Existing Through Loss
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. -Matthew 5:4
Though my biological mother's death happened when I was 3 years old, I just recently began to mourn. I realized that mourning had nothing to do with the time frame in which loss occurred. Through my reflection, reading articles and books on grief, I came up with 5 ways that I have been existing (living) through loss.
Through my reflection, reading and research I discovered there are many ways to cope with the loss of a loved one, so please don't take these 5 ways to be the only ways you can cope. These are just the ways I find most helpful for me. I hope that what I share here is able to assist in your journey of coping through loss. You can also take what I have discovered and share with others.
Give yourself the opportunity to experience the pain that stems from loss. Cry, shout, scream. Set aside time and allow yourself to mourn.
I grew up learning to move on quickly and not to reflect on things that I could not change. This created a habit of burying emotions deep inside and not allowing myself to actually experience the beauty of release. I still find it difficult to cry however when I allow myself the opportunity to do so, it is very liberating. Providing myself the space to experience sorrow has allowed me to journey through the healing process.
...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. -Psalm 30:5
Talk to others about your emotions and feeling towards loss. Be sure to let them know that you may not be looking for answers and at times you just need an ear. At times you may find it encouraging to hear stories from others who are dealing with loss as well.
The most difficult task for me was explaining my feelings to others mainly because I did not understand it for myself. Due to bottling up my emotions for so long I didn't recognize that many of the issues that transpired were rooted from keeping quiet about my emotions. My husband has been very helpful in encouraging me to talk about my pain. I have found such a freedom in talking with him and others about how I feel about the loss of my biological mother. If you aren't quite ready to explain your pain to others, remember that you have God you can talk to as well.
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. -1 Peter 5:7
Find a creative outlet to express your emotions: Music, dancing, drawing, or writing in a journal can be helpful in getting your emotions out.
Creating the 'sever threads' project allowed me to express my pain through hip hop. It was difficult facing my pain this way but yet through all the tears, music allowed me to journey into the past in order to understand my present. Creating 'sever threads' pushed me to be vulnerable and gave me the outlet to exalt God due to his magnificence in guiding me through this journey. My hope is that the project inspires others to use creative outlets to express their pain and to draw near to almighty God in the time of trouble, pain, or loss.
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. -2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Get up, get out, and move!
One of the things I had to be careful in doing was spending too much time in a state of sorrow. I found myself falling into depression and slowly losing the motivation to engage in the activities that brought me joy. Being physically active gave me the the opportunity to release any frustrations or anger that I felt due to loss. Going out and enjoying your friends or family can give you a break away from the pain. Find healthy activities or hobbies that you enjoy. Eat well and sleep well. Live, laugh, love.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; -Ecclesiastes 3:4
Grieving is a process so give yourself time to grieve and be patient with yourself. Let go of regrets. Forgive them. Forgive yourself.
I grew up believing that my biological mother did not love me and I was hurt that drugs were more important to her. I wanted to be the source of happiness for her. I was angry that she was gone and that I didn't get a chance to develop a relationship with her. As I got older I began to ask questions about her and found out that she truly loved my brother, sister, and I, but drugs has a way of blinding the eyes of the addict. I learned to forgive my mother but most importantly I learned to forgive myself for holding on to so much pain for so many years.
I am still working through the process of coping and healing and I am excited to have you on this journey with me. As I learn about myself I hope you are inspired to do the same for yourself. I'm not perfect but I'm striving towards perfection and with my faith in God I know that I will overcome.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:27-30
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Now Reading: A Grief Observed by C.S Lewis
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