Changes in our relationships happen, even though we like to live under the blanket of ”happily ever after”. Not everyone goes through the same losses, although we all go through some form of loss or another during our lives. Loss can be one of the hardest challenges of life, while it can also be a great gift in disguise, as strange and unacceptable as this may sound.
When we lose someone, a part of us is lost with them. In any relationship, we unconsciously hope and dream a future with them. We have a rich imagination of what is yet to be, even though we might not be aware of it. We may envision our relationship, whether with a family member, a significant other or a friend, to grow in a certain way, bringing future comforts and celebrations. Our minds are cast into a future when we are in relationships. We expect a ”happily ever after” path with them, and this is normal.
When that relationship ends for whatever reason, we are faced with that imagined future. Whether we like it or not, we are face to face with a very scary reality: that future we imagined, that pathway towards beautiful things: is not going to happen. We suffer the sudden fall from the heights, everything might seem hopeless, pointless and you sink.
Such is the normal nature of having an imagined positive future suddenly fade and you are not able to do anything about it. This is the loss of meaning that accompanies loss.
Making Sense After Loss: How to Find Meaning AgainGrieving is a normal process that requires time and processing. After a loss occurs, it is normal to sink for a while. After all, you are facing a period of redefinition: what just happened? How could this be happening?
Sometimes, however, that process can become a problem if it gets you stuck. We might end up feeling helpless and hopeless long after the loss and this can be a problem. What we are faced with is a challenge to redefine meaning after the loss. This process must be welcomed and embraced.
In order to make sense out of endings, we need to incorporate our loss into the new story of our continuing life. We take on the loss, however painful it may be, and use it for bettering our lives and for those around us, rather than festering in hopelessness. It is a conscious choice that we must make, to look pain in the eyes and say: I will embrace you and work with you to make things better. Avoiding the pain can make it linger and poison your relationships, cause internal stress at work and potentially make life harder on you.
Take the time to patiently re-weave the ending into a chapter of your life rather than seeing it as the ending of the book of your life. It is a gradual process and the more you embrace the loss and make it part of the ongoing story of your life, the easier it will become to honour yourself and grow from the experience for better things yet to come.
If you are dealing with a loss or end of a relationship and you are having difficulty coping, call 514-594-1215 for professional grief counselling, or for more information. I would be happy to answer your questions if you call in person.
Arash Kameli, MA, CCC