Steps To Survival

  1. Recognize the Loss: For a while you are numb, it has happened – try not to avoid it.
  2. Be with the Pain: You’re hurting. Admit it. To feel pain after loss is normal, it is proof that you are alive and proof that you are able to respond.
  3. You are Not Alone: Loss is part of life – Everyone experiences it.
  4. You’re a Beautiful, Worthwhile Person: You are much more than the emotional wound you are presently feeling.
  5. You will Survive: Believe that you will HEAL.
  6. Give Yourself Time to Heal: The greater the loss – the more time it will take.
  7. Healing has Progressions and Regressions: Healing and growth is not a smooth upward progression, but full of ups and downs – dramatic leaps and depressing backslides.
  8. Tomorrow Will Come: You life has been full of positive experiences – They will return.
  9. Take Good Care of Yourself: Get plenty of rest. Stick to a schedule. Plan your days. Activity will give you a sense of order.
  10. Keep Decision-making to a Minimum: Expect your judgement to be clouded for a while. You are going through change; don’t add additional ones.
  11. Seek Comforting: Accept support from others – Seek It. It’s human and courageous.
  12. Surround Yourself with Living Things: A new plant – pet – bowl of fresh fruit.
  13. Reaffirm Your Beliefs: Use your faith right now – explore it, lean on it. Grow.
  14. Weekends and Holidays are the Worst: Schedule activities you particularly enjoy.
  15. Suicide Thoughts: These may arise – they are a symptom of pain. If you feel they are getting out of control, seek help at once.
  16. Do Your Mourning Now: Allow yourself to be with your pain – it will pass sooner. Postponed grief can return later to haunt you. Grief feelings will be expressed (one way or another).
  17. Be Gentle with Yourself: You have suffered a disabling emotional wound – treat yourself with care.
  18. Let Yourself Heal Completely: Give yourself time. You are a convalescent right now. Don’t jump into new things too quickly.
  19. Mementoes: If these are helpful to you, use them; But if they bind you to a dead past, get rid of them. Before you say Hello, you must say Goodbye.
  20. Anticipate a Positive Outcome: Pain is acceptable – it tells us we are hurting, but it is not a welcome long-term visitor.
  21. It’s OK to Feel Depressed: Crying is cleansing – a wonderful release. Be with these feelings for a while.