Seven beliefs to help you cope with the death of a loved one
Thoughts and beliefs—both of which are choices you make—are the foundation of an attitude. They are the main factors in how you will deal with your loss and the extent to which you will experience additional and unnecessary suffering.
Unfortunately, many of us have been heavily influenced to believe half-truths and false assumptions about death, loss, and the reinvestment of life. These influences were deeply implanted into our psyche early in life by parents or other significant adult figures. The result is behavior that complicates and increases the intensity of our grief work.
However, a common experience when we face major life changes is to learn, grow in wisdom, and reevaluate the way we live our lives and think about the world around us. Often, without fully realizing the transition, we change beliefs, some of which we have accepted for years as “the way they are.”
Here are some of the beliefs that have helped others when grieving and have proven helpful in adjusting to a new life without the company of a loved one.
1. Believe that doing well is a choice. You are not destined to follow some pre-prepared path in grief, as you have learned from observing others. You can choose how you want to deal with the inevitable changes you must face. Your ability to choose, after wise deliberation and consultation, should never be minimized. This is your grief and your loss, and you can steer your course through your dark night.
2. Believe that there is no such thing as perfect grief. Drop the word “perfect”. Sometimes you will see that you are behind. Sorrow is like that. But remember what the famous psychotherapist Thomas Moore wrote: “If you live a fulfilling life, you will fail at something every day.” Leave it. Don’t be discouraged. See how you do better next time. This is where the next belief becomes key.
3. Believe in the importance of making new friends throughout your life. Start looking for new friends today. You don’t give up on your old friends; add to your circle of friends. Why? Because the research is abundantly clear: we are social creatures and friends are a crucial part of life and our physical and mental health. We need each other.
4. Believe in the critical importance of achievement. Doing something that ends up with good results for you or someone else is powerful medicine for life. Doing something is food for inner strength and self-confidence, which we all need. Set goals for different parts of your life and go for them. Start with small, small successes first and work your way up. No couch for you. Reached.
5. Believe that you are doing your best. Not 95% or 99%, but 100% in what you are striving to achieve. Effort is the engine that leads to success and achievement in managing your grief and reinvesting in life. You need to take unlimited action, not half-heartedly. Doing your best will lead to progress, little by little.
6. Believe in always persevering. Like a pesky fly, get on with your task. When you falter every now and then, pick yourself up, reassess, and get back in the fight. You will achieve your goal.
7. Believe that love never dies. Although changed, you will always have a connection with the deceased loved one. Relationships don’t die. You can talk to your loved one however you see fit, just like millions of others do. Many pray to their loved ones or to the Higher Power. Remember what Gandhi, the Indian political and spiritual leader, said: “Prayer is not an old woman’s idle pastime. Properly understood and applied, it is the most powerful tool for action.”
There’s that word again – action. It all depends on what you choose to believe about yourself and where you can go. The power of your choices, the friends you make, the setbacks you recover from, your tireless efforts and commitment to action will ensure you can adapt to the next chapter of your life. Let the loss you’ve experienced and the changes you’ve faced bring new awareness and insights into your life.
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