It’s Not Always Sunshine & Butterflies: Dealing with Loss

The goal of my blog is to keep things inspirational, positive, and just overall happy. The truth is, however, life is not always sunshine and butterfly droplets.

Happiness is a state that comes and goes. It is dependent on your general mindset, perspective, environmental influences, and a laundry list of other factors.

Today I wanted to share a part of me with you. I wanted to write through some emotions, and share a glimpse into my experience. At first, I wasn’t sure how to deliver said message or if at the end there would be a clear cut purpose, but I put those doubts aside to just sit down, and write.

For my readers who don’t know, my Father recently passed away. With the 4th of July holiday coming, and going I knew there was going to be a shake-up of emotions. Still, I didn’t realize to what extent or how that emotion would show itself.

You see, over the past seven years I have missed a few Christmases, Thanksgiving’s, Birthday’s, so on, but this is the first 4th of July that we have not spent with my Dad.

I say “we” because though I can not speak for others – I know sorrow is shared among our family.

The 4th of July was my Dad’s favorite. It was also his wedding anniversary. As a family, we would sometimes spend it bowling. One year we watched, Into The Wild. Traditionally, we would go to the derby, behold the fireworks on the river, and really it was just about being together.

On this day I think about those precious memories. I am grateful for them.

In reality, there will always be these ebbs and flows of emotion when dealing with grief.

Though it is difficult to handle at times feeling something (even sadness) is a good thing. It reminds us of how we need to treat ourselves, and the significant value there is in being happy.

Before I continue I feel this is a good place for a disclaimer. I am not a professional. I am speaking purely from my own experience. Below I have included tips that help me. As well as, suggestions I have learned through research. Not everyone grieves the same way. I am in no way saying these are the universal answers for all, but I truly believe in the advice I am sharing.

What I’ve learned

Don’t isolate yourself. Don’t fake a smile. You don’t need to pretend everything is okay when it isn’t.

Pushing feelings inside is not effective.

Pushing feelings aside is not effective.

Doing either can end up making you feel worse.

Just as most things are during this time it may be difficult to embrace, and accept the pain but it is necessary for moving forward.

Addressing your feelings and exploring grief can help in the healing process. As I said, the experience of loss is different for everyone. There is no one ‘right‘ way to heal, but there are certain things that can help you move forward.

  • Allow yourself to feel sad
  • Express your feelings, speak to those close to you
  • Take time for yourself
  • Keep up with your routine
  • Maintain regular sleeping habits
  • Nourish your body by eating well
  • Avoid alcohol
  • See a counselor
  • Meditate
  • Go to church or seek out other spiritual healing
  • Don’t put a time limit on your pain

Losing something or someone does not have to signal an end.

“Grief and loss enable you to understand your life in a new way, and that changes the way you see yourself in the world.”

– Michelle Carlstrom, of Johns Hopkins Medicine

Even on the Tough(er) Days

Try and stay clear-minded, hopeful, looking towards the future.

Hold onto your memories. For me, I am still learning to give a voice to these memories. They pop in my head at random times. Whenever I attempt to share them aloud it always brings me to tears. Despite how callous or sadistic it may sound, the practice of sharing (even through the tears) is therapeutic. It feels like you are cementing the memory into your mind; making it prominent.

Plus, the few times I have been successful at verbalizing our stories, this action made my recollection become picturesque – clear.

Borrowed words can help.

Dealing with loss is an inevitable part of life,” people say. At a glance, there isn’t much solace in those words. Just the truth. Yet, I find myself repeating it often.

The fact is, to be repulsed by the inevitability of death is to be discouraged by life itself. There is not one without the other. Yin & Yang. Embracing the pain, sorrow, and difficulty that comes with losing someone you love gives evolution to the compassion within yourself.

I truly hope that by sharing this part of me with all of you healing in a new form can begin.

My desire is that someone out there finds support in my words.

In Loving & Cherished Memory

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