I usually write about what I'm going through after it has happened. However, like a musician making a heartfelt song while they're in love, I figured I'd write about how I currently feel... maybe it could help someone else going through the same thing. At the very least, it may help myself.
I decided to end a relationship with someone I've spent more time with over the past half-decade than anyone else. Even though I'm choosing for it to end, It hurts. It may not hurt the same way losing someone to death does but none the less, it sucks. Let's dive in.
The first step to overcoming the pain of loss is... feeling the pain. Again, it hurts. It's supposed to hurt. Let yourself feel it because if you don't, it will build up. When my father passed away, I pretended that because I didn't know him very well that it didn't bother me. Over time, the emotions built up like an avalanche and eventually came barreling down all at once. What could have been a normal healing process turned into an emotional burden. The simple to understand but difficult to implement goal is feeling the pain without letting it become too much.
Next is acceptance. Accepting your feelings is crucial for being able to move forward. If someone cuts you off in traffic, you have two options. Option one: You can begin to get upset, maybe start some road rage, and make it a big deal. Option two: You can acknowledge what happened and that it bothered you then accept it. Neither going through loss or getting cut off in traffic are things you can control. However, you can control your reaction. The biggest difference between the two is that the emotions that come with loss often stick around longer. These feelings act like a rollercoaster, rising up and falling down with time which brings about more chances for losing the battle of acceptance.
Finally, self talk is the final step. Once you feel the pain then accept the way you feel, you have to talk yourself into feeling better. For me, reminding myself that things will be better off on the other side of how I currently feel really helps. When my sister passed away, I told myself that it was better for her because she wasn't in physical pain anymore. My sister spent the final year of her life in the hospital, partially on life support. She was in a lot of pain and I hated seeing her like that. Thinking about her not having to feel that way anymore, provided me with comfort.
Dealing with loss may be one of the toughest life experiences to go through but like all pain, it's temporary. Understanding that it's temporary and following these three steps will help. It won't be easy or happen fast but time and time again these steps have worked for me and many others.
Until next time...
Greg is a Grand Rapids, Michigan native with a passion for personal growth.