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Processing Loss

Senior Issues Series
1. Aging or Ageless
2. The Continuance of Existence
3. Coping with Major Illness
4. Processing Loss - Its Disbelief, Grief, Acceptance, Joy
5. Senior Intimacy from a Spiritual Point of View
6. Tantra
7. Meditation and Yoga Midlife and Beyond

Susan Helene Kramer

free ebook translation in Dutch

The Netherlands, photo credit Stan Schaap

This booklet narrates a process of going through, and recovering from loss


Contents

1. Disbelief
2. Grief
3. Acceptance
4. Joy
5. Summary
Links


1. Disbelief

The shock. The shock in being told that I will not be sharing with my loved-one, face to face, on the physical plane, any longer. My body feels numb. It is as if I am no longer at home in my body. I feel detached from comfort in my life. I feel an aversion for food—on the one hand I feel hungry, but the thought of passing food into my mouth is impossible. My bodily functioning is mightily disturbed. I can not believe what has happened.

If I detach myself from my feelings, I think that I will be able to function okay at work. At home, I will be able to go about my ordinary routine and no one will know of my wrenching emotional loss. As I relive these feelings while writing out these sentences, I am again experiencing the disbelief. My sentences are short and choppy, reflecting how I felt at the time—out of harmony, out of the flow of life—beached, isolated on a sandbar in the river of time.

Is this really happening? Can I live through this? Will I ever again be comfortable in my own body? It is just not possible that this is happening to me.

I can no longer hold in my feelings. Yes, it is true that my loved-one is gone from me, forever. I can't hold in my feelings any longer ...
 
2. Grief

The tears are flowing, unbidden … I cry into my pillow at bedtime and again in the morning. The tears well up and overflow when I am alone in my room. And as I can not stop them I let them have their day. In grieving, my body relaxes, washes out my pent-up feelings and tensions. After a crying session I can again go on with my day.

The grieving sessions are coming less often. My emotions are still high and I so miss my dear one—I think about all that we did together that can not be repeated. I ask myself why this happened—I want to spend more time together.
 
3. Acceptance

My new reality has sunk in. Hook, line and sinker—sunk in. I know we will not being seeing each other again on this physical plane. And now I reminisce. I remember the good times we shared.

I wake up and sometimes my first thought is not of my lost love-one. I wake up with energy and the drive to go on and begin an active day. I think about what I will do that day—at work and for fun.

Life does go on. Different than before, but still I am marching on through my days and sleeping peacefully at night.
 
4. Joy

One morning upon awakening I go out for my usual walk—but today the birds are singing; the air is showing a promise that warmth will follow; the fruit trees alongside the roadway are showering me with tiny blossoms, which carried on the gentle breez caress my face—I feel joy in my heart, and energy in my step. I feel invigorated and happy. I can say that I feel joy once again!

In summary: I have recounted the process of my own loss. Healing can come after loss—that I now know. And I also discovered that more than healing comes—joy resurfaces, again.

And the joy resurfaced is actually a richer experience than before. I feel an intimate connection with my lost loved-one once again. And I know now, for sure, that time, place, dimension, and space do not have an effect on the presence of love.

I feel love, and I feel loved.

My body is energized and feels warm. I look forward to the day's activities and am productive at work. I enjoy the rest of my family. I appreciate my time with my family. I am more appreciative of my time with my loved-ones. And I live as if today were my last day in this physical body.
 
5. Summary

That joy can again resurface—as an enriched experience—was such a surprise to me. I think that because I lived with positive attitudes before my loss, that I had set in motion the predictability of a positive outlook after my loss. It seems that as humans, we have the capacity to even benefit from loss. Through knowing first hand what loss feels like, and how we experience it mentally, we can empathize with another's loss. I found that human love is really transcendent. Enlivening me before my loss and even though my loved-one is gone, I am still enlivened—energized—by love's transcendent presence.
 
Links

Stan Schaap and Susan Kramer

Susan Kramer is an international author of over 50 collections and 150 articles on rhythmic dance, ballet, music, philosophy, social issues, yoga, meditation and practical spirituality for children, teens, adults and those challenged, with some translations in Dutch, French, German, Greek and Spanish, and with her husband, Stan Schaap- http://www.powertoshare.com, resides in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
web site  http://www.susankramer.com
email  susan@susankramer.com
biography http://www.susankramer.com/Biography.html
Text and Photography copyright 1999-2011
Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Senior Issues Series
1. Aging or Ageless
2. The Continuance of Existence
3. Coping with Major Illness
4. Processing Loss - Its Disbelief, Grief, Acceptance, Joy
5. Senior Sex from a Spiritual Point of View
6. Tantra

Just Yesterday - A Poem by Janet Pumphrey

Ebook by Susan Kramer:

Meditation and Yoga Midlife and Beyond for Physical Balance and Harmony by Susan Kramer Meditation and Yoga Midlife and Beyond Ebook - For midlife and older. 30 sitting and standing poses that help the physical body maintain or regain motion balance, (as in not falling over) and remain supple. Adapted from standard yoga poses.  10 meditation techniques follow to give you a choice in various circumstances and include a meditation breathing technique, how to use a mala and mantra, sitting, walking and stress reduction meditations, and meditation for spiritual healing, developing intuition and memory skills. Yoga philosophy follows and includes a variety of virtues. Illustrated with photos of all the poses. 107 pages.
 

The text of this booklet first published as an article by "InnerSelf" magazine, March 1999.
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