Shortly after my mother died from metastatic breast cancer, I started a list of things I learned, or more aptly, things I observed from the whole experience of loss. Doing so was sort of out of character for me as I’m not a list person, as Dear Hubby will attest to. He makes lists for everything. I rarely make lists other than when I go to the grocery store. Not sure exactly what this says about me…
This is the first installment of some of my observations about loss; few if any, are new and certainly none are profound. It’s more the act of stating them that matters. Writing things down always helps me, and I encourage you to do the same if you’ve experienced a recent loss, or a even a not-so-recent loss. This list is entirely random. There’s no hierarchy here, or if there is, I have yet to figure it out.
17 Things I’ve Learned About Loss
1. It will start to hurt less eventually, but it will always hurt.
2. You don’t have to finish grieving.
3. You might not even want to finish grieving.
4. Regrets are pretty much a waste of time and energy.
5. You might cry more than fellow grievers, or less.
6. Nurses and aides (good ones) are like angels and deserve thank yous.
7. It’s a tremendous honor and privilege to “help” someone you love die.
8. Your presence and your compassion are the greatest gifts to give a dying person.
9. It’s okay to cry.
10. It’s okay to not cry.
11. Some doctors are wonderful and some are barely adequate during this time; this is just a fact.
12. No one prepares you for loss and most choose not to talk about it.
13. Allowing pets in EOL care facilities is one of the best ideas ever.
14. Sometimes just being there is enough.
15. Silence is vastly under-rated.
16. Some things are not meant to be fixed.
17. Memories are treasures of the heart.
I found the process of making this list to be quite therapeutic. There’s something about writing stuff down that’s very validating and healing.
If you’ve experienced a loss recently, or even not so recently, why not give it a try?
What’s an observation or lesson you’ve learned about loss?
Have you ever felt as if you were doing grief all wrong?