Grief takes time and it usually takes much longer than we think. This is not because the old adage of “Time Heals” is true but because we don’t actually understand what we need to do to move beyond grief. If we look around we can find many people who are in the same place as us. Whilst this comforts us and makes us feel less alone in our pain it doesn’t necessarily help us move forward. The paradox is that those who have moved beyond their grief generally don’t tend to spend time talking about it.
When people move forward from grieving they find that life and how they are living after loss becomes predominant. The brain supports this as it creates new neural pathways that are strengthened and deepened by a person’s focus on this. The more time spend figuring out how to live after loss, the more these neural pathways work.
This also has an impact on how we grieve. The more time we spend in grief, going over what happened and how we feel, the more we are creating neural pathways in the brain to support this. Unwittingly we can be supporting ourselves to actually stay in grief.
If you’ve had enough of grief then the first thing you need to do is to make a conscious decision to shift from looking at your grief to looking at what your life after loss will be. This requires that you stop identifying yourself as a griever. Too often in our society we can start to let our loss define us. There is nothing sadder for me to hear as a grief & growth coach that someone can’t enjoy life because their loved one died. Sadly this is all too common, especially reading posts on the internet.
I know personally that not wanting my loss to define me was a motivating factor for me to move beyond my own grief. In my eyes there is no greater tribute to my brother than living life fully for the both of us. I still work in the field because I want others to experience to joy of life after loss.
It’s an incredibly courageous thing to decide you’ve had enough of grief and want to move forward. Start by focusing on how you want your life to look. Think about everything that you’ve wanted to do but have never got around to doing before. Think about the things that you enjoy doing and want more of in your life. Think about the people that still make you happy and who you want to be a part of your life.
Yes there will be bumps on the way. There will be still be days that are challenging. Remember though the more you focus on life after loss the more your brain will support this and the easier it will become.
Questions for Self-Reflection: