- Understanding Grief
- People Grieve Differently
- The Brain Fog of Grief
- The Vocabulary of Grief
- Grievers Don’t Need to be Fixed
- Misconceptions About Grief
- There Are No Orderly and Predictable Stages In Grief
- When Caring People Say Dumb Things When You’re Grieving
- What to Say to Others When You’re Grieving
- The Impact of Who you Lost and How you Lost Them
- Heavy Grief Days
- The Grief Letter
- Ways to Remember Them
- Permissions for Grievers
- Creating Bright Spots in the Midst of Grief
- Why Are Many Grievers Not Comfortable Crying In Front of Others?
- Why Grievers Don’t Need to Be Strong
- Do I Just Need Time to Heal From Grief?
- Why Do Grieving People Get the Message They Shouldn’t Be Sad?
- Is Staying Busy Good for Grief?
- The Isolation of Grief
- Can You Fill the Void Left by the Death of Loved One?
- How Long Does the Pain of Grief Last?
- How Do You Get Over Grief?
- I Don’t Want to Forget My Loved One Who Died
- Relationships Change After Loss
- Why Don’t Friends and Family Understand Your Grief?
- How to Tell Others What You Need in Your Grief
- Grief Can Cause You to Re-evaluate Relationships
- I Lost My Spouse and My Friends
- All the Phases in the Grief Journey
- I’m Grieving and Just Barely Surviving
- Why Do I Feel Like I Am Just Existing in My Grief?
- When Will I Be Ready for Grief Counseling?
- Can You Heal Your Grief?
- Living Again After Losing a Loved One
- How Grief Affects Mental Health
- Grief & Depression
- How Trauma Affects Your Grief
- Co-Dependency and Grief
- Should I take medication for my grief?
- The Uniqueness of Grieving A Suicide
- Suicide Shock: I Can’t Believe They Did It
- Feeling Blame and Shame After a Suicide
- The Abandonment of Suicide
- The Stigma of Suicide
- Interview with widow who lost two husbands by suicide
- Losing Your Husband to Suicide
- What To Do With Your Loved One’s Belongings After They Die
- No Cost Financial Coaching & Planning for Widows: Chris Bentley
- Hope When Shattered By Grief
- Answers to Your Questions About Grief
- Is Being Angry at God a Sin After My Loved One Died?
- Where Did My Peace, Joy and Gratitude Go after I lost my loved one?
- Can Grief and Hope Co-Exist?
- Why Does God Heal Some People But Not Others?
- Is Suicide an Unforgivable Sin?
- Why Do I Dislike Platitudes and Bible Verses?
- Why Did God Let My Loved One Die?
- Surviving The Holidays
The Grief Journey
Foundations Of Grief
Misconceptions About Grief
Relationships After Loss
The Grief Journey
Grief & Mental Health
Grieving A Suicide
Conversations On Grief
Questions Grieving Christians Ask
Coping With The Holidays and Other Tough Special Days
The Grief Journey
Episode 6 : Living Again After Losing a Loved One
The Grief Journey: Living Again
Living again is the final episode of this series, and it describes the last chapter of your grief journey. Hopefully, you have watched the first five videos of the “grief journey” series. If not, we strongly encourage you to go back and watch them all, in order, starting with the introduction video.
But, before we describe the final “phase” of grieving, it is vital to keep the following information in context. Our intention here is to share that successful grieving can best be described as a journey. And after working with so many grieving people and finding the best ways to help them heal, we now refer to these 5 phases of a grief journey.
Please remember that phases are not stair steps that are orderly, predictable, and linear. Grief journeys are never orderly, predictable or linear. Instead, you can expect your journey to be unpredictable and full of twists and turns. You can expect a lot of backtracking and meandering in and out of these phases. You may feel as though you are walking in circles at times. Which, of course, can leave you feeling lost. But, something we know is that you will find yourself back on the path before long if you don’t throw up your hands and give up.
Our ultimate goal is to provide you with direction, helpful tools, and encouragement to keep going. We emphasize that you will get to your destination, which we describe as feeling more hopeful and grounded, better equipped to begin really living again, and ready to start authoring the next chapter of your life.
Of course, we will offer you guidance along the way. You don’t need to do all this on your own.
Let’s move forward with a review of what we’ve covered so far in this series.
Remember the first 4 phases?
As the healing phase progresses, of course, despite the inevitable emotional ups and downs and plateaus, you will begin feeling lighter. Your lead shoes will come off more often. The weight of your loss will begin to lessen and your emotional rollercoaster rides will come less often. You will begin to interact with others more naturally and the world around you will seem less dark. You may see a little hope pop up again.
