If your loss was recent, sudden or unexpected, you might experience it as a shock, as if you're living a bad dream or someone else's life, trying desperately to get back to your "old" life. The last thing on your mind might be the challenge of a new year. Writing or talking repeatedly about the death of your loved one might make you feel numb or detached. Eventually, you might realize that your life is not what you thought it would be, that your world has changed.
著名的哀傷輔導師兼作家德蕾絲‧蘭多（Therese Rando）將哀傷描述為一種「學習過程」。 Each minute with a loved one created patterns of how to operate and what to expect. Each new challenge, like doing the taxes, fixing things, and going into a new year, becomes a fresh occasion to accept the absence of your loved one and find new ways to cope, even if new challenges bring fresh pain.
As you courageously work through your grief over time, you eventually will find the strength to look to the new year with interest and wonder about what it might hold. Maybe you'll feel eager to welcome change, now that your grief has started to ease.
You might find comfort and joy in knowing that you did all that you could and loved well. Enriched by the love you once enjoyed, you can now show deeper compassion for all who suffer. You eventually will recognize life as a gift to enjoy with whomever crosses you path. In time, you might want to do on your own what you both once hoped to accomplish together.
Even if you're scared and lonely, and even if you long for the past, you can still open the door a crack to this new year.
Tips to face the new year:
- Begin by getting needed rest. If you're still exhausted from caregiving or from acute grieving, focus on physical recovery. Considering talking with your doctor about how to rebuild yourself physically.
- Give yourself a mental rest. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations about yourself, and soothe yourself with music, prayer, uplifting literature, tears and laughter.
- Pay attention to hope and desire. Find small practical ways to give yourself new pleasure.
- Attend a support group or talk with friends and family members who can list and share memories.
- Seek spiritual support from a local minister, rabbi, priest, imam.
- Find courage to live into the future by living in the present, one day at a time. Do the best you can to care for yourself and others today.