It’s been said that after a significant loss, an upheaval in one’s life, or a profound tragedy, those affected will go through several emotional phases. The last phase of grief, in most cases, is acceptance. When going through loss and the emotions that follow, a person may feel – at the end – like they have been transformed somehow. Life may appear different. Priorities change. In a sense, the person going through this process may indeed feel changed by it
If you have recently lost a loved one and have journeyed through grief to the point that you are finally healing, you may wonder what your focus is. You may wonder about your sense of purpose, which brings you back to life. The team at Miller Funeral Services understands this process and has some suggestions in finding your joy.
6 Ways to Find a Sense of Purpose after Loss
- Focus on what inspires you. Do you love to paint? Dance? Work with children? What gives you that “breath of fresh air” that you’d like to pursue? Something that inspires you can be big, like saving an old growth forest from the new development, or small, like reading 10 new books each year. Whatever it is that brings that zest for living to your life, go for it!
- Go on a fact-finding mission. Connecting with your deeper purpose, or who you really are, takes some work. Consider your values. Write down a list of things that matter to you. Is it reconnecting with family, or finding new friends? Ask others to tell you what they think you’re about. It’s amazing what comes up. Look for a life coach, counselor, or clergyman to help you get to know who you are and what you want to become.
- Fulfill your loved one’s wishes. One of the most selfless quests you can go on is to fulfill the dreams of your loved one. Did your friend or family member have a dying request? Or, did they spark a question or legacy that you want to seek out? Whether that request is philanthropic or personal, fulfilling a loved one’s final request is something of great value and purpose.
- Take care of your health. If your loved one battled with a long illness, you may have put your own health and wellbeing on hold. During grief, it is hard to focus on nutrition, self-care, and exercise. Now that you are emerging from a period of loss and sadness, it may be a wonderful time to give attention to your health. You may even find that you want to make some changes as simple as getting into yoga or as long term as training for next year’s 10K.
- Travel far and wide. “Find yourself through leaving what’s familiar” is something of a paradox, but it’s true. If you once loved to travel, this might be a great time to go on that vacation you’ve had on your bucket list. By exposing yourself to new cultures, cities, and people, you may just find an entirely new perspective.
- Discard what no longer serves you. After a major change, it’s natural to look more closely at the things in your life that lift you versus those things that deplete your spirit. Grieving is an exhausting process and it causes a person to become more introspective, examining values, friendships, work life, etc. By getting rid of anything that goes against your heart’s desire, you can better understand what things are meaningful, purposeful, and true.
We hope these suggestions have given you some ideas and help you along in your journey to a renewed sense of purpose. If we can help answer any questions, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment for funeral or memorial planning, please contact us.