I’ve contemplated writing this post for a few months now. Each time I start typing, I find a way to convince myself that I shouldn’t write it. Today, I got the push I’ve been looking for.
I’m sure from the title, you can already tell what this post is about. Rather than focusing on the loss, pain, hopelessness, fear, I’d like to share some tips on how I’ve been coping with my loss.
Now, before I get into my coping mechanisms, let’s take a few steps back. It’s important to realize and accept that, at various points in our lives, we will experience losses. Whether it be loved ones, finances, property, we will all lose something(s). Truth be told, nothing, ever, prepares you for a loss. No matter how strong you think you are, or how “not emotional” you think you are, some losses will break you.
Fortunately for me, prior to 5 months ago, I’d never experienced a loss. So, I had absolutely no idea how to cope with my loss. For the first few days, I laid in my bed moping, with no zeal to carry on. Given the circumstances around my loss, I was forced to shove my pain in a cabinet and complete the tasks ahead of me. What I didn’t realize was that, someday, those tasks will be completed and I’d have to face my pain.
Truth be told, I am nowhere near healed, or whole, but I am definitely in a better place than I was a few months ago. My journey and approach may be flawed to some, but I’m sharing this, in case someone needs to see this, to remember that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Reminisce: I spent a lot of time looking at old pictures and thinking about happy memories we made. Even though it felt like this hurt more than avoiding reality, it reminded me to be thankful for the moments we shared and the life she lived.
Be Positive, or at least try: It’s very easy to fall into a dark space when you’re suffering a loss, especially when you lose a loved one. We become unhappy, depressed, angry, and hopeless. This could have been me, but, I tried my hardest to focus on the positives from my loss.
“She’s not in pain anymore”, “She’s with Jesus”, “She’s with grandma and grandpa”, “She’s watching over us”
Phrases like this, although incredibly cliche made my loss a bit more bearable.
Talk, Talk, and Talk some more: OMG! Is this Adamara? Yes, I said talk. If you know me, you know this is waaaay out of my personality, but life happens. Through my loss, I’ve learned the importance of talking through issues, venting, or even ranting. It’s important that we all have that person (or people) that are willing to stay on the phone and listen to us pour out our hearts. I cannot tell you how much this helped me. From expressing my pain and disappointments to my friends, I got a little closer to achieving inner peace.
Stay active: I’m sure we all know the importance of staying active and busy at times like this. Well, if you don’t, I’m telling you right now. It’s important to keep yourself preoccupied. It’s even more important to remember that this doesn’t mean avoiding your feelings by staying busy. In my case, I spent more time doing things I enjoyed, taking walks, cooking, watching movies, spending time with friends, etc. I didn’t drown myself in school work so I don’t have to think about my loss.
Cry: Find an outlet and let it out. I spent a lot of time on the toilet crying, trying to find answers to my questions. I didn’t get those answers but after every crying session, I felt a little lighter. Crying is not a sign of weakness! I cannot say this enough. I’d usually write about my feelings, but this time, I literally couldn’t. I bought a notebook, but I had no words to write. The notebook is still blank, till date. I unlocked a new level of pain that could not be explained in writing.
Allow yourself grieve: Take time to grieve. It’s okay. Take as much time as you need.
Face Reality: Truth be told, no matter how hard it is or how long it takes, we have to accept the fact that whoever or whatever we lost is gone. I’m still trying to come to terms with this. It’ll take time, so don’t rush this process.
Pray: Pray without ceasing (see 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). I have prayed more in the last 5 months than I have in my entire life. However, I am now trying to pray all the time, not just when I feel like I need God the most. It’s important to cultivate a prayerful lifestyle. It helps, a lot. Prayer makes the pain a bit more bearable. It reminds you that there’s someone up there looking out for you. It teaches you that the Almighty will not put you in a situation that you cannot handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). It shows you that in God’s perfect love, all fear is cast out. Prayer is the major key. Pray without ceasing.
Let me stop here for now. I feel like I’m on a rant. I hope these tips reach someone that needs it. If you’d like to share your loss story, please leave a comment and we’ll make it happen.