The Fear of Loss and How To Cope

Love and loss. Have you ever loved someone so much that you can’t imagine life without them? So much that living in a world where they no longer existed just wouldn’t make sense? I have. It’s one of the most terrifying thoughts, but even worse, one of the most horrible things to experience. So, the question is, how would one cope with the fear of losing someone they love? Let’s talk about it…

When I was seven, my family and I unexpectedly lost my mother. Not only that, but I almost lost my life too. While growing up, I was always close to others, but never allowed myself to get too close. As I entered adulthood, I realized that this needed to change, and I had to learn to cope with the fear of letting someone in, loving them, and then potentially losing them out of nowhere.

Obviously, this was all driven by trauma and anxiety. Nonetheless, it didn’t make those feelings any less real. And I’ve come to find that as soon as I stop worrying, and feel safe, something happens. So basically, my fear also kicks in when I’m happy and not constantly feeling worried. How is that a way to live, you might ask? Yeah, I ask that too…

Just this last week my boyfriend had gone in for a very simple procedure, however, he did it across the country. Per usual, I was feeling worried, but very hopeful that the procedure would be successful.

I woke up to a text that all had gone well, and my babe sounded like his cheerful, normal self. I felt so much better, and was able to finally breathe. Then, I wake up the following morning to a text that he had fainted and was now in the ER. Literally, my world felt like it flipped upside down.

I was able to remain calm and ask for all the facts, but working in the medical field allowed my mind to wander to all of the worst case scenarios. Is this really happening? How serious is this? What if something happens to him? OMG, could I lose him?

I literally couldn’t bear the thought of losing him. The fear kicked in. I was in fight or flight.

Flight was not an option because I’m not that kind of person. So, fight it was.

Regardless of how much fight I had in me, I felt helpless. The fact that I was so far away was literally killing me. But worst of all was knowing that sometimes bad things happen and there’s nothing we can do about it.

So again, that fear of losing someone important kicks in, and it’s stronger than ever. What’s next?

So rather than drive myself crazy with fear, I focused on these ten things:

Some things are just out of your control

This is just the way life works. We can’t predict everything, and we can’t prepare for everything. No matter what you are capable of, certain things happening is inevitable.

Worry only about the things you need to worry about

You’ll literally drive yourself crazy worrying about every possibility. Yes, there are things to worry about—finances, possibly losing your job, when the next earthquake is coming—I know it’s easier said than done, but you have to let go and say goodbye to those worried thoughts.

Live

Because you don’t know what’s coming, live. Live and love as though it were your last day on earth. Enjoy your experiences and the time you spend with your loved ones, even if they’re not always the most pleasant. Know that the time you spent with each person is valued and special.

Say I love you

Tell the people you love that you love them. Often.

Stay positive

Make sure to end a conversation or interaction on a positive note—if something were to happen to that person, would you regret ending things the way you did?

Talk it out

Share your thoughts and tell the people you love how much they mean to you. Share the things you love most about them. Tell them how much joy they bring to your life.

No regrets

Live life to the fullest—I know, so cliché. Make sure to live in a way that will allow you to be proud of how you treated others and yourself. Again, if your life ended tomorrow, would you have any regrets?

Make amends

Loss isn’t just about losing people that are actively involved in your life; it can be the loss of someone you haven’t spoken to in years. Make amends. Don’t let important relationships end on bad terms. If not on a positive note, neutrality can be a good option.

Let go of the anger

People make mistakes, and it’s okay to be upset and angry. But after a while, you need to let it go. Not only for the sake of salvaging the relationship, but also because holding on to anger is not the healthiest thing. Let go, forgive, and move forward. 

Don’t worry until you have to

 Yeah, just don’t do it…

If you enjoyed this piece, check my article on how the secret to happiness is letting go!

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xx,

Paula

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