Those You've Lost Are Still With You In So Many Ways
Coping with the death of a loved one tends to feel like a bad dream. However, gradually, you wake up to a new dawn. Furthermore, you realize, that though they’re gone, those you’ve lost are still with you in so many ways.
The renowned author, Daphne Du Maurier once said that death should be like saying goodbye at a train station. It should allow us time to say goodbye and to melt into a long hug where we leave nothing unsaid and wish our loved one a good trip.
All of life is an act of letting go, but what hurts the most is not being able to have a moment to say goodbye.
However, as you know, in reality, you’re not always able to stand on the platform and wave goodbye. Because fate is sometimes cruel and likes to tear you away from your loved ones, those you treasure the most. That’s why you approach most of your losses with a mix of anger, grief, and indefinable disbelief.
It’s often said that after the death of someone very close, rather than living, you simply exist. Furthermore, you tend to move against the current. However, this isn’t the best way to deal with grief. Because you have to rebuild your life while, at the same time, paying tribute to those you’ve lost. Those who’ve left you a beautiful legacy and who are still with you, in many ways, today.
Let’s take a closer look.
Those you’ve lost are still with you and don’t deserve to lose you
Sometimes, you don’t hesitate in remembering those you’ve lost. Indeed, they’re not so far away. There’s no thick wall or endless sky that separates the dead from the living. In fact, they live in a precious corner of your emotional brain. They’re fused in your soul and they drive every beat of your heart.
As a human being, you’re made up of memories, experiences, and emotional legacies. They shape who you are. They also inspire you to keep moving forward, despite the circumstances of your loss.
Julian Barnes said in his book, “Levels of Life” that, after the death of his wife he realized many things. The first is that the world is divided between those who’ve experienced the pain of the death of a loved one and those who haven’t.
He discovered this from a friend, who tactfully told him that one advantage of losing his wife was that he could now do whatever he wanted. That made Barnes feel sad, because he understood his life as a place he shared with his wife. In fact, whenever he used to do anything, his enjoyment came afterward when he shared it with his wife, the love of his life.
The second lesson Julian Barnes learned was that life is worth living despite the bleeding void and the empty space on the other side of the bed. Because saying no to moving forward is like losing your loved one all over again, that person who’s internalized inside you. After all, they’d surely like to be honored through your happiness, your memories, and your smiles.
They’ll always be with you
There’s no shortage of people to tell you that “surviving means leaving behind those you’ve lost”. However, in reality, it’s not about leaving them behind, but about rebuilding your present to allow you a more comprehensive future where you make new memories and have new experiences.
“The sea is dressed in velvet, and the deep sea is painted in mourning.”
There’s an extremely interesting book on this subject entitled “Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased”. In it, Dr. Jamie Turndorf provides a useful strategy not only for dealing with grief, but also to realize the ways in which your loved ones who were taken away from you so cruelly, are with you every day.
Connect emotionally with your memory to gradually reduce your sadness
The strategy that Dr. Turndorf proposes is simple and cathartic. It’s based on an internal dialogue where you can bring to a close any outstanding issues, heal your wounds, and retain the emotional legacy that your loved one left you.
Here are the keys:
- Prevent your mind from going back to the last moments you had together. Allow your memory to be wise and selective and nourish itself every day with happy moments, smiles, and those remembered moments of complicity. In this way, the joy of yesterday will motivate you in the present.
- Talk to your loved one. Tell them that you miss them but that you’re slowly starting to accept that they’re far away. However, you understand that they’re okay and happy. Explain that there are days when you find things hard, but then you gain strength because you remember everything they taught you, everything they offered you that’s made you the person you are today.
This inner dialogue can be of great help. It’s like creating a private space where you’re gradually able to heal. Then, you can continue to move forward, knowing that love, unlike the physical , never dies. In fact, it’s an everlasting emotion that consoles you and lights up your life. Let it surround you and warm you until you feel able to smile again.
Images courtesy of Catrin Welz-SteinIt might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Cabodevilla, I. (2007). Las pérdidas y sus duelos. Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra, 30(Supl. 3), 163-176. Recuperado en 18 de enero de 2022, de http://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1137-66272007000600012&lng=es&tlng=es.
- Nuckols, A. (2020). Asumir la ausencia: poética de duelos inconclusos en la narrativa española del siglo XXI. Asumir la ausencia, 11-295.
- Heidarzadegan, N., & Tum, O. (2019). Self-Justifying Narrative in Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending. Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, 7(13), 152-161.