility;
- the loss of a meaningful relationship due to a breakup or divorce;
- and so many others.
But as varied as losses can be, everyone who has experienced a major loss agrees on this one point: it hurts. Like hell. And grief always follows, because…
GRIEF is the normal and natural response to loss of any kind.
I have some experience with loss. On June 1, 2010 at 2:34 p.m. I learned my 20-year old son, my only child, had died by suicide.
This was not a matter of the rug being pulled out from underneath me. This was the ground beneath me ceasing to exist. One moment the world made sense. The very next, nothing did. Nothing. Not even continuing to live.
Several years have passed, and I miss my son every day. People ask me how I’ve managed. They can’t imagine a worse thing happening to a parent. But I’ve gone from being a mother whose heart was ripped from her…to being a woman who functions, contributes, and is a relatively happy human!
During the first two years or so after my son’s death, I was often asked if my life was “getting back to normal.” I’d cringe every time I heard that phrase: back to normal, as if life was ever going to get “back to normal!” Did people not understand what I’d lost and how nothing would ever be the same?
The truth is, there was something that I didn’t quite yet understand: that “normal” is a moving target, that what we deem “normal” changes as life unfolds. One day I realized I wanted to explore the possibility of my new normal, because I could not bear one more day of hideous pain defining my life. “Enough already,” my Inner Self gently whispered.
I’m living proof there IS life after loss. Even traumatic, tragic loss. And trust me; I’m no one special. Re-engaging with life after loss is possible for everyone, for anyone!
How did I go from wanting to end my own life after my son died, to wanting to live? One thing’s for sure: time – by itself – did not heal me. I believe people say “Time heals all wounds” (and other ridiculous non-truths) because they don’t know any better and they think it helps. But the passage of time – again, by itself – heals nothing.
Time plus ACTION, directed specifically at resolving the loss (not just random busy-ness)…now that works.
Today I am a Life Coach specializing in loss and grief recovery. I have an M.A. in Counseling Psychology, and I am a Certified Grief Recovery Method® Specialist.
If you are ready to:
- imagine your “new normal”,
- take steps towards that “new normal”, and
- live in the present, rather than bemoaning the past or worrying about the future…
I would be honored to be your coach, to listen with my heart, to support and encourage you, to brainstorm with you, and to hold you accountable to the action required to get on with the rest of your joyful and wondrous life.
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We can work face-to-face if you’re local, or via an online platform. Our first hour of conversation is free.
May you find the comfort you want and need during your time of loss and grief.