“I don’t see a future.”
In the depths of despair and with her world upside down, Maddie believed her best days were behind her. She’d lost all hope. Months since her beloved husband’s passing, the wound was still raw, real, and ever present. Life as she knew it was over.
Profound sorrow occurs not only when someone we love dies but when we lose our health or independence, or when life as we know it suddenly changes.
In the midst of loss, it’s hard to imagine how life afterward will look. As much as we want to be hopeful, our mind tends to focus on the way things were.
Reconciling the Loss
Maybe you’ve lost a loved one, suffered an unspeakable tragedy, been diagnosed with a debilitating disease, or lost your job.
Perhaps you’re a new empty nester who can’t imagine life without being a hands-on parent. Maybe you achieved great success in younger years only to hit a wall later in life.
Reconciling how life used to be to the way it is now is difficult. We can’t see the full picture of our lives or how our future days will unfold.
Whatever the situation, hope for better days is what helps us through the process. But believing our best days are long gone robs us of vitality. We nurture seeds of hopelessness every time our mind focuses on what we’ve lost.
No one is immune from loss, heartbreak, or change. Grief is normal. This emotion is felt deeply and it’s not something that can be rushed.
If you’re grappling with it now, plan to give yourself adequate space to mourn. How long it takes is different for everyone. Allow yourself whatever time you need to process the loss and adjust to your new normal.
I also encourage you to be open to let the light in and consider the following:
- Resist the urge to live in the past. This moment is what you have. Appreciate the right here and now. When your mind wanders back to the past, gently bring your focus back to the present.
- Open yourself up to what the day may bring.
- Do something for someone else. Look for ways to brighten someone else’s day.
- Get involved in activities. If you’re retired, look for opportunities to serve. If you live alone, consider joining a local organization. Charitable associations everywhere are in desperate need of hands, feet, and loving hearts to help fulfill their missions.
- Visualize positive possibilities for your future. Instead of thinking what could go wrong or what’s missing, shift your thoughts to what could go right. Sure, your future will be different than maybe you once thought, but it doesn’t mean a great life isn’t ahead.
- If you could benefit from professional help, don’t hesitate to seek assistance.
Hope for Today
Journalist Anne Rolphe wrote, “Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life.”
Friend, if you’re struggling with the loss of someone or something dear in your life, know there is hope. Life may look different than you planned going forward. But, take heart. Your life has great value. You have much to offer and life left to live.
We don’t always choose what happens to us. We can’t replace what was lost. And nothing we do now will ever change the past.
But we have today. If we’re fortunate, we’ll have tomorrow. Every morning when that beautiful sun rises in the east, hope for a better day is born.
My wish for you today is brighter days ahead.