How Do I Find Love & Light After A Loss?

Published: Thursday, December 23, 2021
David Gladson
Bereavement Counselor at Hospice of NGMC

For the last two years, all of us have been facing and dealing with this cursed virus and the resulting pandemic of mass proportions. We have faced isolation and fear and distance from our families and friends. We have faced uncertainty about our future in general and a trip to the local supermarket in particular. On top of all this uncertainty, our country has faced social unrest. Things we thought would be the same are no longer the same. No matter our perspectives, we all feel on edge, unsure of what to expect in the coming years. On top of all that, many of us find ourselves distanced from the people about whom we care the most because we see all of this differently. Nothing right now seems to be off the table. Everything feels uprooted.

Facing Our Own Grief

In addition to the world’s grief, many of us face our own grief. Whether we have been one of the millions of families that this virus has touched – or we have lost someone to one of the other hundreds of illnesses or accidents – many of us have lost a very important person in our lives. How do we go on without them? It’s like a cyclone has come rushing down into our lives and our homes, tearing up everything in its path. Our home has been gutted and everything in it has been tossed up in the air and all around. We are left picking up pieces, stumbling around in this war zone, trying to figure out what we have left, what can be salvaged and what and whom we can never replace. 

Grieving During the Holiday Season

It’s the holiday season – a time in which our culture strives to slow down and pay attention to the things and the relationships that really matter.  But for us, the ones who matter are no longer with us. We have lost our very reason for the season – and with it, all our energy, motivation, and hope are gone – and we feel that we will never get any of it back ever again.  While the world and made-for-TV-movies bring out the tinsel and the lights and the snow and the singing, we just want to crawl back into our beds, pull the cover over our heads and never come out again.

It’s in the very midst of this sense of hopelessness and despair that we must access self-compassion. Grief by itself often leaves us clamoring for help and hope just to be able to function and live again. Add to that, a global pandemic and a holiday season.

Give Yourself Room to Grieve

It is with that little bit of understanding and awareness that we should give ourselves room to let go, room to forget, room to make mistakes, room to say no to gift-giving expectations, or parties to be attended.  We slow down and we stop. We give ourselves room to adjust to the world and the life that has been thrown on us.  We give ourselves room to remember that the pain, messiness, and chaos will one day give us room to heal.

So as hard as it may seem right now, allow yourself the space to be part of what this world has been doing all along.  Give yourself space to struggle, to grieve what you have loved so much, to adjust to the chaos that is swirling around so many of our heads and hearts.  Something is being born in us and through us right now.  And what we all need right now – more than anything else – is the foundation of love and compassion that makes any hope for that new life possible.