Benjamin Pintrest Not aloneWhether the loss is a job, a relationship, a dream or someone you love, there is a major shift in what was to what is. The present is no longer the same and a new set of dynamics has dramatically descended upon your life.

A major change has happened and it will take time to readjust and reintegrate life again. However, time is the very thing you don’t feel you have during those initial moments when you find yourself shocked and shattered by loss.

That’s why I have written these suggestions. They will help you know what to do when all seems lost.

That Fateful Day

We first got the call from the blood bank asking us to be tested for HIV in 1985. The donor that provided the blood for Lydia at the birth of our first child, Matt, had tested positive. Our second child, Bryan, was five months old.

Even though their deaths happened at various times through the subsequent years, our journey with the Afterloss began the day we discovered that all three of them were HIV positive.

Life changed forever on that day.

I have five suggestions that may help you in finding your footing in the beginning stages of living in the shock of the Afterloss. These same essential elements I utilized in the beginning of our journey were, and are, applicable throughout the process.

The image I use is that of the Big Bang. In those nanoseconds when the universe was born all the ingredients of life were there. In the initial devastating shock of loss, there also existed all the essentials of how to live in the universe of the Afterloss.

The following are just a few observations of what was helpful to me. There are many more elements that were crucial in my healing in this journey. However, I offer these five suggestions that I used in my own transition with the hope that they might be useful to you or someone you love.

1. Do What’s Right for You – Be True to Yourself

It is important to listen to your own intuition as to what is best in that moment. The way we deal with loss is really an extension of how we deal with life. Our personalities, beliefs and behaviors don’t immediately change just because our world has. In fact, loss heightens and accentuates the way we do things already.

Some people want to be alone. Others want to have family and friends around them. Some want to stay active and busy. Others want to sit and be still.

When the upheaval of loss occurs it is important to honor who you are and how you do things normally. It is not important what others ‘think’ you ‘should’ be doing. The most helpful response is it to do what you feel comfortable in doing or not doing.

Leave other’s expectations, or even your own expectations, aside. In these beginning moments of loss, be who you are and let your response to this major shift come from there.

(see subsequent blog posts for the next elements)

Or go to home page and download the free ebook: “Five things to do when loss first happens.”

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