Accepting your loss

One of the most difficult things people report feeling about the loss of someone is living with what life is like now. What is difficult to accept is the present.

The present without that person you love.

The present on your own.

The present with changed dynamics in your social networks. This is particularly noticeable when you love your partner. How do you do the single person amongst the couples? It can happen when you have lost a child as well, particularly if your social networks are families and you are the one with the missing child.

One thing I encourage people who are dealing with loss – whether it is the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, the loss of home or job or country, the loss of a limb and so on – is to acknowledge what has happened.

Acknowledging is not going to make things instantly better. But it is important to do. Even when the thing that has ended is something you wanted, there is still loss and it is still important to honour what was and is no more.

Without that step of acknowledgement and honouring the loss, it is virtually impossible to move on.

Acknowledging helps to deal with any guilt you may be feeling. It helps to deal with any anger you feel. It helps to feel with confusion, devastation, loneliness and the myriad issues loss bring up for you to deal with.

Without acknowledgement of the loss many issues cannot be acknowledged either. When those issues cannot be acknowledged they cannot be dealt with and healed. Without healing those things continue to eat away at you, keeping you trapped in a cycle of grieving and never able to move forward.

It is frightening to admit many of those feelings. But acknowledging the loss and acknowledging those feelings is important. It is not dishonouring what is lost. Rather it is honouring you and your path forward in life.

No loss is without regret, pain and a multitude of emotions.

Allow yourself to acknowledge them and move forward. It is often best to acknowledge these emotions with an impartial witness. This is where I can help you. I can witness what you need to share with compassion and acceptance. And I can help you to understand how usual many of your feelings are. I can help you to acknowledge and let go of feelings that don’t belong in your journey and hold on to what is important around your loss.

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