Dealing With Loss
This is one of those posts that means something to me. I decided to share it because there may be others who may reach some understanding from it.
I have recently had personal experience of dealing with loss in my family, my Dad died just after Christmas. Just writing those words has touched something that I didn’t expect.
The rational part of me knows that more elderly people die in winter, it’s one of those things that happens.
The emotional side of me knows something quite different. I know for instance that I won’t be talking to him again in the conventional sense and that still brings tears. From a man who has been brought up like many others to be stoic and not show emotions that’s quite an admission. Perhaps I’m growing up because it doesn’t make me feel weak in any way, just sad.
It’s not the same for everyone. It touches us all in different ways and we all react to it differently.
I was privileged to be there at the end, and that brings closure of a sort. There is no doubt in my mind what has happened. There are no fantasies or false hopes.
There were practical things to be done and they allowed a respite from reflection and thought for a while.
Although I’m not a religious person I believe that death is not the end. Perhaps that’s something I do to protect myself but it’s something I have believed for a long time. I don’t believe in being able to contact the dead or anything like that, but I don’t want to stop anyone who does. We all need different things from our beliefs, they are part of what makes us who we are.
It’s easy to start to believe that you could have done more. If only I’d done this, if only I’d done that. But that’s called having 20/20 hindsight. There can only be what is. And some people find that hard.
Dwelling on the things that you should have done is no good, being a ‘shouldist’, only brings feelings of guilt and you can’t live like that. And you have to live.
I have helped clients to come to terms with the things they feel they should have done or the things that they should have said. I’ve done some of those things for myself and it helped a lot.
I have always believed that when someone dies that we should take time to celebrate their life and not their death. Sorting through old family photographs brought some tears but also a lot of laughter and remembrance. We spent several days with those memories and it has underlined the fact that my Dad’s life was well lived.
Many people feel this type of loss when a relationship ends. They get stuck in the grief and forget that it’s time to move on.
Moving on for me is not about forgetting, it’s about me finding a new life without my Dad in it.
In the same way as a relationship that ends. Moving on is a case of finding a way forwards, and finding a way to accept what is while remembering what was in the right way.
I have helped people to move on from traumatic relationships, they take a while to get used to the freedom from guilt and loss and other emotions. I know more than ever that it’s like a death in the family.
I listened to a radio program about people whose partners had died. After a while their friends and family were urging them to move on and to find a new partner because it was time. Their reaction was simple, they didn’t want to replace their partner. They just wanted to live their lives in remembrance. They were happy and it was their way to move on.
We all find a way. It has to be a way that fits who we are.
Some people need a little time and some help.