Death, the ultimate loss? - A universal truth for the majority of us. But loss is, indeed, an ever-present leitmotif in human existence. Throughout our finite sublunar hours, we experience myriad thieving, at times subtle, forms of misfortune - and grief becomes inevitable. Death, like any other loss, is a mere encounter between a human being and the orchestral performance of transience and finality. "This too shall pass." - a blessing and a curse. A loved one will die, a child will lose its innocence, a soldier - their limb, a lover - their finite yet unconditional love - imposed, abrupt, detrimental, and irreversible: loss, and its many forms. -Where do we go now but nowhere? This is how to harness the inner strength to move on after loss.
Moving on: the betrayal
Can something as seemingly irrelevant as "semantics" hinder our innate ability to process loss and grief? - Yes. "When will you move on? It's been two years." MOVE ON. -Move on? How can we? The two words suggest that life, love, memories, and death are nothing but fragments that now organically belong - in the past; moving on simply suggests we can finally leave the wound or the person we still love but is no longer physically tangible behind us. Not only that, we ought to. Imperative. And, so, the mustered glass-legged strength particles disperse at the very thought of betrayal. "I'm not leaving you here. I'm not going anywhere." Anxiety for the rest of my days? I'll have a double; thank you.
Where do we go now but nowhere?
After we've experienced loss, there is nothing in the entire universe, absolutely nothing, that could relieve the excruciating echo. The vast empty space. Sheer nothingness. For eternity. - Or so it appears at first. Depression, panic attacks, anxiety, sleep deprivation, starvation, substance abuse: and the body breaks. Feeble shadows we become, barely, almost unwillingly, hanging on to our weary existence. The very edge of the world. The precipice. - So, how does one harness inner strength? We start by saying: "I don't have to move on. I can learn to move forward with it. I carry my wound. It's mine to keep. And I shall carry it, willingly, gladly, selfishly, even." Onward. The traditional five stages of grief:
In today's society, the act of grieving is inconceivably frowned upon. Emotions are a private matter; when socially engaged, we are expected to flaunt our pseudo-optimism and bring our "My grief is exponentially getting better, don't you see?" charts to the party. There are two enemies or dangers to our emotional apparatus and its ability to process the tragedy of loss: 1. the external (social) pressure and the more cunning, imperceptible one: our own fear of deep-diving and cognizing the sheer volume of our pain. Health experts from DubaiPT advise: "When coping with loss, it is important to remember the "holy tripod" of human existence; mental, emotional, and physical health. Remove one, and the tripod will collapse. Taking care of our health during difficult times is paramount."
Let it all out
How do we move on after a loss? - No way around it, but through it. Estranged and unprotected as we may feel, we must give the inner dam permission to burst. Implosion vs. explosion; which one is less harmful? We know the answer. Unresolved grief can bring myriad negative consequences, and yes, we might not care if we're dead or alive - but what if we do survive the loss? What happens then? Suppressing feelings such as anger, pain, sadness, and guilt and preventing them from ever surfacing can only stall the process and make it even more insufferable. Grief is a metaphysical fire inside our bodies, minds, and souls, with every single molecule crying for someone or something to put it out. Without articulating the source of this majestic, colossal, lightyears-tall sadness, it threatens to devour our entire being. We harness the strength only by facing the echo of their absence.
The road to strengthThe body is there to carry the metaphysical bits; if the body is weak, the spiritual, mental, and emotional planes will follow into the abyss. If a mountain collapses, how do the trees survive? After experiencing loss, we cannot help but feel unworthy of living. The guilt of "being the alive one," "the surviving party," can be too vast to encompass. Days become the heaviest hours of the year, and we lose track of time. Sleep and food become distant entities, entirely removed from the physiological premise. However, when dealing with loss, self-nurture is paramount. Exercise can be of tremendous help regarding suppressed/unprocessed emotions. Expressing anger, grief, and sorrow through exercise can improve your mental health and enhance your inner strength capacities.
Make something of it
Love is the ultimate driving force, so how do we define loss? - It's the love's counterpart, really. They are one; creation-destruction, a fundamental symbiosis. To move on, we move forward by using loss as our driving force. To feel more, to live more, laugh more, and cry more. A loss of a loved one shouldn't be perceived as an invitation to existential hibernation. To wither away? The grand scheme of life responds: "That's just insulting." Instead, we use the unlocked capacities to experience life in a more meaningful way:
We don't have to move on after loss. Time can heal our wounds, but it doesn't necessarily cure the emotional void. - And that's okay. We're never going to be granted the "old me" role again, but there's a "new me" now: a bit sadder, a bit older, but alive. And stronger. The worst is over.
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