Whether your lost loved one was a friend in arms, a spouse or significant other, or a civilian friend or family member, the loss will hit home hard. How you move on may look and feel differently than you expected it to—but it will happen, eventually, in time. Slowly, you will store your loved one in your memories, but not let the sadness take you down. Your friend or family member would want it this way; there is no harm in moving on without forgetting.
Part of that process we have been discussing. Oftentimes this may mean letting others get close to you again. This may mean letting others see your emotion, or practical areas you need help in as you adjust to your new life in grief. Keeping people around you is good, as we discussed; but the next, hard step is to actually ask for what you need, accept the help, and let them love you. You do not have to wall yourself off in order to serve your loved one’s memory; in fact you know they would want the opposite.
If the people around you were not there with you during your loss or trauma, it may feel more difficult to explain what happened or is happening. This will involve some patience on your part, and allowing them to hear you out when you need to talk. Take some time to work through what happened, and plan on a time to tell a loved one. Make sure they are someone you can trust, who is open to hearing about this event. Realize that even if they are confused, or don’t know what to say or how to say it, it will help you to talk about it. It will also help your loved one to know more of what you went through, and to understand as best as they can. Talking about it is important in this process.
HH4Heroes Grief Easing Strategy #8
Ask for What You Need. While writing this series I came across this letter as a concept and means of expressing emotion as well as asking for help in small and large ways. This letter was taken from the book, “Life after Loss” by Bob Deits. Consider sending this or something like it out to your friends and family. See what you think:
We have experienced a loss that is devastating to us. It will take time, perhaps years, for us to work through the grief that we are having because of this loss.
We will cry more than usual for some time. Our tears are not a sign of weakness or a lack of hope or faith. They are the symbols of the depth of our loss and the sign that we are recovering
We may become angry without there seeming to be a reason for it. Our emotions are all heightened by the stress of grief. Please be forgiving if we seem irrational at times.
We need your understanding and your presence more than anything else. If you don’t know what to say, just touch us or give us a hug to let us know you care. Please don’t wait for us to call you. We are often too tired to even think of reaching out for the help we need.
Don’t allow us to withdraw from you. We need you more than ever during the next year or two.
Pray for us only if your prayer is not an order for us to make you feel better. Our faith is not an excuse from the process of grief.
If you, by chance, have had an experience of loss that seems anything like ours, please share it with us. You will not make us feel worse.
This loss is the worst thing that could happen to us. But we will get through it and we will live again. We will not always feel as we do now. We will laugh again.
Thank you for caring about us. Your concern is a gift we will always treasure.
Another important step may involve forgiveness. At times, when making sense of a loved one’s death, we blame those involved—doctors who should have done more, for instance, people involved directly or indirectly by being at the scene; or, as discussed earlier, ourselves.
If you hold onto anger and blame, these emotions will only hinder your wellbeing, and keep you from healing and moving on. Understand that those involved indirectly did the best they could, and they are ultimately not the root cause of death. Forgiving them will release a burden from your own heart. The same goes for those who were directly to blame—while they may deserve justice, yes, holding onto hatred will only hinder you and your healing. The memory of your loved one can be free from the coloring of this event; remember them in love, and with your own heart free and forgiving. There is a big difference between forgiving and forgetting.
(If you are suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides trained telephone counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Crisis help is a phone call away: 1.800.273.8255)
Remember…happiness is an inside job!
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Independent filmmaker, author, happiness coach and speaker Lisa Cypers Kamen creates these blogs to entertain, enlighten and educate our service men and women along with their families as well as support our troops. To contact Lisa, email her directly at email@example.com and check out her websites at www.harvestinghappiness.com , www.hh4heroes.org & www.harvestinghappinesstalkradio.com.
Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio with Lisa Cypers Kamen brings a fresh approach to the airwaves promoting happiness, well-being and global human flourishing by presenting a diverse and proactive collection of the greatest thinkers and doers who have devoted their lives to creating a better world in which to live.
She is an expert in creating happiness, finding pathways to happiness, and building a happiness formula in her Harvesting Happiness workshops. Cultivate a happier life by tuning in weekly click here .Wednesdays at 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EST. or download her free podcasts by clicking here.
Harvesting Happiness for Heroes is a pending 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation. Our mission objective is to offer support services to Warriors and Warrior families challenged by Combat Trauma, PTSD and post-deployment reintegration issues. HH4Heroes offers Battle Buddy workshops, family awareness training, online community support, one-on-one coaching services, as well as retreats for Warriors to decompress from battle and understand the tools available for them to adapt their military skills to civilian society.
Harvesting Happiness & Harvesting Happiness for Heroes provides positive psychology coaching tools to facilitate greater well-being. This communication is provided for education and inspiration. This communication does not constitute mental health treatment nor is it indicative of a private therapeutic relationship. Individuals desiring help for trauma, addiction and abuse related issues or other psychological concerns should seek out a mental health professional.
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