At Lighting the Way, I understand how deeply impactful grief is on your life. From sleepless nights to feelings of hopelessness, the presence of grief can feel consuming. As a grief recovery coach in Colorado Springs, it is my mission to inspire the light within grief by coming alongside you on your grief journey. While grief does not magically go away, there is hope and healing to be found.
Grief is often only associated with the death of a loved one, but it can appear in our lives for many different reasons. Perhaps one of the most confusing forms of grief to understand is when we grieve for someone who is still alive. Grief happens as a result of loss, how the loss occurs does not matter. Whether you are facing the loss of a distant family member, relationship, or friend, it is possible to grieve someone who is still alive and find healing.
The grief for someone who is still alive, also known as ambiguous grief, can be difficult to navigate. This form of grief stems from seeing someone you once held dear become someone else. While the reason for the change varies, the loss of who they once were is felt deeply in our lives. Whether it’s from addiction, mental illness, separation, or betrayal, ambiguous grief can lead to confusion and hopelessness as the person is not technically gone, but they are psychologically lost.
Tips For Grieving
Similarly to traditional grieving, ambiguous grief looks different for everyone. Grief is not a linear or systematic process, which means that there is no right or wrong way to go about your grief journey. As you process the loss of a loved one who is no longer familiar to you, here are some ways to find light along the way.
1. Allow yourself to grieve
It can be easy to believe the myth that grieving can only happen in relation to death. However, grief occurs anytime there is a loss. So as you process the loss of who someone used to be, allow yourself to grieve. Grief is the only way to find closure and healing from a painful situation. Be patient with yourself as you face the many emotions that come with grief and remember, the healing process will never take shape without it.
2. Remember the past
A common reaction when a loved one becomes someone you no longer know is to attempt to cleanse yourself of any past memories. While reflecting on those memories may be painful, especially when they bring to light how much someone has changed, doing away with them will not help your grief. In fact, it will make it worse because you will begin to grieve both the past and the present, adding to the loss. Instead, embrace the past memories for what they are – time spent with someone you loved.
3. Accept the change
As time goes on, you will eventually have to accept the changes in your loved one and your relationship. While extremely challenging to do, this acceptance is crucial to coping with the new normal you are facing. If you desire for your loved one to still be in your life, accepting the change is the only way to move forward and continue to foster a relationship.
4. Find Support
Going through the process of grieving someone who is still alive should not be done alone. Finding a support system, whether it’s family, friends, or a grief counselor, is essential as you go through your grief journey. Surrounding yourself with trusted individuals who you can have open and honest communication with will help you express your hurt and avoid bottling your emotions.
5. Prioritize yourself
Ambiguous grief is one of the hardest griefs to navigate because the person lost could still be involved in your life. Whether it’s through family ties, committed care, or a lingering relationship, the person being grieved must not override your well being. Prioritizing yourself and your healing will be the only way that both of you can move forward, whether it’s together or apart.
Find Healing With Lighting the Way
Grieving someone who is still alive is a difficult process. With the deeply rooted pain and betrayal, finding hope in the midst of the loss can feel impossible. At Lighting the Way, we use proven methods that were created to ensure that however your grieving process proceeds, you will find light along the way. If you are struggling with a loss of any kind, I am here to help. Schedule a grief recovery session today to find healing and hope.