When you’ve lost someone you love, life changes forever and you change forever. Your grief journey is shaped by the special relationship you shared. In your Afterwards Journey embracing your grief allows you to sit with it, listen to what it’s telling you, wrestle with the hard parts, learn about yourself, let go of what keeps you stuck, and move forward.
During your Afterwards Journey, you’ll explore ways to truly honor your loved one and yourself, taking the best parts of your relationship with you into your future.
Grieving the Loss of a Loved One
Loss hurts. When you grieve, you’re acknowledging the pain, and you’re honoring the love that you felt. You’re also taking the time to express your sorrow, or possibly guilt or anger.
Sometimes it may be difficult to allow yourself to grieve because you have experienced multiple losses. Or you may have responsibilities that give you little time to grieve. Sometimes unfinished business, resentment or conflicted emotions can keep you stuck.
In grieving, it’s important that you find a way to acknowledge the depth of what you’re feeling and honor the relationship that you’ve lost as you make your way towards healing. When you try to suppress or numb your grief, you’re denying a part of your life, yourself, your story. Hard as it is, you must stay and face it. You can’t run from grief; it will catch up with you eventually.
While the grieving process never ends, it changes over time, becoming something you learn to live with and manage with grace and self-care.
Healing Through the Loss of a Loved One
Early on in your grieving you may feel that you’ll never be able to heal. The pain is so raw, the emptiness so heavy. But you’re intrinsically resilient and your psyche is made to heal. Everyone heals differently, but after a loss we each must find a way to go on if we are to find joy again and be able to be fully present with the living.
Healing from loss requires an acceptance of what is and a moving away from what should have been. It also requires resolving any guilt, anger, or resentments you may harbor toward yourself, others, or even toward your loved one. Resolution involves opening yourself up to forgiveness, to letting go of what you cannot change.
Recreating Your Life After the Loss of a Loved One
When you’ve taken the time to sit with your grief and honor all you’ve lost, your gratitude for the time you had with your loved one carries your heart. With a more tumultuous relationship, sitting with grief lets you shed the struggles to find the diamond in the rough — the ways you were made stronger because of those struggles.
When you identify, acknowledge and understand their meaning and place in your life, you can be- gin to recreate that relationship in a different way. As you move forward, you can forge a new path for yourself. You move away from being a victim of a painful loss, and toward the core of who you are, which is still intact. You can have strong bonds with those who are still living, can find joy again, and can en- gage in life with purpose and meaning once more.