Hello, my friend.
Losing someone we love can be one of the most difficult things we ever face in life. Whether it is a child, spouse, or any other dear person, the pain can be overwhelming and leave us feeling hopeless and helpless. It can make us wonder if we will ever find joy and happiness again. But the truth is, even after the most horrific losses, joy and hope can be found again.
At Spark of Life, we have learned a lot about grief from the 111 retreats we have hosted. Our grievers have taught us that there are three crucial points that, if followed, can help us find hope and live forward with joy and meaning in life.
The first point is to understand that there is nothing wrong with you as a griever. When we experience a devastating loss, it can feel like something is wrong with us because we are not coping as well as we should be. But grief is normal, and it is okay to feel bad, hopeless, and helpless. It is important to give ourselves permission to feel those emotions and not compare our grief or recovery to others. We must normalize our grief and understand that it is okay to be brokenhearted.
The second crucial point is that we are not alone. Most grievers, at some point, feel all alone in their pain. It can seem like everyone else’s life goes on while we are stuck in our grief. But the truth is that many others are grieving as well. At Spark of Life retreats, we have seen this time and time again. Grievers who come together in community find comfort in knowing they are not alone.
The third and final point is that there is hope. It may not seem like it at first, but hope can be found even in the midst of the darkest grief. Our grievers have taught us that hope comes from holding on to the memories of the one we lost, finding purpose in our pain, and discovering a new normal.
At a recent retreat, we had a young lady named Mary who had lost three children at three different times over the last five years. She was in the pit of grief when she arrived, feeling hopeless and helpless. But as the retreat went on, Mary found hope in the community of grievers who surrounded her. She found joy in sharing her memories of her children with others who understood her pain. And she found purpose in her pain by deciding to start a support group for other grievers in her community.
Losing someone we love is never easy, but it is possible to find joy and happiness again after horrific loss. By normalizing our grief, finding community, and holding on to hope, we can live forward with purpose and joy.