LOSS / GRIEF
“One of the things so astonishing and costly about losing a loved one is that, while the sun continues to rise and set, newspapers continue to be delivered, traffic lights still change from red to green and back again, our whole life is turned around, upside down. Is it any wonder we feel disoriented, confused? Yet the people we pass on the street are going about their business as though no one’s world has been shaken to the core, as though the earth has not opened and swallowed us up, dropped us into a world of insecurity and change. It is, as Emily Dickinson says, ‘a new road’ – for us as surely as for the one we have lost. It will take us time to learn to walk that road. Time, and a lot of help, so we don’t stumble and fall irretrievably. Those who have had their own experiences of loss will probably be our most helpful guides – knowing when to say the right word, when to be silent and walk beside us, when to reach out and take our hand. In time, we will be helpers for others.”
~ Martha Whitmore Hickman, from her book “Healing After Loss”
Once you’ve lost a loved one, especially after a long battle with an illness, you’ve entered new territory. Those of us who’ve gone before you are here to let you know that you’ll make it through. You just have to give it time and be gentle with yourself. You’re probably exhausted to start with, and on top of that your mind is really fuzzy. You’re going to say and do things you will have no memory of later, so go slow. Take it one day at a time, and remember that each person deals with grief in their own way, in their own time. You can’t hurry grief, and you can’t deny it. So be alone when you feel like being alone, cry when the tears want to come, and do your best to take care of your body – it has to carry you through until your mind is well again.
Many of us have found that mentioning a loved one’s name after they are gone creates an awkward moment. People don’t know what to say or do for you, so they change the subject or avoid mentioning them altogether. This is normal, don’t let it affect you. It’s natural for our conversations to be filled with mention of our loved ones: they are a big part of our history and who we are. And just because your loved one is no longer here, they are still present in your heart.
HELP GUIDE: Coping With Grief and Loss
Losing someone or something you love is very painful. After a significant loss, you may experience all kinds of difficult and surprising emotions, such as shock, anger, and guilt. Sometimes it may feel like the sadness will never let up. While these feelings can be frightening and overwhelming, they are normal reactions to loss. Accepting them as part of the grieving process and allowing yourself to feel what you feel is necessary for healing. There is no right or wrong way to grieve — but there are healthy ways to cope with the pain. You can get through it! Grief that is expressed and experienced has a potential for healing that eventually can strengthen and enrich life.
MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA: Coping With Bereavement
The loss of a loved one is life’s most stressful event and can cause a major emotional crisis. After the death of someone you love, you experience bereavement, which literally means “to be deprived by death.” Remember — It takes time to fully absorb the impact of a major loss. You never stop missing your loved one, but the pain eases after time and allows you to go on with your life.
Knowing What to Expect
When a death takes place, you may experience a wide range of emotions, even when the death is expected. Many people report feeling an initial stage of numbness after first learning of a death, but there is no real order to the grieving process.
GRIEF LOSS RECOVERY - Hope and Health Through Creative Grieving
So the unthinkable has happened to you! A special loved one has been torn from your life by tragedy, and you are heartbroken. I am so very sorry for your loss, and wish to extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family. Welcome, my friend, to our grief loss recovery website. You have come to the right place for straight answers, practical advice… and hope.
“REMEMBERANCE – TO ONE IN SORROW”
By Grace Noll Crowell
Let me come in where you are weeping, friend,
And let me take your hand.
I, who have known a sorrow such as yours,
Let me come in — I would be very still
Beside you in your grief;
I would not bid you cease your weeping, friend,
Tears can bring relief.
Let me come in — I would only breathe a prayer,
And hold your hand,
For I have known a sorrow such as yours,
“ALL IS WELL”
By Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918), Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.