How To Make Life More Meaningful In The Face Of Loss

Loss doesn’t always mean the end of a day, and sometimes it is only a reset of the calendar to begin a new day.

I had a very intense day, the last one before I hit this “reset” button I talked about in my last post.  When I heard my husband’s voice, I suddenly was reminded I wanted to share how to make things more meaningful on the days when things don’t go as planned.  

The first part of this is to remember things are not over when they are done.  You have the option right now to change your perspective and embrace the fact that, even from the loss, you have something to celebrate.  My advice is to always remember that you are the reason for the positive, joyful thoughts you have.  Make sure you have everything you need to make a wish on the day of the event that goes so very wrong.

The second part focuses on making a promise in the face of loss.  My promise to a person, to make sure that someone, no matter how small or insignificant, always knows that they matter at the end of the day, no matter the circumstances.  My wish for this world is that people could believe in each other and remember that we are one, even in the hardest of times: 

I promise that, no matter how the day goes, no matter how bad the news is, no matter how small or insignificant the thing you are going through, that you can feel better about the day, the people and the things that matter.

If you can’t make this promise and your child needs you to, make sure your child takes you seriously.  Remember the words that you hear about losing a child – “they are never far from your heart.”  Do the best you can to carry those words throughout that dark night of the soul.

The third part of this post will explain how to say you are sorry.  You can’t change the past, nor can you get angry at the person who has left you.  People hurt and leave you all the time.  You have to accept the reality of this decision you made by staying connected to your child.  My advice with this is to show a little forgiveness and hope they will have an easier time without you, but also hope you can still make things right.

In this way to show your kids that you are okay is to take the same approach you would to your family: 

Please stay close to them and be an example of what they could have if you were around to make sure they are not alone on those dark, lonely nights.

I learned this lesson the hard way by making a huge mistake and leaving my child without me when he died.  I made so many promises to myself, and I will be the first to say that I didn’t live up to them.  A few weeks after my child died, I called my child’s mother to talk about the things I learned from that day and how I am continuing to grow stronger.  When she said, “I am glad you found your way home, Mom.  I am so proud of you, because you were strong enough to accept the reality that your child had died.  And your strength and courage has allowed you to keep loving your son.”  Forgive me.  I am a grown-up to some degree, and a woman to others.  Not everyone is a mother or a wife.  Some people have the desire and drive to help but don’t know how or when to do so.  My message for the woman and people like her is to never give up, and keep moving forward until you find people that you can truly be in sync with.

So what else can you do?

1. Keep Your Own Schedule

As a mother I can’t imagine having a child with a schedule that is rigid.  My child would be thrilled to be at bed time, and ready to go to school on time.  He can’t wait to be “home” because he sees the magic that happens when you are at your own schedule.  I do my best to make it happen on my own schedule.  

My advice is to use your calendar for what it can do:  to keep track of when you are available to your child, when your child has homework due, when your child is tired, when you can take them to an event, and when you have a lot of work to do.  Make it so that your child can look forward to things and have a sense of the time your are available to be with your own child.