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“I’m numb.” “I’m in a cloud so thick that I can’t navigate my way through to the light.” “This feels like a dream that I can’t wake up from.” After losing someone we love, beginning again leaves us feeling all of these emotions, and sometimes, these paralyzing emotions happen in concert. Moving forward seems impossible. How do we move on into an unknown world without a loved one in our lives? How do we embrace our new reality? How do we reign in our fragile emotions and command them to face today and tomorrow and the next day and the next month and year and lifetime without that precious one that we love so much? How do we adjust to the “new normal”?

Grief–Living the New-Normal

The clamor of guests no longer fills the space that kept the aching longing at bay. Most times, the presence of family and friends served as a much-needed distraction. But now, all the busyness has vanished, and we’re left alone with our thoughts, our pain, our longing, our emptiness, and the increasing haunting of “How…?” What does tomorrow look like, and how do we muster the courage to live with grief, the companion with whom we want no dealings? We scream, “Normal?” “We will never be normal ever again.” This epiphany rings true. Life will never return to what we hold dear and cherish, but life summons us to do just that–live with grief: live through grief. Through this process, we find our “new normal.”

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

As we struggle through the loss, the longing, the pain, and sometimes the rage and resentment over the irrevocable truth–we must accept that living the “new normal” becomes essential to our recovery. Instead of resenting this “new normal,” which life forced upon us, let’s begin again by taking stock of what we have that remains of our longed-after loved one. What did our loved one leave us that we can use to soothe the pain and longing? What memories or pictures or songs or gestures do we have within our grasp that cause the healing balm of peace and love to melt the callousness of regret away? Suddenly, we feel the warmth of our loved one’s presence, and a gentle smile lifts our countenance. Moments like these remind us that no matter how dark the days, the sun of genuine joy and happiness will show up in the days that make up our tomorrow.

How To Cope With Grief

But In the Meantime, making the most of living our “new normal” proves easier said than done, so what must we do? Renew our mind by focusing on what is good about our current circumstance, no matter how insignificant it may seem, find the good. I’m not suggesting every love lost has a happy ending, such as a long life lived or a release from such tremendous pain that death becomes the gift for the soul who bears the burden of that body. Sometimes our loved ones get ripped from our embrace through violence or tragedy. How do we find the good? Truth. We can’t. We may not be able to find anything good in what happened, but there must be some morsel of good produced in those involved or who’ve witnessed such sorrow. My point–“new normal” doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens through prayerful effort and dependence for hoping and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Hope.

Remembering Our Loved Ones

We begin to unthaw and feel the tingling of possibility. The fog starts to dissipate and catch a glimpse of hopeful days to come. In time, we begin to feel and even believe that we’re going to be okay. We visit our loved ones often in the measure of our days, but we focus on good and healthy expressions of how we can celebrate our love for those we love by living our “new normal” in honor of their great love and impact on our lives. Consider memories and moments that produce happiness and sunshine in our hearts. Try crafting a tribute honoring the love and life and fond memories that we cherish with them. Write about what makes us most grateful for having the opportunity to share a moment in time to love such a person, even if for a brief moment in time. Your Last Story would love to help you write a tribute about your loved one that brings out the sunshine in you and makes your heart smile.

Live Long and Prosper

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