Recently a friend of mine lost his partner of almost two decades. He’s been like a cork bobbing on the ocean, unable to sense direction, purpose, or whether or not he is going to drown in sorry. Anyone who has lost a beloved person or even pet knows what I’m talking about.

The scary part of loss is the sense that our grief is going to send us to the depths of despair. We don’t feel as if it will ever leave us. Grief for each of us is personal and unique. Yet for all of us there are messages to be found in grief.

The first is that while you feel utterly alone, you are not isolated unless you choose to be. You are surrounded by people who are in various stages and kinds of grief. Grief from death is most common.  But there is also the grief of getting old, of being ill, of changes in relationships and careers, in realizing that you may not be the person you thought you were.

The second message in grief is that, like a friend, it will accompany you throughout life. Many try to protect children from grief, but they too experience it.  You never “get over” the loss of a pet, or of those you’ve loved; you simply learn to cope with life without them. At first your days seem dimmed, lackluster, flat. Eventually the waves of grief subside and while you still sting with the loss, you will rediscover a renewed purpose for living.

The third message in grief is that it reminds you that change is the only absolute on which you can count. You are whole and complete in yourself. Even though you may feel as if you’ve irreparably broken your heart, you are capable of moving forward. The choice is yours either to live as a victim of life or to take charge of your life after everything has changed.

The fourth message in grief is that relationships with others still matter. When you reach out for help, for companionship, and for connection, you will not be disappointed. You will never find anyone like the one you’ve lost, so comparisons are useless and self-defeating. You will however, discover new people who connect with your heart, who add joy to your life, and to whom you bring the message of hope and of a deeper union with the transcendent.

© 2017 Michael Parise
Portions excerpted from Michael’s book: Life Interrupted, Taking Charge After Everything Has Changed

Since 1979 Michael has worked with individuals and groups to take full advantage interruptions and changes to balance responsibilities, simplify their lives, and find greater productivity and peace.Want Michael to speak for your next event?  Or hire him as your personal executive Life Coach to improve your relationships at home and at work? Call 813-444-9641 or email: parisecoaching@gmail.com

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