Feelings of loss don’t only happen when somebody or somethings dies. Many people experience bereavement in other situations as well – such as divorce, job loss and or moving home for an international assignment. It’s understandable that negative events should disrupt our lives in this way, but we can experience the same effects even with ‘positive’ change. Milestones like the birth of a child or retirement can have quite an impact and this often takes people by surprise.
Whether it is unexpected, sudden, planned, welcome or unwelcome, change can be very de-stabilising. Whatever it is due to, when the circumstances of our lives are altered we need time to adapt. This is often where the difficulties arise because it is a time of uncertainty, and uncertainty makes us feel uncomfortable.
in obvious cases like bereavement this transition can be made easier by the understanding of others, but in many other situations – relationship break-up or redundancy for example – while those around us may be sympathetic there is nothing like the same understanding and tolerance; we are often expected to just ‘get on with it’.
Anatole France said that “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” Allow time for the melancholy and accept that the uncertainty that happens following a change is natural part of the process. Go easy on yourself and take the time that you need. You can’t anticipate how long this will be. We are all different and each of us adapts in our own way.
It’s a bit like nature. Things dies off in autumn and only start to grow again in spring. Spring can be early or late and to confuse things some plants only blossom every two years. Patience and understanding of the natural cycle of things is essential if your garden is ever going to flourish. Avoid the temptation to dig it up and start again when results don’t come as quickly as you’d like. Stay with it.