Lessons you learn from loss
Posted by AK Lander | On May 14, 2019 09:28
Coping with loss can change the way you live. Find out some of the lessons people have learned through grieving over a loved one with our helpful guide.
Many people believe that losing someone you love can change you as a person, but the changes may not all be negative. Despite the pain and sadness that comes with loss, people also show their strength and courage at difficult times such as this. When someone passes away, you may have to organise the funeral, a churchyard gravestone and what to do with their belongings, and then you’re left to process your grief. It may feel like nothing good will ever come from this, however, we spoke to people who have experienced the loss of a loved one to find out the life lessons they have learned from their grief.
“I am far stronger than I ever thought I could be”
We spoke to Jill Johnson-Young is a grief recovery facilitator, clinical social worker and the creator of Your Path Through Grief, a program that helps people on their grieving journey. We asked Jill, despite the devasting circumstances, what life lessons did she learn from her loss: “I am far stronger than I ever thought I could be - even though I did not feel strong at the time. Others may not like how I grieve and may not understand the decisions I make. New people will. Some of the old people will eventually decide I am still the same person they knew with some added pieces they might actually like.”
Losing someone helps many people realise how important it is to appreciate the small things in life, Jill continues: “I value every single day and I can love again after loss without ever losing the loved ones who have died. Grief can bring people together and solidify friendships.”
We asked Jill to share how her loss has affected her life: “I took the chance to remake my life. I have lost two spouses, in addition to several other loved ones. I changed career tracks after giving myself permission to leave my ‘safe' position. I am now self-employed with twenty-four staff members, I serve my community, and have time to do public speaking about grief and loss, death and dying, and dementia.”
“I had to decide that I could not spend my life wishing that they hadn't died or hold onto my identity as a widow. It had to become part of who I am, and I had to decide who that was going to be. It has made me a better therapist, and I have created a model of approaching grief that is solution focused and positive.”
“I believe that you work through the grief, you finish it, and you move into your new life with your loved ones as part of it and part of who you are. I won't say I am glad I lost them, but I am proud of who I have become and the way it has allowed me to help others, and to teach other therapists how to help their clients.”
“I’ve learned that we are all connected”
Losing someone you love can help you understand the importance of surrounding yourself with supportive and caring people. Angela Miller is the founder of A Bed For My Heart, an online community for families who have experienced the loss of a child. Angela is also the author of You Are The Mother of All Mothers, a book for bereaved mothers. We asked Angela what she has learned from loss: “We are all connected, all of us. Though this walk can be painful, we aren’t alone, and we don’t need to try to get through it alone. Finding people who get it can be life-changing, and lifesaving. Find your tribe - in person or online.
“I’ve also learned that love never dies, and the bond between a mother and her child is forever. A mother and her child are soul-tied, forever. Nothing can change that. When I focus on the forever love between me and my late son, there is nothing I can’t do in his honour and memory. Our love fuels me to do the impossible. Therefore, nothing is impossible. I’m convinced there is no greater life force on earth than a mom on a mission, fueled by the love she has for her children.”
“To treasure every moment that we have had with our loved ones”
After some time has passed, try to remember your loved one through the happy memories you shared. Treasure old photographs and keepsakes that remind you of the person you lost, but also continue to create new memories with people you care for.
Elizabeth Postle is the author of Grief and Sympathy, an advice blog for people who have lost someone dear to them. We spoke to Elizabeth to find out her thoughts on how loss can affect someone’s life: “Grief can have a devastating effect on one's sense of identity and it can take a while before people work out who they are and what they want out of life after a loss. This is particularly common when someone has been married for many years, or when one loses a child. You are no longer the wife or the mother. It can take time to discover who you are now and what you want out of life.
“At the same time, grief teaches us many lessons. In my own case, after I lost my husband of 52 years, I told myself that life is precious. I try to make the most of every day and be grateful for everything I do have. I treasure my happy memories and try to find solace in them instead of sadness. I believe that grief teaches us the value of life and to treasure every moment that we have had with our loved ones, as well as every moment still left to us on this earth. I think it also teaches us to be more compassionate and to have empathy for others who are also going through tough times."
If you have recently lost someone close to you, we understand how hard it can be. If you need help choosing the right gravestone and memorial for your loved one, then don’t hesitate to contact us today.