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Talks with Teri: What Do You Do When You’ve Lost the Love of Your Life?

Member Margaret from Hawaii recently lost the love of her life and wrote to ask us, “What do you do when you’ve lost the love of your life?”
Our hearts and prayers go out to Margaret in this difficult time.  We’re touched that she would write to Teri with such a personal question.  When someone passes, the loss can feel overwhelming.
The pain of such an intimate loss is famously described in the five stages of grief by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. Her work points to the internal work of just feeling our feelings and being patient and kind with our feelings.
There’s also an external part of the work, which involves mourning, which is the more public part of the work after experiencing the loss of a loved one. This involves actively expressing feelings and pain while reaching out for support, creating a new identity, and being on the path toward healing. According to Dr. Alan Wolfelt, a grief counselor:
“Mourning in our culture isn’t always easy. Normal thoughts and feelings connected to loss are typically seen as unnecessary and even shameful. Instead of encouraging mourners to express themselves, our culture’s unstated rules would have them avoid their hurt and ‘be strong.’”
“But grief is not a disease. Instead, it is the normal, healthy process of embracing the mystery of the death of someone loved. If mourners see themselves as active participants in their healing, they will experience a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in life.”
 Dearest, dearest Margaret, we are here for you as you go through both grief and mourning. Love from all of us.