To live in our hearts we leave behind is not to die. – Thomas Campbell
You see, the thing about loss is that on its face, it’s sad. But it doesn’t have to be; not forever at least.
Of course, losing someone close to you is incredibly hard. Yet, if you choose to live your life in such a way that your loss is less burdensome, you can actually channel your grief and allow it to work for you; not against you.
I know you are probably flabbergasted by the fact that I used the word “burdensome”, or maybe you simply want me to explain my word choice. Hear me out on this, I know that the last thing a grieving individual wants to hear is that “it will get better”. You don’t want it to “get better,” you want back what you’ve lost, and you want it back now. I know. I understand and I have been there. Yet I truly believe in my heart of hearts that there is a more productive way to deal with loss (of any kind), but it does require you to be an active participant.
Let’s get back to my use of the word burdensome. Let me tell you first what I am not saying. When I tell you that your loss is burdensome, I am not blaming the person or thing or dream that got lost. I am in no way inferring that he/she/it is responsible for your sadness and dismay. What I am getting at is the fact that those negative, yet natural feelings that come from a loss can be overwhelming, debilitating, and can actually be (or create) roadblocks for you, restricting you from a happy life.
I myself have experienced loss, and one thing I know for certain is that not one person’s loss is the same as another’s. Not one way of grieving is the right way, not one way of living is the right way. You do not have to take my advice, I am not stating that I am omniscient or that I have all of the right answers. Still, what I want to do here is to encourage you to see if there is a way for you to ensure that your loss does not cause another loss — the loss of yourself and all that you can be.
It is so easy for grieving individuals to give in to their feelings of anger, disappointment, frustration, hurt, confusion, the list just goes on. But, when we make an active, honest, and raw choice to live with our loss, my belief is that we will be closer to attaining revived happiness.
So many who experience the loss of another can’t wait to see their loved one again. While that is true for me, at the same time I am making the choice not to wait until then. Why hold out for this far-off day when I can, at present, make the choice to live in the here and now, in a way in which the one I lost is still around.
Maybe it sounds silly or even dumb to some, but to me it feels good. It feels empowering to know in my heart that instead of waiting until I am reunited with my loss, I can simply choose to live with my loss — bringing them with me each and everywhere I go; smiling each smile next to them, laughing each laugh alongside them.
It’s not naive to believe that loss is survivable, it is actually really brave. And you know what? The one I lost, well, he would find my attempts to live happily both extremely courageous and admirably strong.