There is great awareness of grief as a loss, but there is a second aspect that is less well known.
Not many people understand this impact of grief.
When someone you love dies, that you that exists in relationship with them dies also.
One of the most important aspects of moving forward with grief is being able to remake your life.
Remake your life without the one you love in it.
How that looks will depend on what your relationship with that person was and how long that relationship has existed.
A man who has been married to his wife for 60 years will have a massive readjustment to make to his life. He will have to learn who he as a single person is. After all, he has been part of a couple for 60 years. It is most likely that 60 years will have been most of his life. If he was very young when he married, he may never have learned who he was as a single adult. This may be the first time in his life he has to do that.
A woman whose brother had died will most likely be struggling to comprehend the loss of a sibling, especially if the relationship was a close one. She will have to learn who she is as a woman without a brother (or one of her brothers).
A woman who has lost her mother will have to learn who she is as a person in her own right. What is often overlooked in our society is that our parents define who we are. So when that parent is gone, she will need to learn who she is and not see herself through her parent’s eyes.
A man who has lost his daughter will have to learn who he is without his child. If she was his only child then he has to learn who he is now he is no longer the parent of a living child.
The woman who has lost a friend has to redefine herself without that friend.
And so on.
It is hard. Understanding who you are now, and making a new life without that person in it is hard. Most people who come to see me report a loss of confidence. They frequently do not understand why.
The lost confidence is due to the loss of a definition in your life. The definition of partner, sibling, child, parent, friend and so on.
If you experience this, please know you are not going mad. You are experiencing a very common consequence of losing the person you love.
When you find yourself grieving and battling with lost confidence, please be kind to yourself.
Tell yourself it is okay. This is a common reaction to grief.
Allow yourself to be less willing to do things you formerly may have done.
You can challenge yourself to do things, but don’t overdo it. Try at least one thing you are now lacking the confidence to do. Congratulate yourself on each little victory of achievement.
Be patient, it takes time to rebuild your sense of self.
Be open to new ideas.
Trust that in time you will build a new sense of self and it will work well.
If you need to, consult a counsellor to assist you with rebuilding your sense of self.
Consider doing a course, either face to face or online. I am building one of my face to face courses into an online course. It is titled “Who Am I” and will be available to Beta Test in the next few months. If you are interested in it you can subscribe to my newsletter which will provide information on the course when it is available. Please see below for subscription information.
If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your grief journey and/or sense of self, please contact me on 0409396608 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz