top of page

You Are Not Alone

Where death exists, sadness is soon to follow.  We all will experience some type of loss — the death of a loved one or pet, an injury, a dream that seems unattainable now or your parents’ divorce. Losses come in all shapes and sizes. And even though you may not be responsible for the loss at all, it doesn’t change the fact that you hurt.

Funerals are not the only places where mourning happens. It can happen whenever we face a loss no matter what it is.  There are many people who try to avoid mourning, because it’s too painful. We were initially created for a world without sadness, so we try our best to dodge it whenever possible. But mourning is a process that helps us deal with our sadness. It’s healthy, even though it’s difficult.

Understand that you are not alone. If you've recently experienced a loss, you have probably already felt the presence of many people surrounding you to comfort and support you. Initially, it can seem overwhelming, but over a period of time, that comfort and support will help you get through the difficult days that are still yet to come. There are many resources available to help you through your grief. It is very important to understand that you are not alone, and you never have to go through grief alone. 

There is a better way. Grieving is invaluable, and it’s an ability that can be used throughout your life in many situations. If you can learn how to grieve in the right ways, you can avoid a lot of heartache in the future.

What is grief?


Psychologists will tell you that grief is the acute pain that accompanies loss. Because it is a reflection of what we love, it can feel all-encompassing. For some people, grief can be a short-term event, also known as acute grief, although the pain may return unexpectedly at a later time. But other people may experience prolonged grief, also known as complicated grief, lasting months or years. Without help and support, such grief can lead to isolation and chronic loneliness.

Accepting a loss


When you first hear about a loss, you may experience shock or denial. You might think, No! This couldn’t have happened; it just doesn’t make sense! It may take a few weeks for your mind to catch up with the reality of it all. Difficulty sleeping, a change in appetite or a strong desire to be with others may show up at this point in your life. In extreme cases, people may experience delusions thinking that their loved one is going to walk around the corner at any minute. You may continue to prepare the dinner table or lay out your loved one's clothes. It's not strange, it is a coping mechanism. You may find that you deny how much the loss hurts. Though these denials may temporarily deaden the pain, having a clear picture of what you’ve lost will help you move to forward.

Walking through the pain


When the truth finally hits you, it’s not as though you’ll wake up from a dream and find everything back to normal. In fact, as time goes on, you will become aware of how this loss will change your life forever. Not only are you likely to feel the deep sense of hurt, but there may be strong anger toward another person, yourself or even God. These emotions can be intensified on certain dates such as your brother’s first birthday after his death, your parent’s wedding anniversary after a divorce, or the anniversary of the loss itself. Recognizing and allowing yourself to feel the pain is an honest reaction that can eventually help you to heal.

Adjust to your reality


Once you’ve faced the despair, with time and God’s help, you will increasingly be able to accept the loss and realize that life goes on. Many people find that they have put their hope into their relationship, rather than in God. This is especially true for couples that have been together for many years. You may find that you identity is wrapped up in the missing loved one. You may feel that it is impossible to move on with their presence. Understanding that you still have an identity apart from what has been lost is necessary to move ahead. Acceptance isn’t about trying to block the loss out of your mind. Instead, it’s about realizing that the loss will change your world, and that you’re still meant to have a whole and healthy life in this new and different world. Learning to say goodbye to the ones you have lost will help you to move forward in a healthy way.

Reflect and move forward


Here you are able to take specific, concrete steps to go on with your life in your new world. Memories and sadness will remain, but there’ will be a new strength to move on. You may be able to look back at how you’ve grown from the entire ordeal, and you may even reach out to others who are hurting. There may be family and friends who are still reaching out to you to want to console you. Take advantage of those resources. Others truly feel your pain, and sometime just having someone to talk to can alleviate some of the pressure off of you. Having a listening ear can be valuable for you during this time. Reflecting and moving forward doesn't mean that you forget, but it does mean exact what it states. Take the time to remember your loved one but choose not to live in a place of despair. 

bottom of page