How to Heal From the Loss of Loved One (and More)

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There are various types of loss; it does not always refer to a death.

Everyone responds differently with tragedy and everyone follows the stages of grief in their own way.

There is no right way to grieve a loss. You cannot compare losses.

Grief is a physical, emotional, and spiritual necessity.

We see it with people whose spouses fall in love with someone else.

We witness it in a straying spouse who decides to come home but now has to deal with the loss of the other relationship.

We feel our hearts break when it is a child struggling to understand why a parent isn’t there any longer.

We hurt for the parent who loses a child to death (or anyone who loses a loved one to death).

Your expectations for what your life was supposed to be like has been destroyed by the person who left your life.

Any loss is the loss of that entire relationship. There will be grief and that is okay.

Stages of Grief

Denial: This can’t be happening. When learning about or going through a loss, it is completely normal to be in denial, to refuse to believe the facts. Denial can help numb our emotions.

Anger: When in grief, our emotions can come out as anger, whether that be toward the loved one we lost or other people in our life. While anger is an emotion we need to allow ourselves to feel, we can’t allow it to affect our relationships with others, especially when we need the support of our loved ones during our time of grief.

Bargaining: If only….. If only….. If only…. Guilt and bargaining can occur. You may blame yourself for what happened (death, divorce, affair, etc.). Bargaining might look like asking God to bring your loved one back. There are feelings of guilt that can hang out and prevent you from recovering from the grief. There even may be resentments—toward a spouse, toward God, etc.

Depression: The emotions we feel when we are grieving can be overwhelming as can the sense of hopelessness and desperation. Depression can look different from person to person and at times it may get so bad that you will need to get professional help. The important thing to do when in this stage is to find your own individual way to cope.

Acceptance: When you are finally able to accept your loss, you can continue the natural process of healing and get beyond the feelings of guilt, resentment, anger, and depression. There still will be sadness, which is okay.

When a spouse leaves, that can feel like the death of a marriage and of a long relationship.

Hope can work for you in a positive way, but it can also work against you.

Do you accept the fact that your spouse isn’t coming back and you move on?

Or do you leave the door open a crack in case the spouse does come back?

Do you try to save your marriage?

How do You Deal with the Pain?

Give yourself permission to grieve. Allow it to happen. Feel the emotions.

Don’t allow anyone to set a time limit on your grieving process

Start defining your regrets and resentments—-write it all out—-journal to process all of this.

This can be a personal thing only.

Apologize for your regrets and forgive your resentments.

Write about the good memories of the person you lost.

Use tools in order to feel the grieve and get past that stage of grief.

Let’s relate this topic to marriage:

When a spouse leaves, that can feel like the death of a marriage and of a long relationship.

Hope can work for you in a positive way, but it can also work against you.

Do you accept the fact that your spouse isn’t coming back and you move on?

Or do you leave the door open a crack in case the spouse does come back?

In order to move past the grief and get back to a sense of normalcy, you will need to accept and decide.

When you are in a stage of grief from the loss of your spouse, how will you deal with an unanticipated trigger?

Eventually, you will see, hear, or smell something that reminds you of your spouse.

Give yourself permission to grieve and react how you need to.

There IS hope.

Don’t beat yourself up.

Once you give yourself permission to feel the emotions (ride the waves of emotions), the sooner you will be able to be finished with the grieving process.

But do remember that everyone has their own timeline when grieving and there is no right or wrong way to go through it.

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