Dealing With Loss and Grief in Mid-Life

This year (2019) certainly did start out with a bang! 

I started a speaking tour with 3 other wonderful women - "The Self-Love Explosion" empowerment and motivational speaking event for women over 40.    I also had a new book come out in February "Power Up Super Woman"  a collaborative book written by 17 women who share their stories of courage and wisdom, truly an empowering and inspirational book.  I  also had started working on new classes for my online school Holistic Living and Wellness Academy.  Life was going pretty good ... then the bottom fell out.

My father, Dr. Marion J. Woods,  passed away.  He was 87. 

You can never prepare for the loss of a loved one, especially a parent.  Over the last few years, I knew that my fathers time was getting shorter.  It was just a feeling, but strong enough to give me the desire to spend as much time with him as possible.  But given that, the grief and pain are still very present.

My father was a community leader, and activist, successful professional,  family man, and an excellent role model and person.  When he passed he left a hole not only in my heart but the hearts of so many others.  I thought I already knew how many lives he impacted, but I was not prepared for the depth of the reaction of people who felt deep sorrow in regards to his passing.

Now that time has passed, I realize that perhaps the toughest part of grief in mid-life is a reconciliation of all the memories ( by midlife you have a bunch of them) both good and bad and learning how to adjust to the new normal without falling into a depression about our own mortality. Midlife is a time that we begin to experience the loss of life and grief beyond our imagination.  Losing friends and family members is a part of the mid-life experience.

What I have learned during this experience is that loss and grief in midlife is actually an opportunity to grow and view life with a different lens.  While depression, anxiety, and even pain is a part of the grieving process of losing loved ones, I experience some key learnings that are helping me during the grieving process.     

Here are some of those unexpected key learnings I have experienced that has put a different focus on my grief focus:

Time, Clock, Head, Woman, Face, View
Value Time  - losing a loved one is an opportunity to start thinking about how you are spending your time.  Are you doing things you really want to do?  Are you using your time to pursue things that bring you joy?  Loss teaches us and/or reminds of how precious time is and that one of the best reminders you can have. 

Friends, Girls, Cell Phone, SelfieValue Friendships - last year I went to 7 funerals!!  At each of these funerals, I saw people who I loved who I had not seen for a while.  There was no real reason why I had not seen them, I just kind of left these friendships out there.  With the additional loss of my Dad, I realize now is the time to reinvigorate those friendships and find a renewed source of fun in the process.

Women'S Power, Business Woman
Value Opportunity - any kind of change, challenge or unpleasant experience always present an opportunity that is actually on the positive side.  Sometimes it might take a bit of digging but out of our grief for a loved one, eventually comes a spark of something positive that may have not been there before.  For me, my spark was an opportunity to carry on some of the projects my father was working on.  For someone else, the spark might be deciding to pursue something that you have put off.   Whatever the spark is, look for it.  It is there, ready to ignite something within you that has laid dormant. 

Sky, Freedom, Happiness, RelievedValue Renewal - the circle of life is all about renewal.  When we lose someone not only does life become that much more precious but the need to renew your commitment to living your best life now eventually comes into play.  Not right away, but eventually you begin to think about what's next.  How am I going to move forward?  What can I do to fill this hole in my life in a constructive and positive way? 

Loss in midlife is an unfortunate part of life's journey.  It is painful, it is sad, it feels for a while in some cases hopeless.  But I am here to tell you that there is an "other side" of this experience of grief.  When you get to the other side (and you will ) life becomes even more of a gift, life becomes more valued. 

On my Facebook Live show "Lynnis Minutes"  I talk about dealing with anxiety and vulnerability in mid-life. You can see more of "Lynnis Minutes"  here

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