Picking Up the Pieces After a Loss

When you lose a loved one like a close relative, their pain and suffering ends but the real work begins for the loved ones that are still alive. The real work being the mental afflictions that one has to go through. Everyone is different and everyone is allowed to be different in how they will pick themselves up, there is no cookie cutter method or recipe for this. After my experience with the loss of my mother I had no idea where life would take me. I got criticized by some around me, telling me I should move on, others telling me I am all grown up and should come back to reality and others telling me how I should just let life go on. I wish it was as simple as they seemed to make it.

Before I lost my mother I had decided to resign from a great job that had a bright future. My plans were to start something on my own and I was pumped about it. After my loss all dreams and aspirations I had simply broke into pieces like glass shattering. Pieces of my life went everywhere, I was a complete mess. I started being careless with my actions, disregarded my own health (I thought “Hey, we’re all going to die sooner or later”), my mood was a complete roller coaster, some nights I would sleep like a log, other nights I would toss and turn with thoughts on my mind. It was a very vulnerable stage of my life, I trusted people that I thought cared and would later bite me back, I disregarded the advice of those that really wanted to see me through this but I dismissed them. Life was a mess.

I believe it took me around 6 months before I decided to try and do something about my life. I started to do some more reading (self help books), I read about meditation and how it could help still the mind, I researched on how others coped with their loss. During the reading, meditation and research my mind was either busy working on something or at more peace. However, at other times, negative thoughts would flood my mind to the point where I would simply breakdown and spend the rest of the day weeping in sadness or furious in anger. People were telling me that I had to move on. A case of easier said than done. I even decided to try going to a life coach that was quite renowned here in Bahrain. I would go in sessions feeling dim and leave in a great mood, but soon after I would drop down again.

It took me a while to realize and accept I should have stopped listening to people’s advice. The problem I was having with advice was that they were turning into an image of the person that I should be like. Whenever I compared myself to that ideal version and noticed that in reality I was nowhere close to matching the ideal me I dropped into depression and hatred again and again. I decided I had to unlearn and let go of the image that I made of myself based on others’ advice. It was another tough process because when those close to me noticed I was feeling down they would start again feeding me what they thought was best to me. I had to put on a mask for a while to give the impression that things were going great now.

I can say that it is only now after almost 3 years since my loss that I am starting to pick up the pieces in my life. I went on a few trips out of the country and had a great time. I started looking for a job, sending my CV daily to at least 30 different places and got a job. I started to visit my mother’s friends whenever they invited me to their places and it felt great being in their presence. Overall I was starting to enjoy life again, albeit one step at a time. In my case things started to turn around after almost 3 years because I believed and accepted it was time for me to get back on track with my life.

The takeaway from this post is this: If you are suffering a loss that has shattered your life it is ok for you to take your time to pick up your pieces and it is ok to do it on your own terms. Remember that you are a unique individual and you will go through this differently from everyone else. Always keep this in mind, you will come out of this a stronger person.

Leave a Reply