Life After Loss

This is a guest post by author Louise Joy

Louise Joy is the author of "Mother and Daughter" (No More Soup) which she wrote after the death of both her father and husband to cancer. Since the book was published, Louise has spoken at the Grief Recovery Educational Seminar sponsored by Pax Christi Hospice and the Annual Bereavement Conference sponsored by the Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice Care. She was also a guest speaker at the Greenbelt for a program which was coordinated by the NYC Parks Department and was interviewed on Staten Island's WSIA 88.9 FM radio station. Her book was also featured in the Staten Island Advance, a local newspaper. In addition to her book signings at Barnes and Noble and Borders book stores, her book was also showcased at Book Expo America at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

So, while I am not an expert on the matter of how to live life after the loss of loved ones I have had to experience this first hand. While I certainly don’t pretend to have all the answers, what I do have is the experience of losing family members including a spouse and father and hopefully can share some personal approaches that have helped me along the way.
We are all told about the many stages of grief and while this may be true, everyone deals with their emotions and grief differently and don’t necessarily experience the stages in the same order which is totally normal. It’s not the same for everyone and there is no set time as to how you should grieve or how long it should last. Grieving is a personal and individual experience.
I can tell you that the first time I laughed and the first time I went to a family function there was a feeling of guilt like I wasn’t supposed to enjoy myself anymore. Adjusting to my new life was not easy, however, I took steps to go forward and onward with my life.
Working helped a lot since keeping busy is one of the most important aspects of dealing day to day. I found that keeping my mind busy was a big help. I also made time to get out walking a few nights a week for exercise which not only helped physically, but mentally.
To help cope with the pain, I started to write. Something I had never done before. I started slowly writing down my thoughts of the day, trying to keep them as positive as possible. After a while, I starting typing them down on the computer and putting everything together, which became a form of therapy for me, eventually leading to the publishing of my first book.
I am here to tell you that there is life after loss. Writing helped me to heal. So, for me, I turned my grief into something positive. I’m sure this approach may not be the best for everyone but I do think that you should learn a new skill, do something you always wanted to do and feel proud of your accomplishments.
Remember that it is never disloyal to your loved one to go on with your life and enjoy new activities or set new goals for your future.