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Sandra Dean – Registered Member

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Endings, attachment and moving on

“I’m not good at endings”. Oh how many times I have said this, but today I realise that I am actually a lot better at them than I used to be. I guess part of it is that I am older, have more wisdom and experience and have had to get through a lot of endings, whether they were of my choice or out of my control.

  • Death of a significant other
  • Severing friends and family relationships of my own accord
  • Finishing personal therapies, especially a group therapy
  • Finishing colleges
  • Finishing school all that time ago
  • Friends and family moving away or to another country
  • Leaving jobs
  • End of personal relationships – being dumped, dumping the other person, falling out…

Whether we make the choices ourselves, or another makes them for us, endings are still hard.

We get attached to people and places, and may miss them or feel angry about them.

We can also get attached to inanimate objects, which we are sad about if we lose them or have them taken from us. Theft can create a huge loss in our hearts, especially if it’s something personal to us or that is something that belonged to a significant other.

So how do we deal with loss and attachment?

Everyone is different, but these are some of my ways…

  1. Sometimes I find it helps to write my feelings down; to explore my loss and how I am feeling.
  2. I might write a letter I will never send, to the person, saying all the things I wanted to say, whether it’s nice things or not so nice things that I need to process. I can let go of dislike, or let go of my grief.
  3. If it is something I have been doing regularly, like therapy or college, I can find replacing the time I would be doing those things, with something else that’s pleasant. This might be catching up with friends I knew from college, going to see my mum and dad, going for a walk or coffee, or doing some gardening. I don’t feel everything should or needs to be replaced, but it can help for a few weeks in the interim.
  4. I might make some new plans on what I am going to do next.
  5. I might actually have some therapy to help me deal with the loss.
  6. I help myself in any way I can, to get through – be it eating, exercise or being mindful.
  7. Mindfulness really helps – by giving myself time to just ‘be in the moment’ I can enjoy what I have got and how I feel, rather than thinking about the past or what I have lost. I like to use my senses to do this, be it smell, taste, sound, feel or sight. My favourite is taste, eating my favourite things or things that remind me of someone I love. I also love sound – sitting and just listening… to birdsong, chit chat, laughing; whatever is around me at the time.
  8. Very important is to acknowledge the loss and attachment and to allow myself time to get over it. There’s no point in trying to just forget about it for me, or try to rush it through. The time it will take to overcome the loss/attachment will depend on the significance and emotions surrounding the loss and attachment. I allow myself as long as I need. That is self-respect and self-care.
  9. When I lost my Late Great Auntie’s ring (it fell off my finger as it was a little too big), I was devastated. Over time, I had to tell myself that I have so much more of hers still left – most importantly my memories of being with her. Those are the most precious.
  10. I also indulge in my hobbies, like writing blogs, social media, writing books and learning new things.

Loss and attachment are two of many things we experience in life whether we like it or not, and like so many other things that affect our emotions and actions, we just have to find ways to get through loss.

I, personally, have just finished four years at a college, and have handed in my work for my Counselling Diploma. It’s still a little surreal, but I will keep in touch with my fellow students and already have plans for the next two Thursdays when I would have been in college! Happy days!

Take care,

Amanda 🙂

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4 comments to Endings, attachment and moving on

  • Lorraine

    Ah, endings….without which there’d be no start.
    It’s the bit in the middle that’s precious and that can’t be forgotten in our minds. As I won’t forget the Thursday’s!
    Brilliant ideas.

  • Christina

    These are really good suggestions. I too find myself struggling with ‘the end’ of things. We become so secure in things, even dysfunctional things, that change is scary.

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