What I Know for Sure


The way I see the world after loss is not very traditional.

But it is one that has saved my life and the life of many others.

This is what I know for sure.

  1. You can find joy after loss in the most unexpected things and experiences.
  2. Your broken heart can create deep life changing conversations.
  3. You are more authentic and present than ever before.
  4. You can experience some of your creative years to date.Whether it’s a painting on a canvas, a book, a volunteer activity or talking to a homeless man and seeing the world through their eyes.
  5. You have never been wiser.
  6. You have never been stronger and more compassionate.
  7. To me, age changes its rhythm after loss. Your human age does not correspond to the age you have after your loss. Years don’t count the same way. And yes, I have proof for all of the above not only from someone in their 40s but from people who are all the way to their 80s. And if they can go back to school, have amazing sex and laugh out loud every day so can we. Grief is an inhuman experience taking place in a human body. It lives outside of time and space. It doesn’t have a clock. And there will never be a right time to live again. Do it regardless.
  8. The key to your happiness is your ability to rewrite your life story. You see, grieving is a personal journey. You must go at your own pace. You have to use your own words. And feel your own feelings. Nothing will resemble someone else’s path, nothing should.
  9. Above all, don’t let your laughter be forgotten. You will have some days when everything is going the wrong way. On those days cry yes, but also get up and put on some good music and start dancing.
  10. Launching your new life takes guts and boldness, and a lot of hard work, so be gentle with yourself and trust the process.
  11. Allow another human being to see you, to know your pain. (Click to Tweet!)
  12. Open the door to your next chapter, feel the fear and keep the door open as long as you can.
  13. Anyone who is trying to stop you from starting over, don’t let them.
  14. Find the proof of your own value after loss. Do not stop searching. Trust me it is there. Honor your life, love your life. No matter what has happened to you. Remember that pleasing other people when you don’t want to, is disrespectful towards your own life.
  15. Learn to remember your past without living there.
  16. Go to the edge every day. Something happens to our identity when we push ourselves to the limits.
  17. It takes time to become who you know you can be. Don’t give up because you are halfway there. The second half is easier than the first.
  18. Don’t ever stop yourself from expressing how you feel.
  19. Never underestimate your powers when you have nothing to lose.
  20. You can do the impossible, because you have been through the unthinkable.

Print this list and read it to yourself on the tough days. Please.

All of the above is true. I know it. I have lived it and have witnessed thousands of others living their version every day. You got this.

With so much life,

Christina

Comments

  1. This message should be on everyone’s refrigerator! Even though it has been going on nine years since experiencing numerous losses, I still hold on to the truths in this message. Thank you, Christina!

  2. My dear husband in the clouds. I feel you six months it’s been now and I still smile at that ankle brush you like to send me. You have no idea how you are missed. The kids and I talk about you a little every day..they now use phrases you did and they look up to see you too. You taught a shy little girl how to be strong you taught a teenage boy how to be respectful but not lose his teenager identity.
    For me..you taught me unconditional love…and to know what being cherished really feels like. You helped make me strong enough for this. You always knew you were going to be a Guardian Angel and my “mo fear ceile ” you will always get that credit for helping me figure out that “I am worth it”. You spoiled me. You called me classy smart and sexy every single day. Not one day went by without that And I hope I reciprocated. I tried.
    I panicked when you died.
    I knew my life as I knew it was over. Six months tho. I cried every day for 3 of them. …and I do not cry every day now. I talk to you when I feel like crying and I tell you why because you said my face deserved to be smiling. I try honey I do.
    I got a job. I wish I could say school worked out..it will. I know it will. You inspired me to be a better person my love. And I am moving forward.
    Men..oh they are around…some just friends some hoping for more. Oh baby I miss what I know I cannot have. You were my Prince and they pale. I try not to compare you. I really do. I know it’s not fair but you set a standard I will not step from and for that I thank you!
    There is one who is patient and persistent. He wants in..and I let him a little at a time. He lost someone too and is patient with my longing for what was.
    I cannot ever say I regret anything. That is not me. I’ve decided that after this month..6 mo to the day I need to move my ring to the right. I will. I have been moving it back and forth trying to get used to the feel of it on my right hand. I likely will slways wear it and your dogtag.
    Thank you my ‘mo fear céile fo spéir’. I feel your presence all the time. So I know I am not alone and neither are the kids. They miss you fiercely but every now and then I catch our girl tearing up and usually she brightens after talking about you. You really helped her see a positive male role model in you..thank you. Thank you for being here and for staying with us..as I move forward my fear is less thinking of you watching over..I want your protection of voucher but I also want to make you proud ☺ I will live on and You will live on through all that loved you. To infinity I love you still and in life I remember all the good you did for me the kids your country and even random strangers.
    For all the time I have til I see you in the clouds I will miss you. But I sm walking forward and one step at a time my life is getting normalized.
    I love you dear one. You are my forever love!
    Heidi.

    • Heidi,

      You were blessed to have experienced the depth of love and devotion that you did while your husband was with you. Sharing your story of love now filled with sorrow and sadness, yet still appreciation and recognition of what you had, is a blessing to you and others that feel your heart. A heart that gives so much love will always have room to receive love. You’ll be OK.

  3. This is a great list, especially for me 7 months after loss of my hubby. The kids seem to be doing pretty well and I am finding myself thinking about my future. I especially like numbers 5, 6, and 7. Thank you for this.
    H.

  4. Thank you so much! I found out about your book and your blog only 3 years after my husband dies unexpectedly. We have a son who just turned 4. I realized that I want to live again. With your help, I did it. I started doing sports and the very first time I went out again, I met a wonderful man and realize now that indeed I am able to laugh and even love again! It is not easy for me to open myself to that new man, I changed a lot as a consequence of my loss. But it is worth to try and to work on it. Thank you! Your book made me realize that I can make it and that it is okay to live again!

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Christina Rasmussen

Welcome to the Message in a Bottle page, here you will find wisdom, truth and tools for you to start over. Make sure you sign up at the top to be sure to receive it in your inbox every Friday.