This time two summers ago, life hit me with the biggest reality check. I was fast asleep at 3 o’clock in the morning when I received a call that one of the most important people in my life passed suddenly. Since then, my life hasn’t been the same.
With this loss has came more loss. I lost family, I lost friends, and to make matters worse, I lost my home. For awhile, I felt hopeless. I felt like I was trapped in a hole that I couldn’t climb out of. Two years later, my life is back on track, but I’m still picking up the pieces.
The pain we experience from loss doesn’t just go away. It’s a feeling that could stay with us for a lifetime. It could take years to even be able to fully grasp the situation. As we try to continue with our lives, we realize how much this loss has impacted our daily life. Loss could bring about sudden panic attacks that haven’t occurred before, or could even lead to depression.
How do we cope with loss? First and most importantly, we need to understand and accept our emotions. Sit down and gather your feelings. Write it down if you have to. Are you sad that this presence in your life is gone? Are you angry with the world for taking this from you? Are you confused how this happened? Are you scared you will never overcome this? Whatever emotions you are feeling, sit with it. These feelings are normal after facing a major loss and shouldn’t be shoved aside. You can’t heal if you don’t grieve.
We also cannot grieve forever. Life goes on. Even though there may always be a hole in your heart, life does continue. You will find others to love. You will face more obstacles. You will be alright in time. Take time to focus on yourself and your needs. Take care of your health and work hard to achieve your goals. Be proud of yourself. Just because you faced loss doesn’t mean your journey is over. There is still so much this world has to offer. Don’t miss out.
This time two summers ago I thought my life was over. I started having panic attacks that would come at any given time. I didn’t think I’d be able to finish school. I didn’t think I’d have a future. Even though I was fortunate enough to receive lots of love, I still felt the most alone I’ve ever felt in my whole life. I felt like no one understood, and I believed it wouldn’t get better.
Two years later and I graduated from college a year early. I work for a great company and have just moved into my own apartment. I’m spending more time doing things I love and working to not take a second of my life for granted. Life isn’t perfect yet, and my heart may never be fully healed, but I’m working on myself and getting better everyday.
If you’re having a difficult time coping with loss and believe grief is taking a toll on your health, please seek help. Crying doesn’t make you weak, and neither does taking care of yourself, whether it be mentally or physically. There are many support groups out there that can help you work through your emotions.
If you’re feeling suicidal, seek help immediately. Talk to someone you trust, or call the suicide hotline at:
UK: 08457 90 90 90
Australia: 13 11 14
Or find the helpline in your country on IASP