Dealing with loss is not a performance. It’s a personal expression. Don’t judge yourself. Listen in to this podcast episode as we discuss what it means to be courageous in loss.
Emotions during loss or expectation of loss can be heavy and difficult to deal with, whether it’s loss of a job, the death of a family member or friend, or the loss of a furry companion (pet).
We dedicate this podcast episode to 3 of those furry companions, Panda, Comet and Foxy who are all in the final stages of life. They have brought us joy, love and given us unlimited attention. Anticipating their deaths is hard. We want them to stay, but we want them to go, too.
Throughout their decline, we get stressed, angry that we can’t change the outcome no matter what and overwhelmed by the amount of care it takes to keep them comfortable. Then, we judge ourselves for how we feel.
As our society has evolved, pets have become more and more a part of the family. They give us so much more than they take from us.
A different kind of loss is that of the people in our lives we are separated from because of the pandemic. They are still alive, but we can’t be together. That’s especially difficult during the holidays.
Kathi told us about her Thanksgiving experience in which she missed her parents deeply. They are both Alzheimer’s patients and this is the first holiday without them at the dinner table. Midway through dinner, she was overwhelmed by the loss. She “tried to be brave” and not emote. She was afraid she would bring others down. She now wishes she had acknowledged that loss.
When we don’t express our grief, fear and other emotions associated with loss, we are in essence, stuffing it down inside ourselves. And that can affect our health. I encourage you to communicate it-write it, speak it, but don’t pretend it’s not there. Even if you just whisper it into the air, express it! And, feel it.
When my Dad died, it was a relief. He had been difficult to communicate with for the few years prior to his death. I assumed he just didn’t want to communicate with me and I made it personal. When I was cleaning out his home, I kept getting angry with him because I would find several of the same items. His home was cluttered and it took several weeks to go through it all.
However, going through his things revealed to me what a wonderful life he had -how much he had lived and loved and struggled. I uncovered photos I had never seen of the good times we had shared. During the process, I forgave him. I forgave myself and I began to talk to him again. I could feel his presence and his love.
When I finally got the death certificate, his cause of death was listed as, “Alzheimer’s Related”. I hadn’t known. But it made sense. And the fact that he couldn’t communicate better wasn’t because he didn’t like me or love me. It’s because his mind wasn’t well and he was doing the best he could. It was through the loss that I found him.
I think we need to acknowledge after the loss of a person or a pet, that we did the best we could during the circumstances of losing them-nothing less. Our best varies from day to day, so we also need to acknowledge our feelings without judging ourselves.
Every living thing has a life cycle. It isn’t up to us to try to determine the length of that cycle. As humans, we want to manipulate time. With loss, that isn’t possible. Everything will pass in its time, so allow yourself to feel and grieve however that looks for you. That’s the courageous part.
Being courageous in loss is not about hiding how you feel. That might feel brave because you think you are protecting others from your sadness. But, most likely, others can benefit from your honesty. It’s also not a performance-it’s a personal expression. And it looks different for everyone. Be courageous enough to feel what you need to feel and be ok with that. But, be sure to be courageous enough to seek help when you need it. Below are a few resources for dealing with loss that you might find helpful.
Cheryl’s book, Emotional Self-Mastery (available on Amazon) is an amazing resource to help you deal with difficult, strong emotions such as grief and loss. But, if you prefer to work with her one-on one, use this calendly link to schedule a one-hour grief and loss workshop with her.
Cheryl C Jones is a facilitator, author, mind-set coach and podcast host who works with individuals and corporate work teams to quickly get to the issues inhibiting them from reaching their goals, overcome the issues and achieve real success.
Facebook: Simply The Best Results
LinkedIn: Cheryl C Jones
Getting Simply The Best Results
The Best Book on Regaining Personal Power, Self-Confidence and Peace
90 Companion Journal
Both available on Amazon
To book a one-on-one coaching session with Cheryl, book here: https://calendly.com/cherylj/60min
Kathi Holzschuher is a marketing strategist, content writer and podcast producer.
She works with Cheryl C Jones as marketing manager and podcast producer.
Facebook: Kathi Holzschuher
LinkedIn: Kathi Holzschuher