2. Healing from Grief and Loss
Caregiver Series -Part 2

Life can be so unfair. It's just that plain and simple. My life was already incredibly stressful when my son suffered a spinal cord injury. In the blink of an eye, life went from bad to worse! Yet this was only the beginning. I had no idea how much more pain awaited me.

My faith in God has always seen me through extremely difficult times in my life. But could I really trust Him in the midst of this horrific life shattering event? I truthfully didn’t know. All I knew was I had to stay in the moment, be present for my son and not allow myself to be overcome by feelings of grief, loss, anxiety and pain. To survive, I did my best to focus on my son and what I needed to do for him. I was a doer and it helped distract me from everything else. All the other stressful situations that had occurred, and were occurring, I shoved to the back of my mind and the overwhelming emotions with them. I so wanted to keep them under lock and key. Yet there were moments when they would escape and completely catch me off guard. Suddenly, I would feel like I was suffocating. And I would beg God to stop the pain. Then I would cry until I was numb and emotionless. Drained, I would force myself to get up and keep moving forward.

At the beginning of such an overwhelming journey, you barely have time to grieve or think about loss. There are just too many other things needing your attention. But grief eventually finds its way to the surface and washes over you like giant waves. As painful as grief is to experience, we have to go through it to heal. We grieve for our loved ones, for ourselves, for what once was, and for the all the shattered hopes and dreams we had for the future. Grief and loss will continue to follow us until healing comes. Even then, they leave their indelible mark on us.

It's not easy working through grief and loss. But life does eventually get better if we put in the time and effort to heal. We all heal at our own pace and in our own way but I wanted to share with you what has helped me the most:

1) My faith in God

2) Building a support system of friends

3) Professional help

4) Participating in support groups

5) Allowing myself to cry and work through the pain

6) Spending time with positive people

7) Participating in fun activities

8) Helping others going through difficult times as well

When we allow ourselves to grieve and deal with our loss, we can begin to let go of the past and make room for what lies ahead. Please, if you are struggling with grief and loss, care enough about yourself to seek help. By getting care, you will be better able to give care. Always remember, you matter.

Caroline

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