And, yet, life will probably remain very different depending on your specific circumstances and the nature of your loss. Changes in your life, initiated by your loss, present the next challenge of your journey. Because, to recapture the satisfaction of living, you must consciously and actively adjust to the many changes that came about from your loss.
The healing phase is not the end point of your journey. And, healing doesn’t fully manifest until you transition to what we call the Living Again phase.
The Living Again phase becomes an option as your healing begins to really take hold. And as you intentionally choose to transition to the Living Again phase, you can start living a new chapter of your life story.
Here’s what the living again phase can look like. Living Again means taking hold of the reins of your life again. It means taking inventory of your passions, your gifting, your interests, your responsibilities, your assets and your circumstances, and then, exercising your right and responsibility to choose where you will focus your energy. You will decide how to navigate life circumstances as they come. It’s a rediscovery of who you are, who you want to be and how to create a good life for you in the aftermath of your loss.
Your initial healing represents the ending of a very important life chapter. And, as you heal, you must choose how you will proceed with your life. Now, we don’t mean to say that you should press a reset button and create a new life. A reset would be trying to erase your past and start over. That isn’t realistic, nor would that be healthy. Even if your life wasn’t very good before – it is still part of your life.
Your life story simply continues. We hope your response to your personal healing journey will ultimately bring a renewed spark of life in you. And, using that spark, you will choose to truly Live Again, while still remembering your loved one.
We know from personal and professional experience that two main roads lead from experiencing a devastating loss. One is a life forever diminished by the loss. The other road opens a blank page in a new chapter of your life story that has yet to be written.
Living again means existing in the present, informed by your past, and encouraged by your hope for a future. Please remember – every day of your life history remains in and with you. All the prior chapters remain in place. Your loved one remains a huge part of your life story. LIving again acknowledges that losing your loved one did not mark the end of your story.
Loss changes you. It changes your life. But, at this point in your journey, it can also make you better. There are some things you can only learn through pain. It gave me the ability to feel all emotions at a deeper level. It gave me a much more compassionate heart. It made me much less judgmental of people. It made me do things I never thought I was capable of doing. I wouldn’t have chosen this pain, but in this phase, I saw that I could use the pain and grow from it. I could not embrace that thinking in the earlier phases. I discovered that I could be good again. That life could be good again while I still remembered and honored my husband. I could bring his memory forward with me but without the pain. That didn’t mean I wouldn’t miss him or be sad sometimes. But it was a whole new level of living.
We’re telling you it isn’t blowing smoke nor pretending that gray skies are blue. Truly living again doesn’t come easy, and it isn’t magic, but it can be rewarding. Please just remember this is possible. Living is one big decision, followed by many little decisions.
And, we know you may not be ready yet for the living again phase. It may be hard for you even to consider that there is a more meaningful life ahead for you. If so, just keep that idea in your back pocket. If you have suffered a recent loss, this phase will probably seem crazy or impossible to you – and that’s fine and normal. Don’t even think about this yet. Just be where you need to be right now.
When you are ready to intentionally step into your personal grief journey, we can guide you through these processes. This is just an introduction to the concept and we go much deeper into the process in the actual MyGriefJourney Program which is available to you, when you are ready.
- Your healing through grief isn’t the end of your grief journey, but an active healing process will help prepare you for what’s next – the Living Again Phase.
- Your life story is never erased, nor do you reset your life. Rather you begin writing the next chapter.
- Living Again is about living after your loss with a new sense of purpose, recognition of newly gained strength, and a greater level of emotional and mental health, while still remembering your loved one.
- We will be there to walk alongside you, virtually of course, through all the phases of your grief journey.
Please find a reasonably quiet place where you can sit and ponder these questions:
- What scares me the most about healing from my loss and really living again.
- If a miracle happened last night as you slept and you were fully healed through your grief journey – what might you find yourself doing differently today? Write about it as though you were really living again and how that looks different than how you are living now.
Really living again is the best way to honor the person you lost.Friend, we hope that this episode and the whole series about the grief journey have helped you get a glimpse of the path ahead. Remember, your path will be unique. We hope you’ll choose to build a foundation of knowledge about what grief is, what to expect, and what a grief journey entails. And we especially hope that you can hold onto just a little hope that you will successfully heal through this journey. We are your living proof that it can happen. And if you can’t hope quite yet, we will hope for you.