Phoenix: A legendary bird destined for rebirth. A lot of my friends who deal with loss have asked me: “does it ever get easier….?” Grief is a unique situation to tackle…
This ties down to the idea of perspective. A lot of people have also lost people close to them in their life, and they’ve without a doubt felt a mix of the same feelings you’re probably struggling with right now.
No. Nevermind. I’m wrong.
Your feelings are unique to your own perspective, and you’re right no one can truly understand what you’re going through. However, people can come help you in your time of need. They can sympathize.
Without a doubt, these feelings are not the same as the ones you are fighting. No one can share the exact same thoughts because everyone’s grief is different. This is also another reason for why telling someone: “I’m sorry for your loss…” could be an easy mistake to make.
The person dealing with grief has already heard this phrase a numerous amount of times. We all know the other person means well, and it’s important to not lash out when you hear this phrase. A lot of the times the person dealing with grief just needs to hear happy moments about what is going on in the world right now. They need a distraction from their reality so it’s up to you to illuminate their life. Let the other person be sensitive and don’t worry if they’re feeling moody.
They don’t need more reminders of what they’re going through.
Take the time to tell them what you’re up to and how you should all get together soon to have some fun.
I was on the phone with one of my friends who recently lost her father and she asked how I was doing. Immediately I changed the focus of this conversation off from myself, and I asked if she and her family were on the upward swing of things.
She asked me: “does it ever get easier?”
She knew life still had to be lived, but it’s natural to look towards the future and hope that things will change for the better. It’s emotionally exhausting to power through the day, week, and year when the wound is still fresh. Grief can suffocate a person, and they need that breath of fresh air. They need that optimistic perspective. Sometimes you just need a reminder from someone that’s gone through all of the pain, and you need them to reassure you everything will turn out find. People will go online to turn to help. It doesn’t matter if they read a strangers stories about what they’re going through…we all have a need to belong.
Why else do you think certain song verses, quotes, poems and other art are special to individuals? We don’t want to feel like the only person going through these complex emotions. When we fight through grief, or adversity in general, we get the feeling that the world is against us…all we need is that one friend or person who can sympathize with us and it’ll breath life back into our defeated soul. Sometimes the adversity is too complex for us to explain to people, and the added support of someone else being there gives us hope and strength.
I lost my Dad during the end of my middle school years to lung cancer, I lost a friend near the end of High School due to heart failure, and now in college I’ve experienced what it’s like to have a close friend commit suicide.
For me, as time goes on, the losses add up and they don’t decline. The experiences don’t get easier for me. I know that everyone around the world has their own struggles to go through. I’ve gone through intense losses, and the emotional pain is not something to be taken lightly. However, I’ve adopted different mindset shifts that allow me to still have motivation to live. I turn those defeated thoughts into fire and energy. They help me turn those moments where I feel down, defeated, and helpless…and I use it as fuel to rise up from the ashes. I know that I’ll fall down again one day, but I’m prepared to fight back stronger than ever because each trial has made me stronger. Despite the countless failures and lows I may have experienced, I bounce back and put in the work with 125% to surprise myself at what I can do. The grief you’re going through might represent a valley in your life, but you can use this feeling to come back stronger.
I’m still young so I can’t account for adult life as I’m about to turn 21 years old next month. However, I’ve observed that the life struggles we all go through help make us tougher, and how we respond to them determines if “it get’s easier or not.” The pain will not go away, but the way that I approach situations will improve. The tumultuous emotions may feel more intense, the slip ups and mistakes may hit me harder than ever before…but it doesn’t matter because I’ll tear up the floor to lift myself back up.
I told my friend that I have transformed the feelings of depression that comes with a loss into motivation to make myself successful. I put the situation into perspective, and ask myself….
If this person were still alive today would they want to see me just give up?
Would they want me to be paralyzed with anxiety and ask myself what I do with my life? Would I suddenly just stop trying and have a negative perspective on the world? Of course not. They wouldn’t be fine with me just giving into defeat. They would grab me by the shoulders and scream “WAKE UP” if they saw me mumbling to myself: “what do I do….”
They’d yell at me: “SNAP OUT OF IT”
They wouldn’t accept someone that just tried to find ways to make the time past by. Those people who don’t live with a purpose or work hard each day towards their goals are the same people who are just trying to drown out their emotions until it’s time for them to pass…..
The challenges and struggles get harder…the hits hurt more, and the falls may last longer. However, as time goes on you develop new methods to combat the falls. You learn how to bounce back from anxiety and failure up to the point that it energizes you knowing you’ll come back even stronger.
Stop with the feel good words Jordan, give me a real example…
When you feel like everything out in the world is against you, you’re turning yourself into a victim. You have to remind yourself of the good times in life when you felt on top of your game.
I remember after I lost my Dad, I slowly started to fade out of the things that kept me busy. I wasn’t practicing guitar as much as I used to, and I wasn’t involved in any sports. These two aspects of my life that surrounded me were fading away and I was stuck in a routine of just waking up, going to school, and then going home. There was nothing in between, and to me it felt fine to just go home from school without anything to look forward to.
This feeling of pain, whatever it may be you’re going through, won’t last forever. You have to tell yourself that. Remind yourself of the good times in life when you felt good:
- Having a really good time with friends
- Surprising yourself by doing well on a test
- Pushed yourself and broke your own limits in a sport competition
- Received an anonymous comment from someone that made your day…
No matter how small this feeling of victory felt, this serves as a reminder that you can capture that same emotion again. We’re never happy 100 percent of the time, and this is true with sadness. Take a small step toward rebuilding those activities you were once passionate about.
I felt numb after my Dad passed away, but I didn’t use it as an excuse to let life pass by. I reminded myself about all the accomplishments and good memories I had with my dad, and I worked hard to try and recapture those feelings of triumph….
- It could be something simple like joining the guitar club at school, finding a small group of people who share your interests can reignite your passion…take that step
- If you’re struggling with getting back into sports…join everything…figure out what you’re good at and what isn’t working out with you…I wanted to get back into sports but I didn’t know what to do so I tried out basketball, wrestling, running, and martial arts again and now I focus on running…
- They were small steps, but I took them because they were necessary…it moved me into motion…and I built up the momentum so I could stop feeling like a victim to the world….
You have a new source of motivation, and this fuel will set you apart from everyone else!