Soul-shaking loss disrupts everything, from the routine of daily life all the way down to the body’s molecular structure. Shock, despair, and heartache may make you think you have lost yourself as well as your loved one. In a way, this is true. You are changed. But you will find parts of yourself again, things within you that you recognize that you begin to integrate with both loss and new life.
The experience of grief is much like a journey. There are many things to learn along the way and various stops where we process different things. In one of these places, I met myself as suddenly as I might run into an old friend while walking on the sidewalk.
“I see you,” I thought when recognition dawned. "There you are." As we passed each other, I felt gratitude though I knew the old me must go her way as surely as I must go mine. She was where she belonged, in the past.
I felt tender toward her. She did not have the understanding nor the strength I had gained. Yet, feeling that connection allowed me to move again, forward in my journey, encouraged. I took her gifts with me. The anchor of the past, parts of me I would need in the future, and the assurance I was alive and would be okay.
For so long I had doubted all that. I had decided to merely exist for my family because I thought my life was over. I could live in a wooden world for them. But that meeting let me know there were more stops ahead, more rests and unexpected moments along the tangled garden path. More life.
I encourage you to keep going. Wherever you are in the Garden of Grief, there is more. Your life still matters. Your story is not complete.
One step and then another will take you - not away from your loved one - but to the peace that abides in that love.
Way for Hope
Losing someone you love is difficult, but it can mean a lot to hear from others traveling similar paths.
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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: