What I've Learned from Loss
Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life. ~ Anne Roiphe
We are all exposed to varying degrees of loss in our lifetime. What I have learned over the years of living with shattering losses is that wherever there is loss, elsewhere there is gain.
Challenged by a devastating loss not too long ago, I began reexamining my heart, soul, mind, and energy. The experience broadened my sense of self and my relationship with others.
4 Things I've Gained from Loss
Moving through a time of unbearable loss changed me. With that loss stinging my heart, my perspective on love, faith, time, and living intentionally changed drastically.
Here are four things I learned from working through that loss.
1. With a broken heart, my love for others softened.
As I opened up my heart, I noticed an increase in the comforting love I received from others. Until that time, I didn't realize I had been guarding my heart through this loss.
What I also learned is that love expands past the piercing pain. Love gently comforted my aching heart as I shared laughter, sweet memories, and heartbroken tears with others as they helped me navigate the process of healing my broken heart.
2. My faith deepened during this profound loss.
I am reminded that there are only temporary goodbyes on this side of Earth.
For me, there is peace in knowing that this life is not all there is and that there is something greater on the other side of heaven waiting for me.
I hold fast to every word breathed out in the Scriptures. I longingly and patiently wait for the day I reunite with loved ones who have made the journey before me.
3. I focus on living more intentionally.
There are many distractions vying for my attention and drawing my mind away from the here and now.
Loss challenged me to become more aware of the importance of living my life intentionally and making each moment count.
4. Loss is teaching me to stay in the present moment.
I am learning to stay in a right-here, right-now frame of mind because at some our life comes to an end. Staying in the present moment helps me realize the importance of each moment.
What I've Learned Navigating the Storms of Life
Here are three things I've learned in navigating life after a loss.
1. How we navigate life after loss varies with our own life experiences.
Loss is inevitable.
Our ability to cope, recover, adapt, and continue living life to the fullest is shaped by past experiences and helps us persevere through future ones.
2. Time continuously presses forward.
Time heals. It slows for no one.
Time expects you to keep up and to continue to live, moving beyond the past. It is a gentle counselor and a stern educator helping you navigate the process of moving forward after loss.
3. Look for the light in the dark.
It is never an easy task - especially when tears saturate my face - but when I look beyond my pain, there is always a beacon of light in the darkness.
Light appears at its brightest in the darkest moments. It may be visible with your eyes, your soul, or your heart depending on how you are navigating through your storm.
I am learning that there can be beautiful gains coming out of the blinding darkness of loss. Navigating those losses has helped me learn more about myself - my heart, soul, mind, and energy - and continue to grow despite the devastating heartbreak.
Shellene M is a full-time healthcare worker who enjoys a variety of sports, spending time outdoors, and loves all dogs. She considers herself a continuous work in progress in every aspect of life and believes wholeheartedly in faith, hope, and love. She lives happily with her husband and two sweet but crazy dogs.