To everything there is season and a time for every purpose under heaven and a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot… Ecclesiastes 3.1
This week’s blog is focusing on loss and death in its many aspects, and the grief we experience. The naked bones of life when we have been stripped bare and feel at a total loss. Nature has its seasons and we know the bare branches of the trees will bloom again and offer us shelter.
When we lose a loved one, it is total and appears hopeless; our grief is all encompassing. We cannot see or feel past the moment. It’s an important part of the grieving process and do allow it. The word ‘grief’ originates from the Latin word ‘gravare’, which means to make heavy, and thus we feel heavy-hearted and with a brokenness inside that we think will never mend.
It’s a deep mental anguish, an intense sorrow, torment, anguish, distress; emotions that fluctuate and are often mixed with anger and shock. Sometimes we can’t accept the loss in our lives, whether it’s the death of a loved one, or some other traumatic event that changes our lives dramatically.
How do we fill that space when someone we love dearly has died? When it’s unexpected and ‘too soon’ we cannot comprehend the reason. We question and bargain and reach out blindly for solace. We rage and become emotionally exhausted unable to understand why, unable to accept. Allow yourself to grieve.
ALLOW YOURSELF TO GRIEVE
Allow yourself to grieve,
Allow yourself to feel the pain of your loss,
Welcome the pain,
Then open your heart
to the healing touch of your inner spirit,
And the love of your dear-heart which is still with you.
They are forever embedded in your mind and psyche,
In your children and grandchildren,
They are with you in spirit and thought.
Allow yourself to remember,
And smile at the memories you created together,
And share them,
They are the story of your life,
The story of your love.
Remember, you are not alone,
The comforting arms of your family and friends
are stretched out wide,
Waiting to hold you.
It claims lives when least expected and this year, 2020, will haunt many people who have lost loved ones to COVID. They have not been able to be with them in those final moments. To hold them and say that final goodbye. The grieving process has been conflicted as so few people have been allowed to attend funerals, to be there to comfort.
The loss of a mother is painful and for some reason we expect her to be always there. We still hear her voice and see her shadow flit across our children or grandchildren’s face. Sweet memories. Sad memories. The loss of a partner at a young age still in their prime, is a painful wrench, that leaves us with unanswered questions and an intense sorrow that fills every waking moment. ‘It’s too soon. Why? It’s not true.’ Denial, anger, anguish; a pain so deep we can’t see beyond it. There is a ‘beyond. Allow yourself to grieve.’
Separated by law rather than by nature, it’s like a limb has been removed and all that is left are the questions which no-one hears. Anger, denial, and shock, reverberate through the family affecting each one in a different way. Blame is laid and bandied back and forth like a vicious ball of hatred that finds its target, hitting relentlessly and creating more pain.
Division and dissolution, leaving happy memories tainted and creating an unease in oneself that is hard to dissolve. ‘Di’ means ‘apart’ and in that ‘apartness’ we feel lost and lonely. The reasons for divorce are varied and many. For some people it’s a release, an end to a destructive relationship.
For others, it’s a reaction to long-term arguments be it over financial difficulties, or a sense of hopelessness of not moving forward. Confused emotions colour one’s life and there seems no way forward. Togetherness is muted, lost. Believe you will heal. Allow yourself to grieve for the loss of love and an united family and create a new healing unit that benefits all of you, especially the children.
Blame is often laid on the person who takes his or her life. They are seen as selfish and leave an anguished family behind who never stop asking ‘why?’ Quite often family have no idea or understanding of why this has happened, unaware of the clouded judgement or reasoning, be it momentary or long-term, that results in this final decision, this final act.
A decision that leaves family and friends in pain and changes them forever. Please do not judge the one you have loved so dearly. Do not lose that love in the depth of your grief. Remember that he or she did not want to hurt you and perceived it as an unselfish act. Words are futile in this situation and may create anger and be seen as a lack of understanding. Try and allow love to heal. You will never forget, but you may forgive. Allow yourself to grieve.
Excitement and a happy expectation followed closely by the loss of a child in pregnancy leaves one in a vacuum. The child you expected and spoke about is no longer there. Whether it’s in the early stages of pregnancy or later, the loss is no less. It’s a loss people expect you to get over quickly and often don’t understand that the child you carried never leaves your heart.
I lost my daughter’s twin in the early stages and was overcome by a deep sadness and yet joy. One child was lost, taken away, another was left to thrive and ultimately enrich our lives. We have never forgotten her sibling and all we know is that they were not identical twins.
I have been with a friend who held her twins in her arms for brief moments and watched as they took their final breath, an unparalleled pain. Knowing that the precious life you hold close to your heart will not walk with you in life, that their final breath is final, is difficult to accept. Do not leave me, dear one. We need you. The world needs you.
LOSS OF A JOB
This may seem trite in the face of death, and in no way comparable to that. But in my quest I perceive it as another stepping stone in life’s difficulties and traumas. Losing one’s job often results in a loss of identity, a loss of purpose. When it remains long-term you question your abilities, your own self. Depression leads to a downward spiral and can result in destructive behaviour.
It’s a form of punishment. We feel we have failed not only ourselves, but our family. With the best will in the world it is difficult to remain upbeat or positive. Every new interview demands that we put our best foot forward, create an impression of implacability, strength, and positivity. When hope is lost we feel lost. When you struggle to feed your family (not every country has unemployment benefits), and debts increase you veer from anger to a sense of incredulity and ultimately loss of faith.
This is one loss that people who have never experienced it can understand or can sympathize with. ‘It could be worse,’ are words you do not want to hear. The battle of darkness versus light, negativity versus positivity, must be fought bravely. Somehow, in any way possible, keep your inner core from self-destructing and reach out. Allow yourself
to hope and in allowing you can become whole again. To the rest of the world, I say, help where and how you can and show empathy. This is not an infectious disease, so do not shun friends or family in this situation and remember children do not understand why Aunty or Uncle no longer visit.
ASK ONLY FOR YOU
I am often too impatient with You,
I expect to drop everything
And be at my beck and call,
I often demand answers to my prayers
Expect you to help me
Whenever I fall,
So where is my trust?
The deep love I profess,
Why don’t I just ask – only
I have written two novels available on Amazon