“When it’s your time to go, you won’t wish you’d spent more time grieving. You’ll wish you’d spent more time living.” — Christina Rasmussen
We have all experienced loss in one way or another in our lives. Like change, it is an inevitable fact of being human. Whether it’s a job, a loved one, a relationship, a dream or anything else — loss can be devastating.
Suffering a significant loss can leave you feeling empty. From that place of emptiness it’s easy to spiral downward into feelings of unshakable sadness and hopelessness. Loss isn’t something you can prepare for because the actual experience is almost always more difficult and heartbreaking than one could ever imagine. Unprocessed loss can take you hostage.
This topic of spousal loss is close to my heart because I married a widower eighteen years ago. My husband, Vic, lost his young wife Donna due to cancer when she was just twenty nine. They had three young sons ages five, three and nine months old. When Vic and I fell in love, twelve years later, I was acutely sensitive to the fact that my joy (finding my family and the love of my life) was made possible because of unspeakable pain and loss. Vic describes years of feeling overwhelmed and at times hopeless.
Feelings of hopelessness can be a normal part of the process of grief and yet we all know that zillions of people since the beginning of time have risen above the ashes to reclaim a sense of hope, light and even joy. It may feel impossible while you’re going through a life altering loss but living, laughing and loving are possible again.
Some people’s response to loss is to cling to the familiar. This may include going straight back to work with a business as usual mentality. Others stop participating in life all together. Rather than one extreme or the other, I believe it’s possible, as my friend Christina Rasmussen teaches, to grieve while getting into action. The two are not mutually exclusive and when done right, step by step, it is possible to re-enter the world feeling more courageous and powerful than ever before.
One key is taking small steps to redefine the way you think about loss and/or death and dying. It’s important to create a story that makes you feel hopeful after losing someone or something that perhaps you thought you could never live without. It’s about looking at your situation and your life in new ways, while honoring the way things were. It’s bringing hope to the present no matter how amazing the past seemed to be.
If you’ve ever had a significant loss in your life or are going through one now, then I want to invite you to join me. I’ve asked the incredibly wonderful, kind and compassionate, Christina Rasmussen, to be my guest today on my podcast, Hello Freedom. Tune in as we talk about love after loss, and her groundbreaking book, Second Firsts. Check out the book blurb below::
With clear-spoken science and inspiring stories, SECOND FIRSTS: Live, Laugh and Love Again guides you through The 5-step Life Reentry Model: a revolutionary process that turns the whole notion of ‘getting past grief’ inside out — taking loss out of the spotlight, and placing life front + center.
You will not want to miss this interview. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN or search Hello Freedom on iTunes to subscribe and listen. Also, please make sure to pass this along to anyone you think may need it.
Sending you massive love and wishing you a very happy and wonderful New Year.
As always, take care of you.
Love Love Love
*image courtesy of petalouda62
Thank you, Terri. This really hit home for me, especially after losing my Mom to cancer five months ago. I feel very strongly that as a culture, we need to talk a lot more about death so that the dying process can be managed differently. I could go on and on about this …
I am hoping to get my Dad to read (and listen). Thanks again and happy New Year! 🙂
I am so sorry for your loss, Jodie. I hope this post, podcast and Christina’s work can bring you and your father some peace. Sending love and strength during this time to you and your family.
As always, great stuff Teri! I heard Deepak Chopra speak on this very topic a while back and it’s amazing how much fear there is around death. As the daughter of a mortician, I grew up around death as a normal thing. What I got from that was that life is precious and we, as humans, have only to live every day as miraculously as possible.
What a beautiful outlook. Thanks for sharing, Sara.