by Clint Hamm, Refuge Center Intern
Do you know the stinging bewilderment of grief, the lingering pain of losing a dear one (be it a person, animal, place, thing, skill, ability, attribute…)? Then you know that loss is an all-consuming pain. It’s a fire – so loud and hot and furious – that burns up all that has grown up around us. This burning levels life-as-we-know-it; it turns everything familiar into a blur and leaves us to wander aimlessly, unimpressed by the weight of the world. Can you relate to such devastating loss, such confusion?
Loss, in these terms, takes on a double meaning. Yes, we’ve “lost” someone or something… AND, in the midst of this loss, we find ourselves also to be “lost,” unable to see our way back to routine and rhythm, life-as-we-once-knew-it. This is a scary place to be. Nothing feels normal; the world has gone sideways. And just like that, the loss of another turns into the loss of self.
So… now for the good news and an invitation: To feel lost after loss is normal; it makes sense. If you’re lost in your loss, you’re not alone. Now, the invitation is simple, but it’s not easy: Find yourself. Yes, feel your pain, trust the process, and love yourself enough to allow yourself, for now, to be lost; in doing so, you’re acknowledging just how great of a loss you’re enduring. Finally, don’t be ashamed to get help when you need it. A trusted friend, family member, or counselor can serve as a guide to help you get back to yourself. At The Refuge Center for Counseling, we’d be honored to travel with you through this pain, through the whirlwind of grief – honoring the immeasurable value of that which you have lost AND the equally immeasurable value of your own irreplaceable self.