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In the midst of grief, it can be difficult to believe that you will ever be able to rebuild your life, and it is true that this is very hard to do — especially when you have lost a child.

They were, after all, central not only to your life but your very identity. It seems unimaginable that you can ever be like you were before.

While you don’t really ‘recover’ from grief, in the true sense of the word, with time and patience those intense emotions and feelings of loss will lessen, and you will be able once again to look to the future, albeit one very different to what you may have imagined before your bereavement.

Woman looking into sunset

In my case, it took quite a few years after the loss of my babies for me to actually even get to the point where I could see the possibility of truly rebuilding my life. I had, until that point, just been existing as I continued to learn to navigate the uncertainty of grief, living more day by day than being able to think far ahead or make plans.

Slowly, very slowly, this changed, and it was far from a linear path. One moment I seemed to be better, albeit always accompanied by the sense of loss; the next, grief would take me by surprise and hold me down again.

But it did get better and I did adjust to the new reality and the new ‘me’. This will be the same as you progress on your healing journey.

It took even longer to actually embrace life once more, or even want to do such a thing, and further time to become capable to enjoy life again, to see more than a year into the future, and to be excited for what was to come.

There is no right or wrong with grief and it can take a long time to become aware of the light at the end of the tunnel. It can take months, or longer, by itself just for you to be able to look back and realise how much you have changed. And because grief plays with our sense of time, even while taking positive steps forward it may yet feel like you have not moved at all.

Something that was unthinkable to me in the past was to accept that the loss has made me who I am today. That I am happy with who I am, grateful even. I have used my loss and trauma to try and create something positive from it, to help others in any way I can.

I have a purpose now that I never had before. And I am happy with that. But it meant to see and accept the silver lining to the death of my twins. ppy with who I am, grateful even. I have used my loss and trauma to try and create something positive from it, to help others in any way I can.

Sometimes this still knocks the air out of me and brings tears to my eyes as guilt comes rushing in. How can there be a silver lining to such an awful loss?

For me, this was just one of the steps forward in my healing journey. I needed to make some kind of sense of the loss. To use it to make something better from it, so that their deaths would have a positive effect.

I needed to change the whole negativity of emotions that surrounded their loss and turn it into something constructive. I needed to alchemise it from lead to gold.

I had read that people find meaning in being in service to others from their loss. It must have stuck with me as in the end this is what I tried to do with my book, Precious Scars.

I then found that I needed to do more. The book on its own did not feel like it was enough. It was a good starting point but I realised I needed to try and reach more people, as many as I possibly could, and to possibly connect more deeply with others.

This, of course, does not in any way mean that I am happy with what happened. No parent would ever think that. But neither I nor you can change the past. It is what it is. Sooner or later, we will come to accept it and grow from these most bitter of experiences.

This has led me to where I am today and I am so grateful and happy with where I am. It has led me to reach out through my book and to continue that work of supporting others through the Precious Scars website.

The journey of healing from bereavement is a journey of self-discovery. You learn more about yourself and the inner strength that you possess than through anything else you might experience in your life.

There are, perhaps, a fortunate few who gain this realisation without the intervention of tragedy but, for the vast majority of us, it takes the pain and loss of death to deliver that wisdom. In learning this lesson, the ongoing support of your loved ones — your family and friends — is invaluable. As explained in other articles, such as Healing From Loss and The Benefit Of Counselling, professional assistance can also be of great value.

I have used my trauma as a catalyst to push me into a life that I am happy with. And while I have by no means reached the end of my healing journey — I don’t think this ever ends — I will keep improving, hopefully, and gaining deeper understanding of myself with every encounter, every step, and every moment that I am alive. Growth, like healing, is continuous.

You will find your own drive and purpose to continue moving forward, to honour the ones you have lost, and to keep their memory and legacy alive. It does not have to be in service to others directly, but in the end, whatever it might be, it will benefit someone somewhere. The simple act of becoming more aware of yourself and reaching a deeper understanding will bring you more peace and love, and with that the people that surround you will benefit from your healing.

  • Acknowledge that rebuilding your life after loss is not a linear journey. There will often be moments of progress followed by setbacks. Be patient with yourself as you navigate through the grief.
  • Embrace the idea that the loss has contributed to who you are today. Accept that personal growth often emerges from challenging experiences.
  • Explore ways to turn the negativity of emotions surrounding the loss into something constructive. Explore creative ways to channel your experiences.
  • Seek the ongoing support of loved ones, family, and friends. Consider professional assistance, such as counselling, as a valuable resource in the healing journey.

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