4 Ways to Handle Loss


Today, for #WellnessWednesday, guest blogger Carol Kanda shares her suggestions when dealing with loss...

Losing someone can be difficult no matter the circumstances. Whether you see a loved one slowly deteriorate through illness, or experience a sudden, unexpected death - preparing for grief is something you unfortunately cannot truly understand until you experience the journey firsthand.

My father passed away from stomach cancer when I was 25 years old. A dear childhood friend passed away when we were both 38 years old. My husband passed away when I was 40.

Here are four suggestions when dealing with loss. May they offer you solace:

1) BREATHE

You are in a daze for quite some time. With each loss, I felt like my world stopped and I expected the outside world to stop, too. Everything and everyone seemed to move in slow motion in front of me.

Allow yourself time to be out of it, feel and honor your emotions - all of them.

2) Let yourself lean on others.

I've always felt badly depending on others for help, especially for things I can do by myself. Yet there is not time in life when I've needed the support of others more.

Let people literally pull you out of bed.

Let people drive you around to do errands.

Let people bring meals to you.

Let people clean your house.

Let people take your kids.

Let people listen to all the scattered emotions vomit out of your mouth.

Your friends and family want to be there for you in this way. Let them.

3) Just put your pants on.

The logistics can become quite overwhelming when someone passes. You also can't help but worry about your future, especially if you have children.

Will I have enough money?

How do I do the things my partner used to take care of?

What if the furnace busts?

What about college for my kids?

Do I sell my house?

A dear friend kindly shared what her grandfather used to say in his experience of loss that served as a metaphor for how to move forward: "When you wake up, all you have to do is put your pants on."

I distinctly remember when I heard this, an incredibly weight was lifted off my shoulders. I sensed relief - that I am really going to be okay.

We can all let anxiety get the best of us. But all we need to do is just put our pants on.

4) There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

Am I crying too much? Not enough?

Do I clean out his side of the closet? How soon is too soon? How late is unhealthy?

Is it okay I haven't thought about him lately?

Should I honor his birthday even though the thought makes me too depressed?

Do I want to eat ice cream for every meal?

Be kind to yourself. Everyone grieves differently. Allow all your emotions to move through you. Don't beat yourself up if you think you aren't going through whatever steps society suggests you should go through on your grief journey.

Be safe and kind to your body. Sure, eating ice cream for every meal is okay, but not for an entire week. Staying in bed all day may be just what you need, but so is getting outside and talking a small walk around the block.

Remember fundamental healing truths: the benefits of fresh air, clean food, and connection when you feel down and out.

In love and support,

Carol Kanda

If you or someone you know is in the middle of processing grief right now, please REACH OUT. You need not do this alone. No matter where you are, there is support.

Carol Kanda is a mom of two, widow, and teacher with a passion for helping those experiencing grief from loss. She is an incredible resource and has kindly offered her email should you, or someone you know need support or suggestions of grief groups, therapists, healing camps for adults or kids processing loss, and more. CLICK HERE to get in touch with Carol.

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