Recalibrating after a loss

I posted an article about the grief of losing your mother on my Facebook page recently. One my friends wrote about the need to recalibrate after losing their mother. That word just resonated with me because it seems so fitting to what the process of grief can be like. When we lose someone who is a significant force in our life such as a parent or spouse we don’t just lose the person we lose our sense of life, as we know it. Our future looks different. We feel different.

When we have a strong connection with someone we create a future in our minds with them. If the relationship is positive then we know that they will be there for us and we will have their support and companionship to get us through the challenges of life. When that future plan gets taken away from us due to a death it can create a devastating anxiety and fear. Everything we thought to be true no longer is. If we are to move forward somehow we have to find a way to live our lives in a different way than we had planned. It is a frightening time.

I often talk with people about the different versions of ourselves we have in our lifetime. If we are lucky we learn and change and grow as we move through our lives. To me that is recalibration.  As life changes we are often forced to adapt. Sometimes we welcome these changes and more often we are forced into them kicking and screaming.

So what does it mean to recalibrate? It means finding our way in the world again. It means finding out who is truly our support system. It means learning new ways to cope. It means learning what we now like and dislike. It means learning to feel grief and stumble through it. It means somehow plugging our way forward in our new reality. Which is all any of us can do after a loss.