Can you ever “heal” from a loss?

A man hugging two childrenAs I sit here thinking about all of the lives lost in Aurora, CO and how all of their family and friends are now searching for answers it reminds me of my own loss.  How it was sudden…one minute you are sitting at home with plans and the next minute your door bell rings, you answer it and your life is changed.

You start questioning yourself and wondering if there was something you could have done to change the outcome.  Maybe you could have asked your loved one not to go or made other plans with the person.  The fact is there is nothing you can do now to change what happened. This is a hard thing to realize and accept.

Healing means  “restoring health in an unbalanced, diseased or damaged organism”, then ask ourselves can a person ever heal after a loss.  A loss in which you did not get to say goodbye, in which you no longer are going to live your dreams with your loved one, in which you are not sure how to pick up the pieces and move forward in your life. The answer?  I am not sure if we can heal completely. 

If I describe it like a wound, it may make sense. The wound starts to heal and then something causes trauma to the wound again (it could be a holiday, seeing the accused in court, etc… ) and then you go back sometimes to the beginning of trying to heal the wound.  I believe after time, the wound will change to a scar but your skin will never be restored back to the way it was before. It is back to a state of health, but it will always be altered.  I hope that this description can help all of you relate to this type of healing.

As we are going through the grief and pain that comes from a loss, we are trying to heal and restore our health.  It takes everyone different length of time and people’s specific situation affects the way people will heal.

I watched the introductory hearing for James Holmes during which he was accused of the movie theater shooting.  It was hard to watch and understand the facial expressions he exhibited.  Never did you see a look of remorse on his face. This will impact the victims’ families.  It makes you very angry to be in the same court room of the person accused of killing the person you loved.  I saw no look of remorse on the face of the person who killed my husband, neither during the introductory hearing nor the many other hearings that were held until she was convicted.  All I wanted from her was to feel that she realized what she had done.  Until I saw this, I was not able to heal.  What worries me about the Aurora victims’ families is that they may never see that from the accused.

Some of the key things that helped turn my wounds into a scar were the support I had and the counseling that I went through. This is what all of the families need in Aurora: the support of their families, friends and people in the nation as they are working through their grief and eventual acceptance of their loss.

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