They say,”Move on!”: Picking up the pieces after loss

You were violated and nobody can understand the agony that makes you sick to your stomach. It’s true. Only you know what happened to you and how it makes you feel; and when someone says “it’s going to be alright”, they don’t know what they are talking about.

If you’ve decided to pursue justice by taking the legal route, more power to you! It takes a lot of courage to come out into the world and say that I was raped and I’m willing to tell you all about it if it brings my rapists to justice. But legal proceedings take time. The trials, the apprehension and arrest, establishment of proof, testimonies and final judgment – can take months or even years. During this time there are concrete steps you can take to heal your body and mind.

I’ve tried to list here a few things you can do on your own to diminish the pain and recover from your traumatic experience. You’re not supposed to forget the pain. You have to go through it and past it.

  • I live in the present, and feel glad to have had him as part of me and my life.
  • I can take steps, decisions without the past affecting me
  • I can continue to love and take my loss, him and my past as the most powerful strength, that only I possess
  • I have the freedom to talk and express the real thing, without pretending, and yet give my 100 percent to the present.

I have met grieving people, waking up every morning, trying to get their lives together, putting efforts to live in the present, even if it takes away a lot of emotional and physical energy. But still we have an immense need to advise them about moving ahead, of course because we care, but ending up adding to the pressures they are trying to cope with.

My suggestions to the well-wishers of the grieving individuals are:

  • How about standing next to them, letting them know you are there irrespective of any odds. That you have great pair of ears, that are totally functional, and there to listen to them. Tell them “I understand, I might not be able to feel the same emotions, but tell me what can I do for you?”
  • Put no demands. It is their life, how about not trying to push your beliefs and perceptions about the right way to live life. Remember, the grievers are already fighting their individual battles. How about appreciating them for being able to succeed every morning, for being able to think of a future, for succeeding to take smallest of decisions.
  • Please help a grieving individual find meaning in life, cause a meaning, gives a purpose or an agenda to their existence. Give them options for the “present” and not the future. For the only reason that you aren’t the writer of your or anybody’s future.
  • Don’t stop them from talking or sharing what they feel about the past, present or future. Stopping them would only push you away from them. Remember, all the acts of expression, have a lot to convey about the state of mind one is in.
  • And most importantly, please make sure you don’t end up asking them to erase the past, because even if they follow your advice, they would end up suppressing their emotions, needs and feelings consciously, which will unconsciously start affecting the relationships around.

I would sign off by requesting to believe that a past can never be a hindrance if accepted without inhibitions and with full heart. Be empathetic and not sympathetic.

As a grieving individual, let’s continue to make our past, our relationships and our experiences our strength to grow as individuals. I guess then, moving on means being able to take one by one step in the direction of a better you, a better life.

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