Renewal after loss and grief is not always the same for all humans…
Grief comes in many colors, with many angles, and many thoughts that you may have never thought of before. You may smile outwardly, but inside it’s different. It is hard for many people to try to understand another person’s loss.
It takes a mixture of positivity, motivation, and time to overcome those things that take a toll on humans at different times of their lives. It is impossible to always find something positive to say when life hits an individual with adversity. This post has been updated as of 5-20-22
Therefore, today, we tilt our conversation to the inevitable facts of life, “life can and does cause pain.” It can get hard to swing back to life the way it was. Overcoming grief, and renewing after loss is meant to encourage those who need it.
Life Is Sometimes Unfair
As I heard one Christian Psychologist, state years ago at a Church retreat, “Life is sometimes unfair, it just is.”
It does not matter how positive an attitude you have or how balanced and centered you are, there are going to be times when you are knocked down.
This is not about negativity; it is just the facts of life for any individual who has lived into adulthood. There will be times when your carefully organized life is turned upside down and you are knocked on your rear end. Life happens…
Depending upon your age, or not, you will no doubt experience serious illness in either yourself or someone close to you. You may be challenged with the loss of a loved one, a divorce, or perhaps the loss of a job. There is a number of situations that will leave you feeling like you were kicked in the stomach.
Let’s face it. These things can happen to anyone, and it does all the time. They are part of life and no matter how you try to explain them away with the idea that, “everything happens for a reason,” they hurt. A lot!
The Piercing Of The Heart Doesn’t Always Heal OverNight
These adversities hurt at the very core of your being. The pain begins in your heart and radiates throughout your entire being. Repeating positive phrases does not make it stop hurting.
At times like these, you are going to feel down, even depressed. You probably feel anger or some other manifestation of your pain. Whatever you are feeling, it’s okay. When you feel hurt, sad, angry, or whatever your true feelings are, it is okay.
You cannot deny pain any more than can deny fear. The only way through either of them is to give yourself permission to feel the feeling.
The Questions In All of This…Is How Long Before You Bounce Back
Actually, the question is really not whether or not you will bounce back; you will, it is how you will bounce back. How will you keep your life intact, keep from withdrawing completely from life? We do not have all of the answers because there is no space to write about how it could affect every human life.
Those who look on and have never felt some parts of life yet must remember that not all of us are made from the same piece of cloth. We are each unique, we may be in different stages of life. Past experiences are different, and how people cope, flow, and move on is part of it.
The question is not exactly how long you stay in this state, it is how well you survive it. I have asked myself this many times over the last few years. Some who might read this will know why. Addresses below…
The difference between people who get through life’s challenging moments, regardless of the seriousness, and those who are immobilized by the events is what we can call the “bounce” factor. If it needs a name…
How quickly can you bounce back? Of course, the severity of the event will have a lot to do with the time it will take you to get past the pain and on with your life.
All human bounce factors are different; as stated above, no two individuals are exactly alike. Our ability to rise is different at different times in our life. However, never measure yourself by another. I do not, if I can accept my weaknesses, if that is the case, I feel others should.
It just doesn’t work that way. You are you, and with your own will and grace, you will rise.
My Personal Experience
In my life, everyday things such as job losses, and people being less than pleasant, disrespectful, or negative, it did not take me long to overcome. A friend once told me; “Linda you always land on your feet.”
However, since the illness that I had, and the illness and death of my son, that has not been the case. In fact, something happened after my son’s death, which had happened to me before…this time, it took me down.
Just for some solid information…
*you do not know what is going to take you across the line. There is no way to prepare for some things. You cannot.
The above statement came from a Nursing Professor I had listened to years ago and came true for me. She said;
“We are all walking a thin line, one side is mental stability, the other is less than stable, and you do not know what will push you across that line.”
Example of Something of Lessor Significance Than a Death- Divorce, or any human loss is often difficult…
Take the example of two people being downsized from their high-technology jobs, something that is becoming a natural occurrence these days. One, whom we will call John, is floored by the news of his dismissal.
He expresses his pain by becoming angry at the company, his co-workers, and the system in general. He spends his days telling anyone who will listen, about his “problem.” As he sees it, his life is ruined and he’s blaming everyone for his troubles.
People who react like John spend weeks, even months, wallowing in despair. Until, if they are fortunate, someone close to them convinces them to seek professional help.
Mary, on the other hand, reacts much differently. Although she has gone through the same experience as John and has pretty much the same issues like living expenses, etc., she chooses to react differently.
After a brief period of feeling a loss of self-esteem, self-pity, and anger, Mary decides to get back in the game. She begins contacting her network of colleagues and co-workers.
She contacts the outplacement services her former employer offered everyone and starts actively looking for a new position. In a short time, Mary finds her “dream job” with an exciting new company.
While both people in our hypothetical example had the same experience, their reaction was different. Both went through a period of hurting, the time each allowed themselves to remain in that disempowering state was vastly different. While John remained “stuck” in his problem, Mary handled her loss and moved on with her life.
This is the key. It is not whether life occasionally puts you into a tailspin; it is how long you remain there.
In many situations, however, there are also times when healing is different. We talk about that below…
When The Devastating Issues of Life Come
When something devastating happens to you, allow yourself some time to grieve your loss, however, it is important not to allow yourself to get stuck there. Take some action. Join a support group, and talk about your feelings with a trusted friend or your spiritual advisor. If necessary, seek professional help.
In the case of a job loss, perhaps you want to take some time to re-evaluate your career goals. You may even consider a change in fields.
When you are ready, you can begin networking and making new contacts. Attend social or church events. Call people you know. Do something to try to help yourself.
Back to Grief from Death, Long-Forgotten Mistakes, and Highly Important Life Issues
One of the most important things to remember in high-stress situations is not to isolate yourself for too long. I did, and have been for a long time. I do not want attention. I never have, so this is about rising above what we try to understand but never will.
The latter is how I handled my life after loss- complete isolation…and I have no excuse. I did not want to get dressed, see people, talk to people, or mix with people that I was not close to, and even some I considered close. I did not want to shop or go to the doctor. I completely withdrew.
*The Coronavirus helped me get my wishes. Smile.
While spending some time alone is normal, even necessary, isolation can be dangerous and should be avoided if possible.
However, another aspect of grief is your entire mind thinks differently. Fear of losing those who are left with you is another issue. Fear of being alone.
For me, it has prompted me to align myself in a closer relationship with Jesus. I want to make sure I am living in a way that I am ready when it is my time. I now accept that it will not be as long as before and that it could be any moment. You just have those thoughts.
Every Way of Thinking Changes…you no longer take life for granted.
You think about death, heaven, and the grave, and you try to visualize how it all happened in the period of time it did.
The time then passes, and you think that this cannot be…it just happened, it seems. You feel as though you have lost years of your life.
I use excuses for myself as I have lived away from family and friends. I became used to being alone. No one showed up at the door, and work was my outlet and shopping. I had work friends, but few outside outings.
I am still working on my progress. When I think that I am ready to show up somewhere, I do not want to be the person who appears to be down and out. That is just how I think, and feel. An example is when my sister died, I was at the funeral and no one knew I was still not where I needed to be.
I do not want sympathy, I like acceptance.
Thoughts From Someone Who Has Been There and Done That…
Yes, it is important to get out and be with people as soon as possible. As they say, “Life is for the living.” It is important to get back to your life as soon as you can if you can, and when you can.
God understands, never think He does not. In time, the predominant feelings will fade.
As I write this…I feel healing.