Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Zooming Thru Life:
Coping With Personal Loss is Part of Life

by Paul M. Carhart

Author's Note: This post is re-purposed from a previous one. On February 18, 2014, my wife Lori passed away from a stroke that she had suffered days earlier. My world and the world of our daughter was near-instantaniously turned upside down. As I went over my goals in the aftermath of her loss, returning to some of my long-dormant blogs seemed to be both therapeutic and productive. I came across this post from five years ago or so (Melody is mentioned to be four in the original post) and decided to see if I could take my own advice. For the most part, I have. I re-share this with you now because it is relevant to me. Future Zooming Thru Life posts will come, hopefully, on a weekly basis. - PMC

Zooming thru life will inevitably require at least skirting around the rim of loss. Over the holiday break this year, my wife and I suffered a miscarriage at five months. Devestating and heartbreaking to be sure. We’ve also both lost our fathers in the past five years so we know a little something about loss. What follows are a few things you can do to help ease your suffering.

Mourning is a natual part of loss. Don’t skip over it. If you need to cry, cry. Get it out. Don’t let your remorse fester inside of you. Pour it out. It’s healthy and important to let these feelings surface and get them out of you.

There’s no sense in dwelling on things that you have no control over. The best thing to do when faced with loss is to focus on what you do still have. For example, when we had our miscarriage, we focused on our brilliant, healthy little four-year-old girl that we still had. And we were grateful that we still had her. Gratitude is very important here. Thank God for what you have.

Change Your Scene
Remove, at least temporarily, items that remind you of your loss. Keeping things around that will constantly remind you of your loss is like rubbing salt into a wound. When we had the miscarriage, I immediately removed the crib and changing table from the baby’s room and, since we had decided we weren’t going to try to have any more children, we had given away all of our baby things within several days.

Change of Scenery
Get out of Dodge. At the very least, take a road trip to somewhere. Such simple travel will force you to change your routine, which will take your attention away from your loss and will perhaps allow you to forge new memories with your family and/or friends.

Chart A New Course
For me, the best means of coping with loss, is to sit down and go through my plans and goals and adjust them in light of my recent loss. For example, we were expecting a newborn baby. We had assumed that any travel we were going to embark upon would have to wait until that baby was much older. Now, in the light of the miscarriage, we realized that we could perhaps move some travel goals that we had up. Also, since I was expecting to be on hand to help Lori with the new baby, I wasn’t going to schedule any book signings in the early part of the year. With the miscarriage, it was appropriate for us to take another look at our plans and goals and adjust them accordingly. Put them down on paper. I’ve found that writing down your goals somehow seems to make them more real.

It’s easy to fall victim to depression if you don’t learn how to move on from loss. While there is definitely a place for grief and mourning, it is also possible to pick yourself up and to move on.

Paul Carhart’s book, Zooming Thru Life: Creative Tips To Bring Sanity To Your On-The-Go Lifestyle, is currently from your favorite online bookseller. Pick up a copy in print or digital format today!. Stay up to date: