Recovering from the grief of loss is difficult, for some more than for others, but we all feel it.
When a true friend or love has passed away, rebalancing your life can be a challenge.
When you speak to or see someone every day, and suddenly they are no longer there, it leaves a gap in your psyche and heart. I’m not talking about just a casual hello to someone you pass by on your way to work. I’m referring to someone who could be your very best friend, someone you speak to every day about everything.
The love you have for this person is still there, which can be painful when the person is not. You now have to learn a new way of being. For many, this is like learning to walk again. Perhaps you never realized how much you leaned on this person who is no longer with you.
When relationships end in this way, whether suddenly or not, you feel it deeply.
Even if someone else comes your way, you may not be able to fully take in what he or she has to offer. You also may not have a lot to give to someone else at this particular time. It’s not your fault — this is simply part of the grieving process. You must give yourself time, even though it may feel uncomfortable, to let your mind settle and grasp what you have lost, as well as what you need to do to make yourself whole again.
The time you used to spend with the one you’ve lost will need to be filled in some way, but not right away. You have to be kind to yourself, even though it hurts. You also have to make sure that you don’t let yourself slip into depression, even though it is natural to be somewhat down. If you find that you no longer want to engage in normal activities or you can’t stop grieving, you should consider some counseling or a grief support group.
Finding the right balance between appropriate grief and overwhelm can be difficult for even the most even-keeled person. Only you know how you are truly doing, but if friends tell you that you’ve seemed too sad for too long, you need to consider their words.
It is important to grieve; we need to let ourselves go to that place and mourn. Most people get back to some type of normal within a few weeks. This normal is different, of course, because your life has changed so dramatically, but in time it will feel comfortable. All of this may be part of some grand plan, but that can be hard to see when you’re in the middle of it.
Trust that when you are ready, you will come out of the darkness and find more love in your life to focus on. People can’t be replaced, but you can take the love you have for the person who is no longer here and share it with those who are deserving.
Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is an award-winning psychotherapist and humanitarian. He is also a columnist, the author of eight books and a blogger for PsychologyToday.com with more than 28 million readers. He is available for video consults worldwide. Reach him at email@example.com. His column appears Sundays and Tuesdays in the News-Press.