I am delighted to have a Keela Fowler joining me today to dive into a topic near and dear to both of our hearts and answer a question many of you have been curious about: what happens after losing someone you love?
Death can be a catastrophic experience, and it is only natural to wonder when the pain will subside, when the healing will begin, and how life will continue. Keela and I share the common bond of losing our mothers, although our losses occurred at different stages of life.
In this episode, we share our experiences, provide insights, and offer a glimpse into the complex territory of coping with life after the death of someone we love. While we cannot predict your unique journey, we hope to shed some light on the path of life after loss.
Keela Fowler is a creative person with many different identities. She is a business strategist and former teacher, in addition to being an aunt, a sister, and a daughter who experienced an unexpected loss when her mother passed away in her sleep about five years ago. Since then, she has embarked on a learning journey while transitioning through processing her grief.
The Benefits of Continuing Therapy
Therapy has been a positive experience in Keela’s life. She believes that therapy can benefit everyone because it helps us learn more about ourselves and how we interact with the world and others.
How Grief Evolves
Keela’s loss used to feel overwhelming and all-encompassing, dominating her thoughts from morning until night. However, with time, her coping strategies have shifted that perception. Loss is no longer her first and last thought each day.
Supporting Others Through Grief
Supporting others through their grief gave Keela a deeper understanding of loss. It allowed her to grasp the uniqueness of each grief journey and realize that no one can fully understand or replicate the emotional experience of anyone else.
Choosing to Feel Differently
We can choose to feel differently about grief. Keela grappled with the notion that letting go of the intensity of grief might betray her love for her late mother until she consciously decided to heal and move forward in life.
Cultivating self-validation is essential, especially when we have nobody to offer support. Finding a healthy source of validation is a crucial aspect of healing.
Talking About Lost Loved Ones
We can keep the memory of our loved ones alive by talking about them. In doing so, we must remember the good things and discuss the fullness of who they were, including their quirks and less favorable traits.
Coping with Grief
After losing someone we love, we must allow the full range of emotions to wash over us. We may find it hard to explain our grief to others, so we should avoid trying to find a silver lining or making sense of things that do not make sense.
Holding Emotion and Functionality Together
It can be challenging to balance intense emotions like grief while continuing our daily tasks and responsibilities. We need to recognize that some people can be sad and grieving while still being able to fulfill all their duties.
Owning Our Emotions
The ability to own and understand our feelings is crucial when navigating grief and interpersonal relationships.
Fear of Losing Control
The quest for control can impede moving through grief. We must do our best to keep things stable after a significant loss and understand that we never have any control over what will happen.
Grief is Love
It may be helpful to understand that grief is love with nowhere to go. We can still find moments of laughter and happiness, even while missing someone we love, because grief evolves and can coexist with joy.
Nurturing a Connection with the Deceased
It may help us feel closer to our deceased loved ones if we talk to them as if they were still present or incorporate some of their qualities into our lives and interactions to carry their positive legacy forward.
Various Stages of Grief
Grief has various stages. So, we may feel different emotions at different times. All we need to do is allow ourselves to fully experience all our feelings without judging ourselves for having them.
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