If you are in a bad place, we know what you are going through.
This month we have lost two greatly loved family members, suffered serious health issues, and had to work our way through severe financial issues. And yet we have come through, and we know you can too. Keep reading for our top learnings from experiencing this awful period in our lives.
We all hate, and maybe even fear death. And whenever we hear of a loved one passing, it can trigger a whole range of emotions including disbelief, sadness, shock, distress, guilt, anger, and many more depending upon the circumstances. This month we lost a younger brother and an older step-father in the space of two weeks, and our lives were literally turned upside down.
With the brother, it was more disbelief and shock, as we had to come to terms with a 50-year-old husband, father and grandfather who had died suddenly in his sleep. He was in apparent good health and at the time of writing we still do not know his cause of death.
The passing of the step-father brought different emotions again. He was in his 80’s, and had enjoyed a full and active life until the last two years when age, injury and sickness had robbed him of his ability to live at home. Dementia had also taken many of his memories and ability to function. His death still brought great sadness and grief, but also some relief that he was now in a better place.
Neither death was easy, and both funerals brought on a great many tears, and even more emotions as we farewelled those we loved, while trying to hold our own lives together.
While all this was going on, we were also enduring a personal journey of injury, sickness and chronic pain that threatened at times to overwhelm us. And as we all know, when you don’t or can’t work, there are added financial pressures exerted on the family, that almost drove us to a point of despair.
And if you are there now, believe us when we say, we know what you are going through.
We too have cried out, “How much more God? How much more are we expected to endure before we lose it ourselves?“
Maybe you don’t believe in a god, but are still wondering why so many bad things happen to good people? You see others around you who cheat and lie, and yet seem to breeze through life, while you who do right with your fellow-man suffer so much.
Having come through our ‘valley of death’ experience, we have come to realise some simple truths which we hope you will let us share with you at a time when you might be seeking some answers for yourself.
No one has all the answers
None of us can say why you are going through so much grief and despair. And while we all cry out for answers at this time, we think it is helpful to know that ‘bad stuff’ happens around the world. It doesn’t target anyone in particular. It just happens and you might just need to accept what is, and stop trying to find someone who can tell you why.
Life and death happen, and from the moment we are born, we know we will endure times of sickness and injury, we will have ups and downs, and eventually we will pass from this world. Oftentimes there are no reasons for the suffering other than it is a part of living.
Allow the experience to strengthen, not overwhelm you
Many years ago, we read of the experiences of soldiers who found themselves in a prisoner of war camp during World War Two. Many of them suffered terribly and some died, but those who got through often spoke of not allowing the circumstances to overwhelm them. They knew they could not stop bad things happening to them, but they could control how they felt and responded to those events.
And the same is true for us today. It is very easy to be overcome by sickness, pain, financial lack, and death, and allow it to pull you down and destroy you. The challenge is to see it for what it is and try to use that event or events to make you a stronger person. One who can look back in time and know that you are a better, stronger person because of it.
That is not to say you welcome those events, of course you don’t. But you can refuse to allow them to pull you down and destroy you.
Accept life as it is, not what you want it to be
We all probably dream of a life free of financial pressure, sickness and pain, but you know what? Life probably isn’t like that for most of us, and there will be times when we realise we cannot enjoy a sunrise without experiencing darkness. We can’t know love until we see hate. And we can’t truly enjoy health until we know sickness. Embrace your life as it is and be present in the moment.
Look for ways to enjoy each day. That might be as simple as sitting in the garden and enjoying the feeling of the warmth of the sunshine upon your skin, or listening to a child’s laughter. Look for those things which bring a smile to your face and happiness to your heart.
Realise that time does heal, and that life is a process
These terrible events take a toll on everyone’s life. No one is immune to it, and it is only natural to expect that it is going to take time to work through the feelings and emotions, and get to a better place in life. Don’t hurry the process and get whatever help you need during this time to process what has happened. Let your family and friends really be friends to you at this time.
Don’t be too proud to accept their love and assistance when it is offered. And when they offer a shoulder to cry on, a hug to make you feel better, or a comforting word at just the right time, they are doing what family and friends do very naturally at such times. They want to do it, and you probably need to accept it.
Don’t ignore your loved ones during your own grief
We all know how easy it is to run and hide away during these times. But we mustn’t forget that we also have loved ones around us who are also trying to process this event and come to terms with their own feelings and emotions.
Let them in when you are able, and offer them an opportunity to talk, share and cry if they need to. As hard as it is, it might be part of your own healing journey. Grief is a terrible process and the sooner you are able to talk with those around you, the better your chances of recovery.
And of course, never forget that there are professionals ready and waiting if you need to talk to them. They will assist in any way they can.
If you found this post helpful and find that time in the kitchen is a great way to lift your spirits (we do), then please check out ‘How To Make Healthy Granola Bars That Your Family Will Love‘.
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Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, authentic and fulfilling, personal and business lifestyle.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure. We provide relevant links in each post to services or products of relevance to that topic. Many are unpaid links, while others may be affiliate links. They are included because of their relevance above all else.