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How to Live After Loss!

May 27, 2017

 

We all have challenges in life, but death/loss of a loved one, a child, friend or family member is always the most difficult to process. Mainly because there is no manual on how to deal with loss. And because coping with and/or processing loss looks different to everyone.

 

August 1, 2015 I lost my first child, my son, King. And I would be lying if I said that it wasn't the most difficult thing I ever experienced in my entire life. What's worse is that I am typically an unemotional being, so to be flooded with so much emotion at one time, was very challenging for me to handle and process.

 

Now I'm not saying that I'm incapable of showing emotions at all, but it honestly takes a lot for me to display emotions period; whether anger or love, and all things in between. I can count on a few fingers the amount of times I cry in a year. Anything that has made me emotional has been extremely traumatizing for me. And that's more so because I am stingy with my energy, so stingy that I am picky about moments that I choose to be emotionally impacted by something.

 

But, with the loss of my son, I had no choice. I was consumed with emotions, anger, frustration, mental distress, physical pain, sadness, loneliness, etc. and because I was not accustom to processing things by emotional release, I had to figure out a way for me to live with this loss.

 

Ultimately teaching myself to process these emotions.

 

I remember being in the hospital and coming to, after surgery, and immediately realizing everything that had occurred. 

 

I remember thinking, I'm here in this hospital, on a postpartum wing, after giving birth (naturally), without my son.

 

Then I remember getting pissed off when they brought me a box (memorial) of my son's footprints, and a few other things... I remember thinking that this was NOT going to be enough for me to remember him with. 

 

I was forced to sit in that hospital for a few days and think about what life would now be like without my son, after preparing myself for five months for a world with him in it... 


But seeing me now, you probably couldn't understand how I was able to find an ability to live after such a loss.  A loss that impacted not only my physical but my mental. But I found a way to process the loss in stages...

 

STAGE ONE: ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS

 

Whenever you experience a tragedy you have several questions. You wonder why it happened to you, why death came to the individual you lost? You ask yourself what is the lesson in all of this? But the more questions you ask, without answering them, the more you punish yourself. Because asking yourself questions you can't answer will certainly drive you insane or into a state of depression...

 

And that is where I found myself, severely depressed.


Reflecting now, I think it's crazy how we believe that we can handle things, we've never experienced.

 

Because when you actually experience something great enough to kick you so hard that you had no choice but to fall, you find yourself in hole you can't get out of...


How do you answer the questions?

 

love for God, my belief that he would never put more on me than I can bear, and understanding that everything happens for a reason, were the only things that helped me be ok with leaving some questions unanswered.
There's no right or wrong answer, especially considering everyone does not live by the same principles. But in order to make it to stage two, you have to understand that you may not get the answers to your questions at all. So you have to figure out a way to answer them without actually, getting answers.

 

know for me, my faith, my will to live and love again, reassured me in my darkest hour, that everything happens for a reason, and while that reason may not always be known, I believed that it's purpose was to make me better somehow, and that my God would not put more on me...


The greatest lesson of stage one, is that you MUST ACCEPT that you won't know the answer to all the questions that you are asking yourself. You have to accept that some things are, just because God ordered your steps, and said so. And you have to be of strong face, to accept that's probably the only explanation that you will ever receive.

 

STAGE TWO: TRYING TO ACCEPT THE REALITY OF THE LOSS

 

Stage two was the most difficult for me. 


Motherhood begin for me the moment I discover and accepted that I was pregnant. I learned first hand that mother's can not be selfish, and the moment you put your child's needs before your own, you understand the expectation of motherhood, and what it's like to be a parent. 

 

If you haven't lost a child, there is no way you can possibly understand what that feels like, or know how to live without a piece of you. So how do you accept it, right...

 

I told myself I had to find a way to make the experience a teachable moment.

 

I knew that there was a reason that King was now my angel. I believed that I was a better woman because of the pain I went through. I realized the importance of life (through new eyes). I had to come to understand the role I needed to play, when life was not it's best to me. I grew to accept, that in life, no matter how misunderstood at times, every lessons is equally as valuable.

 

And I grew to accept, that King was not to be forgotten, but to live on forever in my heart, as the best part of me...


I can't tell you what that looks like. Because for me it was many days shedding happy and sad tears. But regardless to the countless days of tear stained cheeks I endured, it was one more day I grew to accept that he existed, he lived and learned to cherish the moments (even though they were few), because no one could ever take those away. They happened and will forever be embedded in my heart and memory. So it became a matter of learning how to smile at those memories, instead of shedding tears...

 

STAGE THREE: LIVING WITH WHAT IS...

 

It's hard to go on with life, as it was, especially after you have experienced a loss. I learned that you shouldn't try to get back to life as it was, because it will never be the same...

 

I had to come to terms with the fact that loss is just as significant as love, it changes us in ways we can't forsee. So for me to learn to live with what is, I had to accept that living in the absence of King, would be different for me. 

 

The most important part in stage three, is recognizing that you can't go back to the way things were.  Because no matter how hard you try, you can't unsee life with your new eyes. You have to be willing to walk through life knowing you are different, knowing you have changed, and being ok with people you used to be with, not knowing how to deal with that change, or interact with the person you have become.

Again, there is no right or wrong way to deal with loss, because it looks different for everyone. 

 

I can give you stages, but I can't tell you how you will be changed or what "new" will look like for you. All I know is that loving and losing, shapes us the most, and turns us into people we may not have otherwise encountered.

 

So, don't stifle the questions. Don't run from reality. Try your best to be the person to live through the pain, and keep loving as best you can. Pretty soon love will heal everything that was broken and/or bruised.

 

Only love can restore the wounds and give you hope to live again, after loss...

 

 

 

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