Making Peace With… Losing Your Partner

Q: I recently lost my partner and am looking at ways to work with my bereavement. How can Pacivida help me?

Firstly, I am sorry for your loss. Losing your partner is one of the most challenging experiences of your life, maybe the hardest you have ever had to deal with. Finding a place of peace with what has happened is just as challenging. For me, Pacivida helped me come to a place of acceptance of my loss quicker than I expected. It didn’t make the pain of the loss any less, but it helped me not heap even more pain on top. Let me explain more….

The Endless List of Loss

Anyone who has lost a loved one who was part of the daily fabric of their lives, especially a partner, child or family member, knows that it is not just about losing their loved one. It’s also the unspoken losses that pile on top. I call this the “Loss List”

  • It’s the loss of the dreams and plans you had together.
  • The loss of happiness at future celebrations and life milestones such as birthday parties, anniversaries, Christmas, weddings, graduations, grandchildren…
  • The loss of those little chats and hanging out watching your favourite show together. 
  • The loss of handling stress the way you could before.
  • The loss of sleep.
  • The loss of socialising as you curl up in a ball in your bedroom and don’t want to face the world.
  • The loss of other relationships as grief becomes a “third member”.
  • The loss of income and security.
  • If you have kids, it’s the loss of your parenting partner and the support they provided.
  • The loss of friends who would rather avoid you than risk saying the wrong thing.
  • The loss of friendship circles where you no longer “fit” (especially if you were a couple).
  • For some, it can be a disconnection from their faith or spirituality, which was their rock before. 
  • For the most optimistic, it can even be the loss of a positive outlook for the future.

The list goes on and can feel endless. 

The Opportunity to Practice Pacivida

As hard as it can be, this near-endless list gives us almost endless opportunities to practise Pacivida every day. I believe our first stage with any loss is to work towards making peace with it, little-by-little. Making peace does not mean having to feel happy. Happiness (and sadness) are temporary states. You can’t be happy and sad at the same time. With Pacivida, you recognise that you can be sad and peaceful, just as you can be happy and peaceful. This is one of the major principles within Pacivida. 

When we create resistance to what has changed, we get stuck and sometimes lost. When we get stuck, there is no movement towards starting to reclaim our lives and ultimately rediscovering happiness. When we start the journey of making peace with our loss, we are able to move forward, slowly at first, but in the right direction.

The Pacivida Pledge – Three Questions

Taking the Pacivida Pledge is a commitment to yourself that when these feelings come up, you set an intention that you ultimately want to make peace with what you are feeling. To do this, use my three-steps:

Say Pacivida Acknowledge Ask

  1. Say Pacivida to yourself.
  2. Acknowledge and name the feeling you are experiencing.
  3. Ask the Pacivida Question: “How can I start to make peace with this?”

How does this work?

  1. Say Pacivida to Yourself

Saying Pacivida has a magic effect. It reminds you, instantly, that you want to ultimately make peace with this feeling. It does not mean you have to make peace with it in that moment. That’s an important distinction. You are setting an intention that you want to move towards a time when you will no longer experience this feeling, or at least, with the same intensity. Saying Pacivida stops you from going down the rabbit hole where we get lost in the emotional jungle, as it reminds you what you ultimately want to experience – a feeling of peace. Why is this so important? Because it is the place where true healing starts.

  1. Acknowledge and Name the Feeling:

Say to yourself what you are feeling:

  • “I feel sad”
  • “I feel lonely”
  • “I feel depressed”
  • “I feel angry”
  • “I feel stressed”
  • “I feel desperate”

Always meet yourself where you are at. Don’t deny these feelings. They are real. You are feeling them for a reason. Stuffing them down or brushing them off only means more work down the road. Acknowledge that it is okay to feel this way right now. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to yell, yell.

  1. Ask the Pacivida Question:

Next, ask “How can I start to make peace with this?” It is a very powerful question. Here’s the beauty of it… You don’t even need to come up with an answer initially. Just practise asking yourself the question. When you do, eventually ideas and answers will start to come.

The Pacivida Question is a proactive way to direct your emotions to something that will empower you. Often you are not in control of external losses. You are in control of your emotions. Typically, when we are not proactive, and guiding our thoughts, we become helpless, like the driver of a runaway train. This only give us more of what we are experiencing:

  • More sadness
  • More loneliness
  • Deeper depression
  • More anger
  • More stress
  • More desperation

We don’t need any more of that. We have enough of it already! More also adds overwhelm to our list, which by its definition is hard, and sometimes impossible to handle. Feeling more of what you already struggle with is a vicious downward cycle. It’s one of my reasons I believe we can fall into depression. Pacivida helps you break that cycle.

Moving to Acceptance

I realised that I was using Pacivida to help me make peace with my loss, and move me closer to acceptance more quickly. When I arrived there, I started my real healing. Whilst we are lost in our anger, depression and “why me?” periods of loss, I call this the “Processing Phase” of grief. We can’t skip that, but it is also possible to get lost in that jungle. There are some people who stay in this phase for the rest of their life, and never start their deepest healing.

So by making the Pacivida Pledge to yourself, you are setting an important intention. You are saying: “I want to consciously work on moving to a place of peace with this”. You are also going to allow yourself time to practise this. There are no quick fixes, but Pacivida becomes your compass to move in the direction you want to head.

Thanks for reading. Are you interested in learning more about how Pacivida can change your life? Sign up to the “Making Peace With… Life” newsletter today.




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