Many good books have been written about loss and the grief process, yet for the individual survivor, recovery is not well understood. It is often a very private journey. Significant loss is life changing, and when circumstances add trauma and confusion, it may feel as if the loss is not survivable.
However, in exploring the landscape between life and death, where survivors sometimes live for a great while, patterns emerge. Support helps. Bits of hope are found and knitted together, usually through the smallest things. A word of compassion. A hug. Information. Exercise. Staying hydrated. Eating healthy food when that is the last thing wanted. Rest. Hope is putting one foot in front of the other, falling down, getting up and getting up yet again. Hope – like Carl Sandburg’s Fog – “comes on little cat feet.” Softly, quietly, almost unseen at first.
Each person needs to create his or her own map through the tangled garden of grief … a map of self-healing that can move individuals and families toward acceptance of the loss and a new life. Programs and support groups exist online and locally, and resources like books and websites are available through search engines, libraries, book stores and recommendations from other survivors and related organizations.
This kind of grief is not something we “get over” in a few weeks or months, though the world treats us as if we should, but we can move forward and build new lives that honor the ones we lost. I know this because I’ve seen it many times in the amazing people I meet. True healing takes time, support, and effort as well as a willingness to share with others who are taking their own grief journeys. It is hard, bone-bruising work. Exhausting. But the light that hope brings is so worth it all.
Way for Hope
Losing someone you love is difficult, but it can mean a lot to hear from others traveling similar paths.
Follow on Instagram!
Links of Value:
Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Word of God
"My Story" Big Daddy Weave
"Hope in Front of Me"
The Joy FM
Traumatic loss or preexisting conditions can worsen mental health. Use this info graphic to find help.
"Take Charge of Your Mental Health" - a free download from www.nami.org: