When we encounter the death of a loved one or an offense to our sense of security through a traumatic event, our world is shattered. We are now faced with the process of how do we pull it together, pick up the pieces and move on. In the past sixteen years, I have been working in business settings as well as assisting my individual clients in recovery from sudden and traumatic events. Research and experience has shown that it is in the best interest of those affected by trauma and sudden loss to work with someone who specializes in grief counseling.
It is recommended to work with a therapist or interventionist as soon as possible in order to process the event and to gain an understanding that what we are feeling is a normal reaction, considering what has occurred. Understanding the stages of grief coined by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross, through her specialized work in the field of death and dying: denial and shock, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance can greatly assist in the healing process and lesson the impact of post-traumatic stress reactions.
ACCEPTANCE is the only key to peace. Our tragedy is horrific, we are never going to like what happened, we can’t change the event as much as we wish we could, we are never going to like it. The truth is that in in the Acceptance of the event, we will find peace in our hearts.
As many others have done before us, we can chose to use this very challenging experience to do something to better our world. We can extend a hand to someone else, to make a difference in the lives of others, offering our support and wisdom. In some cases we might even be able to spare someone else the pain we experienced by sharing our lessons. What greater gift is there then to honor our loved one’s memory through carrying on what he/she valued and taught us in life.
When my mother was saying goodbye to her loved ones, choosing to go home to her creator, not wanting to continue medical treatment by a machine to stay alive, she exuded great peace. All of us were in the room, my father and sister, my daughter, my son and his wife were there via Skype, Ipad, her brothers on the telephone and cellphone, her best friend. She told each of us that she loved us with all of her heart and only wanted each of us to live a happy life. The best gift I can give my mother is to do JUST THAT! When I find myself not feeling happy, I need only ask myself what can I do to change that. This is how I honor my mother’s memory and pass on her love. In doing so, you and I can serve as precious vehicles for our creator. I cannot think of anything in life that brings me more joy than to share a special moment of love and connection with another living being. When I think like this I am certainly living with purpose here on earth.