Aging sometimes has unexpected side-effects. There are some things that we just don’t think about ahead of time. There are some things that we can’t see coming or prepare for. Loss of loved ones & friends is one of those things. Sure, when we’re young, we notice that it seems as though quite a few people pass on as they grow older, but do we ever think about what that means for their older friends? It may not be uncommon for them to lose 5 or 6 people they love within a year. How do any of us cope with the enormity of these types of loss & grief in a healthy way?
- Talk! I know that for some generations it was looked upon as weakness to express emotions, but it is terribly important to let those emotions out when you’re hit with yet another loss in your life. Even if it is not the death of a loved one or friend, even if it is simply the loss of an ability or grief over no longer being able to visit them because they’ve moved in with a child across the country. Let your anger or frustration out, let your sadness out in words or tears. It is far healthier for you to release it in that way that in pent up frustration and anxiety that will surface at the most inopportune of times!
- Reckognize the stage of grief that you may be in. Shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing & acceptance. There are many articles on the internet that can give you more details, but sometimes it’s helpful to know where you’re at and that it is natural. That, in itself, can be a comfort when you can’t seem to figure out why you’re responding in ways that are not usual for your personality.
- Take time to live! Perhaps, even though it may not feel like it, it might be time to press into friendships & family. Instead of running scared about what else may happen, run toward friends and family. Try to have meaningful conversations. Make meaningful memories. Write down memories for those little ones in your life that will carry the memories far beyond your allotted years on this earth. It may be frightening to carry on, but it’s necessary. There is a reason that you are still here. Use the days that you have left to contribute & to enjoy. Perhaps you’ll find that you have later years that are even more fun & meaningful than all those that have gone before!