When we lose our loved ones, time stops. The present and future cease to exist so we hold on to the memories of the past to get us through our darkest moments. We feel that we cannot possibly go on because there is a nagging feeling of emptiness. In all of these emotions, Living Full Out can be an anchor that will guide you through this difficult healing process. We all have experienced grief in our lives. People experience it in varying degrees, but one thing is for sure, we all need a support system to allow us to begin our journey of healing.

There are several stages of mourning. By adopting the Living Full out principles, you will find it easier to cope with your loss. The first stage of this process is shock. At this point, the news has overwhelmed you so much that you cannot absorb it, your emotions are at bay because confusion has taken over. A constant question that will run through your mind is why did this happen? Having a journal to write down what you’re feeling will aid you in expressing your emotions so that you’re are not bottling them in. Also, you can take this moment to be with your friends and family and help each other get through the shock. The more you spent time with them, the better you can express your emotions.

The next stage is pain. Now that the shock has worn off, your emotions come rolling in as you react to the loss. It might feel like the end, but you can pull through. As you are dealing with this, you will begin to worry about having to arrange the funeral when you are feeling so much sorrow, but nobody expects you to do it on your own. A Living Full Out access, “Learning to Leverage,” will allow you to relieve yourself of the burden of sorting out the funeral. Let other people assist you and delegate tasks to them so that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Remember that people want to do all they can to make your grieving process more bearable. Another one of our accesses is “letting life layer.” The basis of this access is to allow life to take its course despite how painful it will be so that you can learn and grow from the experience. Every time you face a tragedy, you are getting stronger. Therefore, you can use this growth as a support for the tough times you may face in the future.

Looking back on how you survived that loss will guide you in making it through this stage. Even though your heart is aching, now is the time to turn to others for support. It is during times like these when you will need your family and friends the most. Living Full Out will teach you how to find purpose in your grief. Despite your trying circumstances, you will become aware that you there is something you can do to enlighten people on certain issues. You would be dedicating your efforts to informing families on these matters which may prevent future deaths. If you have lost someone from an illness or disease, you can set up a foundation in their honor. People will donate to raise funds towards the research for cures to untreatable illnesses such as cancer, Huntington’s disease, or Parkinson’s. Other people could learn about your loss as you educate them on the circumstances surrounding the passing of your loved one. This sharing of knowledge will bring awareness to issues that need to be addressed such accidents caused by driving under the influence or suicide. Sharing your experience and knowledge with others could save lives and bring comfort to other families that have gone through it.

As you progress to the next stage, absorbing, you realize that you are feeling less pain. This indicates that you are growing from this loss and that you are working through your emotions. It’s not that you’re no longer in mourning, of course you are, but try to acknowledge your journey in order to power through. Adopting the next principle, versatility, will ease the pain of being confronted with the belongings of your loved one. Having to go through all of items adds salt to the wound, but you can do it with other family members so that you don’t have to carry the weight. But if it’s too much for your family, you could ask a friend to step in. That way, you don’t have to go through the painful process of looking at your loved one’s clothes, photos or other belongings as it will bring memories to the surface.

The final stage of the mourning process is healing. You begin to recover from the loss gradually as you find what it means to be live again. Both principles, leadership and community, can help you through this journey. Your family members may look to you for support and guidance at this time, therefore, you would need to take a leadership role. Our Making a Difference access will give you the strength you need to lead your community. You’ve survived a tragic ordeal so people will recognize the struggle of coming to terms with death in a family. They will appreciate the strength you have gained from this experience and look to you for guidance. This will inspire you to see your own strength through your support system. At the funeral, the people present form a community in which they console one another by sharing stories of the loved one who has passed. This activity is healthy for the healing process because it gets people feeling nostalgic as they remember the time they spent with their loved one, the experiences they shared together, and most importantly it’s a celebration of the deceased’s life and all the great qualities you admired.

The fourth principle, community, is all about the support system that you need. Surround yourself with family and friends, don’t try to place all the burden on your shoulders, lean on your loved ones. Together you will get through the passage of healing. The final Living Full Out accesses celebrate life and forgive yourself and others serves as a way of reminding you that life is precious. Treasure each moment you have with those you hold most dear especially now that you’re aware of the value of life. You will also be inspired to appreciate the little moments that you may have previously overlooked. Finally, to get some closure, you need to forgive yourself for any blame you have put on yourself such as not spending enough time with your loved ones or not being there when they passed. This access is critical because it is going to give you the peace you need to completely heal and move on from the sorrow. Once you obtain this forgiveness, you will discover that your heavy heart has released some of its pain.
Now that you’ve come out of this tragedy, you are ready to adopt the final access, Blow Away Your Limits, to complete your journey. This experience has taught you that you are a very strong person, you can use this as motivation to live life the way your loved ones would have wanted you to. Wake up each day and appreciate the that fact that you’re alive, make daily targets to achieve in loving memory of those who are gone. By doing so, you would be keeping their memory alive. Once you begin healing, you are able to find positive pieces of your life again. We understand the sorrow that you are feeling. It will be a rough road, but we promise that we can get you to a better place because we believe in your ability to heal and live full out.

Contributing Author: Alsa Diab