Image courtesy of Frameangel/ You've lost someone who has been a huge part of your life...how to carry on!
There are countless books out there regarding grief, in the context of death. However, there is another kind of grief, which can be also so painful that it impacts your life in ways that produce a feeling somewhat akin.
I am referring to the loss of any important relationship – which pretty much appears like it is irreparable. When the bond between two people hasn’t just been stretched, but snapped.
The sense of loss can be extremely heartfelt. You care for a person, love them- this person may be a friend, a family member or a romantic tie.
I recently experienced such a loss, but for privacy reasons I won’t elaborate on the nature of the relationship.
Usually preceding it there is some kind of event or series of events that predicts that a break –up may be imminent.
I ‘lost’ someone I care about very deeply about a week ago. These tips are some coping mechanisms that I have found to be useful.
1. There may have been involved a lot of blame. Both ways. It is no secret that we all perceive events differently. However, I have found it unhelpful to believe either party is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. I see it as two different perceptions, and sometimes a difficulty empathising with the others’ point of view
I find it helpful both to validate what it must feel like for the other, and for yourself. This helps with empathy and not making the same mistake often, but also, self-validation. “It takes two to tango” indeed.
2. Don’t ever live for another person. I used to feel that, unless I had this person I lost in a relationship through argument, that I was worthless. One and one make two, not two halves make a whole. This can be an opportunity for you to become whole without needing approbation.
3. Realise that grieving is normal and allow yourself to do so. However, in your own time, don’t sink into a pit of despair. Begin your usual activities. Ask yourself “Who am I without this person? What are my interests and beliefs? Sometimes, when two people are very close, we can lose the desire to think for ourselves, especially if we are a person who approbation is important to.
4. You can be civil without be close and this is best. Avoid doing anything that digs salt in the wound.
5. The relationship didn’t end for no reason. Usually, there are a few antecedents and then something that ‘breaks the camel’s back’. If the balance of the relationship was more bad times than good, and frequent arguments that threw you emotionally, was it really that good for either of you? Try to assess the situation rationally as well.
6. On the brighter side this gives you more time and energy to put into other relationships, learning from mistakes you may have made in the last one. I’m not saying it’s a matter of blame, but differences in perception may have caused you to behave in ways not helpful. You may have said unfair things. Usually the other has just as much a role to play but it does take two.
7. Eventually, if you can learn, let go, and live for you you will attract the right people into your life! If you don’t love you, who else will?