I've found that one of the most challenging things after experiencing the loss of someone close, is the ability to find a similar connection to another person. I think that's one of the most difficult factors in our process of healing. We remember the closeness and love that we felt for that person. We remember all of the memories and all of the experiences we've shared with them and the deep emotion and profound hurt we felt of our loss. This can really apply to any great loss we've had; our pets, jobs and our relationships.
It's harder for some of us than others to move forward in our current relationships or to make new ones. We may view them in a very different way. We are changed in ways that other people, even those who know us well don't understand. We look at things and people under a different lens. You can become hyper focused. Some of us still seek and hope for the same kind of connection to replace the one we've lost. We may not be consciously aware of it but nothing else will ever measure up the same.
This is normal and even expected. However, there is one big problem here. At some point we realize there isn't going to be anyone that can fill those shoes in the same way. It can make us feel even more distressed and hopeless.
The good news is there is a solution. We can make a conscious decision to stop comparing and seeking only what we consider to be close enough to what we had. When we hold our loved one in their own special place and space in our mind and heart, it is in a sense honoring them. Acknowledging this can help you begin to make that shift. We can give ourselves the grace and understanding that we will never find the same connection because we are all different people and experience unique connections with each and every person we encounter. We can then allow ourselves to open up to the possibility that we may find good connections with others. We can create new experiences and memories. We can focus our mind on those possibilities to allow feelings of anticipation and maybe even excitement to emerge.
It depends on where you decide to focus your energy. We as humans always find what we are looking for and we place our attention on. You can continue to focus on what you've lost and no longer have (which never changes anything) or you can allow yourself to look forward to something different but also something that can be amazing for you in the future. What the heck, give it a try.
Until next time and stay well,
LETTING IT BE THERE
There are days when no matter how far you think you've come in your journey of healing and making progress moving forward that you feel like you come to a screeching halt.
This past week I've had a number of days that felt this way to me
My heart's been heavy and the feeling of hopelessness keeps trying to creep back in. My body has actually been feeling physically heavier as if I'm constantly dragging around something heavy.
This time of year is not an easy time for me. My son passed away on Good Friday. He was at work that day unlike many who have the day off as a recognized holiday. The date that year was April 14th. So each year it's not just one day, it's a number of days where those memories are in the forefront of my mind. I remember it like yesterday...the people, the Easter gathering at my sister's house so we could still be together to support one another and our Pastor Lisa coming to say a prayer with us.
This past week had some additional challenges that presented themselves. I found out that a coworker that I had worked with for 20 years had unexpectedly passed away. I don't know how or what happened. I only that someone I cared dearly for is no longer with us. He had just retired last year and was one of the kindest and funniest men I've known. He was a retired Major in the Air Force and a graduate from the United States Air Force Academy. We bonded over this. I have two sons and a daughter in law that graduated from the Academy as well.
I also found out a close family member has been given a grim prognosis on their life expectancy.
We are currently in the midst of a pandemic so most of the news you hear these days is about more loss in our world.
I know I sound pretty gloomy. That's exactly how I feel. I also know I have to allow it to be there for now. I have to allow myself to be enveloped in my feelings of sadness and even temporary hopelessness. Not forever, just enough time for me to work through it. I know if I allow this and give myself this time to process and heal, I will be okay.
Writing this is a way for me to express myself that provides me some comfort and relief. Today is the third anniversary of the passing of my son and it happens to be a beautiful sunny day. My step daughter told me the sun was shining for me today. That melted my heart and I felt something shift inside of me. That's what love can do for you.
Until next time,