9 Ways to Deal With Loss
The loss of a loved one is a shock to your system. It’s useful to remind yourself that you’re in trauma. A being who took up a Grand Canyon worth of space in your psyche is gone. The vacuum their loss has left leaves you confused – and reeling. So do drugs, alcohol, addictions, affairs and other escapes. You don’t need any more momentum in that direction.
You’ll keep asking yourself, “What do I do now?” Don’t even try to answer that question. You can’t.
Death is disorienting. But it’s not personal. Millions have lived through this exact moment of shock, and imprinted the very same thoughts you’re now having. You’re not going through this alone; you’re re-living something very deep in the collective experience of humanity.
Console and re-orient yourself with the deeper collective wisdom about loss developed by seers and experts across time and cultures. There are four noble truths in the Buddhist tradition. David Richo, a former Catholic priest in Boston who became a psychologist and turned Zen, has come up with five: “The Givens of Life and Things We Cannot Change”
- Everything changes and ends
- Suffering is part of growth
- Things do not always go according to plan
- Things are not always fair
- People are not loving and loyal all the time
If you have the time and funds to seek help from Richo in person, he gives workshops at California’s Esalen Institute and Spirit Rock.
STEP 3: Navigating a Whirlpool of Emotions