Anyone that has lost someone they love to suicide knows how the loss changes a person. It shakes your world in a way that no other death does. The questions and thoughts consume your life. The act fills you with anger as you question why they would do that and leave so many behind, completely broken.
I know these feelings and thoughts all too well. Three years ago today my life changed dramatically. Someone I loved deeply committed suicide and that is a day I will never forget. I can tell you that there have been so many overwhelming feelings the last 3 years. All of the emotions and feelings are raw and sometimes make it hard to cope, even to this day.
His name was Sean and he was a real hero and for a short time, my husband. I knew the day I met him he would have a large impact in my life. I just didn’t know the gift of life that he would give me. He gave me the gift of struggle and from that struggle, strength. So today instead of being sad I want to relate to others who have lost someone they loved. I want to share some of the lessons I have learned in dealing with the loss that I am sure others can relate to or find strength in.
Loss might be a bittersweet teacher but it teaches us some of life’s most important principles.
Loss teaches us acceptance.
Many of us approach life stubbornly. Until life throws us out of our comfort zones and into reality and we experience life, the hard way. We are masters of our own fate but there are other factors at play that we have no control over, loss being a big part of that. We cannot tell death to step aside and give us a few more minutes. In times where things are out of our control, we can manage to pull through with the right mindset and the first step to cultivating one is through learning acceptance.
We all try to control our lives to a certain degree. We live within certain boundaries and try to restrict ourselves to a certain way of life. Yet when loss comes along you realize nothing is permanent no matter how much control you try to have. This is what makes the lesson very profound. It is a journey of life that is shared among everyone because everyone has experienced loss in life.
We tend to overlook the value of people in our life till they are gone.
When they are there, sitting comfortably in our lives waiting for us to use them or talk to them, we ignore them and focus on our “priorities.” It is when they are already lost or gone that we start to regret deeply because we have taken them for granted. Loss teaches us to always be mindful of the value of something or someone. We shouldn’t wait until it is already too late to see how important they are in our lives. When something is valuable to us, we should be careful in using it. When someone is dear to our hearts, we make sure they know not only through our words but also through our actions. So I say to you: Do it now before it is too late.
I think about it less these days and time is healing. Time has been the only thing I found that makes the pain less intense. It isn’t just the time that is healing but it is what is done with that time that helps in healing. Grief is always a “work in progress”.
Transform yourself to a better you.
Instead of choosing loss to consume you inside, let it build you up. It is easier said than done, I know. It is natural to feel sad if you lose someone or something but it is not ok to let that pain consume you for too long. You should take the good out of what is negative or bad, and use it to transform yourself into a better you.
Life will never be fair.
This sounds cold but it is a harsh reality of the world in which we live. Bad things happen to good people. When there is no explanation it makes things even harder. Life is not fair and if we let it, it will make us bitter. To this day I still struggle with blaming other people for my unhappiness. I do know that life is about managing these expectations for how it should go. I need to embrace that life will bring me pain. Now I look for the good in the bad because knowing that life will not go as I have planned has given me strength.
Because of Sean, my life now has more meaning. I think that Sean would be proud of the life he has given me. He searched for happiness and that was something that he was unable to find for himself. Or at least he felt like he lacked meaning and purpose but if you ask friends and family they would say different. What I know is that Sean’s life had purpose as he brought so much meaning to my life. For that I can’t thank him enough. Rest in Peace Sean. Sending you my love.’