Personalization – The belief that we are at fault. In other words, we take the loss personally. If only……
The death of a loved one is not a personal vendetta from God nor is it punishment for something you did. For example, it’s not your fault if you are raped or robbed. You are a victim of a predator who saw an opportunity.
Permanence – We think it will feel like it does now forever and can’t imagine a time when it won’t. But good times don’t last forever and neither do sad times.
This intense, foggy state of mind is your brain protecting you. Surprisingly, you will adjust to your circumstances.
Projecting – You find yourself projecting scenarios that have never happened, hover over them, and worry needlessly. Since loss has become so real, you picture disaster scenarios of your spouse, siblings, friends, or other children. You feel vulnerable and cursed.
What good is this doing you? Making up stuff to make yourself suffer more does not promote emotional healing. When you catch yourself doing this, laugh at yourself, and say, “Like I need to make up pain! I didn’t have enough already?”
Purpose – Know that tragedy, however awful, presents opportunities and has gifts. Because of what’s happened to you, you’ve entered a new dimension of empathy and humility. Only we have traveled the entire path to the most devastating ending we could ever imagine. That knowledge, that hurt, and passion are all very valuable. You didn’t want it or ask for it. But you have it now and it will turn into the purpose which is how you will maintain your emotional wellbeing.
Don’t worry now about what it is. There is a purpose for you and it will present itself in time. For now, simply tell yourself you will find it and you will touch someone else’s life as a result.
So make a pact from the start that the last chapter of your loved one’s life is the beginning of a new chapter for you. Because it’s up to you to keep your loved one’s legacy alive. And I know you will translate that into something beautiful.