Honoring Memories: Coping with Loss
The message comes in one early morning amidst broken words, exhaled breaths, and a shaking voice. “She is gone,” says the voice, “she is gone, and I am not ready for it; I have never been ready for it, and I will never be ready for it.”
It is not sudden news; it is something we have been waiting for; we received the information that there were a few weeks left only a couple of months earlier. It was a loud, ticking clock with no chance to stop. Now the noise is gone. In its place is a screaming silence, so deafening it feels there is nothing else around.
The first step is to accept the loss and understand that this pain won’t last forever. If there is one thing to say about clichés quotes, the one about time heals all wounds is pretty accurate. It's important to acknowledge and accept our feelings. Grief can manifest in many ways, from sadness and anger to guilt and regret. It's okay to feel these emotions, and it's important to allow ourselves to experience them fully. This might mean crying, journaling, talking to a therapist or loved one, or engaging in other forms of self-care that help us process our feelings.
Next, once we realize it won’t last forever, we can summon the strength to deal with it because we can, even when we feel we can’t. A thousand-mile journey starts with one step; this will be more than a thousand miles, but it still takes that one first step.
It's a time to honor and remember those who have passed away, and to celebrate the cycle of life and death. Some ways to honor the memories of our loved ones might include lighting a candle, making an altar or offering, or simply spending time reflecting on their impact on our lives.
It's also important to take care of ourselves during the grieving process. This might mean getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and engaging in activities that bring us joy and comfort. It's okay to take time off from work or other responsibilities if we need it, and to ask for help and support from friends, family, or professionals.
And there is no rush, no need to start immediately; it’s ok to let the pain sink in, absorb it, and, sometimes, as I say, entertain it with a bit of tea and biscuits.
The second step into overcoming the sense of loss is understanding that these feelings are normal; we need to accept them, treat them gently and create our journey.
We must also slowly move through it; in our journey, we need to know that we are not alone.
Reaching out and speaking to a friend, a close person, or a specialist can help us start and continue our journey through loss.
Finally, we can find meaning and purpose in our loss. While it's natural to feel lost and adrift after a loss, it's also an opportunity to reflect on our own lives and priorities. This might mean pursuing a new passion, volunteering for a cause that's meaningful to us, or simply finding ways to give back to our communities. By finding meaning in our loss, we can honor the memories of our loved ones and create a legacy that lives on beyond their physical presence.
Ultimately, the pain we feel in separation is the price we pay for love, and there is no price we can put on the love we have experienced during our lives. Dealing with loss is a difficult but necessary part of the human experience. By acknowledging and accepting our feelings, honoring the memories of our loved ones, taking care of ourselves, and finding meaning in our loss, we can move through the grieving process with grace and resilience. And as we honor our loved ones on the Day of the Dead (and any other day as well), we can find comfort and healing in the celebration of life and the cycle of death and rebirth.
For the Dealing with Loss Manifestation Box I prepared you tools to help you cope with the unavoidable feeling of sadness when loved ones leave us. Stay strong, stay positive! Love, Szilvia