Losing a mate from death, divorce or break-up is a "press pause" moment. You can compare it to pausing a recording on your television. Your life as you knew it gets derailed and so you step off the platform and take pause to figure out the facts of your life. In order to do this, you can act like a reporter on assignment by asking the five basic questions of who, what, where, when and how.
Who are you now? You are no longer a couple, but you don't really feel single.
What are going to do now that you are alone and all the circumstances of your life have changed?
Where are you going to turn? Everything seems foreign now. Think of it as a foreign film where you have to read the subtitles to understand what is going on, but either the words are blurry or it's going too fast for you to make sense of it.
The question of where can also be taken literally. Where are you going to live now? Work now? Many widow/ers or divorced persons need to move out of their homes due to financial difficulties. Others need to go back to work to support a family.
You may question WHEN are you going to feel normal. Sorry to say, the definition of normal has changed. Now there's a new normal for you to get used to.
You may wonder, HOW am I going to get through this time. Do I have the necessary "tools" to help myself?
Let me ask you a question. What would you do if you were going to do something that you had never done before or hadn't done in a long time? You would probably look for an instruction manual or do some research to get the tools to complete this task successfully. Yet, we beat ourselves up for failing to feel better after trying to mourn our loss without any instruction on how to do it in a healthy manner.
Society just doesn't teach us how to deal with loss. It's brushed under the rug. We feel awkward around it and the bereaved are sometimes treated as if they have a disease. Working on your grief is even referred to as grief recovery. Were you ill that you needed to recover? It's more a journey we take of introspection and questioning (such as the five I posed above) to get to the other side I like to call renewal.
How to reach this seemingly elusive and far-away renewal? Well, I'm sure you have heard of the three R's in regard to learning. I have three R's that you can utilize to spur you out of mourning and towards renewal: Rethink, Reconfigure and Refresh.
As you review your answers to the questions of who, what, where, when and how, think about how you can redesign (and then reconstruct) your life to be able to welcome new life and new love into it.