It’s a fact, that as we grow older many of us must deal with the death, or departure of a spouse or another loved one. We are often faced with a life altering void we call loneliness. After the numbness wears off; we find ourselves asking the question: How do I conquer this loneliness and loss I am feeling?
There is a grieving process that everyone who has suffered this kind of loss must go through. And we all will travel through it in our own unique way, and at our own unique pace.
Here is a piece of poetry/prose that I wrote the subject.
I sit alone with four walls closing in;
And silence so loud I can almost hear it.
The absence of voices and laughter;
Of discussions, disagreements and reconciliation.
Now there’s only me, talking to myself;
Trying to make sense of senselessness.
Wondering what went wrong
How can it be, that you’re gone?
Gone. What a lonely word!
Full of emptiness, regret and solitude.
And an aching longing that won’t subside
But winds itself, like a vine, through each minute of my life.
Why did you take you take my joy with you;
And let your memory here to torment me?
Stirring up a longing for things that are past,
And never will be again as they were?
Today has become something to endure.
Tomorrow looms over me like a shadow.
Yesterday is gone; yet remains in my mind;
Like an ink stain that won’t wash away.
Still I stand; I am still here.
You didn’t take all of me with you.
And something in me won’t let go of hope,
For a better day, some tomorrow, without you.
By Jean Brickley June 16, 2017
There are stages we all go through in the grieving process. We may go through them in a different order or with different timing; but the stages are experienced by all.
In the book On Grief and Grieving, author, Elizabeth Kubler Ross, MD and David Kessler, describes five stages of grief as follows.
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It may help us to realize we aren’t the only ones dealing with loneliness and grief. Grief is experienced differently; but there are things that all grieving people have in common.
The lonely, or grieving person may get stuck for a while in one stage or another. Or the order may be switched around in some people. Or we may move in and out of the different phases. Don’t be disappointed if you seem to go backward sometimes.
Let me recall my steps through my grief after the death of my father. Perhaps reviewing this journey will help someone who is going through their own through death or divorce. His death came as a shock to me; because he was doing so well, even the day before he got sick and died.
I experienced the death of my mother first; but it was somewhat different, because she had gone so far down physically and mentally; that it seemed almost like a blessing to not have her suffer any more. In spite of that fact; I still have had to walk through the different stages of grief, and in some ways I am still on a healing journey from the loss of both parents.
What I felt after my dad’s death.
I remember feeling numb, but yet so much pain; and I was in disbelief. I had to take care of things like the coroner, funeral arrangements, etc. I went through all that in a daze. The numb feeling only lasted only a few days for me. As I began to accept reality, it was replaced by an empty ache.
I suppose I felt some anger; but it was mostly a lot of “What if” questions. What if I would have taken him to the hospital sooner. What if the doctors would have handled it differently? Did I make the right decisions for his care on that fateful day?
Perhaps I went from the denial or numb stage, through a stage of struggling to accept this as God’s will and straight to the questioning phase.
I think I would go in an out of the different phases according to how I was feeling that day. I would think I was done crying, until something would remind me of him, and bring me back to tears.
My attention was drawn away from my grief, somewhat, while going through their belongings to get prepare for an auction. This was both difficult and therapeutic. I went through the gamut of emotions during this time. And the day of the auction was heart wrenching. It felt like strangers were coming in, buying and carrying off pieces of my parent’s life.
Next came the depressed stage. The stage where I had to admit to myself that he really was gone. Both of my parents were dead. This fact was compounded by the fact that I was the main caretaker, and had been devoting a large part of my life to that purpose.
Their death left me with a void, where that purpose had been. I am not one to get knocked down and just lay there. I realized pretty quickly that I would have to find a new purpose to fill that void.
I thought of taking a part time job; but I didn’t really like the thought of fighting traffic and joining the rat race again. That’s when I stumbled across an internet affiliate marketing training program that you could start for free. It was called, Wealthy Affiliate.
If I joined with a free starter membership, I would also get seven days of free lessons; and two free websites. I was impressed that they didn’t ask for money upfront.
Still, I didn’t join on a whim. I researched to see if it was a scam. To my amazement; the majority of reviews were overwhelmingly positive. They didn’t promise a “get rich quick” formula. Right up front they said internet affiliate marketing would take hard work and time. I needed something to fill my “loss of purpose” void and give me a new purpose; so I joined.
It was just what I needed. I was kept busy, learning new things, and using my creativity. I enjoyed making new friends in the community. The amazing part was, my new friends were from many different countries and ethnic backgrounds. It was interesting and fun to read the blogs other members wrote, and comment on them. I loved writing blogs on the WA site, and getting positive feedback from other members.
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Joining WA helped me get through the depressive phase. Time has helped with the acceptance phase. I think I am now in a healing phase.
If I were to add any phase to the wonderful list found in the book, On Grief and Grieving by Elizabeth Kubler Ross, MD and David Kessler; it would be the “healing phase”. When acceptance takes place, we are then able to start healing.
Below are a few points of my own that may help you move through the different stages of grief smoothly.
Give yourself some adjustment time at the beginning. If you need extra sleep, take it.
Be kind to yourself. “What ifs” will plague you; but realize that you did the best you could.
Be forgiving toward others. Friends don’t always know what to say. They say the wrong things and can hurt us. But being angry and unforgiving will not help. Usually the offenders meant well.
Don’t allow yourself to remain isolated and alone for extended periods.
It may take every ounce of energy you have to remain in contact with friends, or go out to any event, or even to attend church. But it is important not to isolate yourself.
Reach out to other people with a helping hand. If you are helping others; your own pain will be relieved while you are caring for someone else. There is no better remedy for loneliness. And you will receive God’s blessings for helping others.
If you seem to be “stuck” in some phase (for instance, depression), check to see if there is a grief support group in your area that you could join; or talk to your pastor, or a trusted friend.
Don’t be afraid to ask for prayer, or pray for yourself. God is always listening and He understands our tears.
Don’t let anyone to tell you how you are supposed to feel. You feel the way you feel. And it is important to allow yourself to feel, and begin to work through your feelings, so you can heal.
When you have worked through some of the phases; you will find it comforting to remember the good things about your loved one; even if it makes you cry.
Don’t be afraid to talk about the person you lost, especially to people who knew them well and loved them too.
Don’t hold your feelings in and act strong. Not allowing yourself to cry, can prolong the grief process. Just allow yourself to feel what you feel, when you feel it.
Find an interest. Unwrap your creative self. This is a good time to try a new craft, write a poem, learn to play a musical instrument, or take up painting, etc.
Allow God to comfort and heal you. God sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us to comfort, guide and teach.
Count your blessings and cultivate positive thinking.
I have found it helpful to believe that my parents have gone on to Heaven, and are in a better place, and not suffering anymore. I also find comfort in the fact that I will see them again one day. We will be reunited in a land where there will be no more tears.
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one right now, please know that you have my sympathy. If you need prayer, I will be glad to pray for you, or others in your family.
I hope that you have found something of comfort in this post. Please use what you can and disregard the rest. Everyone grieves differently. You must find your own path and walk in it.
Please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below. Your thoughts are important to me and I will answer all comments as soon as possible.
Thank you for stopping by. Come back again soon. I love company!
At your service,