Grieving is hard. It’s sad. It’s a lot of work!
After Tony died, if anyone had said to me, “There will ultimately be a positive side to his sudden death” – I think I would have punched them in the nose.
What I’ve learned since then through my own resilience (and the resilience I see in so many others), is that there actually is another side. And I learned it was important for me to discover what my “other side” was, or I’d possibly not survive.
In my coaching practice I often talk about “looking at both sides of the coin”. For example, is someone’s behavior bad (one side of the coin) or are we misunderstanding them (the other side of the coin)? Is someone being mean or are we miscommunicating?
When I read about horrible tragedies (some are so beyond my imagination), I notice the deep suffering of those involved. I also notice that, after some period of time (months, years), there is often movement to include both sides of their coins.
It takes two sides to form a complete coin. Awareness needs to be brought to each side. So I’ll never say to not grieve for your loved one or to not honor their memory or to stop missing them (side one of the coin). What I will say is to look at what you’ve learned that might be of help to you and/or to others (side two of the coin).
Typically, I’m a pretty upbeat person. And, because I’m a visual kind of gal, I often imagine my mood as a buoy in the sea. There have been times in my life when the ocean waves would wash over my buoy, but then it would always pop back up. When my husband died, my buoy was completely submerged in ocean waters and when it finally came up again, it was listing on its side.
Over the years, the “other side of my coin” has gradually made itself known. It involved taking the coaching skills and knowledge I already had and enlarging them so they could be used with widow/ers who are reentering the dating world.
I definitely wouldn’t have planned any of this in this way. But these are the cards I was dealt. And I do want to somehow keep experiencing the fullness of life.
So, I take that two-sided coin of mine in my pocket and keep moving forward.
I’d love to hear where you are in your journey and if you believe there is an opportunity for ‘another side of your coin.’