I am so sorry for your loss. I’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and I know how hopeless it feels to search for ideas on how to survive life after the loss of someone you love. These tips are inspired by a reader’s comment on my article for grieving widows — she found that her healing process started when she wrote her husband’s obituary.
“In my husband Mark’s obituary, I wrote that he was a man of tremendous compassion, grace and grit,” says Erica on How to Get Through the Day When You’re a Grieving Widow. “Mark was inspiring, he believed that no matter what hand we were dealt that we were here to increase the light and he did. In my life time, Mark was my deepest love and dearest friend. There has been no one else like him for me. As grief follows his death, after two years I can now accept that nothing so meaningful, a love so life changing, could ever not leave me. My Faith and Hope are as deep and my gratitude for the gift of my life with Mark shines in my heart!”
In her full comment on that blog post, she shares that part of her healing process was writing her husband’s obituary. In it, she reflected on his great courage, compassion, and grit even while dying of kidney disease.
Have you written your loved one’s obituary? It might be part of the healing journey for you, too. You don’t have to write a formal obituary; feel free to share a few thoughts in the comments section below. Write whatever comes to mind, and let your emotions follow your thoughts. This will help you heal.
Surviving Life After the Loss of Someone You Love
I’m writing a book called Blossoming After Loss: How to Let Go of Someone You Love. I’ve been learning so much about grieving and healing, accepting and surrendering to a new season in life. In this post, I share a few of the tips that resonate with me…
Taste the freedom of leaving grief behind
“Leaving grief behind is not easy, pretty, or quick,” says Dianne in Life After Loss: Conquering Grief and Finding Hope. “but now that I know how wonderful it feels to be rid of the suffering, repressing my sorrow is no longer an option. That was my path, but one I’d never impose on someone else.”
How did she survive life after the loss of someone she loved? She allowed herself to grieve the childhood grief that she’d suppressed for decades after she lost her grandmother. She lost her grandma when she was a little girl, but she never allowed herself to actually grieve her loss. Life was fine for awhile…until she lost someone she loved as an adult. That was when she realized she couldn’t survive life after los because she hadn’t processed her childhood grief.
Give yourself space and time to grieve your past losses
Some counselors, psychologists, and grief experts believe we never fully work through our losses. I agree. I had to let go of my sister; while I feel like I’ve grieved that loss in a healthy way, I’ll still always feel a shadow pass over my heart when I think of her. Same with my grandma’s death, and even the dogs and cats I’ve had to say goodbye to over the years.
If you’re struggling to learn how to survive life after the loss of someone you love, consider your past losses. It’s possible that — if you haven’t grieved and let them go — you’re mourning them, as well. If you haven’t properly grieved them, your current loss will weigh heavy on your spirit and soul.
Know that you will never be the same
Every loss I’ve survived has affected me differently…and each one has marked me in different ways. Some were shocking and sudden, others expected and anticipated. Sometimes I felt relieved after the loss, other times I thought I’d never be able to survive life without my loved one.
Regardless of how you lost your loved one, you will never be the same. You have been marked. Your changes can be positive, and actually improve your and others’ lives…or they can be negative, and fill you with bitterness, resentment, and loneliness. Which will it be, I wonder? What path will you choose? Will you choose to heal the pain after losing someone you love?Who will you allow yourself to become?
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Find ways to see life after loss differently
Another tip for surviving life after loss is to allow yourself to see your life — and loss — differently. Try not to stay stuck in the story you’re telling yourself. Grieve your loss and mourn the past, but look around for rays of sunshine. Cling to bits of hope wherever you find them!
Here’s what Jodi says:
“Thank you for your words of comfort at a time when I need it,” says Jodi on Words of Comfort When Your Heart is Broken. “I don’t feel connected to anybody at this point in my life. Some days I’m angry, some days I’m angry, I feel like anything I try to do to help someone backfires. No one tells me or remembers anything I’ve done right, only what I haven’t done right. Makes you feel like why try? Your words of comfort help me to see things differently. And to keep God close to my heart and know He is with me all the way. Thank you so much!”
Let hope creep into your heart, soul, and spirit
Your life has been uprooted, you’ve lost a piece of your identity, and you don’t know how to start picking up the pieces of your heart. You know you have to learn how to survive life after the loss of someone you love, but you think you can’t find the strength. You hope God has a plan for your life and you’re dimly aware that a new season awaits…but how do you start moving forward?
Your loss will always be part of you, but it doesn’t have to smother your joy. If you believe, you will find hope and healing, encouragement and strength. You’ll step out from under the dark clouds of grief, guilt, regret, and loneliness. You’ll see you’re not alone. And yes, you will move into a new season of life! Slowly — just like a seed sprouts after it was buried deep in the soil — you will find your place in a new garden. Your roots will grow down, giving you a strong foundation of faith and strength. Your heart will rise up, reaching for the glory of God, the joy of Jesus, and the hope of the Holy Spirit.
Take heart, for you will soon feel the healing warmth of the sun on your face. You will feel happy and whole again. And you will Blossom.
Help Surviving Life After Loss
In Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love: Daily Meditations to Help You Through the Grieving Process, Raymond R Mitsch and Lynn Brookside offer a series of thoughtful daily devotions. They’ll help you endure the anguish and uncertainty, understand the cycles of grief, sort through the emotions of anger, guilt, fear, and depression, and face the God who allowed you to lose the one you love.
This book will help you learn how to survive loss of someone you love — and give you hope and strength to carry on with your own life. Daily devotions or meditations are one of the best ways to work through grief and heal the pain of losing a loved one.
May you find peace, healing, and hope. May you lift your heart to God and open your spirit to Jesus. May you feel the warmth and healing power of His love, and may you know that even when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are not alone.