By Audrey Tan

We interact with many different people every day; some become significant parts of our lives, whereas some remain mere visitors to our world. Having meaningful people in our lives, ones we call our loved ones, is a blessing. But unfortunately, where there is love, there is also loss. And there’s nothing more painful than losing someone you love. 

Whether due to death, divorce, or breakdown of a relationship, the loss of a loved one is a difficult and emotionally draining situation. When it happens out of nowhere, most of us may not be equipped to deal with it. We have all experienced loss at some point in our lives, and it occurs multiple times for many. As with every life challenge, if we’re willing to take on the herculean task of accepting and coping with loss, we can come out the other side a better person. Here are some of the different losses we experience and tips for moving on.

Death Of A Loved One

When someone close to you dies, it can feel like your world is shattered, and you’re not sure how to cope with it. Shock and confusion can cause prolonged periods of sadness and despair. Grieving is a necessary part of the healing process, and the intensity of the pain reduces with time, and you come to terms with the loss. Grieving the loss of a loved one takes time, but what awaits at the end could be a newfound sense of purpose and direction in life.

People Who Let You Down

It is inevitable that when we deal with people, some may let you down at some point. We all have one of these “friends”, and while it may not always be intentional, these letdowns can have a major effect on the relationships we have or even change our perception of others down the line. 

It is normal to feel betrayed when a friend lets you down. After all, friends aren’t supposed to do that to each other. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand another person’s conduct and even more so to comprehend the harmful behaviours of a close friend or family member. 

You may want to cut this person out of your life for good, or you may decide to work through it and try to understand their decisions. But no matter what path you choose, as you move on, it becomes more apparent to you the type of friends you want to have in your close circle. You become pickier about the people you let into your life and call your friends. 

People You Have Let Down 

Sometimes, we may be the ones who let our friends down. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. In these situations, the right thing to do is to own up to our mistakes, apologise, and take responsibility for them. When this happens, it’s normal to feel a sense of disappointment in ourselves. 

But this painful feeling will teach you a lesson, especially if it is someone you don’t want to lose. These types of losses teach us to become better friends and possibly better people.

The Mentor You Outgrew

Some relationships are meant to end. For instance, the whole point of having a teacher, mentor, or therapist is to grow and become better versions of ourselves. Eventually, the purpose of these relationships come to an end. The relationship might turn into a kind of friendship, but we must understand the change in the dynamic. But this doesn’t mean that you’ve outgrown having someone to look up to; it simply means that as you continue to grow in life, you may meet different mentors who will help you during various stages of your life. 

People come and go in our lives. Some losses are more unbearable, unfathomable, and it may feel like there’s no end to the pain. But if you think about all the things you learn from these different losses, how each loss makes you realise something new about life or about yourself, and the new outlook it gives you to help you move on, these lessons are immeasurable. 

Every loss and lesson will eventually make us a better person, something we should all strive to do. It may not seem like it at the time, and all you want to do is cry, be angry at the world or maybe seek revenge. But remember, grief uniquely affects each person, and each person has their own way of dealing with it. It may take months or even years to come to terms with a loss. There is no “normal” amount of time for someone to grieve, so take as much time as you need to cope with it, and most importantly, heal.