You’ve lost a loved one, and now you’re not sure how you move forward from here. They’re gone, and you’re left behind trying to figure out what to do with your life now. How can life ever be the same? How can you reach the point of feeling happy and whole again? What if this pain never gets better?
Things will get better, but it’s going to take a lot of work
Few things in life are more difficult than losing a loved one. It’s one of the most devastating experiences we’ll ever face. It’s confusing, heartbreaking and exhausting. It just doesn’t make sense. How do we remain at peace when we’ve lost someone who is so close to us?
How do we face suffering face-to-face with God instead of turning our backs on Him during the process? What’s our relationship with God supposed to look like as we work through this season in life?
People aren’t going to get it. Sure, you may have people there for you, but they won’t really be able to relate. How many times have you heard, “I know how you feel,” and, “Let me know if you need anything,”? Those words are usually cheap. Somebody could have lost someone in the same manner you have, but they still aren’t going to fully understand it. Telling you to let them know if you need anything is a thing people say when they don’t know what else to say. Sure, they mean well, but those empty words can feel devastating to you.
We can promise you one thing: We don’t know how you feel. But we do know what to do to help you move forward and begin feeling better.
A natural and necessary part of grieving is experiencing the pain of the loss. Too often, we stuff our feelings and emotions hoping we don’t have to deal with them. It may provide a temporary comfort, but it’ll only make things more difficult in the long run. To completely move forward, we have to be willing to feel and express the hurts, and all those difficult emotions surrounding the absence of our loved one. Grief is painful, and overwhelming sadness is normal and expected.
Feeling these emotions are actually helpful as you learn to process what it is that you’re feeling.
A sense of being completely alone is normal: in essence, you are alone now as you’re learning to navigate life without this person.
It’s also important to prepare for the number of negative emotions that you may experience:
Although you’re feeling alone right now, friends, family and a support system like church relationships and social groups are an important part of this process. Nobody can truly know how you feel, but they can offer emotional support and a shoulder to lean on as you adjust to your new normal.
Prepare for the physical effects, too
It’s universally understood that people will experience difficult and negative emotions after the loss of a loved one. But what a lot of people don’t usually realize is that it’s also normal to suffer from negative physical symptoms too. Common reactions can include:
- Chest Pain
- Muscle Tension
- Dry Mouth
- Upset Stomach
It can also lead to certain mental reactions, like:
- Low Motivation
- Day Dreaming
Your grief doesn’t have to look like everybody else’s
There are a lot of misconceptions about what grief is supposed to look like. And navigating grief isn’t a “one-size fits all” approach. We’re all different, unique individuals and that means we each handle these feelings, emotions and situations differently.
Your grief is going to feel different than others’. Your relationship with your loved one was yours alone. And everyone’s relationships are different.
You don’t have to just “get over it”. Many times, within a few months of losing someone, you’re just kind of expected to move on from it. People may think you need to start moving forward and get better all of a sudden.
How Christian Counseling can help
You don’t have to go through this alone. When you come here, you’ll find a peaceful and judgement-free zone. Our offices are where people have talked about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some people have made mistakes, and they’re trying to figure out how to fix them. Some have been through really traumatic experiences and are learning how to process those things so they can move forward. Others are struggling with grief and just want to feel “okay” again. No matter the situation, you’ll be in a safe place to share what’s on your heart.
Clinicians who provide Counseling for Grief & Loss